You Need Uniformity

14 Aug

This is an edited repost from 2010.  It will be true in a week or two, so I feel no guilt at making you re-read what you can’t possibly remember, if you’ve been around this blog that long.

Today is a scary day: it is school uniform shopping day. 

I loathe school uniform shopping day: schlepping around from store to store in pursuit of black and white clothes and a blazer with a bright yellow trim, arguing sotto voce with the Hub about nothing in particular, and certainly nothing school uniform-related.  The only thing that makes the day even a little bearable is that we don’t have to pay for it: Spud receives a generous uniform allowance as part of his bursary so we get to spend spend spend and send send send the receipts to school to claim it back.

I don’t like shopping for it but I do like a school uniform; it’s a great leveller.  No-one knows your circumstances (unless they see you arriving at school in your little Citroen from their Maseratis), and everyone looks smart.   Also, if you are attacked by the students wearing them, it’s easier to identify the culprits if you know which school they are from. 

You think I’m joking but I’m not: a girl from a local school hurled abuse at the Hub one day as he was waiting in the car for her to cross the road; he knew her uniform and was able to complain to the school; they tracked her down; she sent a letter of apology to him.

This is Tory Boy’s uniform during the last three years of high school.  

It could have been worse; and was: 

A year or so before TB attended high school, the pupils had been allowed to choose the uniform.  Then someone had the good sense to sack the head, and the new head re-introduced blazers.  Unfortunately, Tory Boy was already at college by then, where no uniform at all is required.  

He compensated by becoming Student President and introducing…college hoodies.

I give up.

Think of me out there today, cast adrift on a sea of striped ties and black socks with only a grumpy Hub and a bored teenager for company.  I could be doing something interesting, like cleaning.


21 Responses to “You Need Uniformity”

  1. jennysserendipity August 14, 2012 at 10:18 #

    Your son looks like his mother 😉


  2. jmgoyder August 14, 2012 at 10:37 #

    What a sweetie-pie!


  3. judithatwood August 14, 2012 at 11:08 #

    I don’t know of any schools around here that have uniforms — I wish they did. Even here in backwoods Maine, kids will always be cruel to someone who has less, and shows it. Best of luck with the shopping — and remember, smile, smile, smile!


  4. Tinman August 14, 2012 at 11:14 #

    We’ll be going into all this too – Tingirl moving from Junior Cert to Senior Cert cycle, so her jumper changes from bright blue to dark blue.
    As she’s going into Transition Year (a lot of civics work, work experience, stuff like that) she also gets a hoodie with her initials on it. We keep telling her that, since her initials are the same as Tinson2’s she can have his old one, and her biggest fear is that we might not be joking.


  5. Elaine - I used to be indecisive August 14, 2012 at 11:28 #

    I’m a great believer in school uniform too – the stricter the better really. I think it helps to focus the mind… or gives a small sporting chance of it. It also looks good.


  6. vivinfrance August 14, 2012 at 12:26 #

    I agree very much with school uniform, for the reasons you give, despite having done my best to subvert it when I was a stroppy teenage girl! The French think Brits are cruel to make boys wear ties and uniforms in general, but I think that’s stupid, as French children all seem to wear at least the same kind of clothes – jeans and t-shirts or sweatshirts mostly.


  7. katharinetrauger August 14, 2012 at 13:56 #

    The guy is as gorgeous as his mom. I, too, prefer the institutionalized to LOOK IT. 😉


  8. SchmidleysScribbling August 14, 2012 at 14:28 #

    Blazers look nice, but hoodies are nicer. I am conservative, but also understand that a jacket can pinch you under the arms if you wear it all day. When I worked for a corporation, I wore a suit every day, including a jacket and skirt or tailored slacks.

    When I worked for the government I wore loose sweaters or a long tunic shirt and pants with elastic waistband. (Every day was dress down day.) These dress codes tell you everything about the difference between government and the private sector. Dianne


  9. sharechair August 14, 2012 at 15:14 #

    I worked as a school counselor and kids were often teased and targeted because their clothes. I think uniforms are a great idea….. they equalize everyone. Good luck on your hunt! 🙂


  10. gigihawaii August 14, 2012 at 16:01 #

    I never wore a school uniform and neither did my husband and kids, because we all attended public schools in Hawaii.


  11. laurieanichols August 14, 2012 at 16:11 #

    I am in complete agreement about uniforms, children have enough on their mind without needing to worry about who is wearing what.


  12. viveka August 14, 2012 at 19:43 #

    We don’t have school uniforms in Sweden, a pity … it would be a lot less bullying and as you say it levels out. Think it’s a great thing. In Belfast I was witness to a young man being bullying at a bus stop – from another school and because of their uniforms I could contact the school. It was terrible the way he was bullied.


  13. eof737 August 14, 2012 at 20:15 #

    I like the hoodie idea actually. 😆


  14. kateshrewsday August 14, 2012 at 21:32 #

    I dread the uniform shopping, Tilly!!


  15. Yulia August 15, 2012 at 08:14 #

    Agree with you.. wearing school uniform is the best, so that every one will be in the same level… No more show off 😀


  16. Patti August 15, 2012 at 17:38 #

    Uniforms do simplify the whole getting ready in the morning thing. My daughter’s school has gone through a merger, so for the next two years, they will allow three different uniform styles – from both of the original schools and the newly merged school. A great relief to all of us who had just outfitted our kids for the first time right before the merger happened!


I welcome your comments but be warned: I'm menopausal and as likely to snarl as smile. Wine or Maltesers are an acceptable bribe; or a compliment about my youthful looks and cheery disposition will do in a pinch.

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