Where Do All The School Cardigans Go?

I have been a school mum for over 3 years now and I remain utterly baffled by one thing: where do all the cardigans go?

A school girl standing in front of a brick wall holding a chatterbox. She is wearing a green cardigan, white t-shirt and grey skirt and holding a green rucksack
A rare capture of the endanger green school cardigan

I send my children to school dutifully in their uniform including a cardigan when the weather is cooler and pretty much every time I collect them they are just wearing their t-shirt. On a good day the cardigan has been stuffed in their bag (one of the many reasons there is little point bothering to iron their school uniform), on a normal day I just sigh and say goodbye to another one.

My youngest is at the school nursery and they are generally good at checking if she has everything before she leaves, my eldest is another story. M is in Year 3 and of course I don’t expect the teachers to be keeping track of all their belongings at her age, but her history of misplacing cardigans go right back to when she started in Reception. 

Our life is complicated by after school clubs and alternate nights between her Dad’s house and here so we have never really had the option to check for missing items at collection each day, but the number of cardigans we have lost over her school career is outrageous. 

When M started school I naively bought her 2 cardigans. They didn’t last long. Over the last few years we have bought her well over 20 cardigans. At the beginning of the last school year we managed to lose one a week for the first month. I am grateful that our school allows plain uniform from the supermarket or I would be taking extreme measures to ensure they weren't lost. Like sewing it on to her t-shirt.

Where do they all go?

I wouldn’t say M is exceptionally careless for a child her age. She will take her cardigan off in the classroom when she is hot or at breaks and somehow they vanish. It’s not like they aren’t clearly named. We have name stickers that will not budge (unless you cut them off) so if the cardigans are found you would expect them to make their way back to her. This doesn’t happen. 

There is a box for unnamed lost property which I regularly go through, but her (named) cardigans are rarely in there. So where are they?

I’m left with a few options: one possibility is children are taking the wrong cardigans home and parents aren’t noticing or they decide to keep them anyway. The other option is that the school has a cardigan eating monster who prowls the building at night and devours misplaced clothing and quite probably other belongings.  Given the cardigans never turn up it seems likely that it’s either thieves or a monster. I don’t really want to believe the school has either of these.

There was a period where we were down to 1 cardigan and M would often forget to pick it up when we left the house, or she would leave it in the car. I was actually asked by the teacher to make sure she brought a cardigan in because she was getting cold in the classroom. It took all of my reserve not to say “But there must be hundreds of cardigans floating around the school”. I felt neglectful because she wasn’t adequately dressed for the weather. The next morning I seriously considered super gluing one on to her arms.

I know my children are not alone in their talents of losing cardigans, which only makes me more curious about where they all end up. If you see a clothes eating monster or a child leaving school wearing 6 cardigans I would really appreciate it if you could send me a message.

Many Thanks.

A baffled mum of 3


  1. Ahh! When my girls were at primary school they lost so many jumpers. The school jumpers were the one's with their logo on so it would cost about £25 a term to keep them clothed properly. At the end of the school year the school would bring out all the lost property and I would get them all back. It was ridiculous that the teachers wouldn't look through the lost property when the jumpers would first go missing or let parents look through it during the school year. Grr!

    1. I don't know if it's more annoying to get them back late or never at all, what a silly system


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