Would You Let Your Kid Wear This to School?

Updated on May 04, 2012
J.M. asks from Doylestown, PA
23 answers

So Emmy ussually is very passionate about style, clothes....
She likes to dress up to say the least. To give you an idea to the fish fest the other day in town she wore a sparkly silver gown , tights, a matching sweater, her hair in a bun and then a headband and a huge necklace we got there that looked like it belonged in a jewel exhibit (it was 2 dollars at the jewel setting store and she loved it) and fancy shoes.

So yesterday she wanted to wear to school fancy shoes and she realized she somehow left them all at her dads. She goes to his house with fancy shoes and always comes back in old sneaks his parents get her from consignment sales (I buy everything used so thats not an issue=) ) well since sh didn't have fancy shoes she wanted to wear a poufy dress with snow boots! I didn't let her because it J. seemed so far out there. These arent the cute boots you wear with clothes they are black and hot pink snow boots that are huge and meant to be used to keep your feet warm and dry. Most of my reason was I couldn't picture her playing on the playground or running with these on. She was so upset but got over it.

But, the other post about bullying and teasing got M. thinking though how far is too far for self expression in clothes. I kind of think I should've let her decide to wear them but warned her about being hot, and she could deal with the consequence of being sticky and hot in them if that was her choice...I mean she's in K, when else is she going to be brave enough to wear these outfits? ThIs is her year to shine aS a snow boot poufy dress wearing kinda girl!
So would you have let your kid wear the snow boots?
Also have your kids gone to public school in costume ever? She desperately wants to wear her spiderman costume without the mask to K.

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answers from Portland on

I agree, first, that having proper footwear is important. So I, too, would have erred on the side of 'no snow boots'.

Otherwise, as long as she's within the school dress code, let her express herself how she likes. I think there is a real power for kids in letting them dress themselves and letting them get the small, social lessons of either "oh, they teased M. and I don't like it so I won't wear it again" -OR- "Wow, they teased M. but I really like who I am and I like how I dress, so I don't care". Small risk, in my book.

I do limit the character costumes, and that's J. my own background as a preschool teacher--costumes can definitely influence how the kids play. That said, if my son wants to wear his silliest clothes to school, that's fine, and costumes out and about on the weekend--why not?

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answers from San Francisco on

When I worked in first grade I absolutely LOVED it when kids would come to school clearly dressed in their own personal style! It was always the kids with the most self confidence who did this, it J. made M. smile. They were still young enough that their peers didn't really notice or care.
Let her enjoy it now, by third grade it will be over and she will want nothing more than to fit in :(

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answers from St. Louis on

I didn't want to get into my kids too much in that other post but Christine has worn some of the craziest outfits you would have ever seen. The funny thing about clothes or anything, if you are comfortable in it people see it as fine. Christine has always been a wildly popular kid. She was kind of this is who I am and I am cool with it.

So if she wanted to wear a poofy dress with snow boots I would not have raised an eyebrow. As a matter of fact I think that was her winter look in college. :p

You get bullied if you are not confident in who you are. You become not confident when your parents question your personal choices. By personal choices I mean things like clothes, things that have no real consequences beyond aesthetics.

I think the reason my older two were so popular was because they were clearly less than normal but we happy being less than normal. So many kids are less than normal so they J. wanted to be around that kid that was okay with it, ya know?

Oh, neither or them were ever bullied but lord you bully someone around them they were all over you. Get the feeling I am rather proud of them. :)

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Spokane on

My rules for what my girls wear are that it be weather appropriate (so sundresses in the winter must be worn OVER pants and long-sleeved shirts). Clothes must also cover all the important "bits". My girls are all 5 and younger, so this isn't an issue yet....but I know it will be one day *sigh*

As for the outfits they come up with? I let them decide. If they want to wear a red/black zebra print skirt with blue striped leggings and a floral top, then can. And yes, this is an outfit my 3 year old wore out shopping with M. once :o) But I'm also the mom that lets her girls paint every finger nail a different colour and wear clip-on coloured hair streaks.

I think kindergarten is a safe place to wear a costume to school. My oldest daughter has a little boy in her class that wears the same hat all day, EVERY day - he even sleeps and swims in it!

I say let her wear what makes her happy!

