On Uniforms

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Backroads, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,611
    Likes Received:
    1,915

    Aug 4, 2020

    I know a good number of public and charter schools require school uniforms. They have their reasons: keep everyone looking good, theoretical drop in bullying, focus on academics, not spending money on other clothes, etc.

    But I find myself doubting the benefit vs the energy cost that goes into these.

    Several uniform schools in the area are posting like mad on social media asking for help: they need to get their students all uniform, but there is just too much poverty for all families to buy uniforms.

    On one hand, I do love a good tale of the community rallying to help each other.

    On the other hand, of all the things schools need to be busying themselves with right before school, it's kind of sad student clothes have to take so much priority and time.

    Oh, but a couple of outfits will cost less than other clothes. Not when it's trying to afford a uniform vs clothes you already own.

    One mom on Facebook was in tears. She had registered at a charter school at the last minute so her kids wouldn't be stuck in the local district's hybrid schedule. She's looking at close to a grand to get her kids two uniforms each at the cheapest. (She does have a lot of kids).

    It's easy enough to say don't go to that school if you can't afford the uniform, but then that just leads to haves vs have nots schools.

    Sigh.

    I guess I am just trying to say I'm disenchanted with uniforms.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  2.  
  3. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    198

    Aug 4, 2020

    I think they're ok if done in a way that reflects the community the school serves, or if there's genuine reason to have them for safety purposes. Most of the schools I've worked with have done uniforms for good reasons. One was to reduce gang-related incidents, and the one I just left does them for safety. The charter uses the public school buses and we share evacuation locations, so it's a safety thing to be able to tell at a glance which students belong to which school.
    When the code is too strict, that's where things get expensive. Shoes are probably the most expensive part- especially if they're required to have a different pair for PE. The Lutheran school I interned at in college had the easiest dress code: any bottoms that aren't jeans or tights/leggings, any collared shirt, and whatever closed-toed shoes.
    Uniforms are most expensive at the start, since most people either have multiple kids who can pass down items or access to uniform trade-in groups. Some brands are wising up, like Cat & Jack, and making their bottoms with adjustable waists so the kids can wear them longer. That's something I hadn't thought about though, as a side-effect of the COVID crisis.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  4. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,596
    Likes Received:
    2,698

    Aug 4, 2020

    I love standard student attire. I taught at a school with a uniform policy and it was amazing. Kids had to wear khakis in particular colors and polos in particular colors, depending on grade level. Places like Target and Kohl’s always have the tops and bottoms at reasonable prices, like under $5-10, and my school would also provide for students in need. I actually think that uniforms (the type we had, anyway) cost significantly less than other clothes, especially trendier stuff, which made it a lot easier for families to provide for their kids.
     
    stargirl and Backroads like this.
  5. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    1,486

    Aug 4, 2020

    I wish we had uniforms for teachers! School polo shirt and jeans. I would be happy with that!
     
    mrsammieb and Backroads like this.
  6. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,611
    Likes Received:
    1,915

    Aug 4, 2020

    Yes to the jeans, no to polos. My figure can't wear polos.
     
    SpecialPreskoo likes this.
  7. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    1,486

    Aug 4, 2020

    Well, I don't mind anything that is plain with just maybe the school name. I have been given t-shirts, polos and also long sleeved t-shirts. I would wear them every day if I could. Just less to worry about while getting dressed.
     
    SpecialPreskoo and Backroads like this.
  8. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2013
    Messages:
    4,300
    Likes Received:
    876

    Aug 4, 2020

    In general, I utterly loath the idea of school uniforms. I appreciate that there are valid reasons in favor of them, and I respect those that feel differently, but I just completely despise the entire idea of them. Clothing is one of the few things that kids actually have some degree of control over in school.
     
  9. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,611
    Likes Received:
    1,915

    Aug 4, 2020

    I love school stuff, so I'm so down with school t-shirts. Polos consistently look awful on me.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,865
    Likes Received:
    1,365

    Aug 4, 2020

    Eewww. No. I have only owned one polo shirt, and it was bought for me by the school, They look terrible on me. I also dislike jeans. I have one pair of jeggings I’ll wear in a pinch. Otherwise, I never wear them.

