To think schools do not realise hassle of dress up days?

(245 Posts)
MariusEarlobe Fri 22-Feb-13 10:34:19

We will have had three in as many weeks!
China day
Victorian day
World book day

Each time ALL the other parents buy proper costumes, no one makes them, no home made attempts that used to win prizes for effort like my day so there is massive pressure to buy costumes or your child feels odd one out. They never fit the year after.

Our school is in a mixed social area from very poor to wealthy. It's a lot of pressure to find £10 for a costume each time for those on low income.

Dd s favourite book is Dork Diaries, I thought about sending her as the main character and amazing up normal clothes but dd won't as she will get called for no costume.

unlucky83 Sat 23-Feb-13 01:21:38

SAHM and I hate them too...and we never get enough notice....and the school do know they are going to need them well in advance cos they always do the same topics...in the same years...
I have kept them all from DD1 for DD2 - so I know I can do the vikings, medieval and victorians etc...and they have been borrowed by other mums in the years between...even so they throw in the odd one that is a bit different...
I have two viking outfits ...we got 3 weekdays notice - I had some old curtain material and made something for my DD but her friend (whose mum, a widow, worked full time) told me her mum just didn't have time so she couldn't dress up...so I made another one for her - which they wore with different trimmings for the medieval day too...( I used to work FT and know I couldn't have produced anything in the week)
Biggest insult was when DD1 was in reception -the school had some funds for material and decided to get some parents together to make costumes they could reuse for the christmas play...fantastic idea I thought and I was a new SAHM and thought I should help while I could - a lot of the other parents dropped out - in the end just 4 of us made all the costumes I ended up sewing more than 15 costumes - sewing until gone midnight 3 nights in a row ...(and one parent made 3 costumes in total -two she brought scrunched up a bag, needing bits resewn with the one for her own child perfect on a hanger, ironed and adjusted to fit perfectly hmm )...
When DD2 was in reception they were doing the same play (great I thought!) then the note came home telling us what we needed to get for their costume... the school had forgotten about them! Even after they were reminded I still had to do a new one cos they didn't have enough of the right size for all children to have the same and she was one of ones chosen to have a different style!!!!

Startail Sat 23-Feb-13 01:58:36

World book day in Y6 was absolute farce, DD2 went in ordinary clothes, by that age she only read Jacqueline Willson and Cathy Cassidy, so her favourite characters were ordinary children.

AnnaRack Sat 23-Feb-13 08:41:02

You have to ask yourself what are the children getting out of it? If it is enhancing tjeir learning then it's worth the effort. You dont have to make a farthingale, just uae a bit of imagination and cobble something together from stuff you've got at home. Eg boys old trousers cut off at knees can do victorian -1960s.

DuchessofMalfi Sat 23-Feb-13 09:03:18

This year, rather than dress as your favourite character for World Book Day, DD's school decided to have one book per class that the children voted on. so we were notified, well in advance (thank goodness) what the book was, and it's given us plenty of time to research, read the book (I didn't know it) and make the costume (finished it last night).

Just for once I managed to make the costume without it costing me anything at all - we had an old t-shirt, and the rest of the stuff came out of the crafting box - beads, buttons, ribbons etc. Sometimes it pays to be a hoarder grin

This is the first time it's actually worked out like that. I've had to shell out for last minute dressing up costumes in the past too.

Yanbu, it costs too much money & effort to produce these costumes in such short notice.
I'm quite lucky, my dc schools only have dress-up twice a year, if that and even then it is always flexible.
But my sister on the other hand is always coming up with dressing up outfits for her ds school-it's madness!

For me the worst thing about costumes is having a complete pedant as a child.

Made up stuff I can handle, but recently DS told us he needed !three! spartan costumes for the next day (it was saturday evening) and oh btw he needed DH and DS to be in the play and do multiple speaking parts. Thankfully 16 yr old DS is a good egg and grumbled but agreed to do it. DH and I go to walmart, the only place open that sells fabric that time of night and bought sheets, cord, ribbon and safety pins. My son only just survived when after all that effort he told me that the costumes weren't authentic in style or colour or fabric, they didn't use safety pins and the ribbon was too modern and because they were doing multiple parts the costume had to change. That I had brought things for the wrong spartan period.

For Halloween one year (we go to an elaborate party and our lovely gracious host loves homemade costumes) he wanted to be a roman soldier. Part through making the world's most complicated costume that involved heating and molding craft foam and a papier mache helmet he informed me that he didn't want to be the kind of roman that wore a leather breast plate. He wanted to be a later roman that wore steel bands around his chest and when I changed them they were laced wrongly. The bands were wrong, the shoes were wrong, the tunic was wrong and worst of all, the (I thought inspired) paper mache helmet with a cut off broom on top for a crest was really wrong and worst of all GREEK. Soldiers I was informed do not have things on top of their helmets. Centurions do, but they were often feather and they wouldn't wear them in battle and he had a battle style sword and and and and

ARGGHHH

If I had to make 19 costumes for school in one year the teachers/head/local newspaper/anyone who would listen would really be hearing about it.

MariusEarlobe Sat 23-Feb-13 09:33:25

Oh the plays too. DDS school just did a play in an evening a few weeks after the nativity. All the year 6 children had to buy their own costume which involved a giant parraot costume, an admirals costume, a boy in a big fancy dress, various sailors and pirates.
parrot costume was about £50 quid.

This was weeks after the usual shepherd stuff.

TheDoctrineOfSciAndNatureClub Sat 23-Feb-13 09:33:49

<passes Spoony some wine>

Thanks doctrine, I needed that, I was getting PTSD just thinking about that costume. I did look for a picture but apparently I was too cross to take one.

