Public School Mama In A Sea Of Plaid :: Embracing The Catholic School Uniform Culture

Public School Mama In A Sea Of Plaid :: Embracing The Catholic School Uniform Culture

Sea of Plaid

As the summer is coming to an end, the anticipation of a new school year is giving me all the nostalgic feels. My son is certainly not feeling the vibe (he’s only four, so he really has no clue what’s about to happen), but I am having fun reliving all the giddiness of school supply shopping, labeling everything (and I mean everything – I may have started labeling things that don’t intend leaving the house), and reading and re-reading the “Welcome to Catholic School” packet sent by his new teacher. 

But there is one very distinct difference that this public school mama alum has never experienced – uniforms. 

Fashion Freedom to Uniform Rules

As I devoured the school handbook and made note of all the school closings (this is NOT a daycare schedule), I got to the dress code page. A whole chart of acceptable colors and styles, down to the shoelaces. I looked over the boys’ uniform policy as visions of morning meltdowns filled my head. 

Public School Mama In A Sea Of Plaid :: Embracing The Catholic School Uniform Culture

This kid hasn’t worn a collared shirt since Easter. His daily uniform for basically two years has been stained dinosaur t-shirts and whatever pair of shorts fit and are (hopefully) clean. Tucked-in heather grey polos will be a “fun” challenge.

After 10 months of socks and crocs, I finally got him to wear a real pair of tennis shoes on the condition they were the color blue he wanted. And unfortunately, it’s not a school-approved blue.

And I have no idea how I will convince him to wear pants on Mass day. He prefers “comfy” pants. 

And then I glanced at the girls’ uniform policy. While I have two years for my daughter to start Catholic school, I feel like I may need that time to wrap my head around all the things she can’t wear. How she won’t be able to wear her colorful stack of bracelets, paint her nails, or wear her favorite pink Hey Dudes.

It’s not like wearing a uniform was a surprise – I just pictured more of a Gossip Girl type vibe. I went to public school before uniforms were implemented statewide, so in my day (ahem), school was show-and-tell for your favorite outfit and the newest trends. It was a place to show off your individuality and uniqueness. Sure, they had a “guideline” of what they didn’t want you to wear, and of course, as a rebellious and often outspoken kid, I complained about the dictatorial length of my shorts or flip-flops being unacceptable.

Mad for Plaid

My Catholic alum friends say how great it was not to have to think about what to wear to school (blasphemy, if you ask me) and how easy uniforms are for their Catholic school-going kids now. Two weeks out from sending my kid off into the sea of plaid, I’m still not convinced, but hoping to find peace in the conformity and routine. 

As this is only a preview of how Catholic school will be, I’m sure more Catholic vs. public school idiosyncrasies will pop up that I will have to get used to. Stay tuned.  

Alexis Marino
Alexis and her husband moved to Lafayette in 2019 when she was 5 months pregnant with their first child. Now, they live in Broussard with their 4-year-old son, Cam, and 2-year-old daughter, Marlo. Having grown up in New Orleans and living in Baton Rouge for over a decade, Alexis is happiest on this side of the Basin. Alexis loves all things Acadiana - from the never-ending events and festivals to the vibrant culture. She is the content specialist for a local startup and a contributing writer for Acadiana Lifestyle Magazine. When she isn't interviewing locals or brainstorming her next article, Alexis is most likely reading about nutrition and healthy living, having a dance (or paint) party with her kids, or sending her husband links to vacant lots (probably out of their budget) to build her dream home. Follow Alexis on Instagram.


  1. Catholic school plaid was one of the best things about this school year. My mothers cancer diagnosis & ultimate death robbed me of the chance to wear her beloved Chappelle green plaid as her legacy, and I bristled at the possibility of Xavier Preps yellow & black. Cabrini, Dominican or the distinctive chocolate Mt. Carmel plaid wld have been acceptable, but medical costs kept me in uniform-less public school… but my daughter in her plaid skirt & embroidered oxford… it’s everything it means to be a Catholic girl in New Orleans…


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