Back to school means back in uniforms for some and new to uniforms for others. My daughter is not growing up like my husband and I did. She is young but on our current path, she will not know what it is to walk to the bus stop and see what everyone is wearing, or being so excited to show off your new shoes or outfit that you’ve laid out the night before and stared at as you went to sleep. We are on a different path.
Wearing a uniform can take away some of the pressure that children face when returning back to school. The reality is not everyone’s parents can afford to buy their child the latest trends, I was one of those kids. Uniforms are not exclusive to private schools. Many public and charter schools are choosing uniforms too in efforts to reduce kids being picked on for what they may or may not be wearing. This is not to say that uniforms remove all problems from schools but when students are in the classroom together and not worrying about these issues, they can focus on what’s important. For one year I attended an all-girls private school while living with a relative and it was a huge difference. It was my best year ever of school for many reasons, not having to worry about what to wear or how to keep up was some of them.
My husband’s father (a military man) raised him to always dress for the goal he needed to achieve. When he went to buy his first car, his father told him to make sure he showed pride in his appearance so that people would take him seriously. All of this has made me notice that every morning I’m teaching our child that when she button up and tuck in her shirt that she should take pride in her overall appearance. When she walks through those doors, she has the same opportunity to learn as anyone else. When a young man wears a tie and/or a button up shirt daily, he’s dressing for success and hopefully with a sense of pride. Our children will grow and seek jobs, some of which come with uniforms as well. We see this in law enforcement, parcel carriers, and the U.S Military. When they put on their uniform, they look their best and know that they represent something as well as themselves.
Every school uniform cost will vary from school to school. I’m happy to say that last year I saved money as a result of our uniforms. Last year, I bought 5 shirts, 4 skirts, and one jumper and most came from the used uniform sale. Some parents buy less and wash more frequently. When the school year ended, I realized we had only shopped for her once during the school year and my husband was thankful (lol). What I love most is, she can still wear last years uniforms if I have them altered (which I will). This year I bought one cardigan from the used uniform sale and two pairs of solid black shoes. If you invest in good shoes and a great backpack you’ll do just fine. The backpack will last for years to come and the shoes will survive the whole year.
The National Retail Federation states that “Total spending for K-12 schools and college combined is projected to reach $82.8 billion, nearly as high as last year’s $83.6 billion.” Clothing is a huge part of that number. Other reports suggest that back to school shopping is the second biggest shopping season of the year.