Why I Love School Uniforms

My kids don’t go to private school, but they were part of a pilot project that introduced school uniforms into the regular school system. I soon realized that uniforms are a hot debate topic for parents, teachers and administrators.

So what do I think? In short, it is one of those little things that has helped me maintain a bit of sanity while raising my half dozen kids. The benefits are many for this mama of six. These are the reasons it works for me:

1) All the kids are dressed the same. I like that school does not become a fashion show and that clothes don’t define the child. I’m a big fan of level playing fields for kiddos, and I think this can help in those leveling efforts. Some parents will argue that kids should be able to express their creativity with their clothes. I feel comfortable with my kids expressing their creativity through other avenues – maybe their academic subjects and artistic interests. I’ll be dealing with tattooed goth teenagers soon enough – I don’t mind delaying that self-expression for a few more years. Oh, and when all kids are wearing the same colours, it makes for happy times in laundry land.

2) What a pleasure it is to wake up in the morning and not be required to think or discuss what is going to be worn that day. Mornings are busy enough around my hectic house and having to debate with pre-tween girls about outfits at 7:00am would bring a bad start to most days. I like to avoid morning conflict so I can focus on my task at hand – getting people out the door!

3) Many parents would argue that uniforms are expensive. While I agree I made a fairly decent original investment, I did some calculations and in the long run I can say with great confidence that I have saved a lot of money. My fifth kid is going off to JK this year in a golf shirt that has been worn by four older siblings. For smaller families who don’t reap the benefits of my spectacular hand-me-down situation, most schools have a ‘gently-worn’ used clothing sale.

Here are the biggies going off to school this year in their R.J. McCarthy school uniforms. Don’t they look dashing? What do you think about uniforms – love ’em or hate ’em?

Julie Cole

Author: Julie Cole

Julie Cole is the co-founding vice-president of award-winning children’s label manufacturer Mabel’s Labels. She has helped her company bring their product to a worldwide market, gain media recognition and win countless entrepreneur awards. Cole is a regular television contributor, an influential and syndicated blogger and a mother of six. Follow her on twitter @juliecole and Instagram @cole.julie

19 thoughts

  1. I LOVE school uniforms too… I wish my kids had them at their school… though I did not like wearing them when I was a kid. However on a mom perspective it is awesome and as for the latest fashions I wish that was not SO big but my kids are not yet into it much… I am sure it is coming though.
    I would VOTE for uniforms in a heartbeat.

  2. My daughter doesn’t got to private school either, but part of her wardrobe is from the school uniform line. I find that school uniforms are better constructed and last longer than most of the other garments marked to kids these days. Not to mention just about everything goes with them so less thinking in the morning.

    I am also not a fan of the fashion show that school can turn in to and try to keep my daughter in classic but fun styles. I also limit the number of graphic/character shirts/outfits she wears to school because I think it is distracting. I’m also not a big fan of using my daughter’s tummy as a marketing billboard for corporations. I’m more than happy toe buy panties in characters though–giggle.

  3. I wish we had uniforms for our school. Your reasons listed are exactly the ones I would agree with if we had them. How did your school get selected for the pilot? Is expansion in the works to other schools? Seems like a brilliant idea to me.

  4. I can only imagine the debate that happened at your school! What was the opposition all about? I have to agree with you…who would vote AGAINST making life easier in the morning??

    And…super cute kids!

    1. most of the resistance was about expense and the feeling that kids should be able to express themselves through their clothing. A mom with an only argued that it would be cost prohibitive to big families – I was like “hold on…we big families love this!!!”
      But, it got very very heated.

  5. We’ve lived in Queensland for just over a year and I LOVE my kids’ school uniforms. Easy to wash, easy to sort, no thinking in the morning! Also, cost-wise, they aren’t that expensive. I can outfit both my children for the first day of school at around $100 … TOTAL! Even if it was $100/child, I still think it’s a reasonable investment for the year.

  6. Love em! They look so smart! (I have a soft spot for the British Boarding School look!) Not to mention anything that keeps the battles about ‘but everyone else is wearing halter tops and hot pants!’ to a minimum is a great idea in my books.

  7. I loved it!!! I had uniform as a child for both elementary and high school. My {4}kids have asked if they can go to a school with uniform because they want to do what I did. Most department stores have uniform clothing: Zellers, Wal-mart and even Old Navy. About children expressing them self’s… I always did my hair different and accessorized to express myself. The only day that bothered me was Civies day, LOL!
    I would totally vote YES for my kiddos to have uniform.

