Etiquette Hell

A Civil World. Off-topic discussions on a variety of topics. Guests, register for forum membership to see all the boards. => Trans-Atlantic Knowledge Exchange => Topic started by: Katana_Geldar on May 01, 2013, 06:42:12 PM

Title: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Katana_Geldar on May 01, 2013, 06:42:12 PM
I'd like to know the opinions of EHellers on school uniforms. I'm in Australia and I'm in favoured them. One advantage is they make kids easily identifiable when not at school and another is at it equalises all students, they don't have to worry about fashions and trends and neither do parents.

Thoughts anyone?
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: ladyknight1 on May 01, 2013, 06:45:26 PM
I think it depends on the culture of the community. If one starts in kindergarten with uniforms, then it is the norm, and easier for families to buy the uniforms rather than a wardrobe of other school clothes. Only private schools have uniforms in my community.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: sammycat on May 01, 2013, 06:56:48 PM
I'm in Australia too, and I love uniforms.

As OP mentioned, it saves having to keep up with the latest fashions, equalises kids etc. Also saves having to decide what to wear each day. It also means there are at least a few things in their kids' wardrobes that parents will get value for money on, as they're worn constantly.

If the outfits I see the kids, particularly the high school girls, wearing on free dress days are indicative of what their choices would be each day if uniforms weren't compulsory, then l am 1000000% glad free dress isn't everyday.  :o

I recently applied for a job where I was informed a uniform was supplied  - very nice mix of corporate skirts, pants, blouses.  I loved the idea, as I hate deciding on outfits each day.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Thipu1 on May 01, 2013, 06:58:46 PM
We didn't have school uniforms until I was in High School but I like the idea.

Uniforms may be expensive to buy but they do eliminate  a lot of angst and disruption both at home and in the classroom.  They can also give students a sense of unity and school spirit. 

Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Lindee on May 01, 2013, 07:05:26 PM
I always wore a uniform and so did my children but my younger sister had a year where they tried a non uniform policy for 6th formers (17 year olds) and she said it was a nightmare. Female Dog comments from the richer students if you wore an outfit too often, having to spend her limited clothes budget on school suitable clothes that she wouldn't chose to wear outside (length and style restrictions) the daily decision on what to wear. I disliked my uniform from the 60's in the UK, shirt and tie, ghastly bottle green tights and that stupid hat but at least everyone else was wearing it and I think my children's school in Australia, school logo polo shirt, navy slacks/trackpants or skirt and sweat shirt got it pretty right for comfort, cost and smartness.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on May 01, 2013, 07:25:48 PM
As a kid who constantly got bullied about my wardrobe growing up (K-Mart Kid was an insult I heard often even though I didn't have a single article of clothing from there) I often begged my parents to enroll me in one of the parochial schools.  I loved the idea of  going to a private school with the uniforms and everyone wearing the same thing. 

My mother liked to dress me like a mini 40 year old. Basically like her.  Add in a short hairstyle that was very popular amongst 40 year old women in the  90's and I got teased a LOT for my style in middle school. 

But they wouldn't.  Character building, or something. 
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: MommyPenguin on May 01, 2013, 07:27:53 PM
I didn't have to wear a uniform (only private school kids did), and wished I had!  I hated the whole clothing thing, trying to understand fashion, the treatment kids got from other kids, etc.  Of course, I've heard people say that since they go to a school with uniforms, kids have to find another way to choose who the fashionable kids are and who aren't, so they'll go with who pays their tuition versus who is there on a scholarship/voucher (if it's private school) or what-not.  But I guess kids left to their own devices in large groups always try to find a way of sorting themselves into groups/cliques.  I like the look of uniforms in general, too, although my neighbor went to a private school with a uniform that was just boring and not very cute or flattering at all, poor thing.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: camlan on May 01, 2013, 07:31:33 PM
I went to both public schools and Catholic schools growing up in the US. No uniform in the public schools, uniforms in the Catholic schools.

I liked the uniform. Easy and simple to get dressed in the morning. No one was judged by their clothing. And in the long run, it's probably cheaper, as you don't need nearly as much clothing. I think I had one jumper and five shirts in high school--that's all I wore for two years. Plus so many pairs of navy blue knee socks that they didn't all wear out until after I graduated college.

There's nothing wrong with wearing your own clothes to school. But uniforms can remove some of the status of the students and level the playing field a little.

There's also the psychological aspects of a uniform. You put a uniform on to do a certain job. For students, the uniform means that they are there to learn. You are part of a group, all doing the same thing. It can help bonding in some ways.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: camlan on May 01, 2013, 07:33:05 PM
I didn't have to wear a uniform (only private school kids did), and wished I had!  I hated the whole clothing thing, trying to understand fashion, the treatment kids got from other kids, etc.  Of course, I've heard people say that since they go to a school with uniforms, kids have to find another way to choose who the fashionable kids are and who aren't, so they'll go with who pays their tuition versus who is there on a scholarship/voucher (if it's private school) or what-not.  But I guess kids left to their own devices in large groups always try to find a way of sorting themselves into groups/cliques.  I like the look of uniforms in general, too, although my neighbor went to a private school with a uniform that was just boring and not very cute or flattering at all, poor thing.

Even in Catholic school, with the nuns breathing down our backs, people found ways to differentiate. Different hair styles. Colored ribbons. How they wore their name tags. Folding down the tops of their socks.

You'd be surprised at how kids can alter a seemingly identical uniform.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Sharnita on May 01, 2013, 07:34:19 PM
As somebody who has taught with and without them - emphayic yes. I haye having to deal with shirts imploring society to "Free Boosie" or homemade RIP gear yhay may or may not memorialize a gang member. That says nothing of the MILF sweatshirt, cleavage to the belt line, teasing the kids who can't afford brand name clothes ...
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Thipu1 on May 01, 2013, 08:01:56 PM
  In NYC, uniforms are becoming more common.  They're often simple things like polo shirts in a specific color and chinos or navy slacks but they do help students focus on their work instead of obvious status symbols. 

Yes, there are always ways the 'cool kids' will differentiate themselves but uniforms go a long way towards leveling the field.     
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Iris on May 01, 2013, 08:11:17 PM
I think they work well for the kids. Sometimes it gets a bit OTT if I'm honest, and I don't agree with all aspects of the uniform policy at my current school, but it's chosen by the parents so I guess that's what they want.

Although it has led to some interesting conversations with kids; a lot of them genuinely don't understand the concept that I have 'school clothes' just like they do even though it's not actually a uniform as such.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Nibsey on May 01, 2013, 08:25:11 PM
I like the idea, in theory.

But in practice I still get nightmares over ironing the god awful pleats on my skirt. I also didn't particularly enjoy the nickname of Greenfly being shouted down the street at students of my school due to the all green uniform.  ::)
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: SiotehCat on May 01, 2013, 08:38:33 PM
I do not like school uniforms.

My DS went to an elementary school for two years that had uniforms. It was from Pre K-1st grade, so he was still quite young. It was fine then. Now that he is much older, I would not be okay with school uniforms.

I don't think it gives kids a chance to have their own style and personality.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Jones on May 01, 2013, 08:52:20 PM
I am against them too. For one thing, I want my kids to be individuals with the ability to dress themselves within rules (certain hemline lengths, etc.) but still be true to their own choices. I expect someday they'll work for an employer like mine, who says employees must buy their own clothes but they must fit these parameters. If they work for a place that requires uniforms, then coolio, but at least they'll have some practice picking and wearing appropriate clothing day after day, mixing and matching in different combos, and (eventually--high school) budgeting their clothing purchase.

For another, the uniforms sold in my area--private school only--are wildly expensive for my income level. Two uniforms cost the equivalent of what I spend at yard sales/consignment for a week of clothing. I expect my kids will want something nicer as they get older, but for now if I can buy something that can be worn for multiple uses for less than a one-use-only set of clothing, I certainly will. I also would prefer to not have to wash two uniforms twice a week and have to iron them, etc. as well.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: katycoo on May 01, 2013, 08:57:22 PM
I loved having a uniform.  One less thing to worry about amongst all the other teen angst.  And so much cheaper for my parents.  I was amazed at how few clothes I had once I finished school as I just didn't need them!

I don't think it gives kids a chance to have their own style and personality.

You know, its amazing how much style and personality you can still inject into a uniform.  It almost forced them to be more creative rather than just going along with a trend.

I am against them too. For one thing, I want my kids to be individuals with the ability to dress themselves within rules (certain hemline lengths, etc.) but still be true to their own choices. I expect someday they'll work for an employer like mine, who says employees must buy their own clothes but they must fit these parameters. If they work for a place that requires uniforms, then coolio, but at least they'll have some practice picking and wearing appropriate clothing day after day, mixing and matching in different combos, and (eventually--high school) budgeting their clothing purchase.

I still had plenty of capacity for this.  I still had to make appropriate choices for church, and on free-dress days.  I still saved and bought clothes for weekend wear.  I don't think any of this took me by suprise on leaving school.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: SiotehCat on May 01, 2013, 09:03:05 PM
I loved having a uniform.  One less thing to worry about amongst all the other teen angst.  And so much cheaper for my parents.  I was amazed at how few clothes I had once I finished school as I just didn't need them!

I don't think it gives kids a chance to have their own style and personality.

You know, its amazing how much style and personality you can still inject into a uniform.  It almost forced them to be more creative rather than just going along with a trend.


I am against them too. For one thing, I want my kids to be individuals with the ability to dress themselves within rules (certain hemline lengths, etc.) but still be true to their own choices. I expect someday they'll work for an employer like mine, who says employees must buy their own clothes but they must fit these parameters. If they work for a place that requires uniforms, then coolio, but at least they'll have some practice picking and wearing appropriate clothing day after day, mixing and matching in different combos, and (eventually--high school) budgeting their clothing purchase.

I still had plenty of capacity for this.  I still had to make appropriate choices for church, and on free-dress days.  I still saved and bought clothes for weekend wear.  I don't think any of this took me by suprise on leaving school.

I bolded the part that I am responding to.

I think that really depends on the school. My niece goes to a school that wears uniforms and there is very little that she is allowed to do to show her style and personality. She is a very creative girl, but she isnt allowed to show that side. At least, not in her wardrobe.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Yvaine on May 01, 2013, 09:10:40 PM
And it's possible to be creative as a teen without uniforms to tinker with--my mom got me into thrifting when I was in high school and I got a lot of practice mixing and matching things to try to look good without any of the items being the latest trend pieces.

The worst of both worlds, I think, is the way some schools do it, which is to have a "uniform" that is not really a uniform but a dictated list of pieces that you have to go find on your own. So instead of having all the uniforms come from the same supplier, Richie Rich's parents are buying him a blue polo shirt and black slacks at Neiman Marcus and Patti Poor's parents are buying her a blue polo shirt and black slacks at Kmart, and everyone can tell the difference, so you've enforced the uniformity without erasing the class distinctions.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: guihong on May 01, 2013, 09:12:03 PM
I'm OK with uniforms IF the pieces are readily available through Target, WalMart, etc.  My son attended grade school where the "uniform" was navy or khaki slacks and collared shirts in solid colors.  Everything was easy to find (and there is a large uniform store in my city), plus outgrown parts were always turning up at thrifts.

I sent my daughter to 6th grade at a school with a uniform shirt-only available at the school for $17  :o :o.  Yeah, she only went there for one year.

ETA: I see Yvaine's point but it never seemed an issue at our school.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Yvaine on May 01, 2013, 09:13:59 PM
I'm OK with uniforms IF the pieces are readily available through Target, WalMart, etc.  My son attended grade school where the "uniform" was navy or khaki slacks and collared shirts in solid colors.  Everything was easy to find (and there is a large uniform store in my city), plus outgrown parts were always turning up at thrifts.

I sent my daughter to 6th grade at a school with a uniform shirt-only available at the school for $17  :o :o.  Yeah, she only went there for one year.

That's a good point that argues against what I was ranting about, actually--if the official uniform is prohibitively expensive, one from Walmart would be preferable! I definitely think that if schools are going to mandate a uniform, they need to think about the cost burden they're putting on people.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: katycoo on May 01, 2013, 09:18:13 PM
I think that really depends on the school. My niece goes to a school that wears uniforms and there is very little that she is allowed to do to show her style and personality. She is a very creative girl, but she isnt allowed to show that side. At least, not in her wardrobe.

You're very right, I'm sure.  I went to a public school which was quite flexible with hair, jewellery and to a degree, how you wore your uniform.  I'm sure they'd have preferred that not to be the case but it was more of a 'pick your battles' thing.

