Back to School Part One: Uniform

When I first thought about and wrote this post, I thought it might be a bit boring considering my school requires a uniform, but rereading it I think I managed to make it somewhat exciting. Like I said, I wear a uniform which normally consists of a polo (any color), a navy or khaki skirt, and a sweater. Although I have a quite impressive collection of polos, I can't wear most of them to school because they have a logo of some sort and my school has a no-logo policy, so I bought some basic colors from Old Navy. Skirts also from Old Navy. My key trick to individuality, when you must wear a uniform, is to manipulate the rules. Bend them. Some schools have very strict rules about uniforms (such as only one color polo, types of socks, shoes, etc.) and others, such as mine, have very general rules. For example, in my school's rulebook, they say any colored, logo-less polo, navy, khaki, or plaid (hooray!) skirt, button-downed shirt (optional), plain-looking sweater, any closed-toe shoe, and they don't mention socks or jewelry at all. So I try to make the most of it by creating elaborate color schemes with the polos, and I try to wear a plaid skirt when I can because most of the other girls don't know what to make of them, or how to style them, so I will stand out by default. Solid khaki and navy will only go with so much, but plaid has many different colors and threads to it, so there's much more you can do with it. Button-downs can be a pain in the morning, but the extra polished look can be worth it. Just be sure you get a non-iron variety to save yourself all the time you can get. For sweaters, you could go with a classic navy cardigan, or maybe one with pockets to hold all those bits and pieces you manage to pick up during the day. This year I decided to buy only short sleeved polos, and to throw on a chunky knit sweater when it gets cold. The rules say 'plain' so many people read that as to keep it to the traditional navy, black, and grey. To stand out and be unique, while following the rules, I go for dark, toned-down greens, reds, grays, or purples. And I also tend to go away from the button-down sweaters and prefer the over-the-head knitted kind. For shoes, most people think of black mary-janes or flats (or if you go to a particularly preppy school, Sperrys) to go with uniforms, but I like colored or printed flats, oxfords, and for the spring, oxfords with cutouts will keep you nice and cool (just watch out for puddles). With socks I go totally all-out. Colors, prints, textures, everything. I like playing with textures best, because it's very subtle. With prints, it's very in-your-face, but textures are different. A quiet kind of different. Intricate knits and crochet types are my favorite. Knitted socks are great in the fall and wintertime. As for jewelry, you can really be creative with so many different aspects of it - earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, brooches, belts, hair accessories, etc. I always like to make some of my own pieces to be truly unique. Thrifting is also a good option. Many kids don't like uniforms, but I find that the kids that are saying that are the kids who'll be wearing a 'uniform' anyway. They dress the same as all of their other friends, like an unofficial uniform. The truly individual children, the ones who'll dress differently with or without a uniform, are the ones who can make the most of uniforms. It's really not that bad.

There is really a lot you can do with "any closed-toe shoe" These leopard options are a nice choice.

Classic Oxfords are a smart choice. Very comfortable when rushing from class to class during the day.
Plaid! The cutout on the top will keep your feet cool during summer.
Printed oxfords are a nice option to add a party to your feet when you've got business on the top.

I keep my school clothes in a vintage suitcase from Goodwill during the summer.

I love the silver buckle details.

I cut labels out of an old Godiva chocolate box. 

Be sure to check out Back to School Part Two: Supplies later this week!