Dad’s First Attempt At Dressing Up Day

To assist with the integration of the kids in the first few weeks of their school in Malaysia, its dressing up day and the children are asked to come dressed in either ‘traditional dress’ from their home nation or in the colours of their flag.

This is an easy one for a lot of the countries in Asia, they genuinely have ‘traditional clothes’ and to top it off, look amazing, something like this…

traditional asian dress

But what the hell is ‘traditional English clothing’? 

Like a ball gown or something?

Or something from Downton Abbey?

Or a maid from a million years ago?

english traditional dress

Not only is that not a good advert for traditional English life, I can’t imagine there are many shops that sell that stuff in Malaysia and to complicate matters further, this needs to be done in a week.

This is my first real Dad challenge. L already stands out in school given her blond hair and the fact she’s about a foot taller than her classmates. People are going to notice what she’s wearing.

This is also going to be a reflection on me, I’m not having her be ‘that kid‘, the one where people say ‘Poor girl, her Dad can’t be bothered to make an attempt‘.

So what’s my other option?

The English flag!

Of course. A red cross on a white background. Nice and simple

Thank you, St George, for having no imagination.

This is going to look brilliant, red body paint on her face and arms and then something red on her white t-shirt to complete the cross. 

In my head, I am sort of picturing a cuter, sweeter, less scary version of this Wayne Rooney effort (Former England footballer for those who don’t know)…

english flag wayne rooney

So I head to Daiso, an awesome shop in Asia It’s actually Japanese and everything in the store in Japan is 100 yen, a nice round number, so like a pound/dollar store. 

They’ve also opened up a store in Malaysia, same concept, but due to the exchange rate, the price is, a slightly less catchy, 5.34 Ringgits per item! Anyway, this shop is brilliant and sells everything…. except….red face paint.

On to Plan B.

I’ll just put the cross on the T-shirt. Something like this.

english flat t shirt

I haven’t got time to order one though, I was too busy basking in the glory of the face paint idea for three days. Whatever’s going to happen, has to happen today!

Could use paint, but then that would ruin the T-Shirt.

Hmmm, I wonder if everyone is having this problem?

Red felt! and a sewing kit! 10.68 ringgits later, I’m in business.

So with one evening to go, I get to work.

You know the age-old question of ‘how much red felt you can get for 5.34 ringgits in Malaysia’, well the answer quickly became apparent, not a lot, unfortunately.

Anyway, not to worry, let’s keep going, how bad it can look? After about an hour cutting and sewing, I’ve pricked my fingers so many times I realise I could have instead used the blood I’ve lost, to paint the flag on.

As I spend some time pondering whether I can get a refund for the felt, its too late time has run out. Plus given my recent blood loss, I’m feeling too light-headed to drive. L is asleep anyway, so I can’t try it on her. It’ll have to wait until morning. I’m feeling a sense of achievement though, I can’t imagine anyone else has gone to this much effort to dressing up day.

Morning comes and we get ready for school.

….and here it is, the grand unveiling…

red cross t-shirt

Hmmm, does that look like the English flag? Not really.  

As we get into school, the teacher agrees and shoots me down in one sentence.

‘Morning L, welcome to dressing up day, have you got a job at the red cross?’

red cross

I guess he has a point.

Ballgown and top hat it is next time!

I am a stay at home Dad, from England, living in Malaysia. Talking about how we survive the heat, the cultural differences, the lifestyle changes, the travel and lots more challenges that being a stay at home Dad in a foreign country brings.

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4 Responses

  1. H says:

    Next time, make her the Queen, with a petite handbag, going “I colonise you. And you. And you. And you….”

  2. Raihan says:

    Hahahah! Really enjoyed reading this!

  3. Ruth says:

    This is really funny, haha 😂

  4. Jemma says:

    This is very funny and my immediate thought when I saw the photo of your home made t-shirt was also the Red Cross!

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