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2019-10-07 00:15:52

School uniform in foreign educational institutions

School uniform in foreign educational institutions

"School uniforms" - for many people this phrase sounds like a suggestion, but is it really? Today in many schools uniforms have become mandatory: these are business suits with blouses and shirts, pullovers or vests as jacket options, small differences in the colors of shirts for every day are allowed. Why do we need uniforms and why do many prestigious foreign schools adhere to a single standard when choosing school clothes?

Pros and cons of school uniforms

It has long been known that uniforms can reduce the intensity of social tension between children from families with different incomes and reduce the cost of a student's closet: buying one or two suits for a year or five sets will require a different budget. The second advantage of the uniform is that you don't have to bundle things together every day, keep them all presentable, choose from several options, allow you to focus on other issues, have time in the morning for something else. Not all children are concerned with the issue of clothing choices - for them, uniforms become a great option for solving the problem of how to stay warm and not look silly. Today it has become fashionable to refer to famous and successful people who have chosen personal "uniforms" that allow them to not think about their clothing choices every day, but to focus on more important tasks. The most prominent of them are Steve Jobs in a black turtleneck and jeans and Mark Zuckerberg in a gray T-shirt with the same indispensable jeans.

Addressing the problem of social equality and excessive attention to appearance, the uniforms bring order to unstable school personnel and help prospective students become accustomed to the business style and dress code adopted by most business organizations.

The uniform also has disadvantages, and the main one is the lack of opportunity for self-expression. While for an adult this argument may seem rather weak, for a teenager it is not. The second negative point is that often the uniform does not meet the requirements of fashion, students do not like it because they think it is ugly. If nothing can be done about self-expression, the choice of the type of uniform is not limited by anything but the tastes of the school authorities. We looked at school uniforms abroad and found that they are suggested to be worn by closed boarding schools in Switzerland and private schools in England or America.

School uniforms in the world's most prestigious schools

U.S. schools do not often use uniforms or restrict dress codes, but some private schools, especially boarding schools, do regulate student attire.

  • A well-known private school for boys, Mark's School of Texas (Texas, USA), suggests that students wear gray slacks or shorts with white Oxford shirts. High school students wear blue oxford shirts. Belts and shoes should be brown or black.
  • Choate Rosemary Hall (Connecticut, USA) also regulates the appearance of students. Special Dress at Choate is an athletic jacket, shirt with collar and tie, and slacks or shorts, a dress or fancy blouse or sweater combined with classic pants or skirt. Students are also allowed to wear dresses representing other cultures that meet formal dress requirements for study.

British schools ,  unlike American schools, are known for their commitment to education. A universal, common look was characteristic both of the monastic schools where orphaned children studied (this might be their only clothing) and of the expensive private schools. The tradition remains to this day - Britain's most famous schools determine for their students a whole list of necessary clothes and shoes, recommend tailors and stores where you can order / buy it all.

  • Students at  Eaton College Students at Eaton College (Eaton, UK) purchase 2 three-piece suits (Eaton's famous tails), 2 pairs of black round-toe boots, 7 traditional white school shirts, 1 black V-neck pullover and over 12 items of clothing Including an outer jacket, sportswear, even underwear and handkerchiefs. The college recommends buying everything you need at Eaton High Street, where there are four tailors who specialize in tailoring clothes for college students.
  • Cardiff Sixth Form College (Cardiff, U.K.), an elite school, has chosen standard kits for everyday life. Boys wear a white shirt and T-shirt, black pants, a cardigan or jacket with a V-neck and a college logo in traditional colors, and a strictly defined tie. Uniforms for girls consist of the same set of items with a plaid skirt. A set of pants is also allowed, and a blouse in place of a shirt is allowed.
  • The Royal College School (Wimbledon, UK) has chosen a red school jacket with the school crest, a dark blue V-neck pullover with long or short sleeves, light gray pants or gray shorts as their uniform. This set is completed with a simple white shirt, a tie with a picture of the house (student community) to which the student belongs, black shoes. Additionally - KCS hat, KCS scarf, gloves.

The famous Swiss schools offer their students high quality education and rich sports programs in the snowy Alps, so the kits, recommended by the schools for the students, are supplemented with skiing kits.

  • The closed Préfleuri International Alpine School offers students a choice of kits for school, sports and special occasions with school logos. The list includes 2 sweatshirts, 2 short-sleeved polo shirts, sport pants, a fleece sweatshirt, a warm waterproof jacket, sunglasses, 2 turtlenecks, a warm sweater (wool or fleece), navy blue pants (for boys) or navy blue skirt (for girls) , 3 pairs of bermuda or short, a hat, warm and thin underwear, pajamas.
  • The Swiss boarding school La Garenne School ecommends about the same list of clothes for its students: white shirts with long sleeves, shorts, turtleneck, warm pullovers, jacket, pants/skirts, warm ties, and thin underwear and several types of shoes, including 1 pair of chic casual shoes.

Private and public schools in Japan are strict about school uniforms: students wear "gokurana" suits or various sailor suits with skirts, pants, or shorts. Historically, these types of universal school clothing were borrowed from Europe.

Columbia International School , which is guided by Western standards when choosing a suit for students. It consists of a dark blue jacket or vest with the school logo, white shirts with short or long sleeves depending on the season, gray pants, plaid gray-blue skirts, shirts, a tie for boys or a bow around the neck for girls.

These are not all the options and varieties of uniforms - each country and region has its own specifics, with many private schools choosing their own style for students. Whether this helps improve the situation or academic performance is debatable, but it is quite possible to build a commitment to in-school culture and make some order in a student's closet.

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Egor Eremeev
Current material has been prepared by Egor Eremeev
Education: Westminster University (Business & Management), London.
Egor studied and lived in the UK for 8 years and graduated from the university of Westminster. He is currently the co-founder and the director of business development at Smapse Education and personally visits foreign schools and universities, interviews students studying in those institutions.
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