I still, personally, feel that uniforms bring more benefits that detriments - particularly to students already more prone to be picked on at school.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Katana_Geldar on May 01, 2013, 09:19:26 PM
Most schools have a uniform shop where good quality used uniforms can be sold or purchased. Uniforms are also rather hay and can last several years, providing there is room in them for growth.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Sharnita on May 01, 2013, 09:21:18 PM
I'm OK with uniforms IF the pieces are readily available through Target, WalMart, etc.  My son attended grade school where the "uniform" was navy or khaki slacks and collared shirts in solid colors.  Everything was easy to find (and there is a large uniform store in my city), plus outgrown parts were always turning up at thrifts.

I sent my daughter to 6th grade at a school with a uniform shirt-only available at the school for $17  :o :o.  Yeah, she only went there for one year.

ETA: I see Yvaine's point but it never seemed an issue at our school.

I agree with you.  When we did have uniforms I would always end up getting somebody a shirt or two.  Often because they would be kind of on their own with laundry and such and so the shirts they had would get noticably ragged.  Because we could get affordable shirts a couple of us would get a shirt or two a piece so the kid could look fresh part way through the year.  We also had one girl who had really grown in size since the previous year and her parent/guardian hadn't or couldn't bought her new shirts.  With shirts inexpensively priced we were able to outfit her with something that fit before teasing got too bad.  If the required shirts were too expensive there would be no way we could have stepped in the gap.  Actually, having uniforms tended to allow us a pretext to step in to help kids some times while preserving their pride in a way that would have been more difficult if their had been no uniforms.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Bluenomi on May 01, 2013, 09:24:28 PM
Aussie here!

I liked having a uniform at school. It meant I didn't need to worry about what to wear in the mornings and did cut down on the having to be trendy factor. I suspect it also cost my parents less since while they weren't cheap, I didn't need a new one very often and it saved buying lots of every day clothes.

As a parent I like uniforms. I enrolled DD into school yesterday and being a public school they have uniform tops that are optional and you can get whatever bottoms you like as long as they are in the required range of colours. The encorage school colours, especially for excursions and I'm all for that.

My school colours were brown and maroon (aren't all Aussie catholic school) but thankfully DD gets bright blue and orange (hi vis!)
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Iris on May 01, 2013, 09:33:11 PM
I think that really depends on the school. My niece goes to a school that wears uniforms and there is very little that she is allowed to do to show her style and personality. She is a very creative girl, but she isnt allowed to show that side. At least, not in her wardrobe.

You're very right, I'm sure.  I went to a public school which was quite flexible with hair, jewellery and to a degree, how you wore your uniform.  I'm sure they'd have preferred that not to be the case but it was more of a 'pick your battles' thing.

I still, personally, feel that uniforms bring more benefits that detriments - particularly to students already more prone to be picked on at school.

Back in the day my (public) school was extremely strict about jewelry, hair ties, polished shoes etc. So we decorated our bags  ;D. Kids that *want* to express themselves (because not all do) find a way to express themselves no matter what ime.

Of course we had fantastic art, writing, drama and music programs so there was plenty of scope there, too.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 01, 2013, 09:35:40 PM
Growing up, I had no exposure to uniforms and thought of them as a means to subvert individualization or ad an elitist way to exclude others. I remember a rather heated discussion in college in the subject.

When my DD was 2 her daycare decided uniforms were to be required for all kids 2 and up. I strongly voiced my objections but lost the battle. Since I loved the daycare I decided to suck it up plus DH was not as opposed as I was. The cost was shocking but I realized that was because I went overboard in buying.

I learned to love uniforms. By 4 years old, I was happily grabbing items off the recycle rack at our school and bringing DDs cast offs up for another child. DD was still able to develop a personal style in uniform and a most definite one for her non-school clothes. There was no conflicts with getting dressed in the mornings.

DD started in a public school in 1st grade. They had a uniform of either navy or khaki bottoms with a white, navy, or green polo. Or the girls could wear a navy or khaki jumper dress. We could buy any brand so wasn't tied to one uniform manufacturer so cost was lower.  Again there was enough flexibility that DD could create her own style. This school had a wide variety of economic incomes so they had a policy of no logos showing which reduced teasing about one child in a real Polo while another was wearing Walmart brand.

In 6th grade we switched school districts and for the first time DD did not have a school mandated uniform. But instead she ended up with a peer mandated uniform.  ;) She us a senior now. I know over the years when she's been running late but still trying to put the right outfit together she's wished for uniforms. I feel my clothing bill would have been lower during the highschool years if she'd worn uniforms. I know I don't wear the same thing more than twice in a month, so I didn't expect her too. With uniforms, no one but her would have known.

I definitely understand the value uniforms can bring to a school and feel a little silly about how militant I was in my non-uniform stance. I don't think they hinder free expression for the majority of kids, just encourages them to express their individuality in a different way.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: SiotehCat on May 01, 2013, 09:42:45 PM
I think that really depends on the school. My niece goes to a school that wears uniforms and there is very little that she is allowed to do to show her style and personality. She is a very creative girl, but she isnt allowed to show that side. At least, not in her wardrobe.

You're very right, I'm sure.  I went to a public school which was quite flexible with hair, jewellery and to a degree, how you wore your uniform.  I'm sure they'd have preferred that not to be the case but it was more of a 'pick your battles' thing.

I still, personally, feel that uniforms bring more benefits that detriments - particularly to students already more prone to be picked on at school.

Back in the day my (public) school was extremely strict about jewelry, hair ties, polished shoes etc. So we decorated our bags  ;D. Kids that *want* to express themselves (because not all do) find a way to express themselves no matter what ime.

Of course we had fantastic art, writing, drama and music programs so there was plenty of scope there, too.

I don't think kids should have to "find" ways to express themselves.

I just don't see many benefits in making children all dress alike. The children that have money will still have nicer looking uniforms. They won't be so worn, because they can buy new ones often. And often times, they can buy better brands of uniform.

Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: katycoo on May 01, 2013, 09:47:28 PM
I don't think kids should have to "find" ways to express themselves.

I just don't see many benefits in making children all dress alike. The children that have money will still have nicer looking uniforms. They won't be so worn, because they can buy new ones often. And often times, they can buy better brands of uniform.

At my school, there were "brands' of uniform.  And I did not notice any 'class issues' with people who wore newer uniforms.  In fact, faded and worn in was the trend.  You didn't want to look sqeakly crisp and new.

And I hate to break it to you, but expression doesn't just happen.  People "find" their own expression whether they have a whole outfit to work with or not.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Jones on May 01, 2013, 10:42:06 PM
In the other thread, I saw it is standard that someone who is wearing a school uniform--outside of school hours, away from school grounds--represents that school with their actions. I would...not appreciate that, as a child, teen or adult. We all do things we may not be proud of, especially when we are young and our think-it-through hasn't developed yet, and I'd have a huge problem being disciplined at school for something that had nothing to do with said school and, perhaps, I'd already been disciplined for at home, or at a store.

As an adult, I have seen people disciplined for conduct while in a labeled uniform or labeled truck while on company business. The only time I've seen someone affected by off-hours conduct is when the conduct is observed, personally, by other coworkers, clients or supervisors. Granted, some jobs may hold off-hours employees to a higher standard, but perhaps that's why I don't have one of those jobs.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: katycoo on May 01, 2013, 10:49:22 PM
In the other thread, I saw it is standard that someone who is wearing a school uniform--outside of school hours, away from school grounds--represents that school with their actions. I would...not appreciate that, as a child, teen or adult. We all do things we may not be proud of, especially when we are young and our think-it-through hasn't developed yet, and I'd have a huge problem being disciplined at school for something that had nothing to do with said school and, perhaps, I'd already been disciplined for at home, or at a store.

As an adult, I have seen people disciplined for conduct while in a labeled uniform or labeled truck while on company business. The only time I've seen someone affected by off-hours conduct is when the conduct is observed, personally, by other coworkers, clients or supervisors. Granted, some jobs may hold off-hours employees to a higher standard, but perhaps that's why I don't have one of those jobs.

I agree - but I also think it would be a learning experience.  Most students don't make that mistake twice.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: sammycat on May 01, 2013, 11:13:26 PM
Most schools have a uniform shop where good quality used uniforms can be sold or purchased. Uniforms are also rather hay and can last several years, providing there is room in them for growth.

My younger DS didn't really grow much from grade 2 to grade 7 :-\ and I bought his uniforms a size larger assuming he's grow into them over the next year or 2. He was still wearing the same uniform (grade 2) when he graduated grade 7. So he was very economical. ;D
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Dindrane on May 02, 2013, 12:12:29 AM
I attended public school in the US, and wore uniforms for some of the years I was in school (but mostly didn't wear them).

My middle school started off with a relatively strict dress code when I was in 6th grade, and decided to institute uniforms when I was in 7th grade. The uniform consisted polo shirts purchased from the school (with logos, and in the oh-so-lovely school colors of bright red, bright purple, white, or black), khaki bottoms that were supposed to be specific brands (although that rule wasn't ever really enforced), and sweatshirts purchased from the school (that also had the logo, and were either red or black).

In theory, I didn't necessarily think the uniforms were a terrible idea. They relaxed some parts of the dress code when they introduced the uniform, so that was a plus. I didn't have any particular objection to wearing the same clothing as everyone else, and it certainly made getting dressed easier in the morning.

What I objected to was that the polo shirts and sweatshirts that had to be purchased from the school were cheap in quality, and more expensive than they ought to have been. As a result, I only had like 3 shirts and had to do a ridiculous amount of laundry. I also objected to khaki bottoms specifically. I started getting my period when I was in 7th grade, and as is common with lots of girls just starting, had no ability to predict when I would get it. I had multiple situations myself (and witnessed several more) where I ended up with stained pants or shorts because my period surprised me. It was made worse by the fact that I was lucky to have time to use the bathroom once in the average school day. I once had to beg a teacher to give me a bathroom pass (during a class called "enrichment", which translated to "do your homework or amuse yourself or whatever") so I could take care of a period emergency after the inside legs of my shorts were already massively stained. Given a choice, I'd have been in jeans or at least dark pants to avoid some of the embarrassment.

I also had very few clothing options outside of school, and when I started high school where there was no uniform. I'm sure my parents saved some money on my clothing while I was wearing a uniform, because I wore the same set of clothing for two years. But they spent all that they saved and then some once I was back to no uniforms and realized I had nothing to wear. Had I been able to spread out my clothing purchases over the two year period, I probably would have bought less (because I would have liked what I bought more). Instead, I bought a ton of new clothes when I started high school, but ended up not liking a lot of it because I was going for quantity and didn't have the luxury of waiting around for clothes I really liked to be available in stores.

I just really hate that I spent so much of my adolescence feeling like I looked awful. The colors available in my middle school's uniforms looked awful on me, and my khaki shorts/pants were both unflattering and (by the time I was in 8th grade) too short. Outside of school, I had very little to choose from. It took me most (possibly all) of high school to really settle into clothing styles that actually looked good on me. Teenagers have to deal with enough self-image problems already, and I really think that my brief stint with uniforms made mine worse.

The whole thing might have been better if I'd been in uniforms for my whole school career, or at least continued wearing them once I started. But having experienced a strict dress code/uniforms in middle school, and a pretty lax dress code in high school, I preferred high school. People wore inappropriate clothing at both schools, but I was a heck of a lot more comfortable (physically and with my self-image) when I got to pick out what to wear each morning.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Library Dragon on May 02, 2013, 12:24:45 AM
As someone bullied throughout school over my clothes I would have loved a uniform. 

DS1 wore a uniform 1-3 grades (when we moved the closest Catholic school was in the next county).  In high school he opted for his own uniform of khakis and polos.  In the earlier grades we could go to Sears and pick up pants and shirts. 

DS2 attended our new parish school from grades 2-8.  It was great.  A lot of time saved each morning getting dressed.  He could wear his khaki long pants or shorts, long sleeve or short sleeve polo in white or green.  No logos allowed.  Girls did have a skirt option.

Only having to buy 2-3 pairs of pants and 3-5 shirts kepts clothes costs down.  Used uniform sales at the end and beginning of each school we're also helpful. 

I can guarantee that uniforms did not stifle self expression.  Students poured creativity into the manga society, band, sports, drama, debate club., etc. 
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Ereine on May 02, 2013, 12:57:17 AM
We didn't have uniforms and they seemed like something exotic that happens in other countries. We also had no idea that bonding with the school was supposed to be important, no lectures on how our behavior affects the school's reputation or a dress code. We were just there to be taught, what school it was wasn't really relevant. It does seem that schools in some countries are more about all aspects of life, our schools seem to emphasize just the learning and children go elsewhere for hobbies, especially sports.

