What to Wear to 8th Grade – Euro Edition

August 30, 2011

ralphschoolclothes_201104

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Hello, Friends! Are you ready for the annual series of What to Wear to School posts? I hope so. Because here they come! Ralph is first. Maude and Olive’s photos will be posted soon. Oscar and Betty’s will get posted as soon as we get some photos taken. : )

Ralph was very pleased when his school wardrobe came together. He said it looked more French and that he would fit right in clothes wise. What do you think? Do they look Euro to you? Would your 8th grader wear similar clothes?

P.S. – You can find the whole What to Wear series here.

Sources:
- Tan scarf by DPAM (worn by Oscar here).
- Striped blue henley, dark denim jeans, stripey socks, faded chambray shirt, green kakhis by H&M Kids. Belt from H&M Kids (2 years ago).
- Grey sneakers by Superga.
- White canvas sneakers by Puma.
- Grey zip hoodie sweater by Z Kids.
- Faded jeans, solid henley, blue v-neck sweater by Zara Kids.
- Black coat by Quicksilver.
- Glasses by Warby Parker.
- Undershirts by Petit Bateau.
- Headphones by Snoop Dogg for Skullcandy.
- Watch by Nixon.

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{ 73 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Sarah August 30, 2011 at 7:25 am

I love that he’s wearing a scarf! He looks much more hip than the typical U.S. teen, I think.

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2 Kate August 30, 2011 at 7:43 am

Ralph’s wardrobe is SO European and I just love it. I can’t wait to see what Maude’s wearing—she’s so stylish!

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3 Erin August 30, 2011 at 7:51 am

He looks great, and so much older! I’m curious, when shopping for your children for back-to-school, do you go into it with a certain number of pieces/outfits in mind (for example, 5 pants, 5 shirts, 2 jackets, etc..), or is your process more organic- driven by things your kids like? I would love your insights as your children all look great each year and, more amazingly, you all seem to enjoy the process. It seems like it would be a huge job for a you. My boys have worn uniforms for year, so it’s been a no-brainer. This year I have a high schooler and next year my youngest will leave uniforms. I found it a bit daunting this year!

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4 Design Mom September 1, 2011 at 4:34 am

Hi Erin! It is a huge job, but we love it. Each year we go through everyone’s closet to see what works and what needs to be given away. Then we make lists like: Ralph needs 2 pants, sneakers and undershirts. We make a list for each child. Then I shop. After the shopping, we put together outfits and see if there’s anything we still need — maybe a pair of tights or a tee for layering.

Then. I pretty much don’t shop for kids clothes again till Christmas. : )

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5 Pam B August 30, 2011 at 7:52 am

love seeing this! I’ve been curious about your children’s schooling while in France. Are they in an English speaking school? Would love a post on that!

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6 Susan August 30, 2011 at 9:25 am

They go to the French public school. Gabrielle posted about it back when they started if you look in the archives. I’d love to hear how their French is coming along and whether this school year is easier for them.

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7 Design Mom September 1, 2011 at 4:35 am

Hi Pam! Here is a link to posts about our experience in French Schools: http://www.designmom.com/?s=french+schools

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8 Sandra Gonzales August 30, 2011 at 7:55 am

Tell Ralph is looks very handsome. Did you purchase your children’s clothing online or in stores? Are the French stores more like shops?

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9 steph t. August 30, 2011 at 8:11 am

ha… do i admit this or not…
but ralph dresses very similar to my 33 year old husband! ;)
where did you end up getting all the pieces?
i guess being the eldest ralph never needs to worry about hand-me-downs?
lucky guy!

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10 Design Mom September 1, 2011 at 4:35 am

True. Ralph rarely has hand-me-downs. : )

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11 Jo(ke) August 30, 2011 at 8:15 am

As a ‘Euro’ myself I think this is so funny. He looks very handsome!

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12 The New Diplomats Wife August 30, 2011 at 8:23 am

superga! I love those! when i was an exchange student in france i was always dying for a pair. And love the scarf, ralph, and definitely very french.

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13 Victoria August 30, 2011 at 8:25 am

How stylish! :D Your children always look so lovely. x

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14 sarah August 30, 2011 at 8:32 am

what a nice change to see a boy looking grown up and put together as opposed to the trashy way most teens dress here for school. he actually looks like he feels great. and that will help him to do well.

