Five Reasons Why All Schools Should Have Uniforms

In Beauty & Fashion, Parenting by Jen24 Comments

Five Reasons Why All Schools Should Have Uniforms

Three years ago our family moved to a new school district. I was considering home schooling my children because I wasn’t entirely enamored with our new school district. There was however, a free public/charter school that was within walking distance for our family, but the fact that the children were required to wear uniforms at this school was a big negative at the time to me. I felt like uniforms hampered personal style for the child and would just be a big bummer. After touring the school, my children and my husband and I were all impressed. The school matched so many of the important elements we were looking for and so we went ahead and enrolled our 2 oldest at the time and now we are embarking on our 4th year and third enrolled child at this school.

I can tell you that my attitude towards uniforms has drastically and dramatically changed from my previous opinion. I have become a huge uniform supporter and feel as if this should become a fairly standard protocol in schools everywhere.

Uniforms Level The Playing Field

Prior to wearing uniforms we were at some really great public schools, but at a very early age, the “fashion wars” as I call them came into effect. I remember volunteering once at my children’s school and having a first grader crying to me that a few girls were making fun of the shirt she was wearing and saying it was a fake “Justice” piece. Listening to her was heartbreaking. I believe this same thing happens every day at schools all around the world that do not require uniforms. Uniforms help to seriously undercut this problem and level the playing field at school so that the focus is on learning and not on what a child is wearing.

Uniforms Save Families Money

With 3 school aged children, our clothing budget has dramatically, and happily might I add, been reduced with the introduction of uniform only school days. Rather than having to try and be constantly adjusting their wardrobes throughout the year to match seasons and styles, I can instead focus on buying quality staples that can be transitioned for use throughout the entire year.

The money we have saved can then go towards fun activities for our family, taking the focus off of materialism and away from the current school trend of how fashionable a child looks as being an important factor.

Plus once a year our school does a uniform swap, where you can go and swap your still in great shape items that just don’t fit your child, for items that do fit them. Thus saving families even more!

Uniforms Set A Standard For Learning

There is a reason that successful small and large businesses have established dress codes. It sets a precedent for professionalism and standards. I want my children to take this type of attitude towards their learning and wearing a uniform helps children to dress for success and take more seriously their studies.

Uniforms Reduce Distractions

What people wear can be a huge distraction to learning. I know, I know most schools have clothing “guidelines”, but it does seem that sometimes those guidelines get pushed to the limit with how tight or low a student can go with their clothing before getting into trouble. Uniforms also reduce the messaging that can be very evident in a classroom. I remember talking to a teacher friend once who said that having to monitor the tee- shirt messages that students wore was an exhausting part of her job! She didn’t want to be the tee- shirt police, but that had become part of her job.

Lastly, uniforms tend to be pretty comfy, with comfortable and breathable shirts, pants and skirts. This allows children to focus on the business of learning rather than on that itchy tag on the inside of their shirt….

Uniforms Create A Sense Of Belonging

Uniforms provide the opportunity to be included rather than excluded for what a child is wearing. Clothing is an easy way to point out the discrepancies between students and as I stated at the beginning of this post, wearing a uniform levels the playing field for all students, regardless of economic factors. Bringing the emphasis back on learning.

I know that there are those of you reading this who may disagree with my viewpoint, but I believe that is why choice in education is so vitally important. I hope though that after reading this it might help you see some of the benefits of uniforms in school.

Stay Happy! Stay Informed!

Love,

Jen




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Comments

    1. Author

      I’m glad you agree, I feel they really do make a hugely positive impact on the educational process!

  1. Great post, and wonderful pro-uniform points. I had a uniform from first grade through senior year of high school and I loved it! I’m not a big fashion person so finding outfits to wear every single day would have been annoying. But even if I DID like all sorts of clothes, I think it would still be frustrating to find something new to wear five days a week, every single week. Plus, it really is nice to have people MOSTLY looking the same in a school setting.
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    1. Author

      I didn’t know that about you! I think that is why my kids like it so much, it takes the whole drama out of getting dressed in the morning and for me it makes the mornings a lot smoother, without the whole “I have nothing to wear” battles!