I'm sure that uniforms can be useful but as my whole country survives well without them (though it's possible that some of the few private schools have them, I haven't heard of any) it doesn't seem that essential to me. Nor does it always follow that there will be bullying because of clothes, at least there really wasn't in my school (which might be the sole exception of course). I was teased for some things but never because my clothes tended to be pretty bizarre and there wasn't any emphasis on designer clothes. That might have been because it was the 1990s during a bad recession in Finland in a part of town where people didn't have that much money, I think that Levi's was the fanciest brand we had. Personally I'm happy that I didn't have to wear uniforms, I developed really early and having to wear clothes cut for children would have probably made that experience even worse than it was.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: CakeEater on May 02, 2013, 02:05:53 AM
We didn't have uniforms and they seemed like something exotic that happens in other countries. We also had no idea that bonding with the school was supposed to be important, no lectures on how our behavior affects the school's reputation or a dress code. We were just there to be taught, what school it was wasn't really relevant. It does seem that schools in some countries are more about all aspects of life, our schools seem to emphasize just the learning and children go elsewhere for hobbies, especially sports.

I'm sure that uniforms can be useful but as my whole country survives well without them (though it's possible that some of the few private schools have them, I haven't heard of any) it doesn't seem that essential to me. Nor does it always follow that there will be bullying because of clothes, at least there really wasn't in my school (which might be the sole exception of course). I was teased for some things but never because my clothes tended to be pretty bizarre and there wasn't any emphasis on designer clothes. That might have been because it was the 1990s during a bad recession in Finland in a part of town where people didn't have that much money, I think that Levi's was the fanciest brand we had. Personally I'm happy that I didn't have to wear uniforms, I developed really early and having to wear clothes cut for children would have probably made that experience even worse than it was.

I love the idea of uniforms, and would choose a school for my kids which had a uniform over one that didn't, and in fact would choose a school that more strictly enforced the correct wearing of the uniform over one that didn't.

However, Finland seems to have such an exceptional education system, that I couldn't criticize anything you guys do in your schools!

The way you dress is such a small part of your creative outlet. Schools have so many ways for kids to be creative. Wearing a uniform doesn't stifle that in the slightest.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Library Dragon on May 02, 2013, 02:10:55 AM
Ereine,

I cannot speak for all uniforms, but at the school DS2 attended and where I was the librarian you wouldn't have had to wear children's clothes.  There were/are options for women's polos.  I owned a few which were nice on school trips.  The cut is definitely more appropriate for adults and young teenage girls who filled out.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: MrsJWine on May 02, 2013, 02:16:20 AM
I always wished we'd had uniforms. I was the poor kid whose dad drove the horrible old junkers. I know uniforms wouldn't have fixed it, but it would have taken a huge dent out of the things they could pick on me for. And maybe during the day the disparity wouldn't have been so large.

As I got older, though, and moved to a better school, it started to matter less what we wore. By my senior year, there were two kinds of popular kids: the rich/good-looking/jock types who were popular whether they had a good personality or not, and the kids who were popular because they were funny or kind or likable in some other way. So, I wouldn't have cared one way or another as a high school student. I really enjoyed it, despite not being able to afford great clothes. Most of the people in my class matured into great people through those four years.

Judging by other people's high school experiences, though, this is not the norm.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: sammycat on May 02, 2013, 02:16:59 AM
In the other thread, I saw it is standard that someone who is wearing a school uniform--outside of school hours, away from school grounds--represents that school with their actions. I would...not appreciate that, as a child, teen or adult. We all do things we may not be proud of, especially when we are young and our think-it-through hasn't developed yet, and I'd have a huge problem being disciplined at school for something that had nothing to do with said school and, perhaps, I'd already been disciplined for at home, or at a store.

As an adult, I have seen people disciplined for conduct while in a labeled uniform or labeled truck while on company business. The only time I've seen someone affected by off-hours conduct is when the conduct is observed, personally, by other coworkers, clients or supervisors. Granted, some jobs may hold off-hours employees to a higher standard, but perhaps that's why I don't have one of those jobs.

I understand what you are saying, and to some extent agree with you. However, when kids are wagging during the school day and partaking in illegal activities (I've witnessed this) then if they're stupid enough to do it whilst in school uniform then they deserve everything that's thrown at them when they're caught/reported.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Lindee on May 02, 2013, 02:19:36 AM
I forgot to mention, an added bonus of uniforms is on school excursions, it is so much easier to keep track of students ( I worked in Special Ed, so doubly important) when they are in uniform.

I'm not sure of the cut for children sizing comment, our school went from age 5 to 17/18 so adult sizes were readily available, my son was 6' 3" by the time he was 14.   We had a uniform shop run by the Parents & Friends and second hand items were sold on consignment or outright but the new costs were reasonable and I'm convinced cost less than the designer brands my daughter would have been begging for.  The only cost I regretted was their final year jumpers which were specially printed for that year, so couldn't be passed on, and in my daughters case, only arrived when winter was almost over so got about a weeks wear.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: sammycat on May 02, 2013, 02:21:21 AM
I forgot to mention, an added bonus of uniforms is on school excursions, it is so much easier to keep track of students ( I worked in Special Ed, so doubly important) when they are in uniform.

Very good point.  It was especially useful when we went to places that had other school present at the same time.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Ereine on May 02, 2013, 03:11:14 AM
Ereine,

I cannot speak for all uniforms, but at the school DS2 attended and where I was the librarian you wouldn't have had to wear children's clothes.  There were/are options for women's polos.  I owned a few which were nice on school trips.  The cut is definitely more appropriate for adults and young teenage girls who filled out.

That's good to know, I got the impression that different grade levels would wear different type of clothes (though obviously that would be very regional). Our schools tend to be very divided between elementary, middle and high school and it's rare that schools will have students from 7 to 19, though there are some. So unless the whole town had the same uniform it would probably be quite inconvenient for the 12 year old with an adult's body who was still in elementary school as it isn't so common that there would be a need for larger uniforms (unless of course the teachers wore them too). I guess that for school uniforms to really work it needs a different system from ours. I can see the benefits though, especially on excursions.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Katana_Geldar on May 02, 2013, 03:24:48 AM
Normally students here go to two schools and need two uniforms. Primary school and high school.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: amandaelizabeth on May 02, 2013, 04:21:09 AM
Here in New Zealand, uniforms are uniform!.  I can remember when I was at school almost 55 years ago now thinking how easy it was to just put on a uniform. In high school it was very important that your uniform did not look new and you washed and washed your skirt until it was faded and worn.  I had a quiet laugh when my daughter started high school and begged me to buy a second hand one that looked well used.  Somethings do stay the same generation to generation.

Oh and her sixth and seventh form had the option to wear mufti, but after a wild burst of enthusiasm at the beginning of the year, I noticed that most of the pupils went back into uniform. for the rest of the year. 
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Jones on May 02, 2013, 07:41:03 AM
I'm starting to feel jealous of the private schools you guys are writing about here  ;D

Not because of the uniforms, but of the two private schools in my area, they are academic ONLY. Reading, writing, history, science, social studies. No music, no art, no physical education, tons of homework in the evenings. Some parents pay for outside-school lessons (one little girl was in my daughter's dance class) but from what I've heard/seen, they are very academically driven.

The public schools here have one day each week when the kids get an award (small treat, pencil, etc) for wearing the school's colors. Any style within dress code, just so long as it's the right color.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Thipu1 on May 02, 2013, 08:30:39 AM
In High School, the girls had to wear full uniform (plaid skirt, a distinctive corded nylon blouse, wool blazer, stockings and saddle shoes).  The boys only had to wear a jacket and tie.  Of course, no jeans or sneakers were allowed. 

Final exams were in June and the school had no AC.  This caused a problem because mid June could get hot.  The boys were allowed to take their jackets off during an exam.  Because it was just possible that a bra strap could be seen through the nylon blouse, the girls had to keep their wool blazers on.  Why they couldn't just put all the girls in the back of the room and the boys in the front, I'll never know. 
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 02, 2013, 09:01:32 AM
In High School, the girls had to wear full uniform (plaid shirt, a distinctive corded nylon blouse, wool blazer, stockings and saddle shoes).  The boys only had to wear a jacket and tie.  Of course, no jeans or sneakers were allowed. 

Final exams were in June and the school had no AC.  This caused a problem because mid June could get hot.  The boys were allowed to take their jackets off during an exam.  Because it was just possible that a bra strap could be seen through the nylon blouse, the girls had to keep their wool blazers on.  Why they couldn't just put all the girls in the back of the room and the boys in the front, I'll never know.
That's nuts!  What decade?
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Yvaine on May 02, 2013, 09:12:26 AM
In High School, the girls had to wear full uniform (plaid shirt, a distinctive corded nylon blouse, wool blazer, stockings and saddle shoes).  The boys only had to wear a jacket and tie.  Of course, no jeans or sneakers were allowed. 

Final exams were in June and the school had no AC.  This caused a problem because mid June could get hot.  The boys were allowed to take their jackets off during an exam.  Because it was just possible that a bra strap could be seen through the nylon blouse, the girls had to keep their wool blazers on.  Why they couldn't just put all the girls in the back of the room and the boys in the front, I'll never know.
That's nuts!  What decade?

Not to mention that if this was a school-issued blouse, it's the school's own fault they ordered ones that were too flimsy for their own dress code. Not the girls' fault.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: lowspark on May 02, 2013, 09:14:59 AM
My younger son's high school implemented a school uniform policy when he was a junior. I hated it. We had to go out and buy enough pants and shirts (uniform) to last him a week - a totally unnecessary expense as he had jeans and t-shirts galore which were fine for the previous years. I bought 5 of each, the bare minimum, and he just had to do laundry every weekend. He wore the same exact clothes week in and week out for two years. They were completely stained and worn out by the time he graduated, but I wasn't going to invest another cent in clothes that he would never again wear. What a huge waste of money.

Big vote against them here.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Thipu1 on May 02, 2013, 09:27:22 AM
In High School, the girls had to wear full uniform (plaid shirt, a distinctive corded nylon blouse, wool blazer, stockings and saddle shoes).  The boys only had to wear a jacket and tie.  Of course, no jeans or sneakers were allowed. 

Final exams were in June and the school had no AC.  This caused a problem because mid June could get hot.  The boys were allowed to take their jackets off during an exam.  Because it was just possible that a bra strap could be seen through the nylon blouse, the girls had to keep their wool blazers on.  Why they couldn't just put all the girls in the back of the room and the boys in the front, I'll never know.
That's nuts!  What decade?

This was in the early 1960s.  The blouses weren't sheer but they weren't like cotton blouses either.    They were chosen because they didn't need ironing and could be easily washed in a sink at home, hung up to dry and be ready to go the next day. 

Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: OSUJillyBean on May 02, 2013, 09:36:22 AM
I grew up on the lower end of middle class and sometimes I wish we could have had school uniforms.  Nothing crazy but a few polo shirts and nice khaki pants or a knee-length khaki skirt.  We had a large income gap in our middle schools and high school and I got teased a lot because I outgrew my jeans very quickly and Mom couldn't afford the expensive trendy clothes the cool kids wore.

I don't see uniforms as "killing a child's creativity" personally.  Most kids I knew just wanted to fit in anyways.  Uniforms would've helped to level the playing field.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on May 02, 2013, 11:41:57 AM
The area I grew up in was a well off area so a lot of kids had the designer brands of the time, like Guess.  I didn't, though my parents were well off enough and I just didn't get what the big deal was other than they cost more because of the name.   Well that and my mother wouldn't get them, though I didn't push either, I just wanted to wear something more suitable for my age.   Which I did get to do in high school, more or less. 
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: MrTango on May 02, 2013, 12:28:16 PM
I'm very glad that I went to schools for which there was no uniform.  Certainly, I wore uniforms for Marching Band and Cub/Boy Scouts, but I wouldn't have tolerated having to wear a uniform just to go to school.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: SiotehCat on May 02, 2013, 12:41:26 PM
I'm very glad that I went to schools for which there was no uniform.  Certainly, I wore uniforms for Marching Band and Cub/Boy Scouts, but I wouldn't have tolerated having to wear a uniform just to go to school.

I am also glad that I didn't have to wear uniforms.

My family did not have much money, so I didn't get designer clothes. My shoes were always from PayLess. Pro Wings, anyone? I don't know if making fun of clothes wasn't popular then, but I never got made fun of for it.

DS has gone through so many "phases" and has tried so many styles. I have enjoyed watching him become the kid he is now. Who knows whats going to happen when he gets to High School.