    Now, my DH wears a polo and dress slacks every day. He’s perfectly happy with it. His school also has a uniform code for kids. They wear polos or school t-shirts, khaki pants, and closed-toe/ heel shoes.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    2,788

    Aug 4, 2020

    Not a fan of uniforms, although I've heard the sales pitch. I think that some individuality is good for kids. Uniforms are supposed to make things easier for the school - no quibbling over whether something is "legal" enough to be in school. I think a lot of women teachers support uniforms because women teachers are the ones who have to turn in the girls with skirts so short they barely cover what is necessary, etc. Male teachers have told me they will never make that call - afraid that someone will turn them in for being inordinately interested in what the girls are wearing. I understand what they are saying. So I will be the fashion police because I think that there is learning going on by enforcing policy, and understanding policy is the price we pay for being able to wear what we want, within reason. Just my opinion.
     
    Tired Teacher and Backroads like this.
  12. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    2,788

    Aug 4, 2020

    Forgot to add that I, too, don't have a polo shirt body. I have tons of pullover tops that flatter, but not one of the polo shirts ever given to me is something I would wear in public. I've been known to paint in them - I never feel guilty throwing them away when they end up with paint splotches on them. I think polos look great on guys, for the most part, but are not women flattering for most of us.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  13. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,865
    Likes Received:
    1,365

    Aug 4, 2020

    Yes. I look super dumpy in a polo.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  14. Lisabobisa

    Lisabobisa Comrade

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    251
    Likes Received:
    75

    Aug 5, 2020

    My school does! Polo shirt, jeans, closed toed shoes, school pride shirt on certain days and Fridays.

    I LOVE IT!!!

    P.S. We have the option to buy the "woman cut" polo which is a little more form fitting. I'm fine with a regular polo, but I am pretty petite. I ordered a size smaller than what I normally wear, and just tuck it in and call it a day. PET PEEVE is seeing teachers walking around the school with polo shirts down to their knees! TUCK IT IN!!! It looks so much nicer.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  15. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    3,422
    Likes Received:
    595

    Aug 5, 2020

    I cannot stand having my shirt tucked in, and would transfer schools immediately it it became a requirement to work there. I don't like the texture, I don't like how it tugs, and I don't like how it looks. Way back when I was a middle school cheerleader, every demerit I got was for having my uniform shirt untucked.
     
    Caesar753 likes this.
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    1,486

    Aug 5, 2020

    We get one type of polo so it's probably unisex or men's. I'm pretty small on top (size medium) so they look ok. I just hate having to decide what to wear since I'm not a shopaholic. I will go on a clothing purchase binge once in a while just to beef up my wardrobe if there's a good sale but I won't go shopping just to shop (that's my sister)!
     
  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    1,486

    Aug 5, 2020

    I never tuck my shirt in. I did it a few times and always felt like I had to adjust the shirt to make it look right.
     
  18. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    198

    Aug 5, 2020

    Having some flashbacks to my ill-fated uniform experiences. In junior high, the band directors decided we should have uniform button-downs with the band logo embroidered on them. We could only get adult sizes though, so everyone except the biggest boys ended up with women's shirts, complete with boob-accommodating seams. I was about 4'6" and 75lbs then, and my shirt was massive. Tucking it into my pants was very uncomfortable and made it look like I was wearing a diaper. I barely had enough room in my pants to stuff all the extra shirt fabric.

    The high school pep band uniform was orange polos. Let me tell you, no one looks good in a crayola marker orange polo.
     
    Tired Teacher and Backroads like this.
  19. stargirl

    stargirl Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    52

    Aug 5, 2020

    I wouldn't like to wear a uniform as a teacher. Whether it was dressy or casual, it would bother me very much.

    That said, I did wear a uniform in high school which I was happy to do--mainly because it took away peer pressure and worrying about trends or affording them, during what is probably the most vulnerable time in your life (when I say vulnerable, I mean in regards to personal appearance).
     
