You mean school is not a fashion show?

Today is Abigael’s first day of first grade; which also meant the end of my sleeping in days.To say she is excited would be a bit of an understatement… I’m surprised she fell asleep before midnight. I guess first graders are still prone to collapsing from exhaustion. At least some things stay the same — unlike all of the other changes I have noticed in her this past week.

One fortunate thing about this school year is that Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools have gone to a “Standard School Attire” – black, blue or khaki bottoms (no jeans, carpenter pants etc) and shirts are required to have collars (ie: polo style, button down shirts etc – no t-shirts). All shirts are to be solid color and each school chooses their own colors.

This made school clothes shopping, what would have otherwise been worse than Chinese water torture, a breeze. Well, at least it would have been if we had started about 2 months ago. With everyone else needing to buy khakis and polo style tops, the pickin’s were slim. But we persevered and found just what we needed. I have to admit though… I am LOVIN’ all of the styles at Old Navy, and their little girls clothes are so stinkin’ cute this season… But I managed to stay focused – put the blinders on and keep movin’.

Unfortunately, there is no code on shoes, other than “no house shoes”… Okay, seriously? That means that someone, at some point, had to push that issue in order for them to mention it… call me crazy, but I don’t make a habit of leaving my house in my fuzzy slippers. I’m just sayin’. I want to know who and why…

I digress…

We spent the better part of our weekend in the shoe departments of various stores looking for shoes that we agreed on. I loved ’em, she hated ’em… she loved ’em, they weren’t real leather and I’m not paying for another pair of shoes that stink to high heaven after a few weeks wear. I was impressed with her choices though – the girl knows style. She was all over the little ballet style flats and open back sneakers. Everything that I showed her made her fret that everyone would make fun of her. Apparently, I am old and have no sense of fashion from a first grader’s perspective. I’ll have to be careful what I wear whenever I drop in on her class – I’d hate to be gossiped about over CapriSuns and peanut butter and jelly in the cafeteria.

She finally chose a cute and stylish pair of Nike sneakers with a pink “swoosh” on them. Even I – oh woman of no fashion sense – thought they were cute and fun.

Through all of this, I kept thinking of all of the debates and the complaining and the whining and gnashing of teeth that some parents went through to try to stop the school board from voting this requirement in. There was an article in the Tennessean in July that mentioned a mother, of an 8th grader, allowing said 8th grader to decide whether or not to comply with the district’s dress code. Said 8th grader would not be dressing in the required clothes because it cramped her style and her mother was alright with this. Never mind the consequences.

This totally and completely blows my mind… Have we become that arrogant and flippant in our society that we are teaching our young children that they don’t have to follow the rules??!! Aren’t there codes to dress when you start a job at almost any workplace? Aren’t there always rules in the form of laws, that we must follow, in order to be a productive citizen?

I could fill the end of this post with a rant about all of that. But in the end, I am glad that the school board approved it. I think it evens the playing field and allows students to focus on the important stuff at school, like, say, LEARNING! Sure, it won’t cure all of the problems found in schools… some kids will still have fancy little logos on their shirts that show that their’s cost 5x’s what everyone else’s did, but for the most part, I think it will be nothing but positive.

No more bellies and midriffs hanging out.
No more underwear hanging out of jeans that fall down to the crotch.
No more “Guess where I’m pierced” or “Your boyfriend’s a good kisser” t-shirts.

And that wasn’t just in high schools.

I will be coming back online later today to post a picture of my daughter, proud as can be, in her standard dress, that her mother required that she wear. And she looks awful cute in it too.

(Also — thank y’all for your sweet comments and prayers. I totally felt covered in them this weekend – it was a very relaxing weekend and anxiety-free!)


  1. http://Beck says

    When I took The Girl school clothes shopping this weekend, I saw a wall of uniform-y looking kid’s clothes in Wal-Mart.
    I AM a fan of the idea of school uniforms. We live in an area where there is a lot of intense poverty and you can TELL by the kids’ clothes – and so can the other kids. Uniforms would have an equalizing effect.

  2. http://Megan%20(FriedOkra) says

    I so wish we’d had uniforms or standard dress when I was in school. Would have saved everyone so much grief!

  3. http://Melissa%20@%20Breath%20of%20Life says

    We don’t have a uniform code, but I sure wish we did! I think it can only be a good thing.

  4. http://Becky%20Wolfe says

    I wholly agree that uniforms take a lot of stress out of things for all the kids. That 8th grade mother is just plain stupid if you ask me if she can’t see the point in all this.
    The only schools around here with uniforms are the ultra private schools. Its too bad really.

    PS School out here doesn’t start for 3 more weeks.

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