What to Wear to 9th Grade – Euro Edition

September 18, 2012

What to Wear to 9th Grade

This is Ralph Blair, age 15. Fifteen! If we were in Colorado, he would be starting his freshman year of high school, but here in France he’s in his last year of middle school. They call middle school “college” in France so that makes it sound pretty cool to an American teen’s ears. : )

What to Wear to 9th Grade

For outfit #1, Ralph is wearing a heathered henley from Zara, jeans and a scarf from his closet, and tie-up Vans. Ralph’s in that stage where we sometimes pick something up in the kids department and sometimes pick something up from the men’s department. It all depends on the actual item of clothing.

What to Wear to 9th Grade
What to Wear to 9th Grade

Ralph is a great sport about taking part in these posts, but he hinted to me that it might be his last year participating. Totally his call, of course.

What to Wear to 9th Grade

Outfit #2 is made of a top from Abercrombie and khakis by Levi’s that I found at Kohl’s in July. They’re tapered in the leg and fit Ralph really well. I wish we’d bought multiple pairs.

What to Wear to 9th Grade
What to Wear to 9th Grade

Did you know badminton is a big sport in France? C’est vrai.

What to Wear to 9th Grade
What to Wear to 9th Grade

For outfit #3, Ralph is wearing a hoodie polo shirt by Chaps (also found at Kohls), layered over a blue oxford button-down and jeans from H&M. We really love the madras plaid lining the hoodie.

What to Wear to 9th Grade

Ralph is reading Superman: Red Son. Historically, he hasn’t been too into comic books, but his uncle encouraged him to read this one and he really likes it.

What to Wear to 9th Grade
What to Wear to 9th Grade

Outfit #4 is a Superdry t-shirt, Abercrombie hoodie and jeans mentioned above. Superdry is a brand that makes heavy duty hoodies and tees. (Superdry’s branding looks Japanese, but I heard it’s a British-born company.) It’s fairly pricey, but lucky for us, we found an outlet when we were in England.

What to Wear to 9th Grade
What to Wear to 9th Grade

Outfit #6 is a made of the khakis mentioned above, and a sweater from the grocery store layered over a western shirt. The western shirt is really cool. We bought it at a real live western wear store in St. George for one of the Olive Us episodes, but it ended up not looking right on camera.

What to Wear to 9th Grade
What to Wear to 9th Grade

And for the finale, outfit #6 is a t-shirt from H&M, jeans mentioned above and a sweater from Sergent Major.

What to Wear to 9th Grade
What to Wear to 9th Grade

Ralph has picked out his own clothes for many years now. He’s very socially aware and always knows exactly the look he’s going for and what he intends to communicate with it. Based on what he saw this summer, he thinks he’ll probably dress quite differently when he moves back to the U.S. It will be interesting to see.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the tour! I’ll finish up the What to Wear to School posts with Betty’s tour tomorrow.

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What to Wear to 9th Grade Euro Edition - SAHM Solution | SAHM Solution
May 10, 2013 at 5:07 pm

{ 40 comments… read them below or add one }

1 chelsea September 18, 2012 at 11:50 am

His choices are great! He looks very mature, but fun & lighthearted too. I’m curious- what changes does he think he’ll make back in the US? I have my own ideas of what he might be talking about, but I’d love to hear his take on the differences on styles and why he would change, or perhaps, which style (in a perfect world) he actually prefers. I secretly wish all men and women would dress more European. It’s so elegant and classy.

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2 Design Mom September 19, 2012 at 1:50 am

I’ll have to ask Ralph for specifics, but I think things like scarves are probably out.

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3 chelsea September 19, 2012 at 8:17 am

What is it with guys and scarves! My husband doesn’t like them either, and I just love how they look on guys.

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4 how2home September 18, 2012 at 11:51 am

Great outfit choices Ralph! Wow a family of fashionistas :)

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5 rachel swartley September 18, 2012 at 11:57 am

If Ralph is outgrowing the wardrobe photo shoots, maybe next year he can produce his own video about what to wear to 10th grade. :)

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6 Design Mom September 19, 2012 at 1:51 am

That’s such a cool idea!

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7 kate September 18, 2012 at 12:10 pm

One more? Did I miss Olive?

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8 Design Mom September 19, 2012 at 1:45 am
9 hyzen September 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Goodness, how cute, er, handsome is he?!? He is growing up into a real (and very stylish!) young man, and I’m sure that won’t go unnoticed by the young ladies in his classes! Thanks for sharing these great wardrobe ideas–I really love this feature every year–what hip kids you have!

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10 Ann September 18, 2012 at 12:18 pm

He looks great — youthful and current, but also polished. And I think it’s nice that he’s still OK with getting in front of the camera.

Badminton is fairly popular in Canada as well. I’m guessing it’s because of the weather — you spend a lot of time indoors during the winter and it’s a good way to expend some energy. One year, I was even the Catholic high schools double’s champ in Winnipeg!

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11 Design Mom September 19, 2012 at 1:52 am

Hive five double’s champ! Go Ann!!

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12 Lucy Mitchell September 18, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Great haircut!

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13 Alysa September 19, 2012 at 8:38 pm

That’s what I’m loving most about this “what to wear” post! I think the haircut is great!

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14 simplyblythe September 18, 2012 at 12:49 pm

i love ralph’s style.
my favorite of the bunch!
wow.

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15 Tan September 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm

That kid has got style, and fantastic glasses!

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16 Sandra Gonzales September 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm

Such a dapper young man!

