The way you dress is an expression of who you are and sometimes how you feel.
No one is a bigger fan of individual style than me, but there is a time and place, and furthermore a way you express your style.
Dress codes are everywhere.
Public servants have to wear uniforms. Nurses have to wear uniforms. Parochial schools require their students wear uniforms. And according to Motherlode, the New York Times parenting blog, 57 percent of public school principals say that they enforce some sort of dress code.
But what if your school doesn’t?
Does anyone remember getting “re-dressed” at school once they were away from their parents’ watchful eyes? Or how about fighting with your parents about what was acceptable and appropriate dress? I know I did.
When I was in junior high and high school (typically the time when your opinions about what you wear are at their peak), kids’ clothes were still kids’ clothes.
In Southern California, the common uniform for girls at my high school was Guess jeans, mini skirts or volleyball shorts and surf-brand tees and sweatshirts. We wore “scrunchy” socks and Reebok high tops, too. The apex of high style, I know.
My friends here in Nebraska dressed a little more formal, it seemed. Pleated, baggy pants, wild button-down shirts, oversized “Forenza” sweaters and rugbys, and (dare I date myself?) brooches.
Today, girls wear a whole lot less. And stores provide even the youngest of girls with mini-sized “adult” wardrobes.
The boys’ department doesn’t seem to be as bad. With boys, parents just have to make sure that the slogans across their t-shirts are respectable. Or that their athletic shorts or sweats don’t have holes in them. And these days, you have to pay extra for jeans with holes in them anyway.
I’ve been picking out my boys clothes since they were born, and they are just now starting to flex some independence about what they wear. My kindergartener only likes shirts with “stuff” on them; words, pictures, whatever, but not plain. I draw the line with sweat shorts. He has them. He wears them. But not to school.
My youngest really couldn’t care less most days, but sometimes he likes to be difficult when he hears his brother complain, too.
I know this is just the beginning. As they get older, their tastes and styles will evolve.
However, it is important to me to set some standards or my own “dress code” even if their school does not.
Does your child’s school have a dress code? Do you set your own dress code, if they don’t? What are some things you will not tolerate when it comes to the way your children dress?