Now that I am older and get to buy clothes wherever I want, I still shop at GoodWill.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Judah on May 02, 2013, 01:27:02 PM
Since I'm a bit of a clothes horse, you'd think I'd dislike uniforms, but the opposite is true. I went to private schools from first grade all the way through high school and I loved wearing a uniform. Not the uniform itself, they were ugly. I loved not having to think about what I was going to wear, not having to worry about being in style, or about the fact that my parents couldn't afford the expensive clothes most of my classmates' parents could afford.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: CakeEater on May 02, 2013, 03:31:54 PM
My younger son's high school implemented a school uniform policy when he was a junior. I hated it. We had to go out and buy enough pants and shirts (uniform) to last him a week - a totally unnecessary expense as he had jeans and t-shirts galore which were fine for the previous years. I bought 5 of each, the bare minimum, and he just had to do laundry every weekend. He wore the same exact clothes week in and week out for two years. They were completely stained and worn out by the time he graduated, but I wasn't going to invest another cent in clothes that he would never again wear. What a huge waste of money.

Big vote against them here.

Don't people mostly do laundry every week anyway? Plus, if the clothes are worn every school day for two years, I would consider that good value for money.

I used to have only two uniform skirts and 4 shirts in highschool. I'd wear the same skirt on Monday and Tuesday, with a new shirt each day, we had to wear a sport uniform on Wednesday, and a new skirt for Thursday and Friday. Laundry on the weekend. It didn't seem like that much of a problem.

I think I had two sets of uniforms over the five years of high school.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: lowspark on May 02, 2013, 03:46:45 PM
Every week? Nope. Every two weeks and stretch it out  if possible. Anyway, since my kids were responsible for doing their own laundry since they were about 12, that's how it went. Being tied to the washer every weekend without fail isn't all that practical in my opinion.

And yeah, you could look at it as great value that we stretched it out for the two years. But really, for the last several months, they were not really that wearable but we just made do, stains, holes, rips & all. It wasn't as if the clothes really lasted that long, we just made them last in lieu of buying new ones.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: ladyknight1 on May 02, 2013, 04:56:01 PM
DS wears a uniform for Scouts, but not for school.

We spend about $250 a year on clothes for him, 4-5 pairs of jeans, khaki pants, black pants, a few polos, t-shirts and a few button down shirts. The only reason we have to buy new clothes each year is he has grown 6 inches in two years.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Library Dragon on May 02, 2013, 04:58:16 PM
When DS2 started high school he opted to go to a boarding school about 45 minutes from our city.  One reason I was surprised was that he chose to go to a high school that required young men to wear dress slacks, white shirt, tie, dress shoes, and blazer most of the year.  He went from kahkis and polo shirts to a more dressy uniform. 

His personal style was and is jeans and black t-shirts with a super hero/game logo on it.  He explained that that he liked the more serious look during his school hours. 
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Jones on May 02, 2013, 05:06:23 PM
I must ask, if kids are wearing a uniform, then have to change clothes in the afternoon, doesn't that double the amount of laundry done in a week? Or do most uniformed students leave their uniform on after school?
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: ladyknight1 on May 02, 2013, 05:09:35 PM
Growing up, my sisters and I were made to change into play clothes after school or church regardless. I don't think a uniform would have made a difference.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: CakeEater on May 02, 2013, 05:21:17 PM
I must ask, if kids are wearing a uniform, then have to change clothes in the afternoon, doesn't that double the amount of laundry done in a week? Or do most uniformed students leave their uniform on after school?

Some do. Some wear their after school clothes for a couple of days in a row. Since they're not on all day, they don't get as dirty.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: CakeEater on May 02, 2013, 05:24:40 PM
When DS2 started high school he opted to go to a boarding school about 45 minutes from our city.  One reason I was surprised was that he chose to go to a high school that required young men to wear dress slacks, white shirt, tie, dress shoes, and blazer most of the year.  He went from kahkis and polo shirts to a more dressy uniform. 

His personal style was and is jeans and black t-shirts with a super hero/game logo on it.  He explained that that he liked the more serious look during his school hours.

My highschool uniform wasn't the most attractive or fashionable outfit - but I was proud to wear it. I liked the feeling of looking formal at school.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Katana_Geldar on May 02, 2013, 05:42:05 PM
I must ask, if kids are wearing a uniform, then have to change clothes in the afternoon, doesn't that double the amount of laundry done in a week? Or do most uniformed students leave their uniform on after school?

It depends, particularly if you pick up kids after school and then go out. But school uniforms usually survive more than one wear during the week anyway, they're meant to last years and years so the fabric is rather hardy. I used to have three school dresses for summer, jumper, blazer and hat as well as pinafore for winter and a number of white blouses to wear under it.

IMHO, a uniform is much easier to police than some sort of dress code. And if you weren't in uniform they usually had spares in the office, particularly for the girls in high school.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: ladyknight1 on May 02, 2013, 05:44:05 PM
DS's high school has a very strict dress code, and lovely XXXL orange t-shirts and grey sweatpants students must wear (over their clothes) if they break the code. It usually only happens once.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: katycoo on May 02, 2013, 06:40:26 PM
Growing up, my sisters and I were made to change into play clothes after school or church regardless. I don't think a uniform would have made a difference.

IME after school clothes would get several wears before washing as sitting around doing homework and watching telly didn't dirty them up much.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: sammycat on May 02, 2013, 07:27:20 PM
I must ask, if kids are wearing a uniform, then have to change clothes in the afternoon, doesn't that double the amount of laundry done in a week? Or do most uniformed students leave their uniform on after school?

My older DS changes from his school uniform to his part time job uniform.  ;D

Seriously though, sometimes my kids change, sometimes they don't. I never really used to I don't think. It just depends on their/my mood at the time really.  When I/they do change, the home clothes are worn for such a short period of time, that they generally don't require washing each time they're worn. 

As for the uniforms, only the shirts/blouses require washing after each wear. The tunics and shorts get washed once a week (my boys have 2-3 pairs of school shorts).
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 02, 2013, 09:38:07 PM
I must ask, if kids are wearing a uniform, then have to change clothes in the afternoon, doesn't that double the amount of laundry done in a week? Or do most uniformed students leave their uniform on after school?

Some do. Some wear their after school clothes for a couple of days in a row. Since they're not on all day, they don't get as dirty.

My kids left their uniforms on unless we were going somewhere that required a change of clothes like tennis, scouts, or a nice dinner out. And really even if they hadn't been in a uniform all of those situations would have required them to change clothes.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Hmmmmm on May 02, 2013, 09:44:56 PM
DS wears a uniform for Scouts, but not for school.

We spend about $250 a year on clothes for him, 4-5 pairs of jeans, khaki pants, black pants, a few polos, t-shirts and a few button down shirts. The only reason we have to buy new clothes each year is he has grown 6 inches in two years.
I'm in awe. DS seldom wears jeans so we buy about 6-8 pairs of shorts per year, 2 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of khakis, and probably a dozen of various shirt styles. His shorts average $25-30 each and probably $35 for his jeans so I've blown your budget before I've even thought about khakis or shirts.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Library Dragon on May 02, 2013, 11:25:50 PM
I must ask, if kids are wearing a uniform, then have to change clothes in the afternoon, doesn't that double the amount of laundry done in a week? Or do most uniformed students leave their uniform on after school?

DS2 had gym at the end of the day and left school in his shorts and tshirt.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: paintpots on May 03, 2013, 05:39:59 AM
I spent my school career in school uniforms. I loved them. Own clothes day was torture for my sartorially challenged self, and I would be in tears the night before. Sixth form (ages 16-18), we were allowed to wear our own clothes, but with sufficient restrictions that most people just wore jeans + hoodies, so less of a catwalk than the odd day further down the school. I don't really remember labels being important  - but it was a slightly funny school in many respects.

I did have a lot of different uniforms (all girls' school) though:

Age 4-8: winter -  kilt, shirt, jumper & blazer, white socks & navy shoes; summer - flowery dress & royal blue cardigan (which I loved)
Age 8-11: shirt, tunic (knee length sleevless dress made out of a thick material and a zip down the front), belt (with a zip in it!), navy tights; summer - stripy dress with an integral waist belt & navy cardigan. (Plus blazer, plus prescribed school backpack, plus prescribed school art overalls, plus prescribed school gym kit).
Age 11-13: pencil skirt, shirt, navy cardigan/v-necked jumper. All the girls took up the hems of their skirts, so the teachers used to come around with a ruler pretty regularly. (Plus lab coat and different prescribed school gym kit); summer - the most horrific drop waisted, sack like, see-through-when-wet blue and white striped monstrosity of a dress. Universally loathed.
Age 13-15: Because skirt length issues above, introduction of a knee length box-pleated (and therefore v. challenging to hem up - although most managed at least a couple of rolls at the waist) skirt and blue polo shirt and sweater jumper. Generally disliked. Fortunately, they decided to get rid of the monstrous-summer-uniform-from-hell.

I have an elder sister, so ended up wearing mostly hand-me-downs as I went through the school, and my mum generally bought bigger than needed so the only things that needed updating were shirts. The only problem was the hockey skirt, which became mandatory when I turned 11. They were so overpriced (~40, and this was in the mid-1990s), that my mum refused to buy more than one - our age gap just worked out so that we could get away with this - the only problem being that once puberty kicked in I grew a good two inches taller than my sister. So what was a decent length hockey skirt on her was positively indecent on me. I remember badminton lessons in the local boys' school being a particularly uncomfortable experience - although the incentive not to have to bend down did encourage me to keep the shuttlecock in the air. Which is a good thing I suppose.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: ladyknight1 on May 03, 2013, 07:40:49 AM
DS wears a uniform for Scouts, but not for school.

We spend about $250 a year on clothes for him, 4-5 pairs of jeans, khaki pants, black pants, a few polos, t-shirts and a few button down shirts. The only reason we have to buy new clothes each year is he has grown 6 inches in two years.
I'm in awe. DS seldom wears jeans so we buy about 6-8 pairs of shorts per year, 2 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of khakis, and probably a dozen of various shirt styles. His shorts average $25-30 each and probably $35 for his jeans so I've blown your budget before I've even thought about khakis or shirts.

We buy nearly all of his jeans and pants at Target. We usually get name brand pants/jeans on sale at $20 a pair, sometimes less. He is hard to buy for them, since he is a 30" waist and a 36" inseam! Polos and shirts are $10 each. He buys himself more t-shirts out of his allowance during the year.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Surianne on May 03, 2013, 08:40:28 PM
I was very glad none of my schools had uniforms.  I was very nerdy, and loved being able to be creative with my own style -- t-shirts with science puns, band shirts, hippie dresses from vintage shops. 

I dressed myself for much cheaper than the uniforms of the other local school cost, and I found clothing was a good conversation starter and a great way to make friends.  I could see right away who the unfashionable kids were, and knew that they'd likely be the type of people who I'd get along with.  They're the ones who knew the bands I liked, or who laughed at my silly math or Trek shirts.

I was never good at conforming, though I was an academic overachiever, I imagine I'd have gotten in a lot of trouble if I'd gone to a uniformed school -- there's no way I could have resisted the temptation to push the boundaries of the uniform.

Uniforms aren't equalizers.  There's no one style that suits everyone's body type.  There's no one colour that looks good on everyone (I'm a redhead -- trust me, I know!  White is the worst).  Two kids could have completely different uniforms, if one has a great budget and can find the newest, best-fitting clothes, and the other has to deal with hand-me-downs.  So I don't see a positive side to them.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Awestruck Shmuck on May 04, 2013, 02:11:46 AM
I have experienced three (very) different school uniform policies -

First there was the 'regular' school uniform (year 7 & 8 - aged 13) that seems so common in australia:
Summer = flimsy, fairly shapeless/thin dress, that did not allow for my decidedly 'womanly' figure at 13
Winter = shirt & skirt, jumper, blazer (all optional, we could wear band/sports team hoodies if they had the school logo)

Peer influence dictated that skirts had to be fairly short, or rolled at the top, and shirt un-tucked. Others in my grade wore skirts long, jumper & blazer, but it depended which of the distinct groups you belonged to.

Then there was the ultra conservative private school (part of year 8) - everything was purchased through the uniform shop - even the hair ties and ribbons. Shoes were the only thing we could by externally, although they had two approved styles. For various reasons, I didn't last long there - uniforms were the LEAST of my worries)

After that, I went to a steiner school - where for years 8 & 9, we had to wear a white shirt/top and blue bottoms. Fairly flexible, natural fibres were encouraged! That was a pretty obvious divider in terms of brand that were worn, but as long as it was a surf brand no one cared *which* surf brand!

For year 10, we wore whatever we liked, that fit in the free-dress guidelines, but I hated that!! My parents were more interested in spending money on music/dance/sports for us kids, and didn't understand that I felt sadly, devastatingly left out because I didn't have the sass&bide jeans that one group deemed the IN thing, or the nautica jacket that the other crowd all wore!! (it was a small grade)

My parents then gave me the option to go back to the first, public school - as the steiner school was a long daily trip (1.5hrs each way) and I suppose I was showing signs of rebellion, so they thought I'd be better off closer to home.