      I know I have about 5 outfits I rotate through myself and anything more would give me a headache :)
      Jen recently posted…Five Reasons Why All Schools Should Have UniformsMy Profile

  2. The money-saving aspect is HUGE. I think it creates less of a hassle in the morning, as it does for all of us!
    As for that story about the first grader, that’s so sad. But mainly – FIRST graders are already starting that mean girl stuff? Ridiculous.

  3. I remember complaining about my uniform and my father, who grew up quite poor, explained to me the same point you outlined about leveling the playing field. Of course, I hadn’t thought of it that way until he pointed out not everyone could afford the best, the newest, the coolest stuff. That really stayed with me and I stopped resenting wearing on. By the time I got to college I missed my uniform terribly because suddenly I had to think about what to wear!
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    1. Author

      My husband and I own a small business and with the economic down town we have had quite a few of our clients (even attorneys and such) go belly up. It has been brutal, but we have struggled through. I know we could not have in any way afforded to buy multiple outfits and that really would have made my kids stick out at a school without uniforms. They truly have been a blessing in our life like your Dad explained. You have a wise Dad :)
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  4. Amen! I loved having a uniform in high school. It only took 5 minutes to get dressed in the morning…no worrying about what to wear. I’m so pro-uniform that it was something I searched for even in pre-school. There’s plenty of time to dress up in fun clothes on weekends and school breaks!
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  5. Great points and I am all for uniforms as well. I grew up in rather conservative school system. There were several years I didn’t wear shorts because we could not find shorts 3 inches above the knee or longer. I would have loved uniforms. I also feel like uniforms help set a standard between professional attire and at-home attire. When I worked in the lab, we had several high school interns that rotated. I cannot tell you how many times we had to say, “That is not appropriate attire for a professional environment or laboratory.” Things like cheerleading outfits with no pants, spaghetti tanks, flip flops, tiny shorts, midriff shirts to show their belly ring, and more. We worked with known mutagens, antigens, and carcinogens.
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    1. Author

      I know! I am a PR professional and sometimes the interns I see at political functions or at business gatherings look more like “women of the night” than PR professionals! It’s crazy! Who wears stilettos and a mini skirt to something like that! I had to once tell an intern to go home because of how she was dressed. The press was circling her for a story because they thought she was a paid escort!
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  6. Hi Jen, I totally agree with you. Coming from a country where school uniforms are the norm, to a country where school uniforms are unheard of, I would have to say that I would support the bringing in of school uniforms here. Uniforms don’t have to be strict (the middle school I went to was OTT), but with a good uniform guideline the children look smart, get a sense of belonging and learn to take pride in the school they go to. And as you said, everyone is the similar, no matter what their backgrounds are.

    Saying that though, it is important for children to be individuals, which can be a little difficult if everyone looks the same, but they can always do that at home.

    xx
    Debbie recently posted…My Makeup MakeoverMy Profile

    1. Thanks Debbie! I really do love that the uniforms make it a level playing ground at school. I know my kids bring in their individuality with their sometimes mismatched and crazy sock choices, shoes, backpacks, water bottles and hair accessories. Plus I was talking to my daughter the other day and she gave me another insight I had missed about uniforms. She told me that it helped her to focus on who she was inside and not on how she looked outside. I loved hearing that!
      Jen recently posted…Fall Treats And How To Spoil A TeacherMy Profile

  7. I agree 100%! I never believed in uniforms until I studied abroad in Sydney, Australia and all the public schools wore them. It does level the playing field and it just removes that whole layer of attention given to clothes and accessories.

    #happynowlinkup

  8. I am one million percent on the YES boat with you on this one. My friend and I differ in opinion and I always find it funny when we “lightly” disagree. I’m all for personal style but realize when we moved from a non uniform to a uniform school, education became more of a focus. Instead of fretting if the outfit would be ok and not be a target of bullying. I could go on and on with you (with a cup of coffee or wine or coffee and wine =) Great post Jen!
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