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
- 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!!