"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.

Startail Thu 29-Nov-12 09:39:50

one size too small

NamingOfParts Thu 29-Nov-12 13:40:12

I'm in the 'bit tacky' camp. I also dont get the 'it saves arguments' idea. They are 16/17/18, surely they dress themselves?

DD is in 6th form now - a very respected school and 6th form is 'outstanding' in all aspects according to Ofsted. Their rules are simple - no offensive slogans, no bare midriffs, no underwear showing.

That is all.

As others have said, after about a week of rebellion they all gravitate towards dressing for comfort and practicality. Those doing 'messy' courses dress appropriately to their activities.

DeWe Thu 29-Nov-12 13:48:56

When I was in the 6th form all 6th forms attaches to schools asked for a grey suit for them.
Grey suits were out of fashion at the time and it was really hard to get one in the local town grr to everyone else who got there first and pinched the nice ones

Wallison Thu 29-Nov-12 13:50:59

Have to say this entire thing is a new one on me, not having been a 6th-former for hrrrmph years and with my son and all his friends still being very young. It sounds just ghastly though.

safflower Thu 29-Nov-12 13:51:08

Suits are compulsory in my dc sixth form.

ATailOfTwoKitties Thu 29-Nov-12 13:59:46

Having been in and out of DS's 6th form a few times this week I think hoodies must be compulsory there.

Oh, and straggly moustaches. Mostly on the boys.

Mintyy Thu 29-Nov-12 14:05:25

Exactly the same as me, Wallison. I hope it doesn't become the new norm. I would actively discourage my children from going to a be-suited Sixth Form.

Wallison Thu 29-Nov-12 14:08:34

Me too. If you're going to play at being a grown-up, there are much more fun ways to do it.

Bonsoir Thu 29-Nov-12 14:09:49

I think it's ridiculous. Sixth-form isn't supposed to be a feeder prep for an office - sixth-formers should (hopefully) go into all sorts of careers, and many of those will not require business suits.

webwiz Thu 29-Nov-12 15:18:37

There are 5 state schools with sixth forms in my town and one independant. Out of the six schools 2 wear uniforms and the other 4 wear suits. You could go to "college" in the next town and wear your own clothes but given the academic difference wearing a suit is a small price to pay for decent results.

ATailOfTwoKitties Thu 29-Nov-12 15:45:23

Maybe; but the suits do not cause the results to differ.

Mintyy Thu 29-Nov-12 15:52:11

I think its a ghastly practice, I really do. I'm quite sad about it actually. I loved my Sixth Form College ... it was like a practice run for University.

Sparrows12 Thu 29-Nov-12 16:07:54

Yes well, in the one I am looking at, it is quite prescriptive and dare I say it possibly written by a man - e.g. pencil and straight skirts are allowed, but pleated skirts are not. And "pencil" seems to be the order of the day judging by the prospectus photos. You certainly wouldn't want to commute dressed like that.

webwiz Thu 29-Nov-12 16:09:06

I'm sure the suits don't make any difference to results but my DCs don't actually mind the dress code and so they wouldn't choose to go to somewhere with much worse results just to wear a hoodie in the daytime.

webwiz Thu 29-Nov-12 16:13:24

I'm talking about a "dress code" Sparrows12 which is actually quite flexible. DD2 had a multitude of different types of skirts, pinafores and dresses.

safflower Thu 29-Nov-12 16:14:35

Am with you Webwiz - plenty of free time for all the hoodie/disigner labels etc. And of course, less pressure on us and them to be in school in the latest gear.

Brycie Thu 29-Nov-12 16:14:55

It's appalling. How dare they ask them to dress half smartly. I'm going to write to the papers in green ink about them all being turned into robots. It will destroy their personalities and turn them into unthinking zombies. What are they thinking? It's insane.

MoreBeta Thu 29-Nov-12 16:18:25

Our sixth form have business suits or smart jacket and trousers/skirt or a smart dress.

The male sixth formers always look smart but frankly the female sixth formers do everything possible to break the rules and have had to be pulled up severely on their attire by the Deputy Head (a woman).

I am a stickler for school uniform and that includes sixth form. Young men and women need to learn to dress appropriately because if they don't they will not be taken seriously in the world of work.

orangeandlemons Thu 29-Nov-12 16:19:17

All the girls at my schoolwear leggings/jeans.shorts over leggings. The boys wear hoodies and jeans. Every OFSTED places the 6th form as outstanding..........as are the results

I think businesswear for 6th form is stupid. When I was in 6th form I had bright pink hair and studded belts hmm If you can't do it then when can you? Do that many people wear suits to work these days? Isn't work more smart casual now?

mummytime Thu 29-Nov-12 16:21:02

All but one school around here allow sixth formers to wear what they want with a few restrictions (no: flip flops, sandels, shorts, vests, pants or bras on show). The one exception is a boys private school which has suit and tie. The very highly achieving girls private schools have no such restrictions.

They all tend to look somewhat like University students.

ATailOfTwoKitties Thu 29-Nov-12 18:31:39

World of working at what, though, Beta? I've never worked anywhere that needed a suit. Nor has DH.

pointythings Thu 29-Nov-12 18:40:28

Nice sarcasm, brycie hmm. But whole swathes of young people across Europe manage to be prepared for the world of work perfectly well without having 'benefited' from being prepared by school uniform/6th form corporate dress code.

So either British young people are less capable and mature than say, the Danish, the Dutch and the Germans, or... we're wasting our time on a stupid uniform fetish.

Personally I think the insistence on this kind of uniform is infantilising our 16/17/18-year olds. What's so wrong with letting them learn the hard way? Let them turn up for an interview in jeans and a string vest, not get the job and be told in no uncertain terms what's expected. Far better than being spoonfed. My generation had the intellectual ability to realise that hey, an interview is important, better check out the dress code and adapt. I really don't think the current generation is that thick - and if they are, they need to learn the lesson out in the real world.

NamingOfParts Thu 29-Nov-12 20:51:39

Excellent post pointythings.

I agree with young people learning to dress appropriately. A uniform (and insisting on a suit is only a uniform by any other name) is teaching young people to dress without thinking.

School and sixth form is nothing like an office environment - carrying around books and files, inside and out from one room to another. Students doing 'messy' subjects which can include sciences, art and technology need to dress appropriately. Suits, blazers, ties are not appropriate wear for this.

Two years spent wearing a cheap nylon suit between the age 16 & 18 are not going to turn A level students into captains of industry.

I cant see why parents are so frightened of their sixth form age offspring going to school or college in jeans & t-shirt. What is the fear? That they look just like all the other kids?

webwiz Thu 29-Nov-12 21:07:58

I thought it was the other way round NamingOfParts - that some parents are "frightened" of their kids wearing a suit and would encourage them to actively avoid sixth forms that have a dress code.

pointythings Thu 29-Nov-12 21:15:55

I wouldn't be frightened, webwiz and if I thought the school was the best place for my DC I would grudgingly accept it.

I'd just feel the school was wasting an opportunity to teach valuable life lessons about personal responsibility.

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