I went to Catholic schools from first through 12th grade and wore a uniform in first through eighth grade. Though I knew that my family didn’t have much it wasn’t until I went into the ninth grade that I knew we were poor! My two sisters and I shared five outfits in high school; do you think people noticed? I remember vividly the kids that would come with new clothes weekly, a lot of them also had the “look at me attitude, I’m better than you,” which wouldn’t have happened if we were in uniform.
I so wished that we had uniforms in high school. I felt different than my peers and I acted out because of the clear message that I was from a different economic group than many because of the clothes I wore.
I pushed for uniforms in the public schools my kids (now all in their 30s) went to. The same arguments are still here today: You will take their individuality away; they won’t be able to express themselves. This is so not true! Back in my day, the girls wore jumpers, graduating into skirts in fifth grade with a white Peter Pan-collar blouse and matching sweater. The boys wore corduroy pants, white shirt and sweater. Did I go to school with rich kids? You betcha, did I know it, nope.
Parents, life is way easier and cheaper in uniforms. Your kids will wake up in the morning knowing what they are going to wear instead of the whining “I don’t know what to wear,” without the pile of clothes on the ground as they try one thing after another that they don’t like at that moment.
Individuality isn’t about what you wear, it is about who you are in your heart, your every day actions, being the best you can be. Uniforms help with all that; it’s one less stress for your child (and you) every morning.
To this day, whenever I see a child in a school uniform, it brings tears to my eyes. I have happy memories of days gone by in a uniform and painful memories of being the child without once I didn’t wear a uniform.