Back to School


By Leigh Minor Nagy, Minorbird

It is August. It isn’t official, but summer is over in our minds. Or, maybe we’re just over summer. One minute we’re complaining about how tired we are of being hot, the next minute I think (to myself) that I might rather be hot than deal with homework, soccer practice, homework, cheerleading, homework – you get the idea. The four weeks that are left to get ready might as well be four hours. Running a business and having three kids proves to be a challenge most days, so pre-planning is really helpful, when it actually happens. As the list of needed supplies rattles around in my mind, it seems fairly inconsequential because this year, we have to wear uniforms. Yes, uniforms. Love it or hate it, the decision has been made.

I want my children to be able to express their identity – I express mine through design every day. I feel like I understand how important that is. I also understand that giving my daughter a very limited range of choices is going to make my life a lot easier. No more morning arguments about appropriateness. I am no longer old and stuffy. I get to blame that on the school district. It is just plain easier.

I know that we are all busy. Finding time to figure out what the dress code even is can even be time consuming. And then there’s the expense. I admit, I was nervous. I thought that I was going to spend a fortune on uniforms. However, in my limited experience so far, buying school uniforms has been an overwhelmingly pleasant exercise for my wallet. I watch the sales – Land’s End is my favorite – and I strike when it’s right. The sales have been fantastic. And the clothes seem to last forever. So far, we are almost ready with a week’s worth of outfits. Personally, I would like to have seven shirts per child – just in case there is a laundry back up one week, which almost never happens (yeah right). Even if Lands End isn’t for you, I haven’t been in a store that sells kid’s clothes that doesn’t have a school uniform section.

It has been extremely helpful to take advantage of the sales each place has been running on uniforms. The best part is that I can just buy it – I don’t need to ask anybody if they like it or not. That’s huge. Instead of going back and forth about the latest trend, or who has what and who wears what, I can actually take advantage of a sale and feel accomplished.

It is only August. We still have a few weeks to do the beach one last time. Or the pool. Or the water park. And in between all the last minute summer fun, there really is time to grab all the little things – back packs, lunch boxes, glue sticks, pencils, and a few maroon and gold polo shirts (or white, black, yellow, or navy blue). I will probably make my last minute list with my toes still in the sand.