  8. My daughter attends a Catholic Elementary School where uniforms are mandatory. I love them! It definitely eliminates any morning arguments when your child can easily pick out what shirt and bottoms they wish to wear because they ALL match. I think that expressing creativity with clothing is something they can do on the days off and weekends, and we allow her to do this in our home during those periods!

    It is a little expensive, however, like most things in life, if you shop around and look for the deals – it’s quite affordable. This year I outfitted her with all new shirts (7 total), two dresses and a two pairs of pants for under $100.

  9. I would love to see uniforms at our school. I, too, believe it’s a leveler and like it for that reason. My daughter’s too young to really worry about having the ‘right’ shoes or jeans or shirts or whatever, but that time will come soon.

    And kids will always find ways to express themselves!

  10. I hate uniforms. Absolutely hate them. Just wait til your older kids grow out of the uniforms in 2 months and you can’t find them in the stores any more! My son started 6th grade wearing a size 10. He started 7th grade in a 30-32! No uniforms to be found in January. No way I could anticipate such a spurt. It’s ridiculously expensive to invest in clothes like that. If I didn’t have uniforms, I could have headed down to the clearance rack.

    And if your school picks non standard colors like my dd’s middle school? Expect to pay a small fortune for clothes that will not be able to be used from year to year because they grow out too quickly.

    Or my son’s middle school and the high school it feeds(I have 4 kids in 4 different schools in ONE district)…the kids have to change colors depending on grade level! So there’s no saving the shirts for the next year. Forced to buy new clothes. AGain, not able to shop the clearance racks!

    It’s not saving me any money at all! Next year, i’ll have 5 kids in 5 schools. All wear different colors. UGH

  11. LOVE LOVE LOVE uniforms… My child looks polished and ready for learning not a fashion show. I have saved a ton of money.
    When I buy new I buy from JCpenny who has uniforms year round and usually has some type of free shipping or multiple item discount. The brand they sell is Izod and it’s quality is fantastic. I’m lucky my daughter is small and has stayed small because I have had pieces last 2 whole school years and when I donated them they still looked beautiful. I also buy at thrift stores. Our whole district has a uniform policy so you can find a huge rack of them at any of our local thrifts year round as well.

  12. I LOVE school uniforms! My son goes to private school, but here in Puerto Rico, even the regular school system has uniforms. They decided in favor of it because most low-income homes don’t have the budget to buy fashionable wardrobes in order to compete with the ones that do, and that creates stress and unnecessary conflict between the students.

    There are even stores here dedicated to school uniforms; you go and tell them the name of your school and grade, and they have all the items they need, year-round!

  13. I’m glad to of found this discussion on uniforms. Our school is currently discussing having uniforms and I offered to be on the committee. So reading all your points of view are helpful. I myself am not thrilled with the Idea, however I do see the bonus to them. We have a great school and I would not chose to go to another just because of uniforms. Making a Pro and Con list to the Idea, lets just say there are more Pro’s than Con’s that I have. When we all sit down there may be others that have differant views. But thanks again to the inlighten views on the Uniform subject.

  14. I loved it!!! I had uniform as a child for both elementary and high school. My {4}kids have asked if they can go to a school with uniform because they want to do what I did. Most department stores have uniform clothing: Zellers, Wal-mart and even Old Navy. About children expressing them self’s… I always did my hair different and accessorized to express myself. The only day that bothered me was Civies day, LOL!
    I would totally vote YES for my kiddos to have uniform.

  15. love, love, love school uniforms. takes the hassle out of picking what to wear and super quick laundry. Our school has a second hand uniform sale about twice a year, when our son grows out of sizes I donate them and then when the sale is on I stock up. I also am always checking the kids consignment stores or second hand stores. For the smaller kids they grow out of the size before they wear out…just a few suggestions for cost. But I hate the idea of kids having to dress a certain way in certain brands to fit in.

  16. I agree school uniforms are a great idea! Public school dress codes have been ignored and kids (especially girls) are breaking it bc they feel they should be allowed to wear whatever they want even if it distracts others and exposes body parts that don’t need to be seen. My girls go to a school that has uniforms and it’s so much easier for them to get ready for school when they know what they are going to wear. School isn’t meant to be a fashion show.

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