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15 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag August 30, 2011 at 8:32 am

Ok your son looks too cool for school! GREAT outfits and he looks great in them!

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16 barchbo August 30, 2011 at 8:38 am

Love how Ralph is wearing a scarf – so stylish. Very adult without looking stuffy. Tres sophistiquée!

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17 elisabeth*itsyfactor August 30, 2011 at 8:46 am

Gabby, Ralph looks just dashing. I so look forward to these every year.

What program do you use for these slide shows? So much better than the extremely long post.

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18 Mrs. Kate B. August 30, 2011 at 8:56 am

Like commenter Erin above, I too am curious about your process. You make it look so effortless – creating full wardrobes that are beautifully coordinated and well thought out. Do you have your children try on every piece of clothing and craft outfits ahead of time? Because that’s where the process kind of falls apart in my house: the girls try on maybe about half their clothes and get bored and abandon the rest, and the house lives in a state of clothing switchover chaos for a month before we get everything sorted and put away.

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19 Design Mom September 1, 2011 at 4:37 am

Yes. We try to put together outfits ahead of time and eliminate anything from that closet that doesn’t work.

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20 Mrs. Kate B. September 1, 2011 at 9:01 am

Thanks. :)

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21 megwrites August 30, 2011 at 9:11 am

He definitely looks more sophisticated than your average US teen!

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22 Patty August 30, 2011 at 9:38 am

Very handsome!

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23 julia g blair August 30, 2011 at 9:42 am

Ralph would look good in anything. Really appreciate the casual yet neat and comfortable look. Ralph is neat and comfortable and friendly and happy!
and GOOD! Wow!

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24 Kristen E August 30, 2011 at 9:50 am

Ralph looks awesome! I wish more teens here in the US dressed as well – he looks cool and sophisticated and confident while still being dressed for his age. I love that he doesn’t look like he just raided his dad’s closet, you know? Excellent!

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25 C August 30, 2011 at 10:02 am

Supergas are the best, and very very Euro.

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26 Megan Flowers August 30, 2011 at 10:04 am

I wish the boys dressed like that in the U.S. He looks so sophisticated and stylishly hip.

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27 Erica August 30, 2011 at 10:16 am

what a handsome guy! Where was he when I was in eighth grade!!?! ;)

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28 Valerie August 30, 2011 at 10:21 am

Tres chic! Like others have said – would love an update on the kid’s (as well as you and Mr. Blairs) French skills. Also, with your one year stay just past the half way point do you expect to limit the stay to a year or extend – say through the end of the school year?

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29 Design Mom September 1, 2011 at 4:38 am

We need to do a post about it!

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30 Kristen Duke Photography August 30, 2011 at 10:24 am

LOVE it! I also am lovin’ that vintage camera…what a handsome young man you have there;)

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31 rachel schindler August 30, 2011 at 10:37 am

Ralph has a great sense of style. Love the tennis shoes and all the grey. Especially, that denim or chambray grey button up. I want to wear one. Have a great school year!

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32 Lisl Sukachevin August 30, 2011 at 10:57 am

I love the clothes and the layers! Having an 8th grade boy myself, I’d say the look is more European than what kids wear here. It’s jeans and t-shirts here :) I do wish more kids dressed like that here though. Super cool!

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33 Heather HS August 30, 2011 at 11:03 am

Very classy! He should fit right in.

Please tell… did he tie his own scarf? Is that something he is comfortable wearing, or is that more of a photo shoot prop?

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34 Design Mom September 1, 2011 at 4:40 am

Hi Heather! It’s a scarf both he and Oscar wear (and the sisters from time to time). And yes, he really wears it. It’s actually very common here.

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35 Andrea@Fancy That! August 30, 2011 at 11:33 am

EIGHTH GRADE? Wow. I’ve been following your blog longer than I thought.

The clothes look amazing. And make him look so old.

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36 Janelle August 30, 2011 at 11:56 am

I showed these to MY 8th grade boy – and he REALLY liked the clothes. He said he’d wear all of it (but since we home school – just around town) He even asked for a shirt with the pearl buttons – I think we’ll be hitting the thrift store this week.

