Her name was Tracy Larsen, and she was the prettiest girl in my elementary school. She had bright blue eyes, silky blond hair, and adorable little freckles sprinkled across her nose. She was also the best dressed—at least in my opinion.
I attended elementary school in the 1980s in the South Bay at the height of the Esprit fashion craze. If you wore the San Francisco-based brand's bold-colored, Euro-chic fashions, you were cool. And, of course, Tracy was a walking Esprit advertisement. I'm embarrassed to admit that I remember specific outfits she wore in the fifth and sixth grade. A matching blouse and skirt made from a fabric with pink frogs leaping off green lily pads. A fluorescent yellow and navy blue striped dress and top. (I can remember showing my Mom the same outfit at Macy's, and she said, "If you wear that, you'll look like a jail bird!")
I owned a few pieces of Esprit clothing: I wasn't entirely deprived. My Mom's work required her to go to San Francisco once a month, and so I would encourage her to drop by the factory outlet. But my Mom also traveled to London once a year to see plays, and so she picked me up wool kilts, argyle knee-highs, and itchy sweaters. And the majority of my clothes came from Ross and Marshall's, places where I happily shop now but didn't so happily back then.
Tracy introduced me to label lust, which is a horrible, awful feeling when you're only 9-years-old and incapable of realizing that buying something because it's tagged with a specific logo is actually quite superficial. And I've already observed label lust in Alice. The other day she told me that she needs a pair of sparkley shoes because so and so at her preschool has a pair.
And so the idea of uniforms and dress codes makes sense to me. Though I would never pick a school just because it has uniforms. Rather, I see uniforms as an added bonus. But a friend of mine says she'd rather not send her child to a school with a dress code because she feels her daughter is able to express herself creatively by choosing her own clothes. And I can understand this point of view because I let Alice wear whatever she likes (though I don't buy her whatever she likes). And she definitely reveals her creative spirit by wearing dresses over skirts over pants, and mixing florals and stripes and polka dots.
I'm wondering how others feel about uniforms and dress codes? What have your experiences been?