That didn't help - I shuddered reading about the kids being busted smoking and wagging, that was me - but we used to switch school jumpers, scarves and jackets with friends from other schools when we were out and about -  so people often didn't know which school we were actually from. But we copped it anyway. I remember being called a 'dirty little rhymes-with-bore ' by a woman that decided to police our smoking (she came way out of her way to rouse on us - and we were very careful to be far enough away not to impact on our surrounds).

I think uniforms are great now though, I feel a sense of pride when I put my work shirts or jacket on. I'm working for a company i'm proud of - and with people I respect - so I don't mind. It also makes my mornings easier - chuck on a shirt, jeans and work boots and I'm done!!

If other jobs i've had, had had uniforms (surely theres a better way to word that!!), I would have resented it for sure!!
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: MommyPenguin on May 04, 2013, 03:28:43 PM
DS wears a uniform for Scouts, but not for school.

We spend about $250 a year on clothes for him, 4-5 pairs of jeans, khaki pants, black pants, a few polos, t-shirts and a few button down shirts. The only reason we have to buy new clothes each year is he has grown 6 inches in two years.
I'm in awe. DS seldom wears jeans so we buy about 6-8 pairs of shorts per year, 2 pair of jeans, 2 pairs of khakis, and probably a dozen of various shirt styles. His shorts average $25-30 each and probably $35 for his jeans so I've blown your budget before I've even thought about khakis or shirts.

We buy nearly all of his jeans and pants at Target. We usually get name brand pants/jeans on sale at $20 a pair, sometimes less. He is hard to buy for them, since he is a 30" waist and a 36" inseam! Polos and shirts are $10 each. He buys himself more t-shirts out of his allowance during the year.

Wow, the things I have to look forward to!  My kids are all little (6 and under), so they all need new clothes every year, but I only have to *buy* new clothes for the oldest.  I usually  buy everything at the consignment shop.  I spend about $80-120 for about 8 outfits and pjs, depending a bit on what I need and the season (and my mom does sometimes buy them some new clothes because she likes to).  I've already started to notice things getting more expensive as we go up in size, and it looks like middle school/high school sizes are going to cost a lot!  Ack!  We homeschool, so uniforms won't really be an option.  Although it would be pretty funny to actually make them wear uniforms for homeschool, so that they feel "formal clothes on, time to pay attention."  Would be even more fun for them to be out in uniform, and have somebody ask what school they go to, and tell them we homeschool.  Talk about making peoples' brains hurt.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Sophia on May 04, 2013, 03:39:24 PM
... In fact, faded and worn in was the trend.  ...

My MIL talked about babying her pants through her senior year.  Worn pants were status because you weren't a newbie, and also a sign of a senior.  Her pants were really worn at the crease, but she was really gentle with them because otherwise her mother would *gasp* but her a new and toss the old. 
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: scotcat60 on May 06, 2013, 06:19:58 AM
I had a school uniform at secondary school in the UK, and it was just  an accepted part of the deal. I found that it was a leveller, or maybe I was just not so observant, and it did not worry me that one girl wore a uniform that was in better condition that anothers.  When we were allowed to wear "a suitable top" with our school skirt in the 6th form, then you would see a more marked change between the girls in the quality of the clothes they wore. With todays insistance on labels and designer gear, that would be even worse. No one remarked on it then, 1964-1970, as they do today.

After I left, the uniform changed, and the rule seemed to be simply wear a blue blouse navy skirt, and navy cardigan, but there were no rules about the style. It wasn't uniform in any sense of the word. Now it has been changed to blue blouses with navy trousers, or skirts, and a sweat shirt with the school badge and the girls look very nice.

My main beef with school uniforms is the colours some schools wear.  Unless there is a second hand garment going via schemes run by the school ( and they did not exist in my day) few places other than the official school outifitters sell blazers in scarlet, royal blue or green. A friends son wore a bright green blazer for the first 5 years of his school career, then the 6th formers wore black blazers. By the end of the 5th year the green blazer was very worn, but friend made her lad nurse it along until she could buy him an M&S blazer for much less than the cost of the school outfitters.

You can express creativity in other ways than dress. And besides, without things like school unifrom, what have you got to rebel against?

At an old girls reunion I met a lady who was at school in the 1950s. Her mother bought a blouse from the school outfitters, and the assistant recommended one with room for growth. She said it had so much room that she wore it as a maternity smock when she was pregnant with her son.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Piratelvr1121 on May 06, 2013, 06:48:31 AM

You can express creativity in other ways than dress. And besides, without things like school unifrom, what have you got to rebel against?



Like Luna Lovegood and her radish earrings and butterbeer cork necklace. :) Not having any personal experience with school uniforms, I thought of Hogwart's uniforms and how there's little differentiation beyond house colors.  And other than the Slytherins like Malfoy, most people didn't think twice that the Weasley's often had hand-me-down robes and secondhand books. 

Heehee...until poor Ron showed up in his dress robes at the Yule ball, but I think that really bothered him most as few others seemed to really care. 
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: sunnygirl on May 09, 2013, 12:37:19 PM
I had the most horrible brown and yellow school uniform, complete with blouse and tie. Most school uniforms in London nowadays seem to be polo shirts and sweatshirts, which look a lot more comfy.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Specky on May 10, 2013, 01:57:35 PM
We all wore blue jeans (HS in the 70s).  Only Levis were available, so a pretty level playing field.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: jaxsue on May 19, 2013, 04:52:07 PM
I like uniforms. DS #2's elementary school tried to do the uniform thing once. Since it was voluntary, about 1/3 of the kids participated. As you can imagine, it fizzled out pretty quickly. Too bad, IMO. He attended private jr. high, and had to wear a uniform every day. It was great! Affordable, easy to pick out clothes for the day.

When I was in N. Ireland, I noticed that the public school kids wore uniforms; both genders wore blazers/ties. At the end of school each day you'd see them loosening their ties and untucking their shirts. It was like watching a BBC show!  :) Interesting thing is, I saw lots of personality coming through even though the kids were wearing identical clothes. You don't need bling to be yourself.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: jaxsue on May 19, 2013, 04:56:40 PM
We all wore blue jeans (HS in the 70s).  Only Levis were available, so a pretty level playing field.

I was in high school in the 70s, too. Levis and Izod and Adidas. My parents couldn't afford clothes like that so I bought my own stuff from age 15 on (earned the $). No one wore dresses, IIRC.  :)
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: sammycat on May 19, 2013, 06:05:20 PM
Interesting thing is, I saw lots of personality coming through even though the kids were wearing identical clothes. You don't need bling to be yourself.

POD! School uniforms are the norm here, and I actually find it easier to tell the kids apart when they're wearing their uniforms than when they wear their own clothes on free dress day. Most of them have added their own 'stamp' to their uniform, whereas on free dress day they all turn up in jeans/shorts and look pretty similar (and scruffy).
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: stormyskies on June 18, 2013, 05:53:11 PM
I never wore a school uniform, but I joined the military right after high school and wore that uniform throughout my early adult life. Frankly it was a P.I.T.A. to get everything ironed, creased, lint-rolled, etc. every morning in an impossible quest for perfection.  We only had 2 complete uniforms so we had to do laundry pretty much every day. There would always be a thread or wrinkle somewhere so a superior could bawl us out whenever they felt like it.

For this reason, I associate uniforms with being coerced and controlled. Students in uniforms are perceived as being under control, but I suspect it's all an illusion. I've seen kids in uniforms act just as cruelly as kids without uniforms. It depends more on the culture of a particular school. Uniforms may look good to adults, but they don't automatically translate into brighter, happier or more moral students.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Blondie on July 16, 2013, 08:05:06 AM
Ooooh I HATED my uniform. I had to wear it in Middle School (ages 10-13) and unfortunately for me, developed early. The uniforms were required purchase from the school, and were ungodly expensive. For girls, they consisted of either blue slacks or a pleated skirt and a white button down top with the school crest in red on the chest. Everything needed to be ironed, and seemed to be built for teeny tiny girls, which I was not. The sizing was for "the average teen" and had no darts in the shirt or pants, so anyone with any curve was out of luck. I spent time hiding from the skinny girls, who looked oh-so-cute, while I looked like I was wearing a maternity shirt, which would never stay tucked in due to the bottom half being 3 or 4 sizes too big, to accommodate my girls. And woe to the girls with hips. I had many friends sent home for being "inappropriate" when there was no way to fit women's hips in girls clothing. The only fix was tailoring, but that would be on top of buying the $40 shirt, so we never did. Kids will always find something to pick on other kids for. I still shudder thinking about it.

I ended up at a High School that had a strict dress code over a uniform, which I vastly preferred. It left room for things like dresses and tops that actually fit, as while it still had to be a button down, they could be purchased anywhere. I feel that it did a great job walking the line between keeping people orderly and neat, and allowing for differences, not only of personality but size and shape as well. It was also a great lesson in how to dress in the "real world". Granted, that lesson might be lost on me now, as I work somewhere where we wear jeans and sports wear...
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: WolfWay on April 07, 2014, 04:01:15 AM
Both South Africa and Zimbabwe (both places I went to school in) have school uniforms for all schools. I don't know of a single school that doesn't have a uniform.

My school was a girls only school and we had very strict uniform rules. Like many schools in both countries (both girls and boy's schools) we had to wear a tie every day (I'm one of the few women in my circle of friends I know who can still tie a tie on automatic without thinking about it). Missing buttons, unshined shoes, too long finger nails, or too short skirts could get you detention. There were rules about when and where you could wear your blazer and your jersey, and what socks were worn in what term, how you could cut your hair, what kind of earrings you could wear.

My school only started letting girls wear trousers as part of their uniform the year after I left school, which I'm still sulking about.  ;)  I've noticed that with the growing presence of Muslim students at the school, they've introduced a muslim compliant version of the uniform for them as well.

For personalization, we tended to do up our school bags with patches and our pencil cases and work books with pictures.

I shudder to think how nasty things could have gotten if girls had had the chance to discriminate based on clothing styles. I have no sense of style what-so-ever and still struggle to figure out what looks good on me. The thought of trying to deal with that stress during high school is horrifying.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: mechtilde on April 07, 2014, 05:08:12 AM
I like uniforms, but I really dislike being told which suppliers to use. I had lousy service from the sports uniform supplier, and the blazer which cost me almost 40 is polyester and covered in little pills after less than a year.

I have to wear a uniform for work- the jacket they supplied didn't cost much more than my son's blazer, was wool blend and was still going strong nearly two years later.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: 123sandy on April 07, 2014, 05:19:27 AM
My boys have gone to schools with uniforms and without and I much prefer without. I don't understand the "it's cheaper" argument. I'm buying 6 sets of clothes I wouldn't normally, where's the money saving there? They don't play outside in their uniform, they don't wear it at weekends or during holidays. They don't come home and change into their pajamas.

You have your whole adult life to wear a "uniform" let kids be kids!
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: NestHolder on April 07, 2014, 09:17:04 AM
I prefer school uniforms, with some caveats.

When I was at school, my uniforms had to be bought from a specific department store, and were quite expensive (white blouse, navy skirt, blazer...).  But having them meant that I never had to think about what to wear to school, and I was grateful for that.  As a boarder, I had to change out of the uniform into 'mufti' when I got back to the boarding house, which was fine, but being in uniform meant nobody needed loads of clothes.

My childrens' school uniforms were much more cheaply available.  While in primary school (up to age 11) they could be bought easily from Woolworths, Marks & Spencer, and probably some of the local supermarkets too, and of course the PTA ran a second-hand service.  At secondary school (11-18) they had to wear white shirts, black trousers (skirts optional, but my DD never wanted one) and jackets, and a school tie.  Sweaters optional, but I don't recall ever seeing a student wearing one.  It was necessary to buy a school badge which was to be sewn on to the jacket breast pocket.  Easy, and far cheaper than an array of clothes to cover the school year!
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: kherbert05 on April 07, 2014, 06:30:27 PM
Here we have what is called Uniform Dress Code. Our kids can wear any "Polo" style shirt (Golf Shirt) in any solid color, Jeans, kakis, navy pants/shorts/skorts/skirts/Jumper (US not UK type). It can be bought at any store that carries kids clothes.

As soon as you specifiy a specific brand/vendor that turns into a Uniform and either under Texas law or Title I the district now has to supply it to everyone on free or reduced.

My problem is the code not being enforced. The argument is that K-5 kids don't control what their parents buy/send them in. Fine then don't have the code, because letting them slide on uniform code means they think they can slide on other rules. Starting tomorrow the office is going to start calling parents to come bring clothes in code or take their kids home.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: sammycat on April 07, 2014, 11:12:41 PM
Most schools in Australia require students to wear a uniform, and probably about 99% of them have a uniform shop on the premises, where the entire outfit can be purchased. This may or may not include socks and/or shoes. For many schools it's a major source of income for the PTA (along with the tuckshop). In many cases, it's the only place families can buy uniforms, particularly dresses or tops, as they'll have the school logo/name embroidered or imprinted on them. Shorts or long pants can often be bought elsewhere, so long as the specific colour and style are maintained.

