Non-uniform day (or mufti day, or own clothes day depending on your school, geographic location and fondness for fancy words) comes but once a year – twice if you’re lucky – and, like Christmas, your 16th birthday and your first kiss, requires militant planning.
Quite frankly, a year would not be enough notice for this aesthetic test, let alone the standard three or four weeks’ notice. Sometimes they try to make things ‘easier’ with a theme, like Jeans for Genes or World Book Day, not realising just how much more complicated that actually makes things. How in God’s name are you supposed to channel Mrs Twit while keeping fleek AND attracting your crush?
Here then, are the things that will inevitably happen when Non-Uniform Day rolls around.
Someone will forget it’s non-uniform day
Maybe you get up late. Maybe you’re too busy thinking about last night’s Pretty Little Liars. Maybe you’re in love, or maybe you’re, like me, just one of those gals with a blind spot for own clothes day. Whatever it is, there’s no coming back from that moment walk into that classroom dressed in your shirt, skirt and school shoes, and see your mates’ bloody delighted faces. Ground. Swallow. Now.
You’ll coordinate with your mates
On-point group selfies don’t make themselves. You’ll need colour coordination, a cohesive aesthetic (pom poms all round) and at least 87 Whatsapps-worth of planning if you’re to avoid photoshoot fails.
That said, your entire outfit will also be geared toward drawing the attention of your crush
Who, when you emerge Princess Diaries-style from the Volvo in your killer outfit, will melt instantaneously, and whisper “where have you been all my life?” – because of course, the biggest obstacle to true love is school uniform.
Your crush will be off sick
… or, as one friend recalls, after painstakingly walking round and round (and round) the school buildings in order to bump into them, when you do finally cross paths they’ll be looking the other way.
The crux of your entire outfit will be in the wash come mufti morning
You laid your off-the-shoulder top out the night before, along with your wide-legged cropped jeans and your pom pom flats. You wake up to find an ever-helpful mother thought you wanted it washing. Hours – no, DAYS of outfit finessing, literally washed away.
Someone will go too far
And by ‘too far’ we mean either too short, too low, too ripped, too offensive or — style gods forbid — all four, a crime which in our school would result in being condemned either to your PE kit for the rest of the day. Or if that was at home, a stale, smelly assortment of lost property. Gross. But you have to applaud them for giving it a go.
Your parents will veto your outfit
Either because they’ve decided that you showing your kneecaps/shoulders is indecent, all of a sudden, or because it’s ‘not smart enough’ – though, as you’ve painstakingly pointed out, that’s kind of the point of own clothes day – OR because you’re wearing your older sister’s top. Which, tbf, you are.
Your teachers will look normal and it will Blow. Your. Mind
“Mr Jenkins is in denim. Mr Jenkins is in denim. MR JENKINS IS IN DENIM” you find yourself muttering as your brain tries to process the casualwear trip it’s being given by your retinas. Breathe deeply, and whatever you do avoid Mrs Arthur, who’s taken this opportunity to don a leotard.
Work will not be happening
Because it is literally impossible to focus on Maths when you have your clothes, the clothes of your mates, the clothes of your arch rival, the clothes of your TEACHERS and the clothes of your crush(es) to focus on. Literally, trying to decide who’s won this round of non-uniform day (because yes, it IS a competition) is a simultaneous equation in itself.
Someone will wear the same top/skirt/necklace as you
And your day will be automatically cancelled while you hide in the loo until final bell. The shame.