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Lakeland on

My daughter wears a uniform to school and I have her wear appropriate sneakers for playing on the playground. They can only dress up for Halloween or if they have something planned ahead no scary, gory or evil characters.

However, I have let her out of the house in her favorite purple dress that looks like a tutu on the bottom and her purple ugg knockoffs. Living in Florida I see no reason for needing these boots, but she really liked them. I let her pick her own clothes on the weekends even if they are a bit much. She mostly likes to wear her dressy shoes with everything.

I sometimes get looks from other parents as to why would I let her out this way, but she is young and must find her own style (within reason).

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Richmond on

LOL your Emmy sounds like my Madison ;)

I totally would have let her rock the snow boots... one of MY Emmy's favorite outfits is a poofy pink tutu skirt and black rain galoshes. Whatever ;)

My Emmy is also very fond of wearing my t-shirts... she's so funny... she'll put on black leggings, a tank top, my t-shirt, and cowgirl boots and a belt (so the shirt looks more like a tunic or dress)...

Madison will wear a plaid skirt with floral tights... again, whatever.

I think funky outfits teach kids to rock out their personalities and like what they like, regardless of what other people think about it. I remember being in high school and someone trying to make fun of M. for not wearing name brand clothes. I was like 'you're the dumb @ss spending $40 on a t-shirt... I bought mine for $7 and have spending money'... the look on their face was priceless.

Anyway, I do guide my kids in their clothing selections, but if their little personalities come through and they're adamant about wearing something off the wall, fine, but rock it and don't let anyone else tell you it's not cool if YOU think it's cool. It's good for their self esteem and self expression. Better than dying their hair funky colors and getting tattoos and piercings (says the lady covered in tattoos, LOL!!)

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answers from Dallas on

Of course, I would! I don't think there IS a too far, in self expression. (Unless the self expression is obscene, violent, or racist.) I probably would not allow a costume, but not because of it being too out there. I would think that would cause distractions in the class, and I don't think that would be fair for the teacher. I'm sure that costumes are not considered clothing, in school.

I think if parents would actually allow their children to wear what they want, and be themselves, it wouldn't be odd to wear things outside of the norm. There really wouldn't be a pinned down norm.

My parents let M. wear whatever I wanted. I looked crazier then punky brewster all them time! You know what came from it? Someone who was secure in herself. Your daughter is trying to be herself, why would you not allow that?

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

To the extent that the clothes won't interfere with activities, I'd let her make her own choices. Explaining that the snow boots will be a problem on the playground seems reasonable.

I suggest you ask the teacher how far you can let your daughter go with dressing up before it's considered disruptive (use the example of the Spiderman w/ no mask costume, so s/he knows you don't mean "inappropriate").

Otherwise, if there aren't school rules against it, let 'er rip. I think - the more your daughter has freedom and personal power now, the *less* likely she'll be bullied later and the less likely you'll have struggles about choices that really matter later.

My rule for this is generally, if it's not permanent, it's not a big deal. In other words, if my boys want nail polish or mohawks, it's not worth a fight. Save the struggle for what matters - the more "free" they feel, the less they'll fight over Big Things.

Of course, my sons are young. But that's my hope for the future.

best to you!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Denver on

Our schools wouldn't allow the costume, but I probably would've let her wear the snow boots. My daughter has her own style too. She is 7 but the other day she was wearing a tie die shirt, with her brothers 2 sizes 2 big basketball shorts (bright green) then rainbow striped knee highs, and camouflage crocs. Her hair was in pigtails with bright pink ribbons. I thought she was cute even if she sort of looked like she was in costume :). I am happy that she marches to the beat of her own drum and always encourage it. If they feel confident it wont matter what others think.

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answers from Dallas on

I think you did fine - the boots were not appropriate for the weather and I am sure the teacher is happy with the decision you made - the teacher ends up dealing with the consequences of scraped knee from falling down or making her keep the boots on when she realizes that they are too hot and wants to take them off.

Check with her teacher to see if its ok to wear the spiderman costume. If the teacher says its fine, let her. The teacher may think its too much of a distraction.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

I'm all for self expression, but no, I would not allow snow boots...unless the child had some sort of development issue that would make it a HUGE issue to change her mind.

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answers from Miami on

Doesn't the school have a dress code policy about clothing that may be distracting for the teachers and more importantly, the other students? Kids have outlandish styles/tastes, that is fine, but a costume????

