Tag Archives: School uniform

Uniform Fashion

It’s the start of a new school year and girls around the country are donning their crisp white shirts, pleated skirts and shiny new shoes for the first day of term. I was thinking how easy it was to put on the clothes that were dictated to me day after day for 11 long school years before flying the nest for nonconformist college where, for the first time I faced the dilemma of what to wear? If I’d have known this drama would raise its ugly head on a daily basis I would have opted for sixth form and the safety of the monochrome clothing rule.

I decided to study a HND in Fashion & Textiles at college, I thought that by taking this creative route I would be allowed the freedom to portray my artistic flair in my clothing without prejudice and I was thanks to my fellow wannabe designers. I was so lucky to share my workspace with some seriously talented people who were so self-confident their enthusiasm to shock rubbed off on me instantly. My friend Andrew would wear chaps fashioned from old curtains over Calvin Klein boxers and saunter down to the cafeteria for a bacon butty among the open-mouthed non-fashion students (sadly I don’t have picture evidence) We would make skirts from bubble wrap, wear towering heels with grubby overalls from the workshops and screen print as many foul swear words as you can name onto t-shirts to wear when we went charity shop browsing. I absolutely loved that time at college and I learned that while we were ridiculed for our random/daring/silly fashion choices, thanks to safety in numbers I felt it was okay to be different.

Image: Twoflatwhites.com

Clothing rules have relaxed so much in the last decade, my daughters infant teacher wears Converse and A&F for school, she always looks smart but its such a long way from the full pleat floral skirt and blouse combo that my primary teacher wore. When I was at high school (not that long ago) there was a teacher who wore Mango tops, Topshop jeans and knee length boots for work and was the envy of a lot of girls in my year. She certainly stood out from the sea of brown skirt suits and black patent kitten heels favoured by the languages department. I wonder if the women who wear a uniform everyday yearn for the freedom to make their own clothing choice in the mornings or are they happier to not have to check the weather, think about feet hurting in heels or remember to put extra tights in their handbag in case of a ladder emergency? Plus if the guys are in uniform too they don’t have to contend with Disney ties, days of the week socks or patterned waistcoats. Guys in uniform equals a win…every time.

To all the teenagers who are already manipulating their boring school uniform into something more fashionable, enjoy the monotony of looking like everyone else because it wont be long before you’re up at 6am dragging everything you own out of your wardrobe trying to find a suitably chic outfit for yet another day at work.

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Moving On Up

Anyone who has read my author bio on the site will know that I’ve managed to fit a lot of life into my short 29 years. Without wanting to put too finer point on the negatives, there have been a fair few low moments for one so young and inexperienced, however my love of Psychologies Magazine and a good cathartic natter with my fiancé has helped me to focus on the positives, and never more so than now. Putting a failed marriage behind you aged 26 is a pretty soul-destroying process, as is learning the rules of being a single parent, living with your folks again and accepting the fact that online dating is an addictive pastime, nevertheless life does indeed go on and surely it can only get better….or more complicated.

I have regrets about my past, I think everyone does whether you believe in all the sayings about never having them or not. Mine lay mainly in putting myself out to my detriment; I am a terrible people pleaser and yet I often feel annoyed that I’m walked over, my own worst enemy! As a parent you might expect to hear of this selflessness, but my remit of being a door mat often extends to my family, friends, colleagues and even a few drunks over the years.

Penguin Book Covers

Penguin Book Covers (Photo credit: Paul Watson)

March 2012  poses a new chapter in life in two ways; first a humongous financial decision I made 12 months ago will finally come to fruition and I will gain the freedom and wisdom I lacked with money in the past.  Secondly, I have decided to use my young family as inspiration to go all out and meet my personal goals, instead of berating myself for another 29 years for making the wrong choices and always putting others first. Going through with my plan has taken some guts believe it or not, and the continued support of my husband who despite his apprehension of being left by the wayside due to my renewed determination and drive, has helped to make my plans a reality. So 15 years after leaving school I have finally worked out what I want to do with myself professionally and I’m about to embark on a writing course with Penguin Books.

I’ve never been so eager to learn something new! My husband has bought and assembled a new home office for me to work from, as well as arranged time off to look after our girls so I can study, and even sharpened my Cath Kidston pencils ready for action.

I’m still amazed that a little support can make these seemingly huge decisions so easy to put into practise. For the next few months I’ll be spending evenings researching, attending conferences and writing up reports while my husband making bottles, helping with reading books and ironing school uniforms. I know he won’t complain about it, he knows how much it means to me to succeed. I have a new goal to add to my list for 2012, and that’s to find a middle ground between door mat and assertiveness. I’ll let you know how I get on. ….

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