SO, Immediately after being double-wearing-outfit-shamed by a 7th grader ( please read previous post for the backstory), it was no longer even a conversation in my head about weather or not I would wear a uniform the following year. It was now time to plan. The kids left my classroom and BOOM: Donkey Kong, and the uniform, were ON!
I’M SERIOUS! Wait, really, it was like a JLo- “ENOUGH” moment! Yes I fully understand that these topics are not the same, don’t hate me! I’m just saying that I was DONE with the silly stress, extra time and negative in my head over something as simple as what I would wear to work. I had a simple solution, and I was going to try it. I was on a mission!
First, I asked the teacher who ran the School Store if she’d show me her catalog of shirts- I had a collared shirt with a school logo in mind and explained my idea…. she was skeptical, and raised ALL of her eyebrows, but agreed to share it with me before school ended. (BTW- way there was not an internet link/site I was told…odd!) The next day, I ran into a different teacher in while making copies, and she told me that she heard of my idea and maybe she’d get a shirt too, for Fridays. I could do a Friday uniform, she suggested. Ha!
I mentioned the shirt idea to my teammates, and in the people in my night class from my school…thinking that if we could get a shirt bought en mass it would be a decent price- and then the more the merrier for me! The general consensus was that everyone would love the idea of a Friday uniform. I tried to explain my idea of a regular “every day” uniform.
I explained that ACTUALLY, Friday is Patriot’s Friday ! Yes, for the past 15 football seasons that I have been there! I heard: “Oh, that’s a thing?”
I really am invisible.
I explained that the school shirt was for the OTHER days; that I was really talking about wearing it for a uniform… and the debate began. And raged on, and on and on. For everyone but me.
So the ‘lets-pick-a-shirt-as-a-group’ thing didn’t happen, and “we’ll look in the Fall” was the last text I got from the School Store teacher.
And while the rest of the universe conspired against me, I knew my plan, and it was the greatest plan EVER: of the day, month and of the year! Well, at least as far as plans for my morning routine go.
So anyway here was my “Uniform Plan” for 40 weeks of the school year:
- Blue shirt ( EXACT SAME)
- Black bottoms ( originally my idea was Khaki)
- Cardigan ( black or white- I’m flexible like that)
- Memory foam shoes- I hate being uncomfortable people- #nopainnopain remember?!
- through Patriots season I’d do Patriots Friday,
- and then for the rest of the year Fridays would be “Flexible Fridays”- some weeks the uniform, others jeans & a tee, whatever- (needed to show that I was “flexible” and that I should not be committed)
After an entire school year, here’s the report on how the year went:
Throughout the year there were a few exceptions to the uniform… Patriots Fridays were swapped out based on their Thurs/ Mon games- but ‘bye’ weeks still saw a shirt on Fridays! Oh & the day after, OK, the whole week after, the Super Bowl! ( #XVLI #GOAT #DYNASTY #GREATESTCOMEBACKOFALLTIME #ROGERTHAT #justsaying) I also didn’t wear the uniform on Professional days/ i.e. no kids. In my school these are traditional jeans, tee and sweatshirt/hoodie days and who am I to mess with
And, a few things did change from my original plan:
- Change in shirt style- screw the blue crew Friday people anyway- Boat neck shirt rather than collar ( I LOOOOOVE my shirt- thank you elbow sleeve!- and Mom for the inspiration!)
- I decided on black pants rather than my original thought of Khaki ( I decided it was a better outfit with the royal blue I was planning- and I knew I’d have endless options for black bottoms- that I already had!!);
- I added comfy black sandals for the hot weather- the memory foam sketchers were a struggle in the 97 degree third floor.
I gotta tell you, the responses I received over the uniform were super funny- to put it mildly… so not only did the uniform make my mornings better, it made me smile from other people’s reactions!! Two-fer!
First, Mom and her “that’s not a flattering look on you” response to my original choice of collared/polo shirt (God Bless her, she knew I’d look for a men’s shirt b/c I like the length of the sleeve- she gets me)… cracked me up- she thought I’d cave with that line I am sure! But that was actually a great response b/c I switched gears and The Google found me, in less than 10 minutes, the perfect boat neck royal blue shirt ( which I promptly ordered en mass)
The Dufton Court crew was incredulous- S insisted I go with multicolored shirts, then even suggested I label them to avoid confusion – but when I threatened to do it on the back, like a day-of-the-week-undies thing, she stopped talking about it, hoping I’d forget.
