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Tessa's Summer Uniform
"I don't care! I don't
want to go shopping!" Tessa's foot stomped hard
on the pavement for emphasis.
"That's just too bad, young lady. Girls
that do as poorly as you in maths shouldn't be surprised to
find themselves in summer school. And since we need to get the
summer uniform now, we might as well get you kitted out for
autumn and avoid the crush." Her mother tugged firmly on
her arm. "I've had just about enough from you for this
week so I think you'd better behave."
Tessa crossed her arms sulkily and followed
her mother into the department store, still scowling and scuffing
her feet along the floor. Gillespie's and Craig wasn't where
she usually got her school clothes - her real school
only had a 'uniform' in the loosest sense of the word. But following
Tessa's last school report, her mum and dad had decided she
needed a more structured environment to help her prepare for
the A-level examinations. So, despite the exorbitant fees, they'd
decided she would start as a day student at the private girls'
school her mother had attended almost twenty years before.
Due to her alumni connection, St. Clare had
been happy to admit Tessa. However, because her marks in maths
had been so poor for the past four terms, the headmistress told
her parents that Tessa could only attend in the autumn if she
took a special intensive maths class over the summer. Poor Tessa
would have less than a week off all summer! She'd been sulking
Looking around the ground floor of G&C,
Tessa sneered a bit. Old lady clothes, she thought. Her mother
was chattering on and on about coming here with Nana when she
was a girl and how the two of them had always had tea and scrummy
"Like I care," muttered Tessa.
"What was that?" her mother said
a bit sharply, turning toward her daughter.
Tessa rolled her eyes just a bit, aware that
they were becoming the centre of attention. "Nothing, Mother."
Her mother looked at her a moment longer.
"That's good. Because I'm starting to remember what your
grandmother would have done if I'd brought home a report like
yours, young lady."
There was no escalator in this old building,
so the store was treated to the sound of the petulant thirteen-year-old
stomping up the stairs. The landing had row upon row of schoolchildren
in school pictures, all with neat hair and smart uniforms. Tessa
shuddered and wondered how long it would take to get kicked
out and back into her state school. Not long she hoped.
The upstairs was divided between boys' and
girls' uniforms with a school supplies section between the two.
The walls and racks were full of uniform skirts, blazers and
kilts while shelves placed higher on the walls held red, green
and silver footlockers. Tessa imagined what it must be like
to board at school. She turned to see a rack of regulation pyjamas
and knickers. My God, she thought. A prison for sure!! She crossed
her arms tighter.
The girls' uniform department was quiet and
a white-haired lady in sensible shoes hurried from behind the
counter to assist them. Tessa ignored the woman and stared at
"We need a complete uniform kit - summer,
winter and dress."
"Indeed?" said the woman. "And
which school would it be?"
"St. Clare. My daughter is starting there
The saleswoman directed them to the appropriate
rack while looking at Tessa appraisingly. "She's a bit
old to be starting off there."
The other woman nodded. "I started at
St. Clare when I was barely seven, and went until I went off
to university. But Tessa's been at the state school. Her father
and I have only just decided that at thirteen she needs more
rigour and structure."
Tessa glared at her mother. Why did this stranger
need to know all this information anyway? Just buy the stupid
uniform and get us out of here! She shifted her weight to her
other foot and sighed in a martyred fashion.
"Well, we'll get her kitted. Gillespie's
and Craig has been supplying St. Clare girls for more than fifty
years. So you must have bought some kilts here yourself, or
your mother did it for you."
Much to Tessa's annoyance, her mother nodded
in agreement and the two began to compare the current uniform
of kilt, shirt, blazer and tie with (from what Tessa could gather
anyway) the same uniform with the addition of a gymslip back
in the 'old days' when her mother was a girl. Another loud sigh
"You know the plaid of the St. Clare
kilt is still made just for the school by a mill in Glasgow."
Her mother smiled. "Still? With all the
plaids in Scotland I'd always been secretly glad that no-one
other than St. Clare girls wore this one." Her mother held
the kilt in question up to her daughter's waist. The girl stomped
her foot and smacked the hanger to the ground with her hand.
The saleswoman and Tessa's mother stared at the girl in surprise
while she stared sulkily at the floor.
"Can you just get my sizes and get us
the heck out of this place?" Tessa rolled her eyes for
impact, making it clear the trip down memory lane was tedious
in the extreme.
The saleswoman fixed on Tessa with a look
of intense disapproval. "I take it someone isn't as happy
about attending St. Clare as she should be." Uniform pieces
were pulled from racks with ringing hanger-clicks. "We
don't use sizes for uniforms, we use measurements. So if you'll
please go to the dressing area in the back, I'll come back and
take your measurements."