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37 mandi@herbanhomestead August 30, 2011 at 11:59 am

Look how handsome he is! I love the colors. All of the soft grays and blues. I don’t have an eighth grader yet, but I do work with 8th grade boys in church. They are more into under armor (as a shirt) and camo. So, yeah, not nearly as well put together as your Ralph.

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38 the emily August 30, 2011 at 12:27 pm

Wow, that is one STYLISH middle schooler. And handsome! Loving that scarf.

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39 Chantale August 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Whoa! Did a double take. I thought it was our art director at work in the photos.. lol. Not only would he fit in in Europe, he’d fit right in here, in Montréal! Love the stripes and esp the scarf. Très cool!

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40 Traveling Mama August 30, 2011 at 12:31 pm

Very cool look! (I resisted saying adorable because what 8th grade boy wants to be called that?) :-) Really, he looks just like the kids here. We felt bad after putting our kids into local schools overseas, we stopped asking for clothes from home. Even though they are TONS cheaper, they are just not the same quality, cut, or style. We have always made a point to celebrate our differences, but we also want our kids to stand out because of their great personalities and not their wardrobes!

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41 jessicamaylords August 30, 2011 at 12:52 pm

Those French girls won’t know what hit them. Looking very dapper!

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42 Tchouckinette August 30, 2011 at 1:13 pm

I agree with Jessica above …

He is soooo cool … European yet the american touch is there ;)

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43 Catherine August 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Shoes Superga’s or Victoria’s?

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44 Design Mom September 1, 2011 at 4:41 am

Supergas. But now I’m curious and need to find out what Victorias are…

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45 Jennelle August 30, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Wow, Ralph looks so stylish! I love that watch too.

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46 Julie August 30, 2011 at 1:51 pm

Definitely like!

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47 Chrissy August 30, 2011 at 2:10 pm

These are fantastic! Can’t wait for sources…maybe by the time my son is in eighth grade I’ll convince him to embrace his French (well, French Canadian ;) heritage and he’ll want to dress like this. Just love all the dove gray and great textures. Oooh la la!!! Hope their school year is the best yet!

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48 Kathryn August 30, 2011 at 3:46 pm

Don’t forget to add the source for the earphones!

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49 Tracy August 30, 2011 at 4:21 pm

My 8th grade son wears a uniform, but on when he’s home…. well, I think he’d dig Ralph’s jeans and shoes. Shirts? My son doesn’t like long sleeves, despite living in a very wintery place (Utah)! And if it doesn’t say Aeropostale or Hollister, he’s not so interested. Your son looks much more European than any of the kids I see around here.

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50 RebeccaNYC August 30, 2011 at 6:52 pm

Oh, european for sure. I’m afraid that he would get teased in middle america for wearing a scarf. I think he looks fantastic!

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51 Design Mom September 1, 2011 at 4:43 am

Ralph agrees! (About the teasing.)

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52 Genevieve August 30, 2011 at 7:17 pm

Ralph, you look great! So much better than the beanies and the skinny jeans below the bottom from the highschool nearby!

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53 Colleen August 30, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Having been a teacher for 40 years, I love Back To School time and have even bought a few new clothes even though I am retired! I enjoyed seeing Ralph’s selection and now wait to see the rest of the gang!
Thank you for sharing your family!
Colleen

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54 Erin August 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm

Mostly U.S., but you will be hard-pressed to find a boy with a scarf on (if they’re not outside and it’s not freezing) in the U.S., so that’s very European. Seeing the new clothes almost makes me want to go to school! I remember so well the scent of fresh crayons and the feeling of confidence as I strode in on my new Docs and in my new jeans…ah, youth. :)

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55 Amy Jo August 30, 2011 at 9:41 pm

I’m usually put off by boy’s styles (in the US, of course), which makes dressing my boy hard, but seeing Ralph’s awesome sense of style gives me hope!

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56 Elizabeth August 30, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I have a seventh grade boy and live in Los Angeles. I think that nearly everything Ralph has on would go over well here with the exception of the scarf. That, to me, is so very, very French.

