Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: Not Uniform

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  • Lucy Telfar Barnard, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    About kids being shamed because they cannot afford the new expensive uniform and shoes and all the extras rather than the shiny hand me downs.

    Er. As I recall, having a new uniform and/or new shoes was not desireable. It made you look like a third former. And if you were lucky enough to find a previous, no-longer-available-for-sale-only-available-second-hand-or-hand-me-down and, according to the rules of fashion and uniforms*, much cooler, uniform, you were considered extremely lucky indeed.

    *One of the rules of uniform fashion is that a school must change its uniform design to a shape just out of fashion, just as the outgoing design shows signs of coming back into fashion.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 580 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    My experience as a mother of a new third former is that you had to have everything new, and all the extras, to be cool. Which meant numerous items to allow for washing, all weathers etc. It was so expensive. Although after a few years it no longer mattered. Whereas at the non uniform school my son attended you could wear more of less anything, and the students did, from a three piece suit, to a kilt or dress (including boys), assorted hair styles, colours and jewellery. Creative for them and made them feel much happier about school in my observation.

    In my son's case good for someone with sensory issues to be able to wear what he found comfortable. Of course most kids wore the uniform of t-shirts and jeans, and those from Hallensteins and the Warehouse were fine. Abusive slogans were about the only thing challenged, and then it generally became a discussion with the principal. Wearing their own choice of clothes is also generally less smelly as uniforms, particularly heavy wool ones, are difficult to clean regularly.

    I was part of the cohort a few years ago who fought to get rid of the uniform and in those days it was the thing to do to have the scruffiest, holiest, worn or distorted uniform to make a point that it did no credit to the school.

    So in my experience, uniforms are an extra expense to families, not a saving.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3203 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to steven crawford,

    there was all sorts of sexuality and gender identifications going on. Boys looked like girls, girls looked like boys and there where kid that looked like clowns.

    Which is fine when kids have confidence, parental support and aren’t living in provincial towns still stuck in the 1950s.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

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