"Oh jeez! Okay okay." Tessa stomped
off to the back as the saleswoman handed her mother St. Clare's
'code' - a handbook detailing all the rules of the school including
the dress and regular plus gym uniform requirements.
Tessa's mother began to mentally tick off
the items needed. At first a worried frown crossed her face
at the thought of the cost involved. But after a moment she
remembered how much she'd spent over the course of last year
on school clothes for Tessa. Really, though the initial outlay
would be more, this would end up being less expensive, especially
since not everything would need to be bought new next year.
As the saleswoman followed Tessa back to the fitting room, Tessa's
mother gathered up gym shirts and shorts, knee socks and tights,
and two piles of school knickers, five green and five white.
She was just picking up some white cotton gym shorts when her
daughter's shrill voice interrupted her.
"Why do I need to undress anyway?"
The sound of Tessa's voice carried out from the fitting rooms.
Her mother was surprised at the spoiled sound of it. Had Tessa
always sounded that way? She laid the selections on the counter
and hurried to the fitting room.
When she walked in and saw the saleswoman
holding her tape measure at waist level before her cross-armed
daughter, the mother reacted, grasped Tessa's elbow and landed
two loud smacks on the seat of the girl's jeans. Dropping her
arm, she scolded Tessa.
"I don't want to hear another word of
argument out of you today, miss. If I do, you're going to find
out what used to happen to me when I behaved like a spoiled
Tessa was dumbstruck. Neither of her parents
had ever raised a hand to her. In fact, she knew her
father was strongly opposed to the spanking of children. And
yet here was her mother smacking her bottom in a store. In front
of a saleswoman no less. Vowing to tell her father about her
mother's humiliating behaviour, Tessa unsnapped her jeans and
pulled them and her shoes off, standing before her mother and
the saleswoman in just her T-shirt, panties, and socks.
The saleswoman smiled with approval at Tessa's
mother, pleased to see the indulged brat get taken down a peg.
This one is surely a handful, she thought to herself as she
measured the girl's waist, hips and shoulders.
"If you could leave some room in the
kilt and blazer for her to grow, that would be great."
Tessa shot her mother a look as the saleswoman
agreed. "Great. So now I have to wear clothes that don't
even fit me? Why even bring me? You could have just grabbed
something off the racks big enough for any old cow and pinned
me into it." She crossed her arms again as the saleswoman
finished the measuring and went out to get some kilts and blazers
to try for fit. As the woman left, Tessa swallowed hard as her
mother crossed the room, took her by the shoulders and tilted
her chin so the girl was forced to look her in the eye.
"Perhaps I haven't made myself clear,
Tessa. We are going to buy this uniform today. If you
persist in behaving like a spoiled six-year-old, I'm going to
take you across my lap and give you a bottom smacking right
here in this dressing room. Do you understand?"
Tessa glared at her mother. "I'll tell
Daddy. You're not allowed to hit me."
"Being back here has made me question
my disregard for the old ways, of the traditional schools and
uniforms. And discipline. That was the way I was brought up,
miss. Your father might not agree with me that you need me to
get Nana's old hairbrush and put it to use on your bottom, let
alone that he should have caned you for that maths report the
way your grandfather would have done me, but at the very least
you'll have been spanked for your behaviour today, whatever
he thinks of it."
Tessa made a small noise of protest.
"So do you understand me?"
As Tessa said yes, the two realised the saleswoman
with her arms laden with uniforms was in the doorway. And had
been standing there for some time. Tessa's face burned at the
thought of what she must have overheard. The woman bustled in
and snatched a kilt out of the pile. Ignoring Tessa's offer
to do it herself, the woman wrapped the kilt around the girl
and fastened the buckles. It hung to just past the tops of Tessa's
"I guess that you can take this up a
bit? The waist has a good three inches of growth room just by
loosening those buckles. And of course the buckles can be moved
another two inches or so too. She may well finish at St. Clare
in just this very kilt."
Tessa thought the kilt would be too big unless
she was going to end up on the nation's Olympic basketball team,
but bit back a comment about it brushing her ankles. Time enough
for those comments when her mother was sane again. The blazer
however was another matter.
Objectively, Tessa admitted that the St. Clare
uniform was striking, the black, red and grey plaid very distinctive
and smart. She also liked the black blazer trimmed with red
braid and even the red and black crested tie. Compared to some
of the schools with powder-blue and brown, this was a cool uniform
('cool' on a relative scale of course). But the idea of wearing
a blazer big enough for her father made Tessa's pout come back.
"Can't I have one that actually fits
The saleswoman answered. "You'll grow
some this summer, miss. And some more in the autumn. If it just
fit you now, you'd be back here by Christmas for a new one.