    Tired Teacher and Backroads like this.
  20. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    1,486

    Aug 5, 2020

    Maybe they good price on them because nobody else wanted that color LOL
     
    Tired Teacher and Backroads like this.
  21. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,611
    Likes Received:
    1,915

    Aug 5, 2020

    Like this?

    upload_2020-8-5_8-55-15.png

    In all seriousness, I agree. If you must wear a poli, there are ways to do it
     
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  22. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,611
    Likes Received:
    1,915

    Aug 5, 2020

    I feel the same. I'm a professional and an adult, I can dress myself.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2020
    Tired Teacher likes this.
  23. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    1,486

    Aug 5, 2020

    Unfortunately, I have seen staff with inappropriate outfits. Some people apparently can't dress themselves! Even with a dress code.
     
    Tired Teacher and Backroads like this.
  24. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    2,788

    Aug 5, 2020

    True, but maybe they are just the kind of learners who need to be called to the principal's office or HR to be "educated" on what the dress code really is. Surprisingly, some people can't judge for themselves, even when evidence of appropriate attire is on display by the vast majority of the staff. They will focus on the one person in the building who is similarly inappropriately dress as an example of "what is allowed." I had an HR admin who didn't mince words or spare feelings when examples of truly inappropriate attire would show up in the building. I had tried to give subtle hints, but subtle flew over the person's head, so I just waited. When called to HR, I knew what was up. She didn't come back that day - she was sent home to change. Although livid, she got the message when her mirror image also had a change of wardrobe. Some people don't think the dress code applies to them, or sometimes they lack self confidence and err on the side of trying to look too sexy, in the worst possible way, which was this person. She wised up and all was well.
     
  25. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,611
    Likes Received:
    1,915

    Aug 5, 2020

    Yet why err on the side of everyone being clueless?
     
  26. viola_x_wittrockiana

    viola_x_wittrockiana Comrade

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2016
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    198

    Aug 5, 2020

    That's all well and good until it's an admin with questionable attire. One of mine last year was a fashionista-type woman who wore things I wouldn't be caught dead in in a professional setting. Very high heeled shoes, tight skirts that were noticeably shorter than the students would be allowed, leggings as pants on Fridays. . .

    On the other hand, we have it so much better now than it used to be. My classroom management professor told us about how when she started teaching, you *had* to wear skirts/dresses and they *had* to be mid-calf or longer. There was a time when your attire actually counted towards your formal teacher evaluation.
     
  27. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,611
    Likes Received:
    1,915

    Aug 5, 2020

    Yikes.

    I had a principal once who was also very into fashion, though she kept it plenty professional. With all due respect to our polo-loving friends here, she actually said she felt khakis and polos were not professional-looking. Specifically, she meant ill-fitting things and it was in comparison to a range of other clothing options, but it was an interesting perspective.
     
  28. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,865
    Likes Received:
    1,365

    Aug 5, 2020

    I find khakis and polos to be very casual and not professional dress. Many also wear khakis that look like they slept in them.

    Not only do I not own a polo shirt, I also don’t own khaki pants.
     
  29. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    2,788

    Aug 5, 2020

    Fortunately, the HR dress code police where I work is very reasonable but strict. We have "business casual" as the theme, which excludes jeggings, leggings, jeans/denim pants, any pants that are, in essence, "painted on", ripped pants, any clothing with printing on it that can be deemed inappropriate for any reason, exposed bra straps, areas that are see through that includes the back of blouses, over the shoulders, or too low, which could show any part of the bra. And yes, if you need a bra to keep from jiggling, you must wear one. No deep cleavage is allowed - period. If the students come into the building with a sweater or wrap that covers any of disallowed things, the sweater must remain ON for the entire day, including lunch and gym. The "cold shoulder" look in tops and dresses is banned, since it leaves bra straps exposed. No stomach can be exposed - male or female. No tank tops for either sex, no mesh tops, no exposed underwear/no missing underwear. Pants that are always in danger of falling down require a belt to secure the pants at the natural waist. Shorts can't be shorter than the longest finger when arms hang straight down when the person is standing - that ends up being about 2-3" from the top of the knee. Teachers don't wear shorts unless they come down to the top of the knees, and then they must be a dressier material, which rules out denim, sweatshirt material, thin stretchy material that would make them like painted on, so by the time you find nice material equal to dress pants, you are making them equivalent to wearing a skirt. No sharing or exchanging clothes with another student once they come off the bus.

