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When does dressing up become depressing for parents of primary school age children?

(29 Posts)
davidbrentslovechild Wed 05-Feb-14 16:32:18

So my DS and my DSD go to the same primary school. They are one year apart.

Since September they have had three fancy dress days. There is another one next Friday and another two planned for March and April.

The themes are the 1960's 70s, 80s, 90s 00s, and a futuristic day, which I am shitting myself over.

In addition they also do Children in Need etc, so there will be additional costumes required for those days too.

This is costing me a FUCKING FORTUNE!!! I am shit at making stuff and therefore these costumes have to be bought online or from a fancy dress shop.

I wouldn't mind a couple of dressing up days but this is getting ridiculous.

Am I unreasonable to be getting a bit pissed off?

Chocovore Wed 05-Feb-14 16:35:03

No you are not! I would be asking the school what the perceived value is for these activities. We only do World Book Day, and maybe something simple for Children in Need.

sicily1921 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:40:16

OP I am fuming for you! YA not not not BU! How the fuck do schools think that parents can afford it all let alone have the time to shop or make stuff? I would be speaking to the Head. If they are so keen on dressing up and having so many days they should be asking people to donate clothes or buying them with school funds, not out of parent's pockets. It was bad enough just having WBD for me!

Good luck.

Nataleejah Wed 05-Feb-14 16:44:15

Yabu. Charity shops, car boot sales -- plenty of cool stuff out there that costs pennies. Buying ready made costumes is a waste.

5Foot5 Wed 05-Feb-14 16:44:20

Well I quite like making costumes and when DD was at primary I used to look forward to World Book Day. However, even I think the number of days you describe is excessive and I am sure I would be getting hacked off too if they were averaging one dressing up day a month.

So YANBU. Can you not send a note to the school saying that as a parent you are finding the number of costume days expensive and time consuming and suggesting that if they want the children to dress up so often they should consider making the costumes in school time.

RiojaHaze Wed 05-Feb-14 16:44:56

YANBU. I have DCs in yr1 and 2 and we only have 1 fancy dress a year on world book day.

For children in need (which we didn't do this year as the school felt it had already asked for too much of the parents recently) and other charity things we do a wear something red or stripy, that sort of thing.

The KS2 recently had to dress up for their topic, but the PTA funded the entire school trip that linked in with the topic so it sort of balanced out with asking for money.

davidbrentslovechild Wed 05-Feb-14 16:46:16

They are doing the 1960s at school so I can kind of see the benefit in having a fancy dress day for that particular era.

However I do not believe that it is beneficial for the children to have this many dressing up days. Neither is it beneficial for the parents who have to either buy this stuff or spend hours on end making it.

It's like the school is not taking into consideration the price of the costumes, whether these are bought or made, nor are they taking into consideration the time factor in either shopping for the bloody things or making them.

And also the costumes for DSD are shite. She is 11 but wears clothes for a 13/14 yo. There are no costumes for girls of this age group and she is too small (height wise) to wear an adult costume.

I despair.

davidbrentslovechild Wed 05-Feb-14 16:48:04

Natalee - That would be fine if I had the time to go to car boot sales to rummage around for something for both children. Unfortunately I don't have the time to do this.

Rooble Wed 05-Feb-14 16:48:19

The school is being pretty unimaginitive about how to learn stuff if the only thing they can come up with is dressing up. Like the poster above, we do world book day, we did pyjamas for comic relief day, this week we have a crazy hair day as a fundraiser, but this doesn't involve anything more than blow drying DS's hair spiky.
I would email the head teacher and say the expectations are unreasonable.

bodygoingsouth Wed 05-Feb-14 16:52:27

no totally agree. personally haven't the time, money, skill or inclination to dress make or buy.

quite ridiculous. canvas opinions and write to the head teacher. they probably don't realise that for parents with more than one child in school it's too much.

at the school I work in we have non uniform day, book day and red nose/sports relief. we did once do Ww2 evacuation dress up but that's just a summer dress and socks, no biggie.

Topseyt Wed 05-Feb-14 16:52:30

I am now soooo glad the youngest of my three has now gone to secondary school, as there is far less of this bollocks.

There were a fair number of "dressing up days" when they were at primary school - "come as a Victorian", "come as a Tudor", "dress as your favourite film characte"r, "dress as a character from your favourite book". You name it. It was a total pain in the arse, and as you say, if you are not nifty at making things and have to hire/buy then it gets expensive, especially if you have more than one child.

The only such dressing up day I can recall in secondary school came when my eldest daughter's school celebrated its centenary back in 2007. They said that the students should come in wearing the 1907 school uniform, just as if we all had one of those hanging in the wardrobe. They even provided patterns so that parents could run it up on a sewing machine (not all of us have or want those). I had to hire that one, or I would never have got it right.

Schools do seem to just come out with this trash without much thought as to how it impacts on parents.

FreddieStarrAteMyHamster Wed 05-Feb-14 17:00:33

Agree it's a pain in the arse and we have loads of competitive types with too much time on their hands who go totally OTT.

