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To have decided secondary school uniform actually looks ridiculous (most of the time!)

(75 Posts)
youarenotkiddingme Wed 29-Nov-17 17:12:15

Dropped ds at school this morning and for some unknown reason traffic towards my work was heavy and crawling.

As I was sat in car I saw primary kids and secondary kids and employees all off on their day.

It struck me how the primary kids looked comfortable in skirts and trousers, warm tights and jumpers. The employees has work clothes that looked smart but were bought to suit shape and size and were practical.

The secondary kids are in thin tights (not allowed the super soft thick ones), all girls in same style skirt regardless of shape, size and height and girls just looked ‘odd’ in the ties. The blazers looked a good style on some pupils but others just looked like they were wearing something designed for someone else!

It struck me that despite me agreeing with uniform and the community feel of all wearing a uniform - logo and belonging etc but the reality is 1200 individual children all show horned into a one size fits all style.

I had to visit bank after work where all the staff wore ‘same’ uniform and logo but there were a variety of styles which were chosen by staff to suit their comfort, style and shape.

So AIBU to think that this idea that shirt, tie and blazer and 1 style skirt or trousers actually looks more odd than smart?

TroelsLovesSquinkies Wed 29-Nov-17 17:22:23

I don't like school uniforms in general. I agree that the chosen uniform does not suit of fit many kids. My Dd is well developed for her age and loos plain uncomfortable and odd in her uniform. She looks more presentable on weekends and holidays when she wears clothes appropriate for her body shape.

youarenotkiddingme Wed 29-Nov-17 17:26:46

Yes it was the bigger of bust girls I felt for amongst others. Ties that didn’t hang right and blazers that stuck out in triangles to accommodate their shape.
It dawned on me in the age we are meant to be giving girls s good body image to counteract the SM image we then force them to wear something unsuitable and likely they feel shite and uncomfortable in.
I wonder if that’s why they flout hair colour, shoe and make up rules - maybe an attempt to feel good about themselves?

For my ds uniform and design is fine and fits well. I wonder if that’s why I’ve not really noted it before.

VeganIan Wed 29-Nov-17 18:44:08

I wish the girls at Dc's school could wear trousers - skirts are crap, and because of the rules about length they have some special non-rolling up waistband which makes them £25 each. The summer dresses are also unique and more expensive. And also impractical and see-through.

But at least they are a relatively boring, plain colour. I had to be top to toe in bloody bottle green envy There's a school near here that has a delightful blazer in green stripes - dark and light green. It's awful. My nephews had to wear shit brown and urine yellow primary uniform.

youarenotkiddingme Wed 29-Nov-17 21:08:20

I know what you mean.

My mindset changed from agreeing with uniform in principle to seeing that it’s really very demoralising for some kids to be dressed in clothes not designed for their shape or height for the sake of it being a uniform.

I started thinking there needed to be more variety and common sense and there must be a better way to create a community feel and cohesion and have a uniform without a one size fits all policy.

BarbarianMum Wed 29-Nov-17 21:49:53

Well I dont agree with you. Ds1 certainly complained about having to wear a buttoned up and tucked in shirt for the first week of secondary but has got used to it now and I don't agree that a blazer and leather shoes are that uncomfortable.

Having just completed a round of entry level recruitment where several of the candidates looked like they'd rolled out of bed of a Sunday to let the dog out, I think if anything general ecpectations of dress could do with being raised a bit across the board.

WhooooAmI24601 Wed 29-Nov-17 21:53:01

I don't think uniforms are a necessary part of school at all. I also don't think they do much to bridge the gap between the children who have more and those who have less, because that gap still exists.

PuffinsSitOnMuffins Wed 29-Nov-17 22:00:46

I went to a girls school where the uniform was open necked shirts, v-neck jumpers and skirts. Boring, but we got off so lightly looking back! Ridiculous to truss kids up in blazers and ties I think. There's a girls school near us with a similar uniform to what we had, but a bit more variety - trousers as well as skirts and Muslim girls in headscarfs and long skirts. They just look so much more comfortable than the kids in blazers.

thistimeweall Wed 29-Nov-17 22:02:28


And pointless, stupid, neverending arguments about shirts and trousers and trainers.


it is hardly conducive to learning!

AlpacaLypse Wed 29-Nov-17 22:06:03

I would love to see the end of uniform. No one I actually know in real life dresses in cheap navy blue ill-fitting terylene. Why should I expect my children to do so?

AuntieStella Wed 29-Nov-17 22:09:07

Thicker tights aren't banned for skirt wearers at our secondary. But they may as well be, because absolutely no-one wears them. (rather like how the beasts don't wear coats). There is a trouser option for girls, but next to no-one wears that either.

There was a new anti-roll skirt brought in about 3 years ago. As teen girls rapidly proved, the name was over-optimistic.

One good thing is that girls don't wear ties. Boys do, but then again a jacket and tie is business normal for man, just as jacket matter in business attire for women.

VioletCharlotte Wed 29-Nov-17 22:14:07

I agree that school uniform often looks pretty ridiculous. My DS school wasn't too bad - Black trousers (girls could wear skirt or trousers), white logo polo shirt and navy blue logo sweatshirt. So pretty comfortable and practical. Most of the other local secondary schools insist on blazers and ties and stupid rules about not removing blazers when its baking hot hmmDS are both at college now and just wear jeans and tshirts.

MaisyPops Wed 29-Nov-17 22:16:42

I couldn'r care less if we had uniform vs didn't have uniform as long as whatever guidelines are set are followed and supported by home.

