Dress Codes in the BUSD

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What do Berkeley kids wear to school?

July 2014

Hello there! Silly first world question alert My family is moving to Berkeley this summer and we plan on enrolling our kids in BUSD. I have a rising 1st grade girl and 3rd grade boy who have only worn uniforms since starting school. (Which was AWESOME.) I have no idea if there is a dress code or guidelines we need to follow as we start stocking their wardrobes. What do kids this age wear? Super casual sweats and t-shirts? Team specific clothing? Jeans or shorts? Skirts and tops? Dresses? Sandals? Running shoes? Are knee socks on girls out of fashion? And please tell me 1st graders don't wear short shorts. Do they need to have their shoulders covered? I am seriously clueless here! We're pretty basic people -- do we really need weeks worth of clothes to rotate? Or do kids that age really not notice that kind of stuff? Thanks in advance! And on a side note, if anyone has a favorite thrift shop/consignment store/swapping group I would love to some tips! Andrea

Here's some good news...You can check ''what to wear to school'' off of your worry list for moving to Berkeley! What I love about Berkeley public elementary schools (can't speak to the older grades yet) is that there is no ''dress code.'' You will see absolutely every style (or lack of style) at school. Kids overwhelmingly dress in what is comfortable to them. I have been so grateful that there has been no pressure for my girls (8 and 10) to have certain clothes (i.e. Uggs, skinny jeans, etc.) that I hear about elsewhere. Honestly, there are kids coming to school dressed like Harry Potter. I've also never heard of any rules for length of shorts and whether or not shoulders need to be covered. It's very casual. Just let your kids wear what makes them comfortable. Welcome to Berkeley!

Our son, going into 8th grade at King, has worn generic pull-on track pants and a t-shirt every day since kindergarten. For the past year, his pants have been a few inches too short, and it still didn't matter. It seems that most boys wear about the same, or plain jeans. The girls also seem fairly non-designer-chic from what I can tell. The only rules I've heard at this school are that the pants gotta be above the butt, and the shirts can't be strapless or exposing the midriff. -MLK parent

Your kids can pretty much wear whatever they like to school. Short shorts are not allowed at most schools, but in elementary, shoulders are ok. T-shirts, jeans, leggings, tank tops, shorts...all fine. Best to have tennis shoes or secure sandals; most schools don't allow flip flops. Mom of 3 in BUSD

Lauren's Closet in alameda is amazing! I shopped for 80% of my kids clothes there (when we lived there) and filled in gaps as needed. We are a big fan of Lands End as well. Hanna Anderson on sale as well. Shorts are fine but its not often warm enough. Love leggings. Good luck

Our BUSD rising 4th grade girl (not a fashionista) has been wearing stretchy pants (like yoga pants and the like) and velour pants, and either short sleeve or long sleeve cotton t-shirts (stripes, graphics, plain, whatever) with hoodie or fleece jacket. Back in K and 1st she wore more dresses with pants underneath; I still see some of that in the lower grades. Sneakers for her, but she used to wear rubber-soled mary janes too. I see a lot of ankle & mid-calf boots in the fall/winter, brown, pink, black, sparkly. Target sometimes has those. For consignment and resale in N. Berkeley, see Grove Street Kids and Hannah's (the best place for rain coats and boots should it ever rain again). I shop a lot of sales online too, such as The Children's Place and Naartjie, which has some great sales if your girl likes more girly stuff. I've sworn off Justice due to bad customer service, but they have half-off sales seemingly frequently. Ebay is very good for kids clothes; you can find good-quality Hanna Andersson and Mini Boden there. Shoes are the hard part. I buy used clothes but new shoes; their feet are forming and I don't want a used shoe to influence their development. My mom drilled that into me, right or wrong. We often resort to Zappos for selection, but we've gotten lucky at the Sketchers outlet. Target shoes seem to be better for boys. Oh, for a uniform! Hate-to-Shop Mom

Whatever they wear on the weekends is what they should wear to school (besides pajamas). Jeans, shorts, leggings, skirts, t-shirts, dresses, almost anything goes. No short shorts or super short skirts and no spaghetti straps. Sandals are fine, but close-toed shoes are better for PE. No flip flops. Really, you can wear almost anything you like. California casual