"smart business suit" for sixth form - bit tacky or a good idea? Mixed 6th

(201 Posts)
Sparrows12 Wed 28-Nov-12 08:33:15

I'm in the "bit tacky" camp myself. Don't want daughter going to school everyday dressed like a candidate from the Apprentice. There are plenty of years to get used to dressing for the world of work, so why start at 16, especially as these children will be back in jeans etc for university. A sixth form uniform would be my strong preference. And i can foresee all sorts of disagreements in Next, Top Shop etc over what is "smart". I already find myself fighting to keep quiet about unsuitable (frankly "large handbag-style") bags being taken to school - aargh, and school shoes from unsuitable places like top shop that last one term before falling apart.

MisForMumNotMaid Wed 28-Nov-12 08:40:05

We had a dress in your own clothes policy in 6th Form. Basically 95% of us dressed in jeans and a t-shirt/ polo type top.

Suits aren't that practical are they for rain/ drizzle and heat in summer. Much easier to wash/ iron a jumper than a suit jacket. Its all that carrying around from class to class that would bother me. A jumper ties around your waist or gets put in a bag, a jacket wouldn't stand much of that.

My parents gave me an allowance for clothes and shoes. I learnt quite quickly because the fancy boots I'd brought didn't last long on the 4 mile each way walk/ bike ride.

Is there a bag policy that you're trying to get your DD to adhere too? Isn't the school bag the thing of self expression in a uniformed environment?

Sparrows12 Wed 28-Nov-12 08:49:03

Actually the school doesn't have a bag policy - certainly not for y10 and over - and the girls do not adopt common sense at all - eg the "large handbag" in question is not large enough for ordinary A4 ringbinders, which have to be carried separately under her arm (sigh). She is exceptionally hard working and gets great results though, so I keep quiet, in the hope that one day she will see sense. The "business suit" is the uniform of a competing sixth form we are looking at for next year. It is supposed to reflect their "getting down to business" ethos.

webwiz Wed 28-Nov-12 09:41:13

My DCs school sixth form has a "business wear" uniform. My DDs quite liked it especially DD2 who won the "best dressed" award at the leaving dinner. Now that DD2 is applying for work placements as part of her university course at least she has interview stuff to wear.

I don't really care what they wear as I don't think it makes that much difference but I don't think it looks "tacky" its just a more flexible version of school uniform.

bruffin Wed 28-Nov-12 09:53:19

Not sure what's tacky about it.

Dcs school have a business wear. At the moment ds has 3 suits a a few pairs of business type trousers. He isn't wearing a suit jacket at the moment, just a smart winter coat shirt and tie.

Think it's going to be cheaper to outfit dd, but more problematic as she is a very jeans and tshirt girl who doesn't do smart.

AuntAda Wed 28-Nov-12 09:59:12

I really hate it, tbh. If you can't make really daft ill-judged fashion choices when you're 16 or 17, then really when can you? Surely that's what the 6th form is for, getting it out of your system. I also don't like the implication that the world of work always involves a polyester suit, cos for lots of people it really doesn't. And they're hardly going to wear suits at university regardless of what kind of career they end up going into, so what is the point, really.

Having said that if I really liked a school in every other way, I wouldn't let it put me off. I suppose.

EmpressOfTheMadBoxOfFrogs Wed 28-Nov-12 10:01:15

I can identify with your DD, after years in a jeans and T-shirt job I'm now having to break out the office wear, but can she at least get away with smart trouser suits?

ImperialStateKnickers Wed 28-Nov-12 10:03:10

The school guidelines may say 'business suit' but is it actually followed? Have you been to the school and seen the current sixth form in their natural plumage grin? Ours had 'office wear' in the guidelines, but in fact everyone lived in jeans.

NotMostPeople Wed 28-Nov-12 10:04:22

DD's school have this policy, she isn't in the 6th form yet but we both laugh at how 'business attire' has been interpreted by most of the students. If they wear a jacket then more or less anything goes with the exception of jeans. So leggings, short skirts etc are all seen daily. I wouldn't worry about it.

IWipeArses Wed 28-Nov-12 10:06:14

What if you don't want to go 'into business' later though? What if you want to be an artist? Or work in theatre? Do they only study business?