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57 Katherine August 30, 2011 at 10:45 pm

Hi Gabrielle,
Your email on Ralph’s first speedo purchase made me smile. If it makes him feel better – my son actually likes swimming in them now. Less drag, more speed apparently :)

Good luck on la rentree! I am guessing that Ralph is entering Quatrieme – woohoo that’s serious stuff by French standards. Lots of work.

Oh how did you go with the “liste de fourniture” or school supply list. French teachers are peculiarly pernickety about it. I’ve had lists that specify certain brands e.g. “ruler Maped, not flexible”, “glue stick (not liquid) 21 gram” yeah – 21 grams not 8 or 9 but 21! Some people say it’s really about the teacher emphasing their authority in the classroom. I follow the list religiously after an early experience when my son was reprimanded for not having the “right” things.

This article gives you a good insight into the culture underpinnings of la rentree and the school supplies list. Enjoy and Bon Rentree!
http://www.expatica.com/fr/education/higher_education/back-to-school-tips-for-a-successful-rentre-32728_11898.html

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58 Design Mom September 1, 2011 at 4:44 am

Oh my goodness! The school supply shopping pretty much overwhelmed me. I need to do a post about it. : )

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59 Ale August 31, 2011 at 2:21 am

SUPERGA tennis shoes! I’ve worn them every day for years, summer and winter, when I was a teenager, I had a huge collection in all the possible colours. They look fantastic when new, and even better when used (and abused!), I still love them (I have a pair of them in white, still new in the box).
I like the greys too. And the stripes. And I’m looking forward to see the new outfits for the other members of the family!

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60 Tinne from T and T August 31, 2011 at 5:50 am

He looks very stylish!
But why does everyone think that wearing a scarf is Euro? Do Americans not wear scarves?

the commenter formerly know as ‘From Belgium’

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61 Design Mom September 1, 2011 at 4:45 am

Exactly. Unless you’re wearing a wool scarf during a snowstorm, scarves are pretty much not seen.

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62 teresita August 31, 2011 at 6:20 am

He knows he looks cool!! How do you manage the paparazzi thing? My girls want to kill me while I take this kind of pictures, they are kind of self conscious and keep saying “Mom, do you have to take pictures of everything?”…. haha!

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63 Design Mom September 1, 2011 at 4:46 am

Good question! I supposed they’re partly just used it by now. : )

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64 Marta August 31, 2011 at 9:18 am

He is so right! he totally looks more European! Love all his outfits!
He is a Handsome boy!

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65 LP August 31, 2011 at 11:25 am

The clothes definitely look French/Euro. However, those white sneakers are decidedly American! As a Canadian, white sneakers are an a-typical US fashion crime. LOL
Great outfits!

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66 Mom in Mendon August 31, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Love you, Ralph. xoxox from Grandma in China.

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67 Jennifer James August 31, 2011 at 4:10 pm

I love this so much! So very Euro. Ralph is growing so fast. Look how old my girls have gotten. Doesn’t San Francisco and EA seem like yesterday?

xo

http://www.mombloggersclub.com/teacollection

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68 Design Mom September 1, 2011 at 4:46 am

It was too long ago! He turned 12 during that trip. Yikes!

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69 Jen Diamond August 31, 2011 at 5:53 pm

As an Upper School teacher I can attest that your kids are far better dressed than the students I see every day! And I wish I was as inventive with clothes as Maude!
Happy School year–

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70 jessicamaylords September 1, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Just wanted to comment again and say that I wish my husband dressed like Ralph. Maybe I’ll show him this to give him some ideas… very sophisticated.

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71 Petra September 2, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Ralph is turning into a young man before your (and our) eyes. Very suave looks. He’ll be stealing hearts in France.

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72 Colleen Schmitt September 2, 2011 at 6:09 pm

Ralph, you look so stylish! Like so many other comments before me, I love the scarf. Good luck in 8th grade!

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73 l o v e l y t h i n g s September 14, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Ralph looks so handsome…I have an 8th grader and this is the first year that he is not wearing a uniform. And he wore shorts, t-shirt and black nike socks and nike frees. When I picked him up the first day I arrived quite early and he fit right in….in fact I almost missed him in the sea of middle school boys all wearing the same thing.

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