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17 BEthany September 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I think these “What to Wear” posts are fantastic. I hope my kids gets some fashion sense!

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18 Jen September 18, 2012 at 2:05 pm

What a handsome young man! I hope my boy will be as well dressed at fifteen! I do think the boys dress so much better in Europe than in the US :)

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19 Amie September 18, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Hey, I designed that comic book! I’m surprised he hasn’t been exposed to lots of Tintin and Asterix at school — European comics are wonderful.

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20 Design Mom September 19, 2012 at 1:53 am

What? For reals? Ralph will be so excited to read your comment and feel like he’s only a degree away from the creators of the book.

As for Tintin and Asterix, I think he may have been just a little too old when we moved here. But Oscar’s book shelf of full of Tintin.

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21 Amie September 19, 2012 at 1:11 pm

Yessiree. I don’t know what edition he has, but I art directed the original series and collection. I’ll come up with some other like-minded comics for him, if you like!

My Oscar (9yo) had a Tintin-themed nursery, because his parents are total geeks.

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22 sarah September 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

love ralph’s look and hope my boys will go for the classy euro look some day. i’m trying to start my two year old now…and he says, “no buttons” when i pull out a button down shirt. :) anyway, please have ralph share his different style idea for the US. to me, he looks so perfect now, why change anything?

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23 Kate September 18, 2012 at 4:48 pm

Love the Superdry tee & hoodie combo, but it all looks fantastic! What brand of glasses does he wear? My boys are a few years younger and don’t really care what they wear… yet. We are in Texas where it is still pretty warm & all the kids are still in shorts. For boys, it is mostly casual athletic wear at our school. So mine throw on a Nike tee and shorts and they are good to go!

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24 Design Mom September 19, 2012 at 1:56 am

We bought the glasses a 1 hour optical place in Colorado when we were there in July and his other glasses broke.

He also has a pair from Warby Parker that he loves.

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25 Megan M. September 18, 2012 at 6:14 pm

He looks so great! I’m also saddened that he would change anything for the U.S. Are we just hopelessly out of touch with American fashion???

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26 Design Mom September 19, 2012 at 1:56 am

I think some of it is just a more casual approach to dressing. More shorts. More athletic clothing. And less ironing.

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27 Janelle September 18, 2012 at 6:44 pm

I’m glad he’s willing to participate still. My just-turned 14yo really likes Ralph’s look & copied a couple of outfits from last year – probably will for this year too.

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28 RebeccaNYC September 18, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Such a handsome young man. Funny, from the photos I have seen of you and your husband, Ralph looks like you from the front, and in profile, he looks like his Dad! The best of both.

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29 Design Mom September 19, 2012 at 1:58 am

I think he’s a good mix of us too!

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30 Jen September 18, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Brilliant! especially the last sweater – and the vans! What a charmer.

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31 Ellen September 18, 2012 at 8:13 pm

This one has been my favorite post yet! Thanks for playing along, Ralph!!!

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32 Pamela Balabuszko-Reay September 18, 2012 at 8:47 pm

So handsome! I just want to pinch his cheeks. But don’t tell him that because he won’t participate next year. My little guy is turning 6 this week. I will use Ralph as a guide for future shopping this fall because my little man would rock these looks. I am loving this series. Thanks!

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33 Rachel Schindler September 18, 2012 at 9:19 pm

I love how you say, “we bought it at the grocery store”…I wish the grocery stores in the states carried clothes. Love the series. Thanks for sharing.
Au revior

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34 Design Mom September 19, 2012 at 1:57 am

I’ll miss the French grocery stores when we move home, and I miss Target when I’m here. : )

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35 Jess September 19, 2012 at 3:49 am

Ralph looks effortlessly cool but still classy. I love it!

I know what he means about changing up his style slightly on return to the States. I’m in Australia, and it would take a bit to pull off this look in its entirety. Teenagers here are less into ‘manly and stylish’ and more into the homogenous surf/skate/ultra-casual look. It’s hard to describe, and it’s a subtle difference, but it counts at that age. It’s a bit of a shame – I love the Euro-teen look!

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36 Barchbo September 19, 2012 at 5:49 am

Ralph has always had such great style! I especially love his look in the sergeant major sweater – he looks like he’s at university!

I love this series!

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37 Deborah September 19, 2012 at 8:50 am

He is rockin’ his new haircut! Love it!

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38 Anne Evans September 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm

aww, getting too cool! :)

these are fun. It would be great to look back on (after college, at 30, 40, 50 and so, and even fun to show his maybe kids someday) and see what styles you were wearing and when. I don’t have anything like that. Just some casual photos here and there, and other things in school band uniforms.

great outfit choices!

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39 Kohana September 19, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Thank you for the series on back to school wardrobes. My children wear uniforms in their Australian school, so it’s fun to look at other people’s creative options!

How will you approach re-entering the American school system? I am overwhelmed trying to figure out what grade my children “should” be in, in America, and with the Australian school year running February-December, I don’t know how to mastermind a smooth entry into the U.S. system. I’d love to read a blog if you have any ideas for how you all will do it!

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40 Emily Chandler September 11, 2013 at 2:08 pm

Hi Design Mom and Ralph, I am a 29 yo mom of two (3 months and 3 yo) living in Oakland CA. I heard you might be moving here? Congrats! It’s sunny and beautiful, I hope you love it like we do.

Ralph, I love your style. Your pictures remind me of the men in Dead Poet Society. I do hope you continue to participate!

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