As soon as you specify a specific brand/vendor that turns into a Uniform and either under Texas law or Title I the district now has to supply it to everyone on free or reduced.

Does this mean that any child in a Texas school who has to wear a specific uniform gets it all for free? Apologies if I'm interpreting this incorrectly, but I'm wondering how this can be financially feasible for a school/district/state?
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Dindrane on April 07, 2014, 11:25:55 PM
As soon as you specify a specific brand/vendor that turns into a Uniform and either under Texas law or Title I the district now has to supply it to everyone on free or reduced.

Does this mean that any child in a Texas school who has to wear a specific uniform gets it all for free? Apologies if I'm interpreting this incorrectly, but I'm wondering how this can be financially feasible for a school/district/state?

Public schools in the US have a free or reduced lunch program, which is intended to provide lunch either for free or at a highly discounted rate to students whose families' income is below a certain threshold. I don't know if it's a federal program, but it is at least very common. I think what kherbert is talking about is that students who qualify for either a free or reduced cost lunch would also need to have an official uniform supplied to them, since their having to go out and purchase specific items of clothing (rather than just a specific style) would be an unfair financial burden. Presumably, any family that didn't qualify for a free or reduced lunch would be on their own in terms of supplying the uniform.

I don't know enough about grade school or secondary education in other countries to know how they are different from the US, but the above applies only to public schools (i.e. those funded entirely with public money, which children do not pay tuition in any form to attend). The overwhelming majority of private schools here do require uniforms that would consist of specific articles of clothing purchased from specific stores, often with a logo of some sort incorporated in. Private schools might offer scholarships to students whose families couldn't afford to pay tuition, but there wouldn't otherwise be any expectation of financial assistance in those schools.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: katycoo on April 07, 2014, 11:44:11 PM
Most schools in Australia require students to wear a uniform, and probably about 99% of them have a uniform shop on the premises, where the entire outfit can be purchased. This may or may not include socks and/or shoes. For many schools it's a major source of income for the PTA (along with the tuckshop). In many cases, it's the only place families can buy uniforms, particularly dresses or tops, as they'll have the school logo/name embroidered or imprinted on them. Shorts or long pants can often be bought elsewhere, so long as the specific colour and style are maintained.

Many schools now have pockets or patches with teh chool logo so you can buy a generic shirt elsewhere.  The uniform shops also seel second hand itmes on consignment.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: sammycat on April 07, 2014, 11:50:14 PM
Thanks for that explanation.

We don't have any sort of federal or state programmes here for low income families for school uniforms or food.

In my state a (and, I suspect, every state), if a family is unable to buy their own uniform then the school principal has the discretion to provide them out of school funds, or refer the family to the relevant welfare agency. As a  former PTA president I oversaw running of the uniform shop and tuckshop. I don't recall any cases (in my time) of the school buying uniforms to hand onto families, so either no one approached the school about it, or they got free/reduced uniforms via other means. We also sold second hand uniforms at very reasonable prices, which families of all income levels availed themselves of.

Slight threadjack: Few, if any, schools provide a sit down, canteen style lunch here. It's either bring your own, or order from the tuckshop (usually before school for pick up later). Individual schools have been known to provide (free) breakfast programmes for some students, but they're few and far between and a decision made entirely at school level.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: katycoo on April 08, 2014, 12:16:59 AM
Just wanted to add - and it might have been posted earlier in this thread - I really saw no stigma from people wearing second hand uniforms.  Most people who had older siblings wore hand me downs, even if the family was well off, and new uniforms were NOT cool so no-one was jealous!
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: sammycat on April 08, 2014, 12:55:04 AM
Just wanted to add - and it might have been posted earlier in this thread - I really saw no stigma from people wearing second hand uniforms.  Most people who had older siblings wore hand me downs, even if the family was well off, and new uniforms were NOT cool so no-one was jealous!

I agree. Nine times out of 10 it's impossible to distinguish between the two, and if anyone can, then I've never personally heard anyone comment on it.  Most uniform shops have a very high standard for items sold second hand/on consignment. Ours had a policy of not accepting anything with rips, missing buttons, stains, or that looked grubby etc. 

In the last year of school in particular, it was common for kids to wear a second hand replacement if they'd outgrown their current one.

My second DS was very economical. He didn't grow much between grades 2 and 7 and was able to wear the same uniforms for all of that time. ;D
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Sophia on April 08, 2014, 08:38:03 AM
Just wanted to add - and it might have been posted earlier in this thread - I really saw no stigma from people wearing second hand uniforms.  Most people who had older siblings wore hand me downs, even if the family was well off, and new uniforms were NOT cool so no-one was jealous!

My MIL told me that older clothes had more status than newer clothes.  It meant you had been attending the school for a long time.  They were softer, too.  She said by her senior year she had to be very careful of her pants at the leg crease because they were thread-bare.  Her mother had bought her new ones but she didn't want to wear them. 
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: alkira6 on April 08, 2014, 09:11:30 AM
I like the idea of a school uniform, but in practice you still have the same types of "classism".  We have black, white, or school color polo style shirts, khaki, black, or navy trousers/shorts that reach the knee.  Some kids have the more expensive brands that you can tell are expensive even without logos (which are banned).  Other students do get uniforms at Goodwill or Wal-Mart and it shows just as much.  You still get just as much teasing and bullying about clothing as you did before uniforms.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Vall on April 08, 2014, 09:21:43 AM
When I was growing up, our government schools didn't have uniforms.  For a few grades, I went to private schools.  One of them had uniforms and I loved it!  They were a nice dark blue long skirt with a light blue blouse (short and long sleeves).  We also wore either a blue vest or blazer.  The fabric was durable, comfortable and mostly wrinkle-free.  We had to be measured and bought the uniforms through the school.  I always looked nice and didn't have to worry about what to wear. 

Yes, it was a mild equalizer.  We weren't concerned about clothes at school because we were all wearing the same things.  Everyone bought their uniforms at the same place.  I bought my own clothes and it was much cheaper to have uniforms.  I only wore my uniforms at school so my other (less durable) clothes lasted a lot longer.  I had plenty of time each day to express my personal sense of style after school.

In the city where we live now, some government schools have a loose uniform of navy pants and white collared shirts.  Some parents like it and others don't.  If I had a say in it, I'd vote for uniforms.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: TootsNYC on April 08, 2014, 10:29:34 AM
As soon as you specify a specific brand/vendor that turns into a Uniform and either under Texas law or Title I the district now has to supply it to everyone on free or reduced.

Does this mean that any child in a Texas school who has to wear a specific uniform gets it all for free? Apologies if I'm interpreting this incorrectly, but I'm wondering how this can be financially feasible for a school/district/state?

Public schools in the US have a free or reduced lunch program, . . . Presumably, any family that didn't qualify for a free or reduced lunch would be on their own in terms of supplying the uniform.


Kherbert, can you weigh in?

I can envision a situation in which *all* students would have to have their uniforms as "supplied by the school" if the school is going to require a certain brand or vendor. Because then it's more like a textbook instead of a notebook.
 
Do you know what's the case in Texas?
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: TXJess on April 08, 2014, 11:07:27 AM
Texas Education Code says "The rules the board of trustees adopts must designate a source of funding that shall be used in providing uniforms for students at the school who are educationally disadvantaged."

The term "educationally disadvantaged" means eligible to participate in the national free or reduced-price lunch program. So Kherbert is saying that students who are on free or reduced (lunch program) are also able to be provided uniforms, because there is a source of funding to provide for them.

I went k-5th grade in the district Kherbert currently teaches in. I only had to wear uniforms my last year (5th grade). I HATED it so much. I just wanted to wear normal clothes. I believe initially they said no jeans, but they were pretty lenient because we did wear jeans. There was always a way to be "individual" though. Shoes, hair, accessories, etc. It's been 15 years, so I don't really remember. That was also the year my mom made me start doing my own laundry because she got tired of me complaining that she lost or forgot to wash something. You would think with the options of just white or navy polo, I wouldn't have issues with laundry..hah
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: lowspark on April 08, 2014, 11:10:47 AM
I live in Texas and my younger son graduated in 2008 so things may have changed since then but I had to pay for my kids' uniforms. He was required to wear one in both middle school and high school, which I hated because the uniforms were just an (in my opinion) unnecessary added expense.

I did look up Title 1 in Texas law which kherbert mentions, and it specifically pertains to "IMPROVING THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF THE DISADVANTAGED" http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4269 (http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4269) so I imagine that kherbert was talking about kids who are economically disadvantaged, not the entire student population of the district.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: alkira6 on April 08, 2014, 11:13:16 AM
We have so much gang activity that the kids are not allowed to wear different colored headbands, jewelry, belts, socks, or shoes.  We have to take the accessories and get them to call home for another pair for the shoes.  They cracked down after a middle schooler was almost beaten to death for wearing a red belt and red jacket.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: TXJess on April 08, 2014, 11:20:03 AM
I live in Texas and my younger son graduated in 2008 so things may have changed since then but I had to pay for my kids' uniforms. He was required to wear one in both middle school and high school, which I hated because the uniforms were just an (in my opinion) unnecessary added expense.

I did look up Title 1 in Texas law which kherbert mentions, and it specifically pertains to "IMPROVING THE ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF THE DISADVANTAGED" http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4269 (http://www.tea.state.tx.us/index4.aspx?id=4269) so I imagine that kherbert was talking about kids who are economically disadvantaged, not the entire student population of the district.

See, my mom loved it! Back to school shopping was so much easier and cheaper for her. She just had to buy my sister and I a couple polos in each color, a couple pairs of pants, and shoes. The downside was she had to shop with a grumpy 10 year old who didn't want to wear uniforms...
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: lowspark on April 08, 2014, 11:28:38 AM
Probably the difference between raising boys and girls. My sons had t-shirts out the wazoo from all the different activities they were involved in. And when we went shopping, he'd find a couple of pairs of jeans he liked and I'd buy him 5 pairs of each and he was good to go.

So add to that, now I had to buy khaki pants and polos which he would not wear any other time but school. I bought exactly 5 sets the first day of the first year, and those five got washed every weekend. By the end of his tenure, he had five sets of very stained, very worn out uniforms.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: ladyknight1 on April 08, 2014, 01:32:16 PM
I'm laughing to myself at the idea of pants fitting my 15 year old son for more than 6 months. The waistband keeps getting smaller and the pant legs keep getting longer.

My DS always has khakis, black dress pants plus his usual wardrobe.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: lowspark on April 08, 2014, 01:43:52 PM
Yeah. My son is tall and thin and always has been so the waste band was fine. In high school, he only ended up uniformed for two years now that I think of it. Three years in middle school and I purposely bought the shirts too big.

I know, I know. I'm cheap and it was awful to do that. But a) my son didn't really care at all and b) his clothes (white shirt required in middle school!) were pretty much stained within the first few weeks anyway.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: jedikaiti on April 08, 2014, 02:13:16 PM
Just wanted to add - and it might have been posted earlier in this thread - I really saw no stigma from people wearing second hand uniforms.  Most people who had older siblings wore hand me downs, even if the family was well off, and new uniforms were NOT cool so no-one was jealous!

My MIL told me that older clothes had more status than newer clothes.  It meant you had been attending the school for a long time.  They were softer, too.  She said by her senior year she had to be very careful of her pants at the leg crease because they were thread-bare.  Her mother had bought her new ones but she didn't want to wear them.

In my school, the status was in the material - the older hand-me-down skirts were a heavier, nicer fabric, whereas the newer ones were brighter colors but a cheaper polyester. But it wasn't so much status as maybe a bit of envy.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: katycoo on April 08, 2014, 09:00:01 PM
I like the idea of a school uniform, but in practice you still have the same types of "classism".  We have black, white, or school color polo style shirts, khaki, black, or navy trousers/shorts that reach the knee.  Some kids have the more expensive brands that you can tell are expensive even without logos (which are banned).  Other students do get uniforms at Goodwill or Wal-Mart and it shows just as much.  You still get just as much teasing and bullying about clothing as you did before uniforms.

I don't dispute your experience, but this certainly didn't happen in practice at my school.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: kherbert05 on April 08, 2014, 09:14:32 PM


As soon as you specify a specific brand/vendor that turns into a Uniform and either under Texas law or Title I the district now has to supply it to everyone on free or reduced.