Giant parrot costume?!? Marius, you are banned from telling my DS that, just in case he wants to be one next halloween.

merrymouse Sat 23-Feb-13 09:45:37

The ironic thing is that during no other period in history would parents have been able to or had the spare cash to go out and buy cheap clothes to put together 'historical' costumes for their children.

Lovelygoldboots Sat 23-Feb-13 10:10:48

Always read a book to your kids with an orphan in it. Orphan costumes are just old clothes and a woolly hat. which is what my kids wear most days

Lots on here that's making me laugh this morning ...

Love the orphan suggestion goldboots and loved Katy's hard as nails attitude too grin

MrsAyrtonSenna Sat 23-Feb-13 10:49:01

Brilliant Mater - thanks for the ideas, you are a costume genius, I have think one of those would be fantastic! Many thanks

xigris Sat 23-Feb-13 10:59:13

YANBU. Can't stand it. DS1 has to dress up as a Myth or Legend next month. Am considering borrowing my old flatmate's Xena costume......might raise a few eyebrows at his rather strict Catholic school grin

Ruprekt Sat 23-Feb-13 11:06:44

And comic relief is the week after WBD.

Where's Wally? Is the theme for our wbd and then we all have to wear red for CR.

We do love it though.

YANBU. DD is meant to go as a character from her favourite book on WBD. She will actually be going as a tenuous link to one of her books after I discounted her favourite books as impossible or too expensive. She is young enough not to notice the difference, but I think she may not be next year.

I like the day that they are allowed to go to nursery in their pyjamas to raise money for charity. I can deal with that.

I am thinking about getting DD a personalised "Peppa pig and me" book and just sending her in as herself.

Hulababy Sat 23-Feb-13 14:06:20

We don't have anywhere near this many!

My school - infants - maybe 3 a year. Dd's school 4 at most.

Trouble is many children love it and ask for them. We do a class target and the children chose the target and the reward. They always vote for dress up day. This half term we've out them off again and having a choosing lesson ( guess like golden time?) instead.

Acinonyx Sat 23-Feb-13 14:33:50

Oh but don't you all have supplies of white sheets and pillow cases to be ripped up and used as togas/saxon tunics/Egyptian thingy's?

No, we don't either <<eyes internet patterns before me for yet another costume>>

YANBU - totally YANBU.

foslady Sat 23-Feb-13 14:58:16

I almost wrecked my kitchen floor thanks to chuffin WBD!
DD wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie). I bought a white long sleeved school shirt, found a gypsy style tiered skirt in a charity shop and an old white mans shirt. I sewed the skirt to the blouse to make a dress and then dyed it in my washing machine a blue colour to go with the poke bonnet we'd bought from a day trip to Ironbridge, then the collar cut off the shirt and turned back to front make the pinafore.
Only my washing machine is quite old. And we live in a hard water area. So hence everything afterwards came out with blue lines/specks on it. I contacted the dye manufacturer who sent me some washing machine cleaner and then told me to do a boil wash with a cup of bleach in it. Only their cups must be smaller than mine as I ended up with boiling hot bleachy water foam coming out of the powder dispenser and heading for my newly laid dark wood kitchen laminate. I scooped as much out as I could into a bowl and fast forwarded the program, but ended up having to rub vinegar into my hand/arm to try and neutralise the bleach.....

I can laugh about it now......

We had one week's notice for the last one, Chinese New Year Day. It was easier for the girls who can find red or gold items to wear relatively easy. I am not forking out £15 for an outfit that won't get used more than once and I don't have fabric/things/sewing machine hanging around to magic something up. It is money we, and many others, cannot afford to waste. Other than for a play I think it's a bit much.

nickelbabe Sat 23-Feb-13 15:03:25

YABU.

it's not the school's fault that the parents buy the costumes every time and don't make them.

All of the costumes in your OP can be quickly and easily made without a proper pattern, and most of them can be cobbled together using clothes you already have at home.

And why don't any of these families have a dress-up box????
I've got a sodding dress-up box and I'm an adult!

BooCanary Sat 23-Feb-13 15:04:06

You lot are much nicer than me.
My DD can go as any character she wants for WBD as long as its a princess or a witch, as that's what we've got in the dressing up box!

One year she went in her princess dress with the plastic peas from her kitchen set!

nickelbabe I presume you're joking!

nickelbabe Sat 23-Feb-13 15:05:35

"They never fit the year after."

but you've just said that there's a dearth of people having suitable costumes - why don't you do a regular event swapping dress-up costumes with other years?
You could make it part of the school fete - have people pay 50p to bring their old costume and swap it for another costume. It would raise a bit of cash for the school and mean that parents can get a costume for the next million costume requirements.

nickelbabe Sat 23-Feb-13 15:10:50

LittleAbruzzenBear - no, i'm not joking.
I can never understand why every single year there are loads of posts going "oh why do schools spring these costume days on us randomly with little notice?"

don't the people reading those threads think "oh, I think we'll probably get costume days randomly announced on us, let's get a selection of items that can be used for costumes, or try to make something, or find other parents who have been through it and swap costumes with them"

Come on, when I was growing up, we had a huge box full of random stuff that could be made into any costume at all (my favourite was Victorian child, because there were loads of old long dresses that could be dressed up with a shawl), and my mum had shedloads of random fabric.

My DD is only 14 months old, and I've already made an Independent Booksellers Week teeshirt to fit her, a dragon costume for St George's day, a rustic peasant girl (that was a dress of mine from the 70s and a bandana).
I keep an eye out when costumes are cheap - we got a knight's outfit in size 3-4 from sainsbury's the other week for £6 (half price)

If you have children, you have to think about this stuff - even if they don't need it for school, having a dress-up box is an important part of imaginative play for any child.

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