Thursday, 6 September 2007

Uniform list

I have always been fascinated with uniform lists. When I was 8 I wore a school uniform for the first time and I remember poring over the list before I started at the school. I longed to get hold of exotic items on the list like a straw boater (with ribbon in school colours), bottle-green gym knickers, fawn tights and a gabardine mac. The entire uniform was rather bizarre and old-fashioned, but I absolutely loved it!

Then I started to draw up uniform lists for my toys as I sent them to imaginary schools. The uniform list I was most pleased with consisted of a royal purple pinafore, pink shirt, pink and purple stripey socks and patent dark purple Mary-Jane shoes. Wow!

My secondary school was a liberal, academic place and had a colour scheme rather than the strict uniform I had been used to when I was younger. This was such a disappointment when I started (one of the other local secondary schools had a green woolen cape as part of their uniform - how cool!). But as I grew older I appreciated more the freedom to wear pretty much what I liked as long as it was navy and white. I had a great pair of baggy cord trousers that I wore one year, plus some very long pencil skirts that I could hardly walk in.

When I lived in Brisbane in Australia for a short while in my early 20s I loved looking at the school uniforms as I travelled into town each morning on the bus. The girls - even older teenagers - all wore stripey or checked dresses in very loud patterns, with wide white peter-pan collars. The boys all wore hats, striped blazers, shorts and knee socks. My purple and pink creation would not have been out of place here!

Today was O's first ever day at school. Her uniform has been a great source of excitement to her as we've got things ready over the past few months. The uniform of her and C's school is pleasingly not the usual royal blue and white, but equally nothing as weird as the bottle green and fawn that I wore at their age. Coincidentally it is the colours of the local football team! Burgundy, grey and pale blue.

O's favourite bit is those wonderful, grey knee socks!

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