Anyone in the mood for a What to Wear to School post? We shot these photos last month, on the day before school started, which I’m just now realizing is almost 6 weeks ago. I can hardly believe it. Sometimes it feels like life is on fast forward, you know?
Today’s post features Oscar, 8th grader, age 13, and Betty, 7th grader, age 12. Their school requires uniforms, but it’s not too formal. The rules are: 1) Tops must be navy or white (no prints), with a collar. 2) Bottoms — shorts, pants or skirts — must be khaki.
That’s it. There’s no particular style of top that’s required, there’s no particular shade of khaki for the bottoms. There’s nothing special that needs to be ordered, and no particular store where our “uniform” is stocked. Plus, the students can wear any kind of sweater or hoodie or topper that they want — which is basically a daily necessity here in Oakland.
It’s Betty’s first year at this school, and she was not happy about the idea of a uniform. She pictured putting together back to school outfits and it sounded super boring. But in reality, this uniform allows for much more flexibility and personality than you might expect. Of the outfits we picture here in this post, all are uniform-approved, except for one outfit for Oscar and one outfit for Betty — sometimes the school offers a Free-dress Fridays where no uniforms are required.
Betty Outfit #1: Betty is wearing heart socks and a khaki circle skirt from Uniqlo (the skirt has pockets! and it comes in women’s sizes! and it’s on sale for $19!), a white peter-pan collar shirt from Target, a blue ribbed sweater from Zara, plus red and white checkerboard Vans.
Oscar Outfit #1: Navy button-down from H&M, ombre hoodie from Abercrombie Kids (marked down to $23!), khaki pants from last year (they still fit at the waist, but they’re getting too short, so he rolls them up — that way, they look intentionally cropped instead of just too short), striped socks from Gap (on sale right now — a 3-pack for $11).
Betty Outfit #2: Betty is wearing paper-bag-waist shorts from Uniqlo, a navy polo top from Gap (only $8!), an army-green ruffle bomber jacket and no-show liner socks from Target.
Oscar Outfit #2: Oscar is wearing a navy stripe sweater from Zara, a white polo and striped socks from Gap, khaki jogger-cut pants from Uniqlo (these are from last year), and red New Balance sneakers.
Betty Outfit #3: Betty is wearing wide-leg trousers from Uniqlo, a long-sleeve navy polo shirt from Gap (only $9!), a color-blocked sweater from Abercrombie Kids, and Stan Smith sneakers.
Oscar Outfit #3: Oscar is wearing a white woven top from Old Navy, khaki shorts from Target, camo shark ankle socks from Gap (on sale, 3 for $8), and a Casio watch (Oscar doesn’t have a cell phone yet, so he uses this watch to tell time and as an alarm clock).
Betty Outfit #4: Betty is wearing a white long-sleeve polo from Gap, trousers from Uniqlo, and an actual Members Only jacket (Hah! Remember those? I was so surprised to see them again. We found this one in the boys department at Nordstrom Rack. Only $32!)
Oscar Outfit #4: Oscar is wearing a henley and jeans from H&M. Plus black and white checkerboard Vans. This is one of his Free-Dress-Friday options.
One more bonus outfit for Betty: She loves this jumpsuit! We found it at Zara and she wore it on her first Free-Dress day. I love that shade of green on her.
Alrighty. That concludes our What to Wear to School Tour — School Uniform Edition. See what I mean about the uniforms rules still allowing a lot of flexibility? Now it’s your turn. Have your kids ever attended a school with uniforms? Or did you attend a school where uniforms were required? What was it like? Strict? Casual? Do you have strong opinions on uniforms one way or the other? I’d love to hear.
P.S. — Here are all our What to Wear to School posts — going back many, many years!
P.P.S. — For the first time, Betty is tall enough that she is able to fit into some items from the women’s department. That was super helpful as we looked for variation in khaki bottoms.
11 thoughts on “What to Wear to School: 7th & 8th Grade — Uniform Edition”
In the early 90s we lived in England for a school year. All three schools our children attend required uniforms, much more limited in their scope than what you have to work yet. And yet it was incredible to me how much personality, especially with the upper school girls, managed to be expressed.
You did a great job working within your parameters. Oscar and Betty look comfy, and confident – so important for having a great year.
I wish public schools here required uniforms…the parameters you stated seem very reasonable.
My son moved from the only local primary school in the city we live in without a uniform to another school with very strict uniform requirements (particular pieces from particular stores). I thought I would hate it but I don’t. I don’t love the cost, and the keeping track of items is a daily hassle (on any given day, I’ve got a list of which items are currently missing from our family “inventory”!) but I do love that we spend no time at all in the mornings thinking about clothing choices. A time saver, for sure! Interestingly, the school last year started letting girls wear trousers in the winter instead of tights and a kilt, and my daughter is one of the only girls to wear trousers regularly. Maybe it’s because parents who’d already bought kilts didn’t want to invest in trousers – will be interesting to see if more girls take it up as kids grow out of stuff.
Your kids are so stylish. My eighth grade daughter stresses about what to wear to school, and she and I would appreciate a school uniform. One thing I need help with here: I couldn’t find the wide leg pants in Betty outfit 3 on Uniqlos site.
Dang. I can’t find them online either. Not sure if they’re sold out? Or just temporarily retired? I know I’ve seen them in-store very recently. So not sure what’s up.
Love all the cute socks! outfits look so good! Betty has the best hair!! so pretty!!
I had to wear a uniform for 1 year of school but otherwise myself, my husband and my children never wore school uniforms but I am definitely in favor of them.
I went to public school for grades K-9 w/no uniform and then sophomore year, we moved to an area with less than stellar schools. I wound up at an all girls catholic school complete with the plaid skirt/white blouse uniform. Oh did those skirts get rolled up and oh how much money went instead into designer purses and shoes! I don’t think any money was saved. :)
My kid is at a Chicago public school, and we have uniforms. The unisex logo shirts – white, gray, red, yellow – are sold through the school (and a portion from the sale goes toward some of the programming at the school). The bottoms are navy (pants, shorts, skirt or an overdress). We love it because my son can just pick up and go in the morning. His non-uniform clothes live in a different part of his closet, and he doesn’t have a lot to pick from for school mornings, thus shortening the time spent before we can leave the house.
We live in Miami Beach and the dress code requires students to wear shirts with the school logo, purchased at the school store. Okay…fine. They can wear shorts or pants in certain colors. What really irritates me with it is they will be reprimanded for wearing a sweatshirt that has not been purchased at the school store. My son was in 8th grade last year and was given a detention for wearing a sweatshirt over his school shirt as he entered the school lot. It was THE ONLY DAY he even needed a sweatshirt all year! No way was I dishing out $30 a pop for each of my three teens when they would wear them only a day or so all year.
We’re in the UK so have a set uniform, I think this sounds like the perfect compromise I wish schools here had these uniform rules. We have to have a certain colour polo shirt, school jumper/cardigan and my daughter has the option of a skirt, dress, trousers or shorts (all grey though). I know of friends schools where girls are banned from wearing shorts which is crazy (this is primary level so ages 4-11). Also many schools here dictate totally black shoes with no labels or marking at all and are strict on hairstyles, I really can’t see how a hairstyle impacts learning at all and it really annoys me. Our school is quite flexible and at the end of last year when we had a heatwave they allowed the kids to wear non-uniform, it was so lovely to see them in their normal clothes!