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answers from Austin on

Our schools do not allow costumes to be worn at school. And in elementary school they run cross country track every day so tennis shoes are the only shoes they wear. And their clothes have to allow for this running.

I do think encouraging her own style is awesome, but remind her that there will some times when she has to dress "boring".

I love seeing kids who have picked out their own clothes. J. makes M. smile.

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answers from Minneapolis on

I am a "costumes at home" type of Mom.

I let my daughter (age 3) carry a purse... and I buy her "fun" shoes (sparkles, etc.) but they are not "dress up" shoes, they are good for her feet tennis shoes that are cute.

I suspect that as she gets older I'll run into more problems with her than I did with her brothers... the are easy :) But, I'm pretty strict about what is appropriate, and plan to stand on those rules.

I would not let my daughter wear snow boots to school.. but I also take them out of rotation (they are now in the garage) because she did want to wear them after it was no longer snowy this spring.

Maybe you could compromise and buy her some fun cowboy boots that stay at home (not go to her dad's so she always has access to them) that are better for school in warmer weather.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

No, school has dress codes and there is a reason for that - safety. My son's school allows snow boots to be worn WITH sneakers in their backpacks and a baggie to put them in (wet snow boots) when it is 2" or more of snow PERIOD. No open toe shoes, no flip flops, no sandals - safety reasons. In addition CLOTHES, not costume apparal are to be worn at school. Honestly, these kids need to be able to play and learn - crazy clothes do cause a distraction, esp at this young age.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Seattle on

Neither of my children's schools allow wearing costumes or what they consider outlandish clothing. My son's school has a uniform dress code and my daughter's school is a relatively simple dress code of no low cut things or short shorts or skirts. They are both in elementary school and there are times when costumes or "outlandish" outfits are allowed. However, on the snow boots issue neither of my children would've been reprimanded for wearing them. I do make my daughter take her sneakers with her to school whenever she wears dress shoes but that is because I'm uncertain of what the weather will do.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

My K-kid is in uniforms so she can't do it, but all through pre-school she did. Skirts with cowboy boots, tutus, uggs with shorts, you name it. She couldn't wear the jewelry because it was against the policy, but if she could she would.

Our family photo is us on a catwalk on the LV strip and she is in a pink tutu, pink leotard, tights, and ballet slippers. Everyone LOVES that photo.

Now that she is in uniforms a lot of her fashion spirit has died down. She wears an oxford, shift/tunic, and tie. She loves to wear button blouses, but she buttons EVERY button all the way up to her neck. In Vegas, that is the last thing you want to do, but so far she does it. We will see how long that last past 100 degrees.

**to GammaG...this is not an issue, it is about letting your free spirit run, provided it is not offensive. Why take the fun out of life and throw it in a tub?

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answers from Minneapolis on

As long as it covers all of the important bits... I don't think I'll care what he wears. If it looks pretty out there, I might say something to my son about the fact that other kids might tease him but if he still wants to wear it... I'll let him.

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answers from Rochester on

I can't believe you'd let your child wear a silver gown to school (or whatever it was) but you have an issue with her wearing it with snow boots. Sounds like she's going to get made fun of no matter what you let her wear, if she dresses inappropriately like that.

And don't get M. wrong...I was the one in high school in pink and black striped tights, a pink and black mini dress, knee high boots, and pink hair. Well, that was high school...and I still got made fun of, but I didn't care. HOWever, it would've really hurt when I was younger.

And I'm pretty sure your school won't allow her to wear a costume. There are rules about children not being disruptive and/or a distraction, and I'm pretty sure a Spiderman costume in May would be a distraction.

I'm all for independence, but you have to have some boundaries...especially when they're young. That's the time to learn "There are times when this is okay (at home) at times when it is not (at school.)"

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answers from San Francisco on

No, playing dress up at home or a friend's is fine, but it is your job to teach your child how to dress properly for school, special occasions, play, etc. (In other words, not everyday is Halloween)! Have you seen how some teens dress, wear make-up and pierce every possible place on their body that they can? Teach them while they are young and when they are teens, they may go through some phases, but you still should have some say on that as well.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

To NOT have this as an issue please consider going through her clothes in the Spring and the Fall and switch out her wardrobe.

This is what I do.

