Monday, 11 January 2010


How many school kids complain about their uniform?

"I want to be an individual!" they proclaim.


Look around you. Humans need to belong to groups. They need to be identified as part of that group, even if they are not with that group.

Look at the football terraces, seas of red, green, yellow, checks. Watch the supporters walking to the match, nodding and smiling at strangers who wear the same colours, frowning at the other group.

Look at a school on a "non uniform" day. Look at the groups of kids, all keen to express their individuality by dressing exactly like their friends, or like those they want to be friends with, of those they want to be like.

The girls all wearing the same skinny jeans and lumpy bangles from the same fashion chain.

The boys all wearing the Animal hoodies.

Jocks, cheerleaders, geeks, nerds, emos, punks, rockers, mods, new romantics - they all have their own uniforms.

They may want to be unique, but they need to belong, and they only have one way to show it.

And if they turn up in the "wrong" outfit, suddenly they don't belong. Suddenly they are unique, but unique in a school means outsider.

So, a school that wants to be a community, with all its pupils belonging, needs a uniform.

Nothing complex, nothing uncomfortable, nothing strange, just uniform.

Uniforms are also great levellers - it brings down the snobs, it lifts up those who cannot afford cutting-edge fashion.

In the long-run, uniforms are good for the environment as well.

Somebody expected to wear a uniform needs to own fewer clothes, so fewer clothes need to be made.

Some of the money that would be wasted on soon-to-be-discarded fashion items gets spent on uniform that is used to its full extent, worn 'til it can be worn no more, then passed on to younger siblings. The rest can be spent on more important things - food, shelter, the latest Seasick Steve CD...

Kids may not want to wear a uniform, but they need to. It's good for them.


  1. :D You started a blog! Smashing.

    You know, I've always thought uniforms were a bunch of baloney, but you made me rethink it a bit - interesting first post!

  2. I'm sure this isn't really true everywhere. Where I live, nobody really cares about the clothes you wear, we all wear whatever we think looks good on ourselves. But I do try and stay away from trends and only buy "in" brands for reasons OTHER than style.


  3. @DJ

    Look at your friends. Don't you see a theme in their clothing?

  4. Yeah I guess you're right. New view on uniforms: We wear the uniforms that WE want to wear, not what anyone else forces us to wear.

  5. @ DJ

    Ahahahaha. His point *exactly*.

    Personally, I think that the uniform argument holds the greatest sway in areas where limited resources and widespread bullying and cliques are problems. I don't think uniforms are great because of some principle (such as "school is not the place to express yourself"), but often serve practical functions.