It can be a breath of fresh air for parents to discover that their child’s school has a uniform policy. School uniforms make it so much easier for kids to get dressed in the morning, and easier for parents as well, since they don’t have to worry about whether something they choose is appropriate for school. But while uniforms are designed to lessen the hassle of getting dressed in the morning, that isn’t always the case. For example, when your school’s policy is to wear a white shirt with navy blue pants, there are more considerations to keep in mind than simply the color of the clothing. There’s also the season to consider and whether certain items of clothing are on their last thread. Choosing sturdy school uniforms that last is essential, as is ensuring your kids know which tops and bottoms to coordinate together. Here are our tips for helping your kids get dressed in their school uniforms in the morning without any confusion or frustration.
You might assume that girls’ school uniform dresses will take the guesswork out of matching tops and bottoms together, but that isn’t always the case. Girls’ uniform dresses are typically jumpers. That means she needs to wear a shirt underneath, so she’ll have to decide between long sleeves and short sleeves. In the spring and fall when this might be a difficult decision due to temperature fluctuations, having a sweater handy can help. That way, she can choose the short sleeves but keep a spare cardigan in her backpack in case she gets cold. Just make sure the cardigan is an approved color that matches the school’s dress code.
Often, schools give kids the choice of wearing a polo one of two colors, such as blue or white. While you may assume that the white kids' polo would be a safe, neutral bet, these tend to be magnets for stains and can become grubby over time. Look for one that’s stain-resistant and resists fading and shrinking. It should also have reinforced seams for those more active kids and be made of soft cotton that doesn’t scratch their skin or become uncomfortable. Wash white shirts once every couple of wears with a brightening detergent and on the highest heat setting. Drying them outside will help ensure they last too since it is more gentle than putting them in the dryer.
Some girls just tend to prefer skirts to jumpers or pants. And girls in older grades might not have much of a choice, since jumpers tend to be for girls in the lower grades. Be sure to update this part of her wardrobe as she gets older, as she might eventually outgrow the skirts she wore in middle school.
Regularly purging any uniforms that are too small from her closet or drawer will help avoid this dilemma, as will having some leggings or shorts on standby that she can wear underneath. After all, if your daughter is quite active or rides her bike to school, some leggings or shorts underneath the dress will be quite helpful. Again, make sure they’re in a neutral color like black or white, and that the school allows girls' leggings underneath the skirt.
Climbing trees, hanging from monkey bars, and playing flag football are all things little kids should be doing. After all, we’re always trying to get them off their electronics and push them outside to play in the fresh air. During recess, some kids are more active than others, coming home with grass stains, rips, and worn knees. If you have a child this active, you’ll have to take special care to find uniform pants that are able to last. Look for stain-resistance and reinforced knees. You might also want a dark color instead of khaki if that is an option. If there are any other pants in your child’s drawers that don’t fit the bill, take them out and donate them, or throw them away.
Set aside part of the closet or a particular drawer stacked with seasonal uniform pieces, so no matter what your child picks, it will be appropriate for the weather. Monitor clothing for any rips or stains as well so you can replace what can no longer be worn.