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Challenge: Back to School

How to Add Personality to Boring School Uniforms

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Most of the public elementary schools in my area require uniforms. My daughter was looking forward to wearing clothes of her own choosing when she started middle school. Then her father and I decided to send her to a charter middle school that also requires uniforms. She was upset about it, but with a little creativity we have found some ways to help her feel unique amongst the sea of navy blue and khaki.

Bright costume jewelry

We hit a sale at Claire's when their clearance items for on sale for ten items for ten dollars. We bought long, chunky beaded necklaces in a rainbow of colors. My daughter also picked out fun rings, bracelets and hair accessories. Her lime green jewelry really popped against her black polo shirt on the first day of school.


She does her hair differently most days. She wears it down some days and in a ponytail on others. Sometimes she asks me to braid it or help her put it in a bun. She has a collection of bows and headbands to chose from to add the perfect finishing touch.


My daughter's school requires belts if clothing has a belt loops, but there are no color specifications. We are always checking thrift stores and clearance racks for funky belts to add character to her wardrobe. She even has one with pink flamingos stitched on it.


Sneakers that tie are required. My daughter alternates through a few pairs, including a pair that is solid black and another that features a red checkered print. Changing out the shoe laces adds more customization opportunities.


Some schools only allow white socks, which my daughter would hate. She loves to wear bright socks in fun patterns. She even wears them mix-matched!

Always read the school's dress code carefully before getting wacky with the uniform. Some schools are very strict about what can and can not be worn. However, if your school has some wiggle room, a lot can be done to personalize a school uniform.

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