Uniforms are anything but.

Every day I get up in the morning, and pick out my uniform. No, not a plaid skirt, knee socks, a white button-down shirt. That’s kind of too girly-raunchy for me. It’s different nearly every day, but in the end it’s a dialogue, it’s what’s on my mind. That’s the constant.

I don’t like the idea of school uniforms. The argument in favor has something to do with them being “equalizers” and diminishing superficial distractions in an academic setting, but I’d rather teach my children to curate their daily uniform than leave it to the low priority of a school administrator.

I don’t find contemplating one’s appearance—presentation—to be something negative.

I remember seeing a video about Jacqueline Kennedy, who said something to the effect that dressing her best and carefully “decorating” the White House was a way to tell people she liked them. It’s worth a try.

Here’s a website someone made to document her quest to wear one dress in as many ways as possible.
The Uniform Project

Pretty cool.


4 Responses

  1. Did I ever tell you that I had to wear a uniform to both grammar school and high school. For grammar school it was a white shirt, shoes, and a green tie with the insignia of the Catholic school on it. High school was a suit of my choice, shoes, tie. Unfortunately it was the disco era so the suits were plaid, huge bell bottom and cuffed pants, and three-toned shoes. The only pre-college school attire for me was kindergarten.

  2. I’m with you, there. I decided not to send my son to a perfectly wonderful school simply because they had a uniform.
    Re: the theory that they are social equalizers, check out any upper-east-side schoolgirl in her Prada-ed and Juicy-ed up uniform, with the skirt shortened up to her belly-button (not that I have a problem with short skirts, but as far as not being distracting goes….) .

  3. Interesting perspective.

    I always thought kids have their clothes chosen by their parents. But it depends which age group you are referring to.

    My son tends to prefer shirts that make him look “skinny”. I don’t know where he got that complex from, but it’s sad when a 9 year old boy is walking around with that concern.

    So though his mom gets him the stuff, he does choose the ones he wants to wear, at least when he’s with me.

  4. Yeah, it’s surprising how much pressure to conform little kids absorb. How do we encourage them positively to express their presence in the world? We pressure them in so many ways to meet and surpass “standards,” how do we then present the case that their unique presence is not being measured? It is (for instance, all that testing…)! This pretty much sums up why I don’t like school uniforms. It’s like saying everyone should aspire to one result—variation is bad. But I LIKE variation, isn’t that how species survive?! I think I learned that bit of science in school…

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