Uniformity


For twelve years, I wore a uniform every school day–plaid jumpers, little red ties, knee socks, button downs, penny loafers, kilts–the whole Catholic schoolgirl thing.
And I loved it.
When I started college, I would panic every morning and wish for my uniform.  It was so stressful to have to pick matching outfits each day!  It cost so much to buy all those clothes, even stretching the budget by sharing clothes with my roommate!  I took to puzzling out my ensembles the night before to save time in the morning.
For the past several years I’ve gone back to wearing uniforms.  Only now I wear a mom uniform.
For some years, my cold weather uniform (which my mother labeled “eccentric”) consisted of hiking boots, thermal underwear, an Irish sweatshirt discarded by my daughter, and a long black tiered skirt (purchased at Wal-Mart on clearance for $5 about ten years ago).  The skirt also figured into the warm weather uniform, with different shoes and shirts (three, all the same style, in different colors).
My husband and children hate this skirt.  The seams began to separate some time ago and I’ve had them resewn twice.  To their chagrin, I had the skirt with me (to wear over my bathing suit at the hotel) when the house burned down.  The hiking boots were in the basement–I have no idea why–and so they were the only article of my clothing saved from the house.
I am wearing the skirt right now, along with an eggplant colored sweatshirt and black tennis shoes.  This is my new mom uniform, although the skirt has reached such a frayed condition that I can’t really wear it in public any more.  This is what I put on every morning to drive people to school and then wear till shower time.
I’m still really short on clothes since the fire.  It’s not high priority to me, although I am attempting to look slightly less frumpy AFTER shower time each day.  But I’m not relinquishing the skirt till it disintegrates!
Do you have a mom uniform?  Tell me about it in the comments!

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  1. Clisby says:

    Not exactly. It’s pretty much the same “uniform” I wore before I married, after I married, after I had children, etc.
    Jeans. T-shirt in warmer weather. Throw a sweatshirt or sweater over it in cooler weather. Parka over it all in cold weather, which doesn’t happen all that often in Charleston, SC. Done.
    I HATE school uniforms. Fortunately, neither of my children has to wear them, since I really resent having to spend the extra money. I have never figured out how school uniforms could be cheaper. What they boil down to is buying extra ugly clothes that I would never voluntarily buy – so I also end up buying normal clothes that I’d like my kids to wear. For some reason, schools with uniforms never seem to pick something I would want. Like, how many schools have a uniform of plain blue jeans and a navy blue or black T-shirt (for both girls and boys)? That’s about the ultimate practical school uniform, but I haven’t seen it in practice. Uniform policies that require girls to wear skirts are just beyond the pale.

    • lesliesholly says:

      As far as expense goes, it really depends on where you buy them and how many options there are. At the grade school my three big kids attended, they had so many options it was hardly “uniform” at all. I once saw someone spend over $400 buying their little girl every option there was. With three kids needing uniforms on a limited budget, they got once color shirt one year, and a different one the next year. Both the schools my kids are at now have uniform “closets” where I can get used uniforms cheap or by trading in outgrown ones. Regarding skirts, in high school skirts are more often banned than required because the girls insist on wearing them too short!
      I like uniforms because they save time, thought, and arguments. They probably don’t save money.

  2. Clisby says:

    The Catholic high school here in Charleston requires girls to wear skirts. A downtown charter school tried that this year, only to be slapped down by parents who (apparently for religious reasons) wanted their daughters to dress modestly. And any idiot can see that pants are more modest than skirts. The charter school (a school emphasizing math and science of all things) ended up with a uniform of khaki pants and light blue shirts. Supposedly in the spirit of introducing students to professional garb, when in reality they look like they’re training to be on the housekeeping staff of a Marriott.

    • lesliesholly says:

      There is nothing modest about uniform skirts these days. When I was in school we wore them to the middle of the knee, with knee socks, or we could wear pants but I never did. These days the girls wear them as short as they can get away with, with those no-show socks, and the display of leg is pretty extreme for school, in my opinion! They now require the skirts to be stamped at the waistband and the hem to prevent them from hemming them too short or rolling them up at the waist.

  3. Susan Everett Harris says:

    I wear a work uniform (to sort clothes at Goodwill!), of khaki pants and navy shirts. My daughter is in public school here in Wilmington, NC and wears khaki or navy pants, and navy, white or yellow collared shirts. (My husband also wears a lot of khaki– I think it’s because it’s so easy to do laundry that way!) I like the lack of frustration for all of us in the morning. And I like that fact that almost all of our together time is spent in jeans and t-shirts. (And we even have some vacation tees that match, but we aren’t allowed to wear them at the same time.)

    • lesliesholly says:

      Do the public schools there have uniforms, Susan? Or is that just your daughter’s choice of clothing? Did you know that Fulton has uniforms these days? I think it’s just jeans and a shirt of a certain color depending what learning academy you are in. My husband is an attorney and actually LIKES wearing suits. When we go out to lunch together on weekdays we make a very odd looking pair!

  4. Christi Wampler says:

    My mom uniform is two-fold, one in the house, and one out of the house. In the house, it’s jammie pants with a somewhat matching jammie t shirt. Like, not full on pajamas, something in between sweats and yoga pants. Oh, and a nursing tank. Outside of the house, it’s jeans (not fashionable ones, just regular old jeans), more than likely a solid or striped shirt, flip flops in the warmer months and Chuck T’s or tennies in the cooler months. A cardigan/sweater if it’s cold. Very basic. If you need some clothes, let me know! I can bring some Saturday. Email me on FB your size (nobody needs to publicize their clothing size) and I’ll see if I have anything to fit you!

    • lesliesholly says:

      Thanks, Christi! Back when my husband drove everyone to school in the morning I often wore pajamas most of the day. I used to hate it if the mailman came to the door. He probably thought I was such a lazybones when in fact I might have been doing legal work all day long! I’ll message you. 🙂

  1. February 23, 2012

    […] must I roll out of bed at 6:30 and nominally (maybe I should say MOMinally) dress my self in my “uniform”–the well-loved skirt that requires me to pull my sweatshirt WAY down while sidling like a […]

  2. August 29, 2013

    […] Would require uniforms. […]

  3. June 25, 2014

    […] was little, along with my black skirt and Irish sweatshirt, which I considered my winter time uniform but which my mother said made me look eccentric.  I’m especially attached to these not only […]

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