Does this mean that any child in a Texas school who has to wear a specific uniform gets it all for free? Apologies if I'm interpreting this incorrectly, but I'm wondering how this can be financially feasible for a school/district/state?
Uniforms that are very specific - like have logos or having to be a specific vendor/brand - would have to be provided at least to Title I kids (qualify for free or reduced lunch because their family is below or close to poverty level).


In public (State run) schools in Texas are free for the student. Textbooks are paid for by the state, unless the district gets an unapproved textbook for some reason then the district has to pay for it they can't charge students.


Example our state purchased science books are years out of date - as in the state standards have changed at least 2 if not 3 times since they were adopted. Our campus voted to buy a digital curriculum developed by Rice University to meet the current standards. We paid for that out of campus funds. We couldn't charge the kids.


We are having a field trip. We can sell Field Trip T-shirts, because they are optional*. We can even ask parents to pay a fee for admission (we are going to the Zoo but didn't apply early enough to get one of the Title I scholarships), but in our case our PTO pays the fee. But if a child is on free or reduced, the parent doesn't have to pay the admission fee and the school is required to pay for the child's admission (we get federal funds to do that).


*I had several kids who's parents couldn't afford the T-shirts, so I paid for them so the kids will have them on the day of our trip.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: WolfWay on April 09, 2014, 04:33:00 AM
I like the idea of a school uniform, but in practice you still have the same types of "classism".  We have black, white, or school color polo style shirts, khaki, black, or navy trousers/shorts that reach the knee.  Some kids have the more expensive brands that you can tell are expensive even without logos (which are banned).  Other students do get uniforms at Goodwill or Wal-Mart and it shows just as much.  You still get just as much teasing and bullying about clothing as you did before uniforms.

I don't dispute your experience, but this certainly didn't happen in practice at my school.
Fortunately at my school, there was only one official uniform supplier you could use so everyone had to wear the same quality grade of uniform (the school also had a second-hand supply of uniforms at a discount that were either donated to the school by leaving students or sold back to the school by leaving students at a discount, but the rules about how badly worn or damaged the uniform was allowed to be were strict, so you couldn't get away with an old uniform for too long).  It's hard to form visually obvious cliques when you are all forced to dress alike in very strict limits of variability for accessorising or personalizing.

At most, we had the smart/geeky girls, the sporty girls and the religious girls, but we were defined by our interests and extramural activities, not our appearence. I really don't remember anything in the way of people being picked on for any aspects of their clothing. I'm sure bullying must have happened but to be honest, I can't remember any obvious instances of it (and I was a fat geeky girl who loved the library and chess club, so you think I'd have been a prime target for that sort of thing). Mind you, I suck at picking up social clues, so it's possible people were trying to pick on me, but I was too dumb to realise it.  ::)
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: sammycat on April 09, 2014, 04:41:46 AM
Fortunately at my school, there was only one official uniform supplier you could use so everyone had to wear the same quality grade of uniform (the school also had a second-hand supply of uniforms at a discount that were either donated to the school by leaving students or sold back to the school by leaving students at a discount, but the rules about how badly worn or damaged the uniform was allowed to be were strict, so you couldn't get away with an old uniform for too long).  It's hard to form visually obvious cliques when you are all forced to dress alike in very strict limits of variability for accessorising or personalizing.

I concur. This is the situation with every school in my area and also the ones I attended.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: perpetua on April 09, 2014, 05:56:02 AM
I like the idea of a school uniform, but in practice you still have the same types of "classism".  We have black, white, or school color polo style shirts, khaki, black, or navy trousers/shorts that reach the knee.  Some kids have the more expensive brands that you can tell are expensive even without logos (which are banned).  Other students do get uniforms at Goodwill or Wal-Mart and it shows just as much.  You still get just as much teasing and bullying about clothing as you did before uniforms.

I don't dispute your experience, but this certainly didn't happen in practice at my school.
Fortunately at my school, there was only one official uniform supplier you could use so everyone had to wear the same quality grade of uniform (the school also had a second-hand supply of uniforms at a discount that were either donated to the school by leaving students or sold back to the school by leaving students at a discount, but the rules about how badly worn or damaged the uniform was allowed to be were strict, so you couldn't get away with an old uniform for too long).  It's hard to form visually obvious cliques when you are all forced to dress alike in very strict limits of variability for accessorising or personalizing.

At most, we had the smart/geeky girls, the sporty girls and the religious girls, but we were defined by our interests and extramural activities, not our appearence. I really don't remember anything in the way of people being picked on for any aspects of their clothing. I'm sure bullying must have happened but to be honest, I can't remember any obvious instances of it (and I was a fat geeky girl who loved the library and chess club, so you think I'd have been a prime target for that sort of thing). Mind you, I suck at picking up social clues, so it's possible people were trying to pick on me, but I was too dumb to realise it.  ::)

I'm not so sure about that, or at least that wasn't the experience I had. Even with the uniform, there were still girls who were just... cooler than everyone else. Their hair was cooler or their 'look' was cooler or they figured out a way to wear their uniform so it looked better - trendier, sassier, whatever. At the other end of the spectrum, there were the girls who still managed to look 'square' (as the term was then, I'm sure it's different now - 'frumpy', is the descriptor I'm going for), no matter that we were all in uniform. And they all did tend to stick together, so we still had groups who gravitated towards each other based on appearance. I was somewhere in the middle: not frumpy, but very definitely not one of the cool kids, and hung out with other girls who looked/dressed/behaved the same.

That said, I'm very much in favour of the uniform.

Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: WolfWay on April 09, 2014, 06:27:48 AM
I like the idea of a school uniform, but in practice you still have the same types of "classism".  We have black, white, or school color polo style shirts, khaki, black, or navy trousers/shorts that reach the knee.  Some kids have the more expensive brands that you can tell are expensive even without logos (which are banned).  Other students do get uniforms at Goodwill or Wal-Mart and it shows just as much.  You still get just as much teasing and bullying about clothing as you did before uniforms.

I don't dispute your experience, but this certainly didn't happen in practice at my school.
Fortunately at my school, there was only one official uniform supplier you could use so everyone had to wear the same quality grade of uniform (the school also had a second-hand supply of uniforms at a discount that were either donated to the school by leaving students or sold back to the school by leaving students at a discount, but the rules about how badly worn or damaged the uniform was allowed to be were strict, so you couldn't get away with an old uniform for too long).  It's hard to form visually obvious cliques when you are all forced to dress alike in very strict limits of variability for accessorising or personalizing.

At most, we had the smart/geeky girls, the sporty girls and the religious girls, but we were defined by our interests and extramural activities, not our appearence. I really don't remember anything in the way of people being picked on for any aspects of their clothing. I'm sure bullying must have happened but to be honest, I can't remember any obvious instances of it (and I was a fat geeky girl who loved the library and chess club, so you think I'd have been a prime target for that sort of thing). Mind you, I suck at picking up social clues, so it's possible people were trying to pick on me, but I was too dumb to realise it.  ::)

I'm not so sure about that, or at least that wasn't the experience I had. Even with the uniform, there were still girls who were just... cooler than everyone else. Their hair was cooler or their 'look' was cooler or they figured out a way to wear their uniform so it looked better - trendier, sassier, whatever. At the other end of the spectrum, there were the girls who still managed to look 'square' (as the term was then, I'm sure it's different now - 'frumpy', is the descriptor I'm going for), no matter that we were all in uniform. And they all did tend to stick together, so we still had groups who gravitated towards each other based on appearance. I was somewhere in the middle: not frumpy, but very definitely not one of the cool kids, and hung out with other girls who looked/dressed/behaved the same.

That said, I'm very much in favour of the uniform.

We had a very strict set of rules for how uniforms could be worn or accesorized (also: no make up, no elaborate/fancy hair cuts, hair past your collar had to be tied up in a simple neat pony tail/plait, no fringe past your nose unless it was clipped back or held back with an alice band, no long nails, no nail polish, no dying your hair, no tinting your eye lashes or eyebrows, no fancy braiding for the non-white girls, no fancy earrings).

I do remember the most the "cool" girls could get away with with to wear their top shirt button undone, their ties askew and to roll their skirts up at the waist to get a mini-skirt look, but woe betide them if a teacher saw it because they'd end up in detention for having a skirt that was too short. I got detention once because a button fell of my blazer right before dress inspection.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: mechtilde on April 09, 2014, 06:57:39 AM
Fortunately at my school, there was only one official uniform supplier you could use so everyone had to wear the same quality grade of uniform (the school also had a second-hand supply of uniforms at a discount that were either donated to the school by leaving students or sold back to the school by leaving students at a discount, but the rules about how badly worn or damaged the uniform was allowed to be were strict, so you couldn't get away with an old uniform for too long).  It's hard to form visually obvious cliques when you are all forced to dress alike in very strict limits of variability for accessorising or personalizing.

I concur. This is the situation with every school in my area and also the ones I attended.

All the secondary schools are like that round here. Whilst it has its advantages, it can lead to problems if the supplier is expensive or the quality is poor.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: oz diva on April 09, 2014, 07:41:23 AM
I run the 2nd hand uniform shop at school. We chuck out the ratty stuff.  It's pretty popular. No one minds the kids wearing hand me downs. The kids don't notice or care.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Harriet Jones on April 09, 2014, 08:44:44 AM
We've never had to deal with school uniforms, but, in theory, I don't think I'd mind, assuming that the uniforms weren't overpriced and the dress code wasn't overly strict (e.g., kids getting in trouble if their belt was a millimeter too wide)
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: alkira6 on April 09, 2014, 10:38:59 AM
The thing is, our district is only strict on certain parts of the dress code and couldn't give a flying flip about the rest, even though they are the ones who say that we have to have it.

It has been put forth repeatedly that we should have a single supplier for uniforms to cut out the above mentioned problems but that goes nowhere.  We have also suggested a reformation of the guidelines to something more reasonable considering the economic disparities across our district, also a no go.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: z_squared82 on April 09, 2014, 11:03:29 AM
I had a school uniform for 12 years. I didn't think about if I liked it or not until I got the college (it's not like I had a choice in the matter). Once college started, I realized how awesome uniforms were. I had to start getting up earlier in order to give myself time to figure out what to wear! Never had that problem why my option was either plaid skirt or khaki pants.

The school uniforms were girls had to buy were not cheap, but all moms bought them big so they could be worn for years. I think I had one jumper from 1-3 grade, a bigger one for 4-6 grade, then we switched to skirts for 7-8 grade. Then onto high school, where you bought one three sizes too big for freshman year (and moved the button over) and by senior year, you were keeping it together with safety pins. Also, the skirts in high school got washed maybe once a month. Seriously, we joked that in case of nuclear holocaust, the only things that would survive were cockroaches and our uniform skirts.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: jedikaiti on April 09, 2014, 03:56:20 PM
I had a school uniform for 12 years. I didn't think about if I liked it or not until I got the college (it's not like I had a choice in the matter). Once college started, I realized how awesome uniforms were. I had to start getting up earlier in order to give myself time to figure out what to wear! Never had that problem why my option was either plaid skirt or khaki pants.

The school uniforms were girls had to buy were not cheap, but all moms bought them big so they could be worn for years. I think I had one jumper from 1-3 grade, a bigger one for 4-6 grade, then we switched to skirts for 7-8 grade. Then onto high school, where you bought one three sizes too big for freshman year (and moved the button over) and by senior year, you were keeping it together with safety pins. Also, the skirts in high school got washed maybe once a month. Seriously, we joked that in case of nuclear holocaust, the only things that would survive were cockroaches and our uniform skirts.

That reminds me of a poll question from our yearbook one year. They asked several students how they make their uniform skirt stand out from the rest. My friend's response was "I wash it." Many girls kept a skirt or two in their locker to wear each day - put it on the morning, take it off in the afternoon - and they might only go home for washing on holidays.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: mime on April 10, 2014, 09:34:16 AM
My son has uniforms with very little flexibility:
Boys: Navy pants, red polo shirt, navy cardigan. All of these are a particular style from one particular store. The choices are: long or short sleeves, and you don't have to wear the cardigan.
Girls: Navy pants like the boys or a specific skirt. White short-sleeved blouse, navy cardigan (optional).

I have been so glad to have the uniforms becuase getting my 9 year old to *not* dress like a slob is a challenge! The thing I don't like is the limitations on supplier. The pants are $30 each and there aren't sales.

I had no uniforms in my own school back in the 80's. We were at an inner-city school and nobody had much money so name brands were very rare, and almost never used to judge or "class" each other. Kids separated themselves based on activities, sports, academics, and cultural background (about 1/3 of our student body had only been in the US for around 5 years before high school). We were very diverse and while I do remember a few of the popular-snob type kids, there wasn't much in the way of cliques. Uniforms wouldn't have been solving any problems there.

Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: fountainof on April 19, 2014, 04:12:53 PM
In my area they only have uniforms for private school.  I probably wouldn't want to wear them as they don't look that comfortable.

