or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › Waldorf › What is dressing Waldorf?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

What is dressing Waldorf?

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
I have been reading "Waldorf Education: A Family Guide" and they mention in one little section about dressing Waldorf style. What is that? It did mention in layers and wearing wool even in summer. I have been pondering this and thinking that maybe that depends on where you live. I can see if you live in the North it would be a good idea, but living in the desert southwest it seems a bit silly to wear wool undershirts when it can get over 100 degrees in the summer.
Anyway, thanks for the insite!

H
post #2 of 48
Yeah, in the desert southwest wool in the summer would indeed be silly. My daughter keeps the kids in wool underwear from the colder part of fall through spring, here in Vermont. They like it.

The other thing is a preference for natural fibers over synthetics. I'm a handspinner and can really feel the difference, so I rarely wear any synthetics, although I'm not a total fanatic about it. The concept is to keep children surrounded by stuff with life qualities--same thing as the wooden toys over plastic toys--synthetic fabrics are like wearing plastic clothes.
post #3 of 48
I understand the obvious preferences for natural fibers, but in reality, how does anyone find affordable woolens, even sweaters, for the very young?
I shop garage sales, salvation army, sales, for my kids, and it's REALLY hard to find that stuff.

As a result, I try to make sure that they are layered, have freedom of movement for comfortable play and are obviously free of commercial characters, logos, etc. For us, that often means a plain poly-fleece over a cotton t-shirt, but I don't stress that it's not wool.
post #4 of 48
Yes, the affordable thing is very difficult. My daughter only buys a few woolen undergarments and carefully preserves them. I think my grandson is wearing the same woolens his big sister wore and she has passed on the outgrown onesies to other friends who like wool.

Both of us knit. I found four skeins of wool sport yarn for $1.00 at a church sale. So far I've made my grandson a vest and now I'm starting a hat for his big sister. I also handspin my own yarn, but I can't say that is a big saving, frankly. I just do it cause I like to do it.

And my grandkids do wear fleece and other synthetics. Snowpants, for example, have got to be synthetic.

Oh yeah, my daughter has developed a nice technique for making mittens out of old wool sweaters. There are a lot of adult sweaters in used clothing shops that can be recycled into smaller garments, if you are crafty.

Do what works for you and don't angst about it!
post #5 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by royaloakmi View Post
I understand the obvious preferences for natural fibers, but in reality, how does anyone find affordable woolens, even sweaters, for the very young?
I shop garage sales, salvation army, sales, for my kids, and it's REALLY hard to find that stuff.

As a result, I try to make sure that they are layered, have freedom of movement for comfortable play and are obviously free of commercial characters, logos, etc. For us, that often means a plain poly-fleece over a cotton t-shirt, but I don't stress that it's not wool.
I totally agree with with this and would add that I think it's important for each family to make thier own choices about clothes. So while we do avoid logos etc, I would not be comfortable at a school that dictated how my children should dress. My experience, so far, is that our school is not a "Do it our way or get out," kind of place (In fact there is no one particular way that is pushed). If it was, we wouldn't be there.

I second Deborah: Do what works for you and don't angst about it.

post #6 of 48
Cotton is a natural affordable material and almost all of our clothes are cotton. No characters or writing, heavier cotton sweaters, and a few wool items.
post #7 of 48
Thread Starter 
So is it natural fibers? It also said something about layering. And a friend who had her dd in a Waldorf school has mentioned not having the house heat up alot and keeping the kids core warm with clothing... has anyone else heard of this?
Just curious, not stressing about it.

H
post #8 of 48
Yes, this is also talked about in the book Homemaking as a Social Art.
post #9 of 48
Getting a kid to wear wool can be tricky sometimes too. My eldest is very sensitive and no matter what wool undershirt I bought, it was always too scratchy and we had to return to cotton. I spent a lot of money on wool undershirts that weren't worn but once for maybe 5 minutes. Lucky for me, I could resell them to other families who didn't have this problem.

I think the layers is also something you have to consider the child too. Some kids have a lot of heat within and even in cold weather can't wear a lot of layers.
post #10 of 48
Thread Starter 
I feel for your child. I am so senstive to wool. So is my oldest. The only place I can wear it is on my feet or hands.

H
post #11 of 48
Same here, we are primarily a cotton family as the twins and myself cannot stand the scratchy-ness of wool.

I recently knitted a pair of kitty dolls using two different kinds of wool. One was so rough that despite the small size of the project, my right index finger that I use to help wrap the yarn around the needle went near-raw. My DS got the 'rough kitty', but he does not cuddle it to his face unlike the softer woolen kitten that his sister has.

Since our budget is super-tight, we have to take what we can get in terms of hand me downs, and we try to do our best in avoiding logos and cartoon characters (Though DS does have a hand me down baseball cap with a certain M-Mouse, he simply refers to it as 'The Mouse' as we do not mention it by name).

So as long as our family is dressed in breathable, comfortable and layerable generic clothing, I see no reason why this should be an issue AND the clothing is still a step away from the landfill.
post #12 of 48
I even tried expensive silk-wool blends that everyone guaranteed were super soft. Well to my eldest they were soft on top and itchy underneath!
post #13 of 48
At the WS I went to we totally mocked the kids and teachers from the local anthroposophic community who "dressed Waldorf." The attire consisted of scratchy-looking wool tights, mousy skirts and blouses and scarves/kerchiefs up top. Men had a little more leeway, favoring the nerdy/rumpled professor look with an emphasis on hand-knitted vests. Both sexes wore clunky leather shoes. You could spot the "anthropops" from a mile away. There was something so relentlessly conformist about these get-ups, so lacking in individual style.

I'm certainly all about using natural fabrics whenever possible. But I wouldn't say it's as a result of my Waldorf education...
post #14 of 48
I think the times have changed. I remember that look from the 60s and 70s, but the anthroposophists I know nowadays usually dress any old way they want--I know I do!
post #15 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
At the WS I went to we totally mocked the kids and teachers from the local anthroposophic community who "dressed Waldorf."
:
post #16 of 48
You all are describing a traditional way of dressing children in central Europe. Brings back memories!
post #17 of 48
Which is an interesting point about waldorf education in America--how much is Steiner and how much is central european lifestyle carried across the ocean? And, of course, how much is left-over hippie sixties and seventies stuff?

giggle...
post #18 of 48
Does style of clothing matter? Could it be a plain cotton polo shirt / hawaiin type shirt for a boy? or must it be a tshirt?
post #19 of 48
No, style is not important. The natural fibers are the big thing.
Deborah
post #20 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
Which is an interesting point about waldorf education in America--how much is Steiner and how much is central european lifestyle carried across the ocean? And, of course, how much is left-over hippie sixties and seventies stuff?

giggle...
In the kindergarten I went to in Hungary, we had a nature corner where we put things we picked up (fallen chestnuts and leaves and so forth), which from what I understand is also done in Waldorf schools. And the descriptions of "eurythmy" I've read are similar to the Dalcroze (originally Swiss) and Kodaly (originally Hungarian) methods of teaching music.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Waldorf
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at School › Waldorf › What is dressing Waldorf?