E.g. I worked at a non uniform school (overseas) and all students dressed appropriately.
Meanwhile in thr UK schools say 'no trainers' and every year loads of idiots buy their children trainers and then get outraged that they are pulled up for it.

I quite like the idea of a uniform of interchangable pieces in KS3/4 in simplr colours or with school logo on it at rrasonable prices (e.g. trousers/jumper/blouse/tie/blazer/skirt/cardigan etc). Sadly, it'd just be a battle because some parents are idiots and are incapable of expecting their offspring to follow the rules.

E.g. my school simple and fair. This week we had a battle with a group of girls who couldn't fathom that 'non skinny straight leg trousers' means leggings tight trousers weren't ok. What did home say 'eee well they're from the school shop' clearly not 'well i've just bought her them so I'm not getting her new ones' hmm

youarenotkiddingme Wed 29-Nov-17 22:23:49

I also had open neck blouse and v neck jumper. It was comfortable, we took jumper off of we were hot and could wear whatever grey shirt we liked as long as suitable length.

We did get in trouble for tying jumpers around our waist though grin

One local school has polo and jumper for secondary and it looks far more comfortable and practical.

Despite having less formal uniform than currently seems the norm I still managed to take a job after school that required full suit and court shoes and managed to wear it. Difference is - that uniform had ladies suit jackets tailored to fit.

I’m actually for uniform. I’ve never really paid much attention it how it looked before today (ds is year 9!)

I just think there has to be a better way to create a uniform look.

mum11970 Wed 29-Nov-17 22:27:12

Girls can wear trousers at my kids secondary and yrs7-11 wear polo shirts and sweatshirts. Only the 6th form wear shirt and tie. No blazers.

Doobigetta Wed 29-Nov-17 22:30:36

Workwear can look pretty awful. There are few things scruffier than a (usually young) man in cheap suit trousers and cheap thin formal shirt half tucked in. Especially if he isn't wearing a tie. But then it partly looks awful because they look like overgrown schoolkids, so maybe YANBU.

YouThought Wed 29-Nov-17 22:32:26


I'd not have a uniform if I were in charge. I'd have a few rules - no high heels, nothing offensive and that would probably be it.

The kids in my local school don't wear uniform but are required to wear a lanyard with their name on.

I really don't understand why people are so insistent that wearing a uniform makes kids better students. 🤷🏻‍♀️

Ollivander84 Wed 29-Nov-17 22:35:14

Barbarian - I went for an interview, had a smart dress on with jersey type blazer and heels. Interviewer had a baggy fleece and trainers on. I felt SO overdressed

In one job we had to do typing assessments and I remember two people because one had jeans on and the other had a football shirt on. Was really shocked but I was about 5 years older than them so don't know if things have changed/are changing

Owletterocks Wed 29-Nov-17 22:41:46

Maybe it prepares them well for the workplace! My scrub tops are straight cut despite 95% of the staff wearing them being female. They are baggy on the top and stick on my hips. Look completely dreadful

SomewhatIdiosyncratic Wed 29-Nov-17 22:48:13

I like the local primary uniform. It's fairly flexible in the pieces that make it up. DS wears the logo cardigan as the jumpers don't fit over his head. He's a very warm child who favours shorts all year (apparently it's still not cold enough for the knee length socks confused) but he still has a look that blends with the uniform despite it being a more unusual combination of the standard items.

I hated wearing a blazer at secondary and quickly realised when starting teaching that I hated suit jackets too. I've taught in a non-uniform school, and felt far more comfortable teaching in my usual casual combination of jeans and t-shirt than I do in a suit.

The students in that school created far fewer issues in their choices of casual wear compared to enforcing a uniform policy. So much time and effort is wasted on skirt/ tie lengths, when is a shoe a trainer, blazers etc

NK493efc93X1277dd3d6d4 Thu 30-Nov-17 08:39:52

Where I live it is the better schools that have the smartest uniforms. I believe that it has a positive effect on their behaviour and helps to equip them for the workplace.

Redcliff Thu 30-Nov-17 18:26:11

I completely agree with you OP - why can't they do what primary schools do and have polo shirts, jumpers and any black trousers or skirt ? I'm on my way to work and I can wear what ever I like as long as its fairly smart and lots of men don't wear ties any more

CruCru Thu 30-Nov-17 18:36:02

Gosh, yes. The thing is, I like uniform when it really is smart. Problem is, the uniforms on the girls round here just aren't very nice. There's something very uncomfortable about seeing young women wearing a very short skirt, a thin white shirt, a polyester tie and a cheap, nasty, ill fitting blazer.

Eolian Thu 30-Nov-17 18:46:35

I have gradually decided I'm against school uniforms. There are all sorts of arguments trotted out in favour of them, the only even vaguely convincing one being that it stops competitive fashionableness. And really, it doesn't even do that. Everybody knows who the cool kids are, by their phones, their bags, their trainers, their make-up etc.

Does anyone really believe that UK schools have significantly less bullying than schools in France/Spain/Germany/Italy etc because we have uniforms and they don't? They seem to manage perfectly well without them.

Eolian Thu 30-Nov-17 18:50:46

Where I live it is the better schools that have the smartest uniforms. I believe that it has a positive effect on their behaviour and helps to equip them for the workplace.

That's what they want you to think. Uniform does not have a positive effect on behaviour. It just adds another thing to tell the kids off about. The reason it appears that better schools have a smarter uniform is self-perpetuating imo. Aspirational mc parents are attracted by a traditional, smart uniform so they send their kids there. Hey presto, smart uniform school is full of aspirational mc kids. It's not the actual wesring of the uniform that makes behaviour better.

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