I don't see how they equalize people though.  People can tell by things like your shoes, your back pack, your outer wear if you have designer brands.  Also, even without make up, done up hair there will be good looking kids and those not so much.  I actually think uniforms could make it harder for kids to express themselves as that is a big part of growing up and figuring out who you are and gain confidence.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: WolfWay on April 21, 2014, 11:32:37 PM
In my area they only have uniforms for private school.  I probably wouldn't want to wear them as they don't look that comfortable.

I don't see how they equalize people though.  People can tell by things like your shoes, your back pack, your outer wear if you have designer brands.  Also, even without make up, done up hair there will be good looking kids and those not so much.  I actually think uniforms could make it harder for kids to express themselves as that is a big part of growing up and figuring out who you are and gain confidence.
All the schools in South Africa have government approved uniform supply stores. This includes shoes, and our outer wear is also part of the uniform (jerseys/jumpers, blazers, socks, stockings, hats, sports wear). You can also get things like wooly hats, scarves and trenchcoats as part of the uniform.

You aren't told "you need black pants and a longsleeved white shirt", you are told "You will go to XX shop and get the following for ABC school". When you go to buy the uniforms, they ask which school its for (sometimes they ask for an official letter head from the school to make sure it's a legitimate request) and direct you to the appropriate set of uniforms.

You can't buy designer brand items and use those, you will be forced to replace them with sanctioned pieces. The only thing you can possibly personalise with a branded item is probably your backpack and maybe your pencil case, but that's about all.

Also for my school (and many others near mine), no makeup/jewelry was allowed, and hair styles were strictly enfored. The most you could do is maybe roll up your skirt at the waist to shorten it, and undo a top collar button and wear your school tie askew, even then you could get detention for modifying the uniform by wearing it incorrectly. You could get detention for not wearing your blazer over your jumper if you left the school grounds dressed like that.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Jones on April 21, 2014, 11:40:27 PM
That sounds...stifling, to me. A little extreme, though I'm sure if it's culturally accepted it's fine; such detailed rules wouldn't fly in my area.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Katana_Geldar on April 21, 2014, 11:47:06 PM
Having a uniform isn't about expressing yourself, it's about being part of something. By wearing the uniform you represent your school in public in a very recognisable way, this is why they crack down on things like kids smoking in uniform outside of school hours. It's how schools get a reputation, good and bad, and influences how parents choose schools for their children.

Children have many, many ways to express their individuality, I can't see how a uniform stops that. And most children don't buy their own clothes anyway or have limited choice on what their parents buy for them.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: WolfWay on April 22, 2014, 01:17:26 AM
That sounds...stifling, to me. A little extreme, though I'm sure if it's culturally accepted it's fine; such detailed rules wouldn't fly in my area.

It depends what you've grown up with. I honestly hadn't thought about how restrictive my school was until I started writing out all the rules in an earlier post in this thread. It never struck me as restrictive at the time. When it's how you've always been educated and everyone else you know is in the same boat, it doesn't seem wierd.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: CakeEater on April 22, 2014, 02:05:12 AM
That sounds...stifling, to me. A little extreme, though I'm sure if it's culturally accepted it's fine; such detailed rules wouldn't fly in my area.

It depends what you've grown up with. I honestly hadn't thought about how restrictive my school was until I started writing out all the rules in an earlier post in this thread. It never struck me as restrictive at the time. When it's how you've always been educated and everyone else you know is in the same boat, it doesn't seem wierd.

My high school had its 'speech night' (kind of like a graduation, but all grades are involved - awards given out for subject areas for each grade and the year 12s walked up on stage - but nothing like what I'm imagining a US graduation to be) about 2 weeks after the year 12s finished officially, and a boy had dyed his hair red in those two weeks. Not fire engine red, just a natural red, but not his natural colour, which was blonde, I think. He wasn't allowed up on stage, because part of the uniform policy was hair to remain undyed.

Hair longer than collar length on girls had to be tied up, and boys' wasn't to reach collar length. Plain black, white or brown hair ties. Boys' socks to be pulled up Hats on when outside, and when travelling to and from school. One pair of sleepers or studs allowed in girls' ears, and none in boys'. No other jewellery allowed apart from a watch. That's actually a pretty standard rule even in state schools here.

At boarding schools near me, the students have to wear their uniforms if they leave the school grounds even on the weekends. Shopping centres on Saturday are full of boarders in school uniforms. One school I taught at insisted that the kids wear their full uniform or none of it outside the school. So if they dropped into the shopping centre after school, they couldn't take their black lace up shoes off and wear slip ons if they had their school clothes on.

I love it. I loved wearing a uniform - I was proud to be associated with my school, even though the uniform was pretty ugly. I liked knowing what to wear every day - it would have been agonising for me to choose clothes for school.

There's 18 other hours in the day to express yourself with your appearance - I can't see why kids need to do that during the 6 hours they're at school.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: sammycat on April 22, 2014, 02:24:36 AM
I love it. I loved wearing a uniform - I was proud to be associated with my school, even though the uniform was pretty ugly. I liked knowing what to wear every day - it would have been agonising for me to choose clothes for school.

There's 18 other hours in the day to express yourself with your appearance - I can't see why kids need to do that during the 6 hours they're at school.

I so agree! I used to hate mufti day as I often used to be slightly out of sync with what a lot of the other girls wore, so having to go through that every day would've been a nightmare. (Most girls wore jeans in winter mufti days. As a teenager I hated wearing jeans and never really started wearing them until  I was adult, so always felt self conscious in my cotton pants).

Throwing on my uniform each day just made life so much easier.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: paintpots on April 22, 2014, 04:30:07 AM
Ditto- I remember the panic that set in the night before own clothes day!
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: jilly on April 22, 2014, 05:07:03 AM
My school uniforms weren't as strict as some, they were white blouse/shirt, navy or black trousers / skirt, school sweatshirt and a school tie. If you didn't want to wear the school sweatshirt in the winter you could wear something under your shirt to keep warm so long as it didn't show. I personally hated the school sweatshirt so I had a tight white jumper I wore under my blouse.
Skirts had a minimum length of the top of your knee but that was the only style restriction. Even if parents wanted you to wear a traditional style pleated knee length skirt there were a couple of shops selling school uniforms so they weren't too expensive.
Shoes had to be closed toe and heel and black, dark brown or navy.
There were restrictions on jewlery too. All rules applied equally to boys and girls :)
I think there was much more individual style in uniform than on mufti day. On mufti day everyone wore blue jeans a t-shirt and trainers but on uniform days there was a variety some girls preferred trousers some knee length skirts, one year I had a button through maxi skirt, there are a variety of styles of white shirt too.
It also taught you how to dress for work as I can't think of any job that doesn't at least have a dress code of some sort.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Ereine on April 22, 2014, 11:51:29 PM
I love it. I loved wearing a uniform - I was proud to be associated with my school, even though the uniform was pretty ugly. I liked knowing what to wear every day - it would have been agonising for me to choose clothes for school.

There's 18 other hours in the day to express yourself with your appearance - I can't see why kids need to do that during the 6 hours they're at school.

I think that here there's less emphasis on being part of something here, schools are for learning things, not for building teams. Schools are still pretty equal, though unfortunately it's changing and a good school is one that offers special programs or languages or for high schools, one that has good test scores.

I do think that my punk rocker friends would have had hard time expressing their personalities with the strictest uniform rules, maybe they could have worn wigs to school. And the no long hair on boys rule seems a bit bizarre.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: katycoo on April 23, 2014, 12:28:56 AM
I think that here there's less emphasis on being part of something here, schools are for learning things, not for building teams. Schools are still pretty equal, though unfortunately it's changing and a good school is one that offers special programs or languages or for high schools, one that has good test scores.

I believe there's evidence that students tend to learn better when part of a team.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: WolfWay on April 23, 2014, 01:44:32 AM
And the no long hair on boys rule seems a bit bizarre.
It's a neatness thing. It's very hard to look messy with a buzzcut or very short hair, whilst long hair can look unwashed and unkempt if you don't brush it or style it. It's the same reason that girls hair at my school had to be tied up once it was long enough to touch your collar. And if you had bangs, they had to be kept back off your face (alice band / clips) once it was longer than your eyebrows. I also forgot another restriction we had: the hair clips, hairties and alicebands had to be black or blue, no other colours.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Cherry91 on April 23, 2014, 05:48:43 AM
I'm from the UK, where uniforms are almost entirely a thing, but I've done the full circuit from the school where as long as you were wearing a school polo shirt they'd leave you alone, to a private catholic school with the full uniform - blazer, jumper, skirt that had to be knee length (they'd make you kneel on the ground and if your skirt didn't touch the ground you'd be in trouble. All it did was teach us how to roll a skirt in such a way that you could pull it to full length in under 5 seconds), etc. You had to ask the teacher's permission to remove your blazer, even in the summer, and some of the teachers would make you suffer for ages before they gav you permission.

Then I went to a Sixth Form with no uniform whatsoever and it was glorious. I went pretty mad with the freedom and dyed my hair about 10 times in two years.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: jilly on April 23, 2014, 06:13:04 AM
Then I went to a Sixth Form with no uniform whatsoever and it was glorious. I went pretty mad with the freedom and dyed my hair about 10 times in two years.

I went to a tech college and was excited to ditch the uniform, but I chose engineering. Health and safety made for even tighter restrictions on hair and jewellery then wearing overalls all day :(  hair dye was my only outlet, I even used hair mascara for daily changes!
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Ereine on April 23, 2014, 11:00:53 AM
I think that here there's less emphasis on being part of something here, schools are for learning things, not for building teams. Schools are still pretty equal, though unfortunately it's changing and a good school is one that offers special programs or languages or for high schools, one that has good test scores.

I believe there's evidence that students tend to learn better when part of a team.

Is that for smaller teams or the whole school? I think there's probably too much emphasis on learning facts and measurable skills and not enough on interpersonal relationships and teamwork and things like that (though our PISA results show that we're doing at least something right). Being neat and formal doesn't seem to be much of a priority.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: CakeEater on April 23, 2014, 05:03:03 PM
I think that here there's less emphasis on being part of something here, schools are for learning things, not for building teams. Schools are still pretty equal, though unfortunately it's changing and a good school is one that offers special programs or languages or for high schools, one that has good test scores.

I believe there's evidence that students tend to learn better when part of a team.

Is that for smaller teams or the whole school? I think there's probably too much emphasis on learning facts and measurable skills and not enough on interpersonal relationships and teamwork and things like that (though our PISA results show that we're doing at least something right). Being neat and formal doesn't seem to be much of a priority.

Are you in Finland, Ereine? You're absolutely right - uniforms have not helped our country come anywhere close to the standards you guys are achieving. I'd gladly give up uniforms for those sorts of achievement levels. :)
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: katycoo on April 23, 2014, 06:50:06 PM
I think that here there's less emphasis on being part of something here, schools are for learning things, not for building teams. Schools are still pretty equal, though unfortunately it's changing and a good school is one that offers special programs or languages or for high schools, one that has good test scores.

I believe there's evidence that students tend to learn better when part of a team.

Is that for smaller teams or the whole school? I think there's probably too much emphasis on learning facts and measurable skills and not enough on interpersonal relationships and teamwork and things like that (though our PISA results show that we're doing at least something right). Being neat and formal doesn't seem to be much of a priority.

Both/either.  Its about fostering a sense of belonging and participation.
Title: Re: Opinions on school uniforms
Post by: Margo on April 24, 2014, 07:46:54 AM
I'm in the UK - the first primary school I went to did not have a uniform, the second I went to, and the secondary school I went to, both did. I think there are benefits - although the uniform policy at secondary school was not enforced as strictly as some, so people were able to personalise their uniforms up to a point (for instance, officially girls were all supposed to wear navy blue a-line skirts - in practice, as long as the skirt was navy blue and fairly neat and tidy it would be allowed) It did not prevent some girls from being more fashionable or trendy than others, but it did make the differences much less obvious. The school did have some 'spare' uniforms (mostly things which people had failed to reclaim from lost property, some which were donated by leavers) and this did allow those who didn't have suitable uniform to be helped discreetly. I was completely unaware of this when I was a pupil, I only became aware of it when I was an adult, as my mother worked for the school. No one other than the child concerned would know, and the fact that the uniform was fairly standard meant it was not obvious if someone was wearing a 4 or 5 year old blazer, for instance.

it did 't prevent bullying (as I know to my cost)  but it did reduce the ways one could become a target.

At my school, we did not have to wear uniform in the 6th Form (6th form was age 17-18, and was after the end of compulsory school age) but we did have a dress code - as I recall, we were not allowed to wear denim (later they explicitly forbade leather, too!), sleeveless tops or short shorts or skirts.