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Do you overthink what your kids should wear to their first day of school?

Posted by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 12:26 PM
  • 19 Replies

Why Dressing My Kids for School Is My Biggest Fear

by Sarah Bernard

There is a photo of me on my first day of kindergarten that still hangs in my parents' living room.

I'm wearing a uniform -- a navy blue tunic with a white blouse underneath. I came to love that my school had a uniform, but that day all I could think about was how scratchy it was.

My long hair is severely middle-parted and pulled into a ponytail. My navy blue socks are hiked up high to my knees. I'm holding my favorite stuffed animal and giving a halfhearted smile. I knew I looked ridiculous.

Of course, my parents thought I looked great. And I did in a 4-year-old slightly nervous about going to school for the first time kind of way.

But I think about that photo every time I dress my kids for their first day of school. Here's why:

I know their outfit will be immortalized not only in our house, but in their classroom for the rest of the year.

I didn't think about it when they started kindergarten -- luckily I'd talked them into respectable flowered sundresses and convinced them that barrettes would be a great idea -- but day one is when their teachers take the picture that will become their avatar from September until June.

That same shot, no matter how poofy their hair is, or how ill-fitting their clothes are, will be used to mark their cubbies, their journals, their folders, their classroom art projects ... basically any representation of them for two semesters, aka an eternity if you're a kid.

That's a lot of pressure! And the funny thing is, as we transition from summer into September, we're always at an awkward point with clothes. They've pretty much grown out of their summer gear but the back-to-school fall stuff is way too big since I buy it that way on purpose. 

Also, as they get older, I have less input on their styling. They want to pick their looks, which I am thrilled about most of the time. Let's face it, even the most Punky Brewster throwback is charming when you're 7. It's just that this day, I'm irrationally programmed to want things just so.

We have a few weeks until school starts, but in preparation I've already started asking them what they'd like to wear or planting suggestions and saying ... maybe we should save this dress or that shirt so we can set it aside. It's annoying them. And me.

The other day one of my girls told me she decided on an outfit. "I have a great idea," she said, "Do you still have your school uniform?"

Do you overthink what your kids should wear to their first day of school?

Image via MLekas/Flickr

by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 12:26 PM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 12:43 PM

My kids pick out their own outfits and it is something that suits their personality

by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Nope. My kids wear uniforms so it is super easy.

by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 12:47 PM
not with my boys I don't, they pick something out and I tell them yes or no. I may be different when my daughter starts school in a few years though
by Ivy on Aug. 23, 2013 at 1:30 PM

 Mine pick their own clothes.  I only object if they're dirty, mismatched or inappropriate

by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Mine wear uniforms, so it's easy.

by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 2:21 PM

my 4yr old tells me what she will wear......., lol  the 1yr old twins  have no clue yet... 

by Gold Member on Aug. 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

My dd picks out her own clothes.  I just make sure it's appropriate and she matches,lol  

** It's 5 O'clock Somewhere **

by Queen25Princes on Aug. 23, 2013 at 3:07 PM

Whether I pick out the clothes, or they do it is super important what they wear on the first day of school. Many pictures of them will be taken by me, and also at the school and those pictures could possibly end up in the school yearbook. But I don't "overthink" it.

by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 4:29 PM

Nope. My kids usually pick out the outfits that they want to wear, the night before.  When we bring the new clothes home we gather up all the school appropriate clothes in their wardroabe and then pair everything up into outfits.   All my kids have to do is reach into their closets, and grab the outfit they want to wear.  Makes it so much easier figuring out what to wear each day. Every week we do laundry and pair up the clothes again so that the kids each have a complete outfit for each day of the school week.

by on Aug. 23, 2013 at 4:29 PM

My son is 12, so he picks out his own clothes.  But I did when he was younger.  He was an only child until he was 8 so all of our time, attention and money went into just him.  I look back in almost embarrassment at the clothing shopping I did for back to school time before his sisters came along.  And he's not that kid that wants a lot of name brand clothes.  He would wear the same outfit everyday if he could get away with it.  It was me.  I was out of control.  My oldest daughter is 4 and her school is uniformed, so there's nothing to really think about there.

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