Mintyy Wed 28-Nov-12 10:07:53

I'm quite shocked by this, tbh! What if you go to sixth form and University and have no intention of ever working in a corporate environment? And as someone else said, at University or College they can wear whatever on earth they like anyway. I really sincerely hope that my dc sixth form college (when they eventually go) won't force them all to dress like teenage business men/women.

Mintyy Wed 28-Nov-12 10:09:09

I am 50 and am proud to have never worn a suit in my life grin.

HullyEastergully Wed 28-Nov-12 10:09:56

They want to introduce this at my dc's school...I am FURIOUS, they don't all want to be little soldiers of empire or corporate drones. Am fighting.

tiggytape Wed 28-Nov-12 10:12:07

Schools around here all seem to have a uniform in the 6th form (so if the school blazer is green or red, the 6th formers wear the same but in black. They still have to wear smart trousers or skirts and a shirt or blouse too).

As a parent, it will save me a lot of arguments and probably a lot of money but, I must admit, I'd have hated to wear suits or blazers when I was a 6th former myself. We all lived in jeans and relished being able to choose to our own clothes and hair and bags.

phlebas Wed 28-Nov-12 10:13:54

or be a doctor? Or an academic? Or work in IT? Or the forces!?

My dd's school has "business smart" for 6th form - I think it is idiotic & incredibly tacky. The boys have to wear suits & they achieve a level of smartness between estate agent & mobile phone salesman. The girls aren't quite so bad. The high achieving schools locally have very relaxed dress codes & yet somehow the students still manage to do exceptionally well hmm

camilamoran Wed 28-Nov-12 10:15:34

My son's school insists on suits for sixth formers and also for teachers. They look like a bunch of estate agents or, when they all walk into a room together, like Reservoir Dogs. The school is very business oriented: the dress code does express this accurately, so is basically a good thing. It would be confusing talking to someone who looks like a teacher or an academic when they are essentially a salesperson.

outtolunchagain Wed 28-Nov-12 10:16:31

They have this at my ds school , he left last year . I don't like it especially , not keen on jeans either but surely there is a middle way . What used to amuse dh and I who do have 'corporate jobs ' is how dated the schools idea of 'office wear is'

happystory Wed 28-Nov-12 10:16:52

I think the aim at dd's school (girls, but some boys in 6th form) is that by saying business attire, it stops them wearing jeans, Converse, short/strappy tops etc. I think in the long run it saves money as it's like a uniform, you wear the same clothes every week. If there was no uniform, I think dd would want/need more new clothes....

Wallison Wed 28-Nov-12 10:19:56

Gosh, it sounds awful. Why on earth not let them wear what they like? There's plenty of time later for wearing suits and all that crap if they get a job where they have to.

[thinks back wistfully to her own days of bright pink hair, skirts with the bottoms chopped off and DMs]

phlebas Wed 28-Nov-12 10:23:54

my dsis' school (private, selective, v. academic all girls) has this dress code - no body con dresses, no short shorts unless opaque tights underneath, no crop tops/visible tummy buttons & no bras or bra straps to be showing. That amused me quite a lot - it is pretty much a uniform of skinnies & converse - & it their reward for having suffered years of a uniform that looks very much like a supermarket's & included green sheer tights <shudder>

bruffin Wed 28-Nov-12 10:29:39

They get to wear their own clothes at the weekend or after school. I dont get this pathetic need to show that your are "different" through clothes. They all end up wearing some sort of uniform anyway to conform to their peers even if they are a bit more extreme ie goths

HullyEastergully Wed 28-Nov-12 10:34:25

It's not about showing you're "different," it's about being a human being and choosing how to dress yourself. Fair enough to say no tits out/bare midriffs etc, but not to make them dress like bank clerks.

IWipeArses Wed 28-Nov-12 10:40:01

bruffin, why the pathetic need to make them all the same?

I think teenage girls are able to make anything look tacky if they want to. We were allowed to wear whatever we wanted in the 6th form and I remember an assembly announcement, "It's cold, you might like to wear more clothes". But cheap, shiny suits with incredibly short skirts would look tacky and are an unnecessary expense. Business style shoes can be painful and damaging to feet if you aren't careful.

bruffin Wed 28-Nov-12 10:52:55

"it's about being a human being and choosing how to dress yourself"

You can be a human being and dress suitably for the occasion. Even the boys have a multitude of different colours and styles that count as business wear. Its sad that you feel clothes make your personality.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now