"But this is too big! It's yards around
"We'll get it fitted. But this is a uniform,
dearie, not some fashion plate."
Tessa glared at the floor but didn't say anything
more as the saleswoman made a series of chalk marks on the black
blazer, indicating places for tucks. Finally it came off.
"Now take off that T-shirt and we'll
try a summer uniform."
Tessa groaned. Weren't they done
yet?? Still, with resignation, Tessa pulled off her shirt and
stood shivering a bit in her panties. Her mother opened a plastic
package and passed Tessa a sleeveless half-shirt.
"What's this?" Tessa held it up,
"It's a half-shirt, " her mother
replied. "You wear them at St. Clare under your school
shirt instead of a bra."
Tessa shrugged it on, trying to ignore the
fact that she felt like she was wearing a child's underwear.
Catch her wearing this to school.
Tessa had resolved to be quiet and compliant,
to just get this horror of a day over with. But then the saleswoman
entered with a summer uniform dress. Not for her, Tessa thought
as she looked at the red and white gingham-checked garment.
Surely not. Surely even her mother could see that.
"No way!! No way no way NO WAY!"
Tessa stomped her socked foot for emphasis. "There is no
way in hell I'm even trying that 'Wizard of Oz' reject
on, let alone wearing it to school. For-fucking-GET
"Well, she could wear the autumn uniform
every day -" the saleswoman started.
Tessa's mother glared at her daughter with
a look of grim determination. "Thank you. But Tessa will
be trying this on and wearing it to school every day this summer.
So we'll need four more of them. If you'll just excuse us for
a moment please, I think I can change her attitude on this subject."
"Like bloody hell you will." Tessa
made a grab for her jeans as the saleswoman excused herself
with a smirk.
Tessa's mother took her daughter's wrist firmly
and tossed the jeans over to the corner.
"Now then. I believe we're going to have
a discussion, me and you." She seated herself and pulled
the surprised thirteen-year-old across her lap.
"Mother!!! No!!!" Tessa wailed a
bit, silenced by the feeling of her mother's palm coming down
firmly on her panty-clad bottom.
"Yes, Tessa!" smacking her daughter
still more firmly. "I would never have thought you'd behave
in a way that would require me to do this, but you have. I'm
very disappointed in you." Her hand smacked down firmly
over and over. Despite herself, Tessa began to whimper at the
"When I get done here today, I don't
think we're going to have any more trouble with this little
girl. Nor any more foul language either." She smacked more
firmly, catching the tops of Tessa's thighs not covered by the
girl's panties. Tell-tale sniffles and some kicks were her answer,
so she paused. "You're going to get a little girl spanking
here today so you're going to get it on your bare bottom."
Tessa froze at her mother's words, having
vowed to stay silent so the saleswoman (whom she was sure was
listening from nearby) couldn't hear her. Her mother slipped
her fingers into the elastic and pulled the panties to Tessa's
knees. Then, wrapping her arm firmly around Tessa's waist, she
began paddling the girl's bare bottom and thighs with her hand.
From just outside the fitting room, the saleswoman
smiled a bit to herself at the sound of palm contacting bare
skin, a sound that thirty years of school uniform sales had
made all too familiar. She'd worried that the few token smacks
on the girl's panties were going to be all - clearly not enough
for such a marred child. From the sound of it, however, the
mother knew what she was doing.
A minute later she heard the sounds of whimpered
pleas to stop, but the spanks continued. The girl broke down
and began to cry (and to kick from the sounds of the scolding)
and promised to behave herself. Between a last dozen or so very
hard smacks Tessa was made to promise again and told to apologise
to the saleswoman. The crying girl agreed.
Hearing this, the saleswoman moved away from
the fitting room and took down another four of the St. Clare
dresses. She guessed Miss Tessa would be glad the skirts hung
well below the tops of her surely pink and red thighs. About
to turn toward the dressing room, she smiled an evil grin and
picked up a red-ribbon-trimmed boater. The hat was no longer
mandatory for St. Clare girls, but had been required with the
summer uniform when Tessa's mother was a girl. The saleswoman
chuckled a bit as she imagined Tessa forced to wear it, at least
on her first day.
A half-an-hour later, a woman and girl sat
having tea and biscuits in the Gillespie's and Craig cafe. The
woman was surrounded by shopping bags, each with the store's
distinctive label on it. The bags contained everything a child
starting school would need. The girl sitting with her was demurely
dressed in a red gingham dress, white ankle socks and red sandals.
A red-trimmed summer blazer lay carefully folded on the seat
next to her.
Tessa sipped her tea and nibbled her biscuit
as she sat carefully on the hard wooden chair. Her fingers touched
the ends of the ribbon hanging down from the straw boater on
her head. Red of course.
After all, red always has been St.
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