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Opinions on school uniforms

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--- Quote from: 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.

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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.  :)


--- Quote from: jaxsue on May 19, 2013, 04:52:07 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.

--- End quote ---

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).

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.

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...

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.


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