School Days – A Uniform Revisited

I expected a monosyllabic answer when I asked hatchling what she thought of my old school uniform.

1) Didn’t believe it was me.
2) Didn’t believe I ever went to school.
3) Didn’t like the hair.
4) Didn’t like the “poopy” colour.


She had a point. The girls at our school were known as the “Brown Cows” around town, purely on the basis of the uniform. Our blouses couldn’t just be ‘blue’ – they had to be ‘Trutex Blue’.  I think I could read every blog, every fashion article and every ladies’ quarterly since the 15th century and not find one that declared: “brown & blue is the hottest trend of the season”. It was truly horrendous. Oh, and our shoes had to be brown as well.

Debenhams are currently running a competition to reimagine your old school photo using their current schoolwear range.  Thankfully, as Debenhams have taste, I wasn’t able find anything quite as “poopy” as my old uniform – so let’s imagine that all the teachers went slightly colour-blind one day (hey, Hermione Granger, can you lend me a hand here?), and we were allowed to wear blacks instead of browns!

Follow Sarah Eaglesfield’s board Back to School on Pinterest.


Outerwear is always the most important choice. Unless England lucks out on the sunshine, it’s the item you’ll wear during your long journeys to and from school, during break time, during lunchtime, and on the way home.  With that in mind, as well as being practical, the girl’s black textured faux fur hooded parka coat by Ted Baker is absolutely gorgeous.

For the uniform itself, the girl’s blue generous fit long sleeved school shirts are almost Trutex Blue enough to pass the Great School Uniform Inspection of ’88. The girl’s black slim fit school trousers are stylish and smart, whilst the black v-neck cardigan makes a fashionable substitute for the brown v-neck pullover.

I love the style of the Clarks Griffin Monty shoes, there’s enough of a heel on it to give me that extra height I so desperately need. Finally, the Tan ‘Beachy’ Leopard Print Backpack adds that slight bit of rebellion and non-conformity – breaking school rules a little never got anyone thrown into jail (although it did get me thrown into detention a couple of times… and it was totally worth it).

My old school did change the uniform in the mid-90s.  The girls now wear navy and cream colours, and the shoe choice has been expanded to allow both navy and black.  Indeed, there are many items in the Debenhams schoolwear range that would meet the new requirements. That doesn’t save me from the 4 years of brownness I had to endure in my formative years though. Consider me fashion-scarred for life!

NB: Looking at the photos, even now, I feel bad for Kirsty, who most likely got into trouble for wearing a beige blouse that day…