Sunday, January 24, 2010

School Uniforms

John Marine | 1/24/2010 01:59:00 AM | |
(UPDATED: July 29, 2012)

school uniforms
^ from: - Love them or loathe them, if you need to wear them, you have no other choice.

The bell has rung! Are you in class yet? Are you dressed properly? Speaking of dressed, are you wearing the proper clothes? This is two blog entries in one. One regards opinions on school uniforms, and the second part involves dressing up for school (if your school or someone goes to a school where uniforms are common procedure). Without delay, let's get to Part 1!

UPDATE 3/3/2010: I just want my international readers to note that the school uniforms mentioned in this blog entry mostly concern school uniforms here in the United States. There may obviously be much different school uniform codes for other places. This blog entry mostly concerns school uniforms here in the United States.

--- School Uniforms Part 1: Opinions ---

The first time I remember having to wear uniforms was about 1995 as a Seventh Grader. The polo shirts had to be either white, red, or navy blue. Bottoms had to be navy blue or khaki. The point of school uniforms was to wear appropriate clothing. School is a business. And since it's a business, you have to dress accordingly. It's to cut down on students wearing offensive clothing, gang-affiliated stuff, and things like that. It's for female students to dress appropriately for school and not so much as dressing up for the beach or for a day at the mall. Even when uniform codes were enforced, there were the daring few that tries wearing different kinds of garments to skirt the rules a bit. I've seen girls wear tops that were just a bit short (one girl even wear a cropped white shirt for the school to see almost all of her belly). I've seen polo dresses, which were pretty fine in my recollection. My middle school even had restrictions on girls wearing skorts. There were those few days where we could wear almost anything we wanted. So I would remember seeing lots of jeans, girls with belly-baring tops, girls wearing button-down shirts that were unbuttoned to show the navel. For one school year in 1997-1998 (I was a 9th Grader), we could wear almost anything we wanted. But the following school year, uniforms for everybody.

I look back on uniforms and just think that we are all uniforms, whether we like wearing them or not, were there to show we're part of a business. We don't get paid as students, but we do operate in a learning environment, and so we have to look the part. Having said this... I am someone who believes that fashion helps define who we are regardless of what shirts and bottoms we're supposed to wear. But in the minds of schools and school administration, we're students. That's all we are. Nothing more. Even when some people wear clothing a little out of bounds of uniform codes, we try to look our best. We're still learning regardless.

Or look at it like this- think of your favorite sports team(s). Do they wear whatever they want, or are they all a team and show they are united by wearing their team uniforms? You represent your school with the uniforms you wear. Overstep the boundaries, and you'll be easily admonished by the school faculty. The mindset is just that not wearing your uniform means that you're not serious about learning and thus, you're not representing your school proudly. We're still students- just that some want to dress the way they want in showing a little style and personality. A simple pair of clothes won't readily mean we're ready to learn. As the old saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't lead it to drink. Wearing a uniform means we're willing to learn and that we're seriously engaged in wanting to better our lives. But even if each student were allowed to wear T-shirts and jeans (or even denim jean skirts for girls), just wearing a simple pair of strictly-enforced clothes doesn't mean we will all show we'll have learned anything. Showing how much you learn comes from doing homework properly, learning as much as you can, enhancing your own talents. Clothing alone doesn't help. It has to be about the students wanting to learn. Whether uniform shirt + uniform pants/shorts/skirts/skorts + appropriate shoes or T-shirt + jeans + flip-flop/thong sandals, uniforms alone doesn't make a student prosper. It helps to show togetherness and determination to advance one's life, but it isn't the ultimate factor.

I'm not saying I'm for or against school uniforms. I just think there's (just like in all things) positive and negative qualities to uniforms. Many students are mostly about expressing themselves through fashion while still earning their education. That's what I think it all boils down to- success in the classroom vs. success in the classroom while dressed appropriately. And when you're done with most grade schools, you can wear almost anything you want now that you've moved on from grade school.

So what do YOU make of school uniforms? Comment away!

-end of Part 1

Why Support School Uniforms? (among others)

• unity
• showing you want to learn and that you're committed

Why Oppose School Uniforms? (among others)

• most dislike school uniforms
• enforced clothing alone doesn't equate to classroom success

--- School Uniforms Part 2: Fashion ---

I mentioned in Part 1 that school uniforms completely take away from one's freedom to wear whatever they want in expressing themselves. I'm one to believe that fashion is an expression of who we are, and having such restrictions don't do this department any justice.

Most schools have set guidelines as to what to wear. Male students are mostly in solid polo shirts and twill pants and shorts. Female students are mostly in solid polo shirts or blouses. Bottom choices include twill pants, twill shorts, jumpers, and skorts/culottes. Back starting around 1999, I've seen capri pants and flood pants to be... somewhat acceptable. Anything from various sneakers to many other formal-type shoes are acceptable. Female students usually have these options including pumps and mary janes. Boots are even fine.

This widget below has all kinds of school uniform items for you all to find on Please read "An Important Amazon Note" to read more about items featured. This will help you to find school uniforms you're looking for, whether you're a student or you're buying uniforms for your child.

If you want to shop for school uniforms, I have set up a blog entry on "John's Shop Space" where you can shop for more school uniforms:

Thank you for reading!

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Anonymous said...

I am strongly opposed to school uniforms for several reasons. The first being that we need to teach our kids to be individuals, not just one of the masses. In the uniforms they blend in and end up being just one of the crowd.

The second reason is frankly, later on in life they will spend enough time wearing a uniform whether they work for McDonalds or work for a corporation and have to wear a suit and tie, they will be in some kind of uniform. Let them be themselves now.

Uniforms are NOT a good way to cut down on gang-related wear when half the time the schools choose colors that are gang-related in the first place. My cousins' high school had uniforms and there was still a lot of gang related activity going on in the school - in fact the gangs incorporated the uniforms into their "gang wear" to identify members of the gangs. It isn't the solution to the problem, it just makes the gangs work a bit harder is all.

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