Beating the System – School Uniforms

Hands down, there is nothing worse than school uniforms. Period. After a summer of fashion freedom, who wants to wear starchy, itchy, poly-blend skirts, shirts, and ugly shoes? Parents and school administrators like to use buzz words like “conformity,” “peer pressure,” and “academic performance” to reinforce the uniform’s importance, but they are not fooling us. Here are few ways to make your uniform a little more tolerable this fall.

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. Basic cardigans are available at a variety of price points, from J. Crew to Old Navy. Most retailers have a few styles to choose from. If you are looking for a preppy DIY project, try replacing the buttons with vintage ones.

Shoes: I had to wear saddle shoes—yes ladies—saddle shoes. There is no getting around saddle shoes. They even measured the length of our socks. Most schools are much more lenient in the footwear department. Look for cute styles of oxfords, flats, and penny loafers. I am sure you can find at least one pair to your liking.

Watches & Jewelry: A watch is a great way to convey your personal style. Try swapping out your regular watch band with a preppy grosgrain one. Even the strictest schools allow students to wear watches. Many schools even permit jewelry. Whether you love classic styles like signet rings and pearls or prefer to look more boho, bracelets, rings, and earrings are a great way to show off your fashion sense while complying with the dress code.

Nails: Many schools don’t have a rule about nail polish, so stock up on all of the fun colors.

Hair: Look for fun hair accessories like grosgrain ribbons and headbands in preppy patterns.

Book Bag: Who said you have to carry a traditional backpack? Try using a stylish tote or a preppy over-sized purse instead. Just make sure the straps will support the weight of your books and school supplies.

No matter how hard we try, uniforms really put a cramp in our style. Concentrate on looking good after school. Stash a pair of cute non-uniform shoes in your locker to wear after class. Bring a stylish cardi or blazer to cover up your uniform shirt and don’t forget the sunglasses!

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