Kids’ Entire Future Hanging on Coolness of Outfit

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    Every once in a while, a story comes along that makes us think, "Do we have a tag for 'Duh' yet? Because we need one." This is one of those stories. According to the Guardian, a new poll has found that kids are ostracized for not wearing trendy clothing brands. Oh wow, remember the old days when your placement in the social strata was determined by what you wore the first day of school? The "in" labels always varied depending on how old you were and where you grew up. Maybe for you it was Air Jordans and Jordache? For us, it was Guess jeans and Coach purses, and for guys, shirts by Tommy Hilfiger and Structure (remember them?). Every middle and high school had Those Brands that you just had to have or you'd risk being labeled a total tool, and apparently some things never change. Reports the Guardian:
    Children who cannot afford the latest brands and fashions face bullying or exclusion by their peers, teachers warned yesterday. A desire to fit in plays a huge role in the products children want to own, a poll by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) found. Almost half of the teachers questioned said young people who cannot afford the fashionable items owned by their friends have been excluded, isolated or bullied as a result.​
    (Who are these "friends"? Do they, by any chance, grow up to work at Condé Nast?)

    The poll found 93 percent of teachers saying brands are the top influence on what children buy. The influence of advertising and marketing is much more significant now, with more than 70 percent of teachers saying it has increased from ten years ago. Dr. Mary Bousted, ATL general secretary said: "Bullying of this kind can be quite insidious: it can just be a look that a child is given. Children feel under immense pressure to look right and having the key brands is part of that."

    These types of polls are always cited in arguments in favor of school uniforms. But if you ask us, some kids are just cruel little jerks by nature. If you have uniforms, they'll just find something else to make fun of — like your face — so maybe it's better to let them take their aggression out on clothes and then they'll leave the rest of you alone. Sort of like giving your puppy a chew toy so he won't gnaw as much on the things that really matter. —Noelle Hancock
  2. Just another reason to push uniforms in the school systems!
  3. It's scary how high the bar is being raised, the Jordache and Guess jeans were never as expensive as SFAM and COH jeans!
  4. I hate to say it, but as a child from the private school system and with a child currently in uniform at a private school, brands are still very important. Izod shirts were it when I was in school. Now it was Heelys and Abercrombie, but the school forbid the heelys so who knows? You still have to carefully look for "labels" even with plain white polo shirts and navy pants.
  5. This is so true!! I grew up in catholic schools, and our uniforms had to be purchased only from the official uniform shop (no brand names), but there were differences in the cottons, the thread counts, and some shirts would have the peter pan collars...and all of those small differences made your uniform "better" than everyone else's. Additionally, the school would sponsor days when we were allowed "free dress" and those were the WORST! We had to pay $1 - $2 (to fund a club or charity), to wear our own clothing. These days were a fashion show! Not to mention the shoes?? Who knew penny loafers could be $100 (even back in the 90's). My high school was all-girl, and we had so many different cliques - it was ok not to be high fashion, it was ok to wear old ratty jeans and dirty tennis shoes. But, the pressure on some girls was intense. I never really cared too much. I was raised by my parents not to judge someone in that regard. It worked for me b/c I am a strong, type a personality. But the times are different and being unique isn't celebrated as much anymore. My parents separated and I had one parent who had a lot of cash and the other didnt - i adjusted and never gave it much thought. I wore whatever I had.

    And when did Izod shirts get to be so expensive??