|Blue for boys...A centuries-old business|
|Pink for Girls...(photo from Guarducci-Trento)|
I discovered that some schools stick to the uniforms of some sort, but they've now been mercifully updated to include sweat pants and hoodies, and other street smart paraphernalia -- just don't let on to your kids that you think it's smart - they'll be abandoning it for golfer's pants and pink&green whale belts before the term is up.
But I found out during my recent foray into Florence that the International School there had their very own supplier of school kids garments. Owned by the family of an alumna (or two), the families were told to purchase their particular brand there; a helpful hint to families who lined right up. I thought it a nice touch to support the Made in Italy brand and the local factories. Until, that is, I discovered that the cost per student ran over $65 for a pair of sweatpants and over $500 for the entire kit and kaboodle. Thinking that it was right up there with their American counterparts who are equally pressured into buying the $35 school sweatshirts -- I was reminded, however that those are optional. And anyone who knew a punk rocker (back in my day) or an emo kid today, could certainly opt out. As for the families who were surprised by sticker shock, I did not inquire just how many pairs of Nike's, Adidas or Vans their kids also had.
Nonetheless, it serves as a nice lesson to all those foreign kids -- straight from the Medici playbook on patronage and currying favor, and how that, too, is part of the fabric on which our society is made.
for a terrific blog spearheading the Italian schools (in Italian), and in particular, the psychological reasoning behind the smocks...go visit:
A scuole di bugie (!)