I have several tubs marked and set in a semi circle around M.:

Girls clothes too little

Boys clothes too little

Girls clothes WInter 2012/13

Boys clothes Winter 1012/13

The in the Fall I take the 2 tubs out for Winter and take the tape off and mark them for Spring/Summer 2013 and do it all over again. This also allows M. to cull out clothes that are too stained or worn out to keep too so you may want to have a large trash can handy too.

I sit with the entire contents of the closet, drawers, undies, socks, scarves, hats, shoes, tights, all things they can outgrow or that has a season.

I take my time and look at the tag of each garment. I decide if I think they "might" be able to wear that again the next season or if it is going in the tub for too small.

For example. My granddaughter is going from a 6/6X up to a 7 slim. I am putting all her size 7 jeans back in the Winter tub since she may have gotten taller by Fall but still be the same around. She will need to try these on when we get the box back out too. That way she won't have a lot of clothes that don't fit her taking up space.

Her shoes that are normal shoes, such as tennis shoes, boots that can be worn year round with a dress, dress shoes, etc...those stay out year round. Sandals, flip flops, open toes shoes, snow boots, etc...all go in the appropriate tub so that on a snow day you are not having an argument about them wearing sandals.

You have to be able to remember that you have done this. My friend was arguing every morning with her daughter about not wearing seasonal inappropriate clothing to school. They had complained she was dressing to hot for the temperatures in the classroom. She boxed up the off season stuff and promptly forgot about it. She never went back and switched them out....a whole wardrobe of this little girl was never worn.

You may worry that you don't know what size she will be next year and don't know what to keep or give away. Then keep it all and try it on her when you pull the tub out to switch.

Switching the clothes like this is like going shopping and getting a whole new wardrobe. The kids forget about their favorites over the months and when they see them again it's fun and exciting.
If kids are not physically comfortable they risk having a bad day.

Heat stroke can happen to anyone.

Running in unsafe shoes is a safety hazard same as wearing flip flops in the snow is a hazard for getting frost bite.

Letting kids have that individuality within some boundaries is fine. Safety and health come first though.

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answers from Dover on

I have one of those little girls, too. The other day she dressed herself in her tinkerbell "princess dress" (you have to understand that the more toulle involved the more princessy it is to her), a watermellon raincoat, her purple sequinned newsboy cap alla Michael Jackson circa 1970, and her black cowboy boots with the silver tips. She looked like a mascot for the gay pride parade which would have been all good if we were going to a gay pride parade but we were J. going to the living room on a Tuesday.

It's a fine line to walk because, in the plus column, I like that she is dressing herself, I like her decisiveness, I like her confidence and I like her creativity. In the minus column, I want her to learn how to make an appropriate outfit that doesn't involve every color of the rainbow as well as sequence, feathers, and rhinestones and I don't want her to be made fun of when she goes out to play. I also want her to be safe and not wear anything she could slip in or trip on.

I haven't let my kids go to school in costume because, frankly, this is the first one in my brood that would consider it an option. I also have a sister that let her kids go in whatever they wanted and it always made M. sad to see them in raggedy clothes everyday. I was like she took no pride in them or taught them how to take pride in themselves. You don't want to brush your hair? OK. You want to wear that 5 sizes too big black T-Shirt with the giant coyote and that turquoise peasant skirt with the holey blue jeans and the sandles in December? OK.

I think for this really creative one I would let her have a "crazy clothes" day once a week. Every Friday she can make her own outfit with the stipulation that it's safe and weather appropriate and as long as she didn't give you grief the rest of the week. That way if one of the kids says something to her she can say, "Didn't you know? It's crazy clothes Friday!"

It lets her have fun, be expressive but cuts down on arguements with you as well as teaching her about appropriate time and place.

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answers from Minneapolis on

oh there has been times or two my kid will be in her done-up Christmas dress and all out bling, with a pair of green frog rain boots. People laugh and giggle and its a hoot. I dont think anyone has ever teased her about it. Even at pre-k when she shows up like that (believe M. she has a sparkle princess rolling case full of other appropriate clothes) generally all flock to her and admire her daring style choices. I don't think anyone has teased her at all about it. I feel though when she gets to about 2nd grade, its time to start reigning in the creative flare for less conspicuous clothes, if her personality cant handle some un-constructive critiques.

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