Recently, my daughter was accepted to a magnet school where the basic uniform dress code is enforced. I am loving it. The clothing is less expensive, the laundry is easier and the daunting mornings of “I have nothing to wear" and "That doesn’t match" are gone.
When I moved to East Haven nine years ago, my older two children were in a public school that was a test school for uniforms. At first I was a little opposed to it, thinking that my boys would lose their individuality, but with them both being the same size, I soon began to realize that there were no longer any squabbles about who was wearing whose shirt or jeans and that they actually were so much easier to get out the door on time.
I think that all public schools should go with a uniform policy. It makes the kids look so neat and there isn’t that stigma of who has the better clothes, who wears designer labels and whose parents have more money. Kids can be very cruel at times when it comes to the way other kids are dressed.
What if all a parent can afford is clothing from Wal-Mart or K-Mart? Should those kids be looked down on by other students because they aren’t wearing a designer label? Most Catholic and private schools also require certain types of footwear, but I think the schools that have a uniform policy should only require that gym sneakers are white and leave the other footwear to family choice.
A basic dress code of khaki and navy bottoms along with white and navy shirts or tops makes it so easy for alleviating the competition and the distractions of how each pupil is dressed. Moms and dads have it easier to do the laundry and the family purse doesn’t take a financial beating when it comes to school shopping.
As long as the schools don’t require embroidered logos, the cost of purchasing outfits from a uniform store is also washed away. Great bargains can be found in stores such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart and major departments stores like J.C. Penney, Kohl’s and Macy’s. Locally there are also uniform styles at Pay Half, by a manufacturer called ‘French Toast’.
The kids can accessorize their school wardrobes with sweaters and vests. They can wear Bermuda shorts with stylish socks. Tops can be polo style, oxford, tee shirts or turtle necks when the weather begins to cool, and the longer pants come into play.
I don’t think a uniform policy takes away from a child’s individuality, I think it creates a neater, less competitive environment.