Mid-Century May Baby Step 9: Vintage School Clothes

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We’ve covered baby’s layette, and the housewife wardrobe, so now we are going to talk about older children’s clothes! Here is a basic vintage school wardrobe for children, which you can use to form a capsule wardrobe to simplify laundry.

A capsule wardrobe is also an excellent way to teach your children about style and clothing care. High-quality clothes, which require care, and fewer of them, can teach children how too be considerate of their clothes. It also makes it easier to keep their rooms clean, just like limiting toys will.

School Wardrobes

The important thing to remember is that you are teaching your children to respect themselves and behave like the middle class. Therefore, school clothes and play clothes should well-fitting, made of attractive materials, and kept in good repair. Children should be taught to keep themselves neat and tidy, to bathe every day, to look like their friends, and to not ruin their clothes. (I’m soooo bad at this . . . )

For each of these lists, you will need one set for summer and one for winter.

Preschool Girls

  • 3 nightgown-and-bathrobe sets — children get up, don the bathrobe and eat breakfast, and then bathe around 5, put on clean pajamas and bathrobe, and eat nursery supper
  • 6 slip-and-panties sets — light cotton in summer, flannel in winter
  • 6 pairs of socks or stockings with garters — stockings are worn in winter, socks the rest of the year
  • 4 dresses or playsuits — these are play clothes
  • 1 basic dress — suitable for church on Sunday (party dresses should be bought or sewn on an as-needed basis only)
  • 1 coat — heavy for winter, lighter for summer
  • 1 raincoat, hat, and pair of galoshes — in winter, you may wish to substitute a woolen ski suit for outdoor snowy play
  • 1 pair of warm mittens, warm hat, and a warm scarf
  • 2 pairs of white cotton gloves
  • 1 pair of Mary Janes
  • 1 pair of Mary Janes for play
  • 1 hat

Preschool Boys

  • 3 pajamas-and-bathrobe sets — children get up, don the bathrobe and eat breakfast, and then bathe around 5, put on clean pajamas and bathrobe, and eat nursery supper
  • 6 vest-and-underpants sets — light cotton in summer, flannel in winter
  • 6 pairs of socks — long socks in winter
  • 4 playsuits or rompers — these are play clothes
  • 1 basic suit– suitable for church on Sunday; little boys wore shorts rather than long pants, especially for formal occasions
  • 1 coat — heavy for winter, lighter for summer
  • 1 raincoat, hat, and pair of galoshes — in winter, you may wish to substitute a woolen ski suit for outdoor snowy play
  • 1 pair of warm mittens, warm hat, and a warm scarf
  • 1 pair of brogues
  • 1 pair of brogues for play
  • 1 cap

Schoolgirls

  • 3 nightgown-and-bathrobe sets
  • 6 slip-and-panties sets — light cotton in summer, flannel in winter
  • 6 pairs of socks or stockings with garters — stockings are worn in winter, socks the rest of the year
  • 4 basic skirts — for school and play
  • 6 blouses or dickies — for school and play
  • 4 sweaters — long and short sleeves
  • 2 jumpers — for school and play
  • 1 basic dress — suitable for church on Sunday (party dresses should be bought or sewn on an as-needed basis only)
  • 1 coat — heavy for winter, lighter for summer
  • 1 raincoat, hat, and pair of galoshes — in winter, you may wish to substitute a woolen ski suit for outdoor snowy play
  • 1 pair of warm mittens, warm hat, and a warm scarf
  • 2 pairs of white cotton gloves
  • 1 pair of Mary Janes
  • 1 pair of saddle shoes or Mary Janes for school and play
  • 1 hat

Schoolboys

  • 3 pajamas-and-bathrobe sets — children get up, don the bathrobe and eat breakfast, and then bathe around 5, put on clean pajamas and bathrobe, and eat nursery supper
  • 6 vest-and-underpants sets — light cotton in summer, flannel in winter
  • 6 pairs of socks — long socks in winter
  • 4 pairs of shorts or pants — for school or play; length depends on age
  • 6 shirts or blouses — for school or play
  • 4 sweaters — for school or play; long and short sleeves
  • 1 basic suit– suitable for church on Sunday; little boys wore shorts rather than long pants, especially for formal occasions
  • 1 coat — heavy for winter, lighter for summer
  • 1 raincoat, hat, and pair of galoshes — in winter, you may wish to substitute a woolen ski suit for outdoor snowy play
  • 1 pair of warm mittens, warm hat, and a warm scarf
  • 1 pair of brogues
  • 1 pair of brogues for school or play
  • 1 cap

High School Girls

  • 3 nightgown-and-bathrobe sets
  • 4 bras — 1 black
  • 2 panty girdles — make sure of good fit
  • 4 pairs of panties
  • 3 slips — 1 black, and 2 half slips, 1 nylon, one starchable cotton
  • 6 basic skirts — for school and play; neutral shades, some full, some straight; wool is excellent
  • 8 blouses or dickies — for school and play
  • 6 sweaters — long and short sleeves; classic colors: beige, navy, gray, green
  • 2 jumpers — for school and play
  • 2 suits — which can be worn to luncheons and parties
  • 1 basic dress — in navy or black
  • 1 good formal dress — don’t buy until needed, as styles change rapidly
  • 1 evening skirt — can be worn with a variety of tops
  • 1 coat — camel’s hair for winter, lightweight and dressy to wear with evening clothes in winter and in summer
  • 1 raincoat, hat, and pair of galoshes — in winter, you may wish to substitute a woolen ski suit for outdoor snowy play
  • 1 simple string of small pearls
  • 1 pair of pearl button earrings
  • 1 pair of gold earrings
  • 1 pair of warm gloves or mittens for school
  • 2 pairs of white cotton gloves
  • 1 pair of navy or black gloves
  • 3 pairs of nylon stockings — 1 pair mesh for school
  • Socks to match your sweaters and skirts
  • White wool socks for school and sports
  • Assorted scarves
  • Moccasins or saddle shoes for school
  • 1 pair of pumps — navy or black
  • 1 pair of evening sandals
  • 1 hat each for fall and winter, spring, and summer

High School Boys

  • 3 pajamas-and-bathrobe sets
  • 4 undershirts
  • 4 pairs of underpants
  • 6 pairs of slacks — for school and play; neutral shades; wool is excellent
  • 8 shirts — for school and play
  • 6 sweaters — long and short sleeves; classic colors: beige, navy, gray, green
  • 2 blazers — for school and play
  • 2 pairs of sports pants — think golf knickers
  • 2 basic suits — which can be worn to luncheons and parties
  • 1 good tuxedo — don’t buy until needed
  • 1 good winter coat
  • 1 raincoat
  • 1 pair of warm gloves or mittens for school
  • 2 ties in school colors
  • Socks to match your sweaters and slacks
  • White wool socks for school and sports
  • Assorted scarves
  • Moccasins, loafers, or brogues for school
  • 1 pair of sport shoes
  • 1 pair of dress shoes
  • 1 hat each for fall and winter, spring, and summer

And that’s what children wear after they are out of baby things until they go to college!

Wondering What To Do When Your Children Are At School?

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