In two months Lara starts school. For both of us this is a scary yet exciting time. I think, after the first bumpy weeks, Lara will love school and her settling in sessions have seemed promising. But with the new routine comes a new wardrobe... Schoolwear from Matalan!
Lara's school doesn't have a uniform. When we first started looking at schools, I found this unsettling but the idea has grown on me. One of the founding principles of the school is that children are encouraged from a very young age to assert their independence, celebrate their differences and learn to make sensible decisions. However, having just turned 4, I'm not yet totally comfortable with Lara choosing her own clothes for school... I just don't think that a long flowing Princess Merida dress was quite what the school were thinking of. And so, like around 60% of parents of the infant school children, I have decided that for these early years of primary school I will send Lara to school in something approximating a casual school uniform.
Because there is no uniform guide to follow, I more or less had free range to choose a wardrobe of school clothes for Lara. Matalan asked us to take a look at their Back to School clothing range and choose some pieces to try out. I chose Lara a good mix of plain coloured trousers, skirts and pinafores with some bright plain coloured polo shirts.
These school polo shirts have a gorgeous shape which makes them that little bit more feminine than normal. When they are paired with a plain dress or skirt they can look as smart or as casual as you want them to - they are a bargain from Matalan at just £4 for 2 t shirts! I found all of the Matalan schoolwear sizes to come up a little small; I know Lara is very tall for her age but she did find it a little bit of a struggle to get into the trousers, dress and t-shirts even though they were all either age 5 or age 4-5; I think in future I would order a larger size because the trousers and skirt have elasticated waistbands which can be brought in.
I liked the fact that the Matalan school range featured a range of colours - grey, black and navy - and many of Lara's items of clothing have a small amount of embroidery on them to make them stand out, little butterflies in the corners.
Lara's complete school wardrobe including underwear cost just £50 at Matalan... Two pairs of trousers, a skirt, two pinafore dresses, two cardigans, 4 polo shirts, ankle socks and knickers!!! I think that any of her items could be paired with some more casual leggings or her favourite t shirt when she fancies something a bit different. One of the key benefits to choosing to dress Lara in official school clothes is cost... these days a wardrobe of generic school clothes that you don't mind risking against the daily trials of a 4 year old is considerably cheaper than a wardrobe of 'other' clothes.
Lara is very excited about starting school and I think her new selection of outfits has added to the excitement... Everything is a brand new experience for her right now.