My husband balked when he saw the back-to-school shopping bill for our two children, who had, of course, outgrown most every article of clothing they wore the previous year.
It came to about $200 for both (including shoes), with their school uniform shorts, polo shirts, skirts, jumpers and jackets culled together from a hodge podge of stores like Old Navy, The Children’s Place, Target and consignment.
My husband is lucky we don’t live in Japan.
According to an article in The Washington Post, some geniuses at a PUBLIC SCHOOL in Tokyo decided it would be a great idea to discontinue their existing line of uniforms and replace them with some uber-stylish threads from Giorgio Armani.
At a cost of…wait for it, 80,000 yen or $730 FOR A FULL SET, according to the Post article.
Parents, the article noted, are not happy.
Well, no sh**.
As you might have guessed, you can’t buy your kid just ONE uniform, unless you really want to do laundry every night. And my guess: Armani = dry cleaning.
My kids have about eight days worth of uniform parts, partly because I am horrible about consistently doing laundry and partly because they keep losing various aspects of the damn things EVERY SINGLE DAY.
My 5-year-old daughter, for example, has gone through three lightweight, navy-blue sweaters.
Where do they go?
Does she sell them?
Trade them for cookies at lunch?
She’s not alone. The “lost-and-found” bin at her school is literally overflowing with misplaced jackets, hats, shirts, shoes (who loses their shoes at school?) water bottles and lunch boxes.
Last week I couldn’t figure out how my son was down to three pairs of shorts. Then I opened his karate bag. There were eight pairs of shorts in there that he failed to put in the hamper after changing into his gi.
To be fair, the Tokyo Armani uniforms are not mandatory, but as the Post article points out, not wearing them could be embarrassing to children and parents who don’t want to spend the money or can’t afford them.
The Post quotes an educational “personality” in Japan, Naoki Ogi, who said that the Armani uniform is akin to saying “no to poor people” on his blog.
Keep in mind this is a public school.
Yes, the uniforms are stylish, but unless you’re a Kardashian or Beyoncé or set to inherit George Lucas’ fortune, dressing your kids in multiple version of $730 Armani uniforms (which they’ll no doubt dirty or outgrow in six months) is probably not something you want to do.