    Shoes should NOT be very high heels or sneakers (safety hazard), although sneakers, clean and as neutral colored as possible are permitted with a doctor's note if there is a need for orthotics - that's me - bad feet and ankles, genetically and from prior injuries. Sandals are allowed with straps that secure the shoes to your feet, including a back strap that prevents the shoes from falling off without having to shuffle your feet, which is reasonable for safety during an emergency. If wearing laced shoes, the laces must be tied, so as not to create a safety hazard, which also seems reasonable to me, so I enforce these footwear rules on my students. Shoes must remain on the feet at all times. Students are not allowed to write on their shoes, anywhere, because what is written may well be vulgar or threatening. No gang colors, "flags", hats, handkerchiefs, headwraps, doo rags, jewelry that is heavy enough to be used as a weapon - well, you get the picture. Nothing can celebrate drug culture, drug use, selling drugs, etc. No affiliation markings of drugs, sex, gangs, violence - no surprises here.

    Because many of our students are being fostered, we pay attention to clothes being clean, free from odors, and appropriate, because the staff becomes the "parent" and voice of reason, so we need to make sure that we can tell these kid WHY we enforce the rules, and how first impressions matter. Doing that without alienating them isn't always easy, but consistency is key.
     
    Backroads and a2z like this.
  30. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,865
    Likes Received:
    1,365

    Aug 5, 2020

    The fingertip rule for shorts is a weird one. I have a LONG torso and short arms, so my butt cheeks would show if I wore shorts to my longest fingertip. :p
     
    bella84, Caesar753 and vickilyn like this.
  31. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    1,486

    Aug 6, 2020

    I didn't say that was a good reason for having uniforms for teachers. Just that not everyone is able to dress themselves even though they are adults LOL Maybe they don't have mirrors at home!
     
    Backroads likes this.
  32. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,611
    Likes Received:
    1,915

    Aug 6, 2020

    I haven't worn khakis since college.

    I think the polo/khaki combo is very big box stores in look (no offense to employees of such).

    My last charter had them as a common part of the uniform. They were cute enough on kids, but we also had some poverty and stubbornly budgeting families. Somehow, stained/ripped/ill-fitting polos and khakis look worse than some other clothes in similar conditions.
     
  33. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    1,486

    Aug 6, 2020

    Ok, now I'm curious! What do you wear to school? Dresses?
     
  34. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,611
    Likes Received:
    1,915

    Aug 6, 2020

    Yes, as well as skirts and dress slacks. My go-to lately is dresses with leggings.
     
  35. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    5,006
    Likes Received:
    1,486

    Aug 6, 2020

    Ahh, ok. I don't wear anything even somewhat dressy unless I have a meeting with a parent or someone from a student's home district. There's just too much that can go wrong to worry about ruining good clothing in my class.
     
    Backroads likes this.
  36. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,596
    Likes Received:
    2,698

    Aug 6, 2020

    I could never work in some of these districts with strict dress codes. I would wear jeans and tennis shoes every day if I could. I always have a nice, though not fancy, top and cardigan to go with them.

    The school I just left had a very relaxed attitude toward dress and appearance. In fact, we were specifically discouraged from dressing up because it may suggest to the community that we were elitist. Even the superintendent generally wore jeans or dockers and sneakers. Many of the support staff wore sweats or basketball shorts and t-shirts. It was a very casual setting, which was nice in some ways. Almost everyone, including the superintendent and principal, went by their first name. I did, too. Since I’m transferring to a new district this coming year, it’s going to be weird to go back to my teacher name lol.
     
    bella84, swansong1 and Backroads like this.
  37. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
    Messages:
    3,611
    Likes Received:
    1,915

    Aug 6, 2020

    I don't think of myself as particularly dressy, lol. Not exactly the best clothing.
     