Pixel Wed 05-Feb-14 17:02:03

I can certainly sympathise with the specific requests, I know it took me ages to sort out a victorian costume for dd and even 'wear something spotty' was a pain as ds had no spotty clothes whatsoever, I doubt many boys do! However, I do think the more imaginative days like Book Day have been spoilt by parents who just go and buy a disney outfit. Half the time the class is full of 'princesses' which doesn't do much to educate about literature anyway, and it makes other families reluctant to have a go at making an outfit because they are afraid it will look shoddy amongst the shop-bought outfits. It should be ok to turn up in something made from an old sheet and a cardboard mask the child has helped to make, but sadly that is no longer the case. Probably that's why it's all got so stressful.

Honeysweet Wed 05-Feb-14 17:05:16

YANBU. End of.

GwendolineMaryLacey Wed 05-Feb-14 17:06:51

I hate it with a passion. I am rubbish at sewing and costumes in general. Am happy to send dd1 in wearing a princess dress or whatever but nothing more complicated than that. Went all out last week for Roald Dahl dress up day and it turns out that most of the kids and parents in her class had not read the books or seen any films and had no idea who she was (Veruca Salt). Squillions of characters from the one book they had read. Waste of time.

NoFavours Wed 05-Feb-14 17:09:17

Youtube: search for Jack Dee bumblebee :~)

Panzee Wed 05-Feb-14 17:12:25

"Come as a Tudor" Oh yes, I'll just get my Tudor costume out, I'm always playing Tudor with my friends! grin

If/when my son is asked to come to a Victorian day I really really want to phone in and say he won't be coming in as I've got him doing the chimneys. grin

SonorousBip Wed 05-Feb-14 17:12:35

Imagine a graph. The bottom axis from left to right represents 2005 - 2015, the length of time I will have had 2 x DC in primary school. The other axis from top to bottom signifies from "Aww, isn't this fun and lovely, ooh I'm feeling all inventive" to "Frankly my dear, I don't give a damn".

Let's just sat it is a stright line, falling diagonally, and I'm pretty much at the bottom right hand corner now (Lets call this juncture "early 2014/finding it difficult to muster any enthusiasm whatsoever").


ScentedScandal Wed 05-Feb-14 17:12:51

Yaddnbu. My 3 dc are now thankfully all at secondary school, but for a couple of years all 3 were at primary and fancy dress was a nightmare.

When the last one left primary last year the school sent out a questionnaire. I complained bitterly mentioned fancy dress and my thoughts on it..

I was fortunate to be a sahm too, and I struggled with it. I shudder to think how anyone copes that has to work too.

jammypuddingmonkey Wed 05-Feb-14 17:29:23

I love the dressing up days. blush My dc's school doesn't have enough of them. I can turn out a hand sewn costume in a couple of hours though, minutes with the sewing machine. And we have a few costumes that can be adapted for various periods in time very easily, for various ages, and various animals, as well as a load of material and the machines, I can make my own patterns etc.

The unimaginative ones annoy me more- wear a colour always seems to be one the dc have none of), or something spotty, or pjs (heavy bedwetter = brand new pjs needed), or a wig, or sparkly clothes or whatever. If I can make it, I'm happy and if I can make it out of scrap material, even better. The dc have a rubbish one coming up soon- know exactly what we're I'm making for that, with sellotape and bags...

I reckon an overload of it would kill my fun; it's because they barely have any I enjoy it grin

SadOldGit Wed 05-Feb-14 17:36:01

DD2s school are obsessed with it and give as little notice as possible. Aside from the dreaded Christmas show (always a nightmare costume) as well as sodding world book day we have had
Victorian Day
World War 2 (a whole sodding week)
China day (that was agem!)
Ancient Egypt -

and the list goes on and on and on

Oblomov Wed 05-Feb-14 17:40:40

Hate them. The inconvenience. The cost.

picnicbasketcase Wed 05-Feb-14 17:47:29

My DCs schools don't do it anywhere near as often as you describe and it still pisses me off. I loathe World Book Day.

fluterby Wed 05-Feb-14 18:37:20

I think we've only had two per dc this school year. It's the short notice that annoys me. Usually less than a week. One of them hates dressing up so it takes ages to get them to agree to wear something.

MeAndMySpoon Wed 05-Feb-14 18:56:56

I was once told by a teacher friend that the idea behind everyone dressing up for a theme day was because some children simply don't have the opportunity ever to enter into this sort of pretend play at home, never have their inner lives catered to by parents, and would otherwise not ever dress up as somebody else. I do get that, but I think it's long become a lazy way to demonstrate that the school is being all interactive and inclusive, when in reality, what happens is that a handful of eager mothers hand-sew an elaborate costume, a fair few spend a lot of money on a commercial costume, and the rest don't bother to put their children in anything (or have children that are pathologically adverse to dressing up at all. I used to have one like that). confused

Our school don't do World Book Day and I'm actually quite disappointed, because there's a hell of a lot more scope for individual choice and expression in that, than being told to come dressed as if from the 1960's, which is what I'm currently wrestling with. Because charity shops are just bursting with 1960's clothing for a 5 year old boy. hmm

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