Labor Day weekend usually marks the end of Summer vacation in the US. A new school year is about to start. While shopping with clients recently, I’ve noticed schoolgoers of all ages shopping with parents and friends for a wardrobe refresh. It certainly seems like an annual event.
My own back-to-school wardrobe refresh in the ‘70s and ‘80s was not eventful because I wore a school uniform for my twelve years of schooling. Short-sleeved checked cotton dresses in hot weather, and button-down shirt, tie, pinafore, pullover and blazer in cold weather. Socks or tights with flat Mary Janes or sandals for my feet. Our school footwear had to be Clarks.
All we needed to do was make sure that my uniform fit after a Summer growth spurt, and refresh items like shirts, pullovers, socks and shoes when they got too shabby. My Dad was big on us polishing our shoes, so my brother and I did that regularly on a Sunday night at the start of the new school year. Our diligence with that chore tapered off as the months went by.
Above are some school photos of Greg and me. On the left are my brother and me in 1975 on my first day of school. I was five and my brother was nine. We went to Glenealy Juniour School in Hong Kong and walked there together each morning with lots of other kids from our apartment on Conduit Road. Being the independent type, my brother was not impressed that he had to look after his annoying little sister.
On the top right is my adorable husband Greg in his Winter school uniform as a six year old, at around the same in Cape Town. Standing next to him is his little sis, still too young to go to school. The photo on the bottom right is of Greg and his friends as teens in their Summer school uniforms in the mid ‘80s. Our parents could not have been more delighted that we wore school uniforms, and we didn’t mind either. It simply made dressing in regular clothes, or “civvies”, a much more special event.
Over to you. I’d love to hear about your own back-to-school shopping traditions back when you were little, and how you shop back-to-school for your children today.
And if you are in the US, we hope you’re having a wonderful Labor Day weekend.