My youngest, Anna, just started school last week for the very first time. We prepared by doing all of the typical things like talking about how to behave in the classroom, and the fact that she would be there without Mommy and Daddy all day long. Of course, the most exciting part of preparation for me, both growing up and as a parent, was the back to school shopping, and all of the cute new outfits!
Let me preface by saying I am not exactly a fashionista. I love my kids, and want them both to feel like they can express themselves. Abbi is very much like me. Comfort is key. Anna however, is all about style! The girl could spend an entire day just dressing and re-dressing, having fashion shows and pretending.
I knew when we started school that she would need collared shirts without any offensive images and capris or pants. I knew she would need to tuck the shirt in and wear a belt. Short of that, I thought it was pretty open. Wrong! Half of the clothes I bought for her are things that she can't wear to school because they have things like tiny hearts, or an embroidered butterfly. Apparently only polos that are solids and stripes are ok for school. Clearly polka dots are too threatening and distracting for children to get a proper education! (insert eye-roll here).
Because our budget required that we get all of their school clothes from the local thrift store, I couldn't return them to get something within school requirements, so I am having to be creative. I have 4 shirts she can wear right now, and plan to get more soon.
Being that I know Anna would never be happy being unable to express her individuality, I have been working hard trying to figure out how to work around the dress code to give her some outfits that are special and reflect her personality.
Sparkly shoes, boutique style bows to add to a cute hairstyle, adding a bow to the polo, and making our own belt out of a piece of stripped fabric all made this outfit cute and full of Anna-esque personality.
I am thinking of doing things like adding unique shoelaces and accessorizing with cute jewelry like some old fashioned friendship bracelets. I also double checked the dress code and while it specifies the color and style the pants have to be, it doesn't say that they must be plain. I might be able to embroider or add a little glitz to some of her pants as well.
I would more than welcome any and all ideas on how to let her spunky personality shine through, even with the dress code. Any other suggestions?? :)