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School uniform? Here's how to create the perfect fit

Based out of Dallas, Texas, Mary McCoy is a writer and social worker for disenfranchised women and children. She's a single mom, lover of Texas barbecue, and a die-hard fan of yoga

A crisply fitted uniform for back to school

Even though wikiHow says that the key to a nicely fitted school uniform is incorporating "fishnet tights and stuff," wisdom tells me that it's a little more complicated than that.

The good news, though, is that it's not much more complicated at all. If your child's school requires a uniform, your kid may even grow to appreciate the simplicity of selecting an outfit each morning. Just make sure his or her uniform is perfectly fitted by following these steps for a put-together appearance.

1. Choose a specialty fit, if necessary

I cannot overstate the importance of buying clothing that fits your child, even if it's more expensive. For instance, I was 6'2" by the eighth grade, and my mom suggested we just buy my pants in the men's section since extra-long juniors' pants were so pricey. No. There are many options available for boys and girls who don't exactly fit the mold, and it's worth the extra expense. Your child will both look and feel better if you buy clothing that fits and flatters.

2. Learn the beauty of an undershirt

Undershirts and well-fitted camisoles are a lifesaver. They prevent sweat stains, and they also even out lumpiness, bra texture and muffin top that may make your child feel self-conscious. Keep your kid's closet stocked with many colors and textures to layer under a uniform polo or sweater for a smooth finish.

3. Find wrinkle-resistant brands

Nothing ruins a well-fitted uniform like unsightly wrinkles, but it's hard to keep a kid looking perfectly pressed. Avoid the problem in the first place by paying a little more for brands that offer wrinkle-resistant options. You can avoid wrinkles entirely by choosing a jersey fabric rather than cotton, too.

4. Check out the hemline

Here's another trick from an incredibly tall woman: Look at the hemline before purchasing an item. If there are at least two inches of fabric at the bottom of a hemmed jacket or pants, you'll be able to let out the seam and alter the length for an extra few months of wear. No more high-water pants, Mom. It's embarrassing.

5. When in doubt, call a tailor

Tailoring isn't a luxury for the extraordinarily wealthy among us. In fact, you can find tailors who charge only $5-$15 for standard changes to an item, like adding or removing inches from a hemline or taking in the sides of a blouse for a closer fit. It's hard to find a fit as perfect as that created by a tailor.

6. Accessorize with intelligence

Once your child's outfit looks perfect, add a few accessories to personalize his or her look. Consider adding a headband, leather bracelet or classy messenger bag for a perennial fashion statement that will set your kid apart from the crowd.

If you need additional instructions, let's conclude with one final word of wisdom from wikiHow's school uniform tutorial, for you to pass on to your child: "Smell good and carry breath mints." Truth.

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