How to Dress Your Child For a School Shadow Day

A crucial part of the private and charter school selection process, shadow days give you and your child a chance to see classes, events, and other things that happen at the school. Frequently, students are paired with a student who shows the student the school. Dressing your child appropriately will give a good impression on those at the school.


  1. When applying, ask those whom you're contacting for the dress code. Both the chances of and the formality of a dress code increase the older the applying child is. If there is a dress code, be sure to follow it to the letter.
  2. Plan the child's outfit one or two days before. For young children, it can be helpful to lay the clothes out the night before so changing into them is easy.
  3. If there is no specific dress code, exercise your best judgement and use the ecosystem of the school to determine the best dress code. Even if students at the school do not dress up for school or wear a uniform, your child should still dress fairly nice, even more so for exclusive schools. Often for middle and high school boys a perfectly acceptable dress code may be a polo shirt (worn tucked in for neatness), nice slacks, a belt and dressy shoes. For girls it varies more so, but a nice skirt and blouse is appropriate for older children, while dresses or pinafores work for younger girls.
  4. If the dress code is specific, such as "semi-formal" or "church dress", then dress up to a reasonable degree. For boys, this means a shirt and tie, dress slacks and shoes, and a belt (jackets may be necessary at posher schools). For girls, a dress is standard.
  5. Check over your son/daughter one last time at home and before you enter the building. Make sure hair is neat, collars are down, shirts tucked, and the dress code (set by either you or the school) is met.
  6. Hope your child has a great time!



Things You'll Need

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