What Your Kid’s Back-To-School Outfit Says About You

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Hey guys. Guys! Pssssst …it’s almost time for the kids to go back to school. I KNOW! Take a deep breath and act normally. Don’t tip them off or they’ll start to get surly.

August means it’s time to go shopping for the new school year. Of course, that means pens, paper, folders with one pocket (Not two pockets! One pocket!), 20 sharpened number two pencils with erasers, and hand sanitizer. But more importantly than that, August means figuring out the kind of new clothes you are going to choose to put in your kid’s closet.

The importance of school clothes can’t be underestimated when you’re a kid. But it’s still important when you are a parent, because what your kid wears on their first day of school tells the rest of the school what kind of parenting style little Jayson or Persimmon deals with at home. Are you into attachment parenting or free-range parenting? Are you lax with the rules or strict? Did you prefer the old Becky on Roseanne or the new Becky? Yes, it gets that detailed.

Here are a few back-to-school outfits, and what they say about your parenting.

1. All J.Crew, All The Time


J. Crew

You’re a helicopter parent by default — it’s the only way to keep dry-clean only children’s clothes safe. You’re also a master manipulator, because no kid pulls of an advanced maneuver like herringbone with color block shoes on her own. Also, if I’m not mistaken, all of these kids have their hair brushed; there’s a whole lot of bribery going on at home. You have clear expectations (matching) and limits (“I’m sorry snookums, but is that a shirt without a collar?), but within a loving and supportive framework.

2. Free Spirit


Elena Dijour/ Shutterstock

Some might refer to you as a “free range” parent; I call you “realistic” and/or “defeated.” You take your kid to the grocery store in a pajama top, tutu, and scuba mask because life is too goddamn short. Your general response when your kid asks if they can wear something is, “You know what? Go for it. Other parents will understand that I didn’t pick this, and people without kids are dead to me.” This is either your first child, who has a lot of what they like to call “spirit,” or this is your third child. Either way, you’re just glad they’re wearing pants…most of the time.

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