Back to School

School Uniform Blahs

Three little words that still make me shudder. There is nothing worse than after a long summer of fashion freedom to be stuffed back into the often conservative and confining school uniform. Oh, but wait, there is a small glimmer of hope. Even the strictest of uniform codes…and I am talking no ankle socks, nuns measuring the length of your skirt, allow for a little room to express yourself. You just need to get a little creative.

Girls – Layer it!

  • Sweaters: If you don’t have to wear a gross polyester blend from the school uniform company, sweaters are a great way to express your individuality. J. Crew, Old Navy, and Land’s End have many styles of cardigans to choose from. Cardis are great because you can even customize the buttons.
  • Shoes: I had to wear saddle shoes—yes ladies—saddle shoes. But many schools who are more lenient in the shoe department. Most department stores carry cute styles of oxfords, flats, brogues, and penny loafers. I am sure you can find at least one pair to your liking…and who said you had to wear white crew socks?
  • Jewelry: Whether you love traditional styles like signet rings and pearls or if boho jewelry more your thing, bracelets, rings, and earrings are a great way to show off your fashion sense (and comply with your school’s dress code.)
  • Watch: Everyone is allowed to tell time, aren’t we? From silver to grosgrain, watches come in a variety of sizes and styles.
  • Hair: Hairbands and barrettes just to name a few hair accessories. Time to try some new styles.
  • Nails: Many schools do not have a rule about nail polish, so stock up on all of the fun shades.
  • School bag: Who said you have to carry a traditional backpack? Try a stylish tote or a funky over-sized purse instead.

Guys – Color it!
Guys have it so much easier than girls in the uniform department. As long as you have a tie and a buttoned down shirt, you are golden. Many schools do not specify what color shirt or tie to wear, if that is the case at your school, you should take full advantage of it. Try pairing unexpected colors like a navy blue gingham dress shirt with a green tie.

  • Sports jackets: Brooks Brothers, J. Crew, Jos. A Banks, Nantucket Reds, take your pick. Spruce up your look with a fancy handkerchief and a funky needlepoint belt.

Do you have any helpful tips on how to make your school uniform more fashionable? Send it here.

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