Thursday, 23 August 2012

From Choose Life tshirts to Metallicus, a fashion journey.

If only it was this simple.
I love a school uniform.  The word says it all, uniform.  All the same, or similar.  No sticking out.  Not standing out is the major aim of many school kids.  It was certainly mine.  But somehow I managed to stick out like dogs bollocks.  For all the wrong reasons.

It was the mufti days that undid me.  Wear what you like!  Sound's fun doesn't it?  In reality, for me, it was a world of potential pain.  As a high school student I failed mufti days.  I attended an all girls Catholic High School in Brisbane.  I was, as a twelve year old, nearly fatally naive.  With no idea of fashion whatsoever.

On my first mufti day in year 8, I chose to wear (as I remember, against my mum's advice, bless her) a pale yellow skirt and top set, with (I think) Holly Hobby on the front.  I teamed this with a rainbow puffer vest.  I was a bit chubby.  I must have looked like a pastel chupa chup.  Just writing this makes me cringe. As I walked up to a group of girls sitting outside the school doors, they fell silent.  They didn't even laugh.  My fashion fail rendered them completely speechless.

They all wore animal shorts, with Choose Life written in flouro pink on their white t shirts, not exactly high points in fashion themselves, but they were all wearing them.  Like a uniform.

After 6 months I worked it out, and commissioned animal shorts.  But it was too late, my self esteem was shot, and as we all have worked out by now, wearing clothes is an awful lot about how confidently you wear them, so between 12 and 18 (and beyond), it didn't matter what I wore, my rock bottom confidence ensured I was never ever comfortable.

My terry towelling red and blue short set with little anchors all over them embarrassed me badly at my friends beach house in the summer.

In year 11 camp, everyone had green army pants.  I had jeans.  I even remember one of the girls suggesting we all wear army pants.  I could have asked my mum for some.  But I didn't.  To this day I don't know why.

A couple of my stand out fails were a blue corduroy boiler suit (super cringeworthy) and a maroon faux fur jacket.  My extremely well groomed and fashion conscious mother was tearing her (perfectly coiffed) hair out.

But I survived.  I'm ok with clothes now.  I take notice of what people are wearing enough to make sure I am semi fashionable.  I've graduated to another uniform.  The mummy one.  Jeans and a long sleeved t shirt or leggings and an oversized top.  I have favourite brands, Metallicus and One Season are two of my favourites.  I wear flat boots and ballet flats in winter, Birkenstocks or Havi's in summer.  Neutral tones with a 'pop' of colour.  Hey, I can even talk the talk!

These days, I am determined to make sure my kids fit in.  When a note comes out for a mufti day, or a theme day, I make especially sure they have the right clothes, so they're not the only kid wearing x when everyone else is in y.  Dress in Japanese colours for Open Day?  Sure! How about green and gold? No worries! Black and white because everyone needs to be a zebra. Easy!

So far, so good, no major fails.  I figure there will be, there always is, but I intend to reduce the odds as much as possible.  Possibly by being slightly helicopterish.  Please forgive me.
When in doubt, just wear your gym gear.  And a tiara. 
I know the tough years are ahead.  I know we haven't even begun as far as wardrobe angst is concerned.  I do feel reasonably confident my girls have a passing interest in what other kids their age are wearing.  I hope this will make them able to follow that subtle vibe of what to wear or not to wear that school kids seem to have.

All school kids except me of course.