Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Susan Orlean on Defining Class

I think it's so much more about profession and aspiration:  Do you aspire to have a big house in the suburbs?  It's not a question of whether you have one or can afford one.  I think you can sort people out according to their goals, not whether they have the means to achieve them.  That, to me, is a more interesting way of looking at class -- rather than income.

From an interview with writer Susan Orlean by Manjula Martin in Scratch.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Thoughts on Uniforms for ARS

My eldest daughter goes to the Ann Richards School for Young Women Leaders.  I shared our experiences and thoughts on uniforms with some friends, and thought I'd publish it here, too, for anyone else who is looking for information.

So the only thing we bought through Parker was the skirt.  They are sized based on waist measurement.  We bought 2 -- on "today's" size and one one size up.  The skirt is good for 7 years, uniform-wise, so it's worth buying.  When you go for orientation, PTA will have a uniform sale -- I'd go there first thing (get there slightly early, it was in the small gym last year) if you want to try to buy a 2nd hand one.  Skirts are by far the most popular uniform item.  The girls wear them with bike shorts or athletic shorts underneath, so they are definitely a multi-wear-before-wash.  I think you could get away with just 1.

I also bought 5 white polos from Gap during their July uniform sale.  They were around $8 each, and cuter than a lot of the other brands (peter pan collars, slim fit).  Target, H&M, etc all sell white uniform polos, so they are easy to find when back-to-school starts ramping up.  You'll want enough to last a full laundry cycle.  I expect to replace the shirts annually -- the white gets dingy. 
They have jeans days about once a month, which you have to wear with a Ann Richards T-Shirt of some kind.  (So it's worth buying one when given the option.  Savannah has a super cute grey one that says "Richards" across the front -- I'm not sure where/when she got it.)  J. managed to lose/have stolen the only t-shirt she had.  (You can also use the ARS Ts for gym class, which is where J.'s disappeared -- perhaps locking her gym locker would have helped.) 
Shoes need to be solid white athletic lace up shoes, but any kind will do.  Just be careful how much branding/bling they have on them -- "Keds" on the heel is fine, large green "Keds" on the tongue not to so fine (although it's unclear if you can get away with the 2nd -- J. is very conservative).  They wear them every day, so finding a good pair makes sense.  I ordered a bunch from Zappos and sent back all but one.  If J. hadn't of liked this pair of very lightweight "old lady tourist" shoes, we would have gone with leather Keds -- leather is easy to keep clean and the style is classic.
Socks need to be white (or possibly black?) and visible when wearing shoes.  The knee high ones are popular with the skirt, but I'd get a mix of shorter ones as well.  Target for the shorter ones; I had to order the knee high ones (J. got them for Christmas.).  I bet Parker has knee high ones.
J. has 2 pair of black pants we found at thrift stores.  (Not hard to do, and they are more comfortable than the Parker ones.)  They must have belt loops, and you must wear a black belt with them.  We found a "slightly interesting" belt at Target.  She wears pants maybe once a month, so not that popular, but good for the cold.  She also has to wear them for choir concerts.
J. has 2 pair of black shorts, but I'm not sure she's ever worn them.   She prefers skirts when it gets warm.  I ordered from Target, but they are chino/twill fabric and don't have any stretch which might be part of their unpopularity.
They'll need black gym shorts (that "wind breaker" sort of fabric).  A little bit of color is OK.  J. managed to lose 2 pair so far this year.
They'll also need a black jacket/sweater/coat/pull over.  J.'s favorites are hoodies (I found a cashmere one at a thrift store that was popular) or leather(look) jackets (very popular).  Easily found 2nd hand.

Hair ornaments need to be black or blue or blend with your hair.  Parker has some cute bows and headbands (not sure if I've ever seen anyone wearing them, though).  Cut hair things in black are popular (kitty cat headbands, "Friday" bobby pins), but J. for the most part just wears a ponytail or silver clips or a headband.
That's all they have to have.  I have 2 things on my list for "nice to have" for next year, but I haven't asked J. if she wants them.  There's a ARS black v-neck pullover at Parker that looks super sharp over the polos in the winter.  (I think a non-ARS pullover would work as well.)  There's also a white button up at Parker that has princess seams and the ARS logo that's a cute option.