  38. stargirl

    stargirl Companion

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    52

    Aug 6, 2020

    I dress nicely for work, but anything I wear is machine washable! A nice, flattering top or sweater, etc. I may wear sneakers, but not the super athletic kind.
    Polo shirts are extremely unflattering on me, it's both the fit and the material. I'd feel very blah if I had to wear one every day.
    I'm also fairly sensory and am picky about the feel of the fabric, as well as the fit.
     
    vickilyn and Backroads like this.
  39. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,865
    Likes Received:
    1,365

    Aug 6, 2020

    Dresses and slacks aren’t necessarily “fancy” materials that require special care or cost more. All of my clothes are machine washable. Cotton. Cotton/polyester blend. Polyester.
     
    bella84, stargirl and Backroads like this.
  40. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2014
    Messages:
    11,222
    Likes Received:
    2,788

    Aug 6, 2020

    My clothes aren't "fancy", but I will spend the money to have a seamstress to alter my clothes to work better on my body. I'm not ashamed to admit that I love to shop thrift stores with my sister, which allows me to buy better made garments at low prices, so some alterations still don't make the garment expensive, and it allows me to make adjustments that work for me. My sister is the best at shopping in thrift stores, finding any imperfections, abnormal wear, and has a great eye for tiny holes caused when the stores staple tags on but miss the seam, or existing tags. Because we have shopped together so often when we get together, we can buy for each other with a high degree of success. Although I have several dresses/jumpers, I tend to wear slacks, nice top, and cardigans or a version similar, which allows a lot of varied looks. I don't buy anything that has to be dry-cleaned, but am not opposed to drying by hanging instead of going into the dryer. I don't wear hose, for the most part, since I wear pants, but I do splurge on nice/cute socks, which can dress up the shoes. I know what brands tend to flatter me best and what colors I might buy but never actually wear, which is a running joke between my sister and I, since she also has a couple of colors that she likes, but, if purchased, they just hang in her closet and never get worn. I would say that most of the fabrics I lean towards are cotton, cotton blends, so no ironing, easy care. I don't wear woolens nor do I wear 100% polyester - they both cause me to sweat and I find them uncomfortable. I like a couple of light layers that allow me to stay comfortable if I switch rooms that are different temperatures.

    The jumpers I have were custom made in fun prints, and when I taught K-5, they were my go to wardrobe, mixed with a lot of short sleeve bright colored t-shirts. Hem was about 1/3 of the length of my lower leg below the knee, which meant I could skip hose, easily get up and down off the floor as needed, and I would wear a Mary Jane shoe, sandals, or sneakers. It was great for that age group, and often the prints were cute with a science interest theme - birds, flowers/seeds/names of the plants, vegetables, poinsettias for December or, my favorite, frogs/tadpoles, or cute "spooky" characters, always a favorite in October. I think they are all still in my closet, and nothing is easier to wear or quicker to throw on, so if I ever start subbing instead of working full time, they will come out of retirement.

    I think that polo shirts, especially the cheap ones, lack any points for form and fit, which is what I find so obnoxious. Most are 100% cotton, tend to shrink (and seem to continue to do so), and I find them scratchy on my skin. Khaki is just a color, as far as I am concerned, so not a problem - you can find that color in almost any decently fitting brand of slack. We have dress down days about 2 days a month, so usually there will be a theme - sports teams, certain colors or looks, if around a holiday, and we are allowed to wear jeans for those days. I always have a couple of tops that will fill in for those days, something for Christmas look, and a couple of nicer pair of jeans. Once you've been in the same district for a while, you know what to expect.

    I find that I'm not quite as hard on my clothes since I've moved up to HS, but I do miss the "fun" clothes that I enjoyed in ES. I don't think I would be able to tolerate a uniform wardrobe - I prefer to think that I can figure out what is and isn't appropriate. If I'm wrong about that, well, that simply would not be a good fit job for me!
     
    Backroads and stargirl like this.
  41. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    5,865
    Likes Received:
    1,365

    Aug 6, 2020

    I know how to sew, and altering clothes makes a ton of difference.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

Total: 422 (members: 0, guests: 398, robots: 24)
test