One of my work friends “insisted” that I have an “emergency” pair of shoes in case a “hot single Dad entered the building”. She’d put me on alert, she told me. Another “insisted” that I would have to do “fancy” makeup & hair daily. Ha. My boss told me that she “heard about this out at drinks last week”. Fabulous. Maybe come to my classroom occasionally and you’d see for yourself #justsaying
Also, in order to avoid the idiot conversation w/ my kiddos from the previous year, I took a picture of all the shirts hanging in my closet at home, next to the black pants, brought an extra to leave at school in case of a spill and showed my students the picture when I did a quick “ok here’s the uniform deal- I am clean, STYLYISH*, and more focused on my work rather than how I look”. Their faces were priceless, and it took probably a couple of weeks for them to realize I was serious- Patriot’s Friday kept throwing them off.
At some point in time the 8th graders would find themselves matching me ( our school colors are royal, white and black)- and what was I am 100% sure embarrassing for a brief moment when I did the finger point back and forth between us and then 2 thumbs up, suddenly became the norm. The shyest kids in the grade would walk in my class, or by me in the hall and casually say, I’m twinning with you today Ms. D or I’m uniform-ing it with you. On “Twin Day” at school, it was the easiest way to show your spirit- oh and also on school spirit- just twin w/ Ms. D. teachers, kids, whoever.
Parents at Open House were funny too! I probably already knew about 75% of them from previous kids/years. One told me her daughter insisted that she check out my shoes since she was constantly complaining about her feet. At parent conferences a few commented that they were glad to see it was going strong, ( One I went all through my own MS and HS days with- she knew my awkward phase well, and I am sure this didn’t surprise her one bit) and one mom told me she wore a uniform for work as an airline attendance, and loved it. She suggested a scarf or signature earrings to “zjujzz” ( sp?) it up. I told her that there would be no Carson Kresley approval for me, the uniform was as it was and it made me happy.
AND one of my teammates- told me he LOVED the idea (ok ,so he’s a guy and may not have used that exact expression, but I know that is what he meant). He was doing it! He was all about getting wrinkle free pants for his uniform too, which cracked me up ( and thrilled his wife!) He stocked up on various colors of collared underarmor shirts he found on sale too. Also please note: he didn’t have the laundry situation I had, AND he also is about 18 or so yrs younger than me so his mind is still nimble…so BACK OFF single color haters! Occasionally I’d get a text the night before an assembly or big day “You uniforming tomorrow?” Always, yes. Always yes. Oh except for our graduation ( I did look for a blue/black dress… thats on my list to find for this year) and I caved and wore a dress.
But hey, the truth is, *contrary to popular belief, the outfit is legit- I’ve gone from work to: dinner, for drinks, shopping and to docs appts and I am not embarrassed that I look like I’m in a work uniform. Even my fashionista friend K was ‘impressed’ ( ok, she was “not horrified”, but same thing really) when she finally saw me in it- in May- for dinner!
And most importantly, I LOVE IT! I literally have 30 more minutes every morning – in which I should report that I get up and work out, but will happily admit that I am SLEEPING! I’m not annoyed or frazzled as I head out the door, and therefore I usually remember everything I need for the day! What a great, happy way to begin my day, as I head into the teenage trenches. Trust me, any extra happy is KEY to survival in this demographic!
So, What’s next for the uniform you ask? ( you’re dying to know, admit it)
2017-18 will see the addition of g ¾ sleeve shirts- same color, and style- to help with the temp regulating situation- when a cardi is too hot, but short sleeves are too cold…all when I am standing next to the window fanning myself! UGH!
Also, I just ordered the same exact memory foam shoes, AND I stockpiled my favorite pants from the spring- literally 3 more pairs after I wore the first this spring! Yes, they still have the tags on in the closet- don’t worry, they are drawstring ( just in case by some miracle I suddenly get athletic and slim down), and really comfy, lightweight, decently flattering ( I mean they certainly don’t make me look like I am a size 2 so they only rank at decent, not miraculous) and they can easily be casual, professional, or dressy, depending on the shoe being worn. So yeah. I’m good to go for 17-18! Another “Year of the uniform” kicking off on August 28th! SO SO SO SO SO SO SO Happy about this!