Benefits of Uniforms

Benefits of uniforms? The school uniform debate has been around for years. There are pros and cons to school uniforms. Learn about the benefits of uniforms and why military schools choose to have girls wear school uniforms while attending military school.

For many girls considering military school, wearing a uniform is a new, and unfamiliar, concept. Someone who is used to choosing her own apparel, albeit within school guidelines, may find this choice off-putting. This article reveals some of the benefits of uniforms that have been part of the uniform debate for years.

Benefits of Uniforms: Focus

There are places in the world in which style is of paramount importance. On the fashion runway and the Hollywood red carpet, should you choose those locales as the focus of your career and livelihood, it’s important to buy into the proposition that “clothes make the (wo)man.” Not so elsewhere.

One of the benefits of uniforms is that it removes the focus from the individual as a unique human being to the individual as a member of something larger: an institution that all those who belong to it have chosen to give a place of importance in their lives. Just as an athletic team goes out in matching uniforms that show their solidarity, the students at a military school wear a school uniform that represents their commonality.

This does not mean that everyone is the same. As on a sports team - even though they have different roles and functions within the team - so differences will emerge among the girls who wear uniforms in a military school. The differences, however, will stand against the background of their commonality, represented by their uniform.

Benefits of Uniforms: Getting to Know You

Without the distinctions offered by clothing style, and the socioeconomic clues revealed by them, girls who wear uniforms may be encouraged to refrain from snap judgments about their peers based on their appearance. Instead, they may note more internal features as they form their opinion of someone: her cool under pressure, her kindness, or her intelligence, for example. This is one of the big benefits of uniforms.

Benefits of Uniforms: Equality

There are certain places to celebrate our uniqueness and this means acknowledging ways in which we are not equal. This is true in military schools as elsewhere. Some students may come in and be placed into an upper level language class. Some may prefer singing to band.  But there are also places in which an emphasis on equality - an important principle underlying our form of government - is important. By removing the most obvious way in which wealth and poverty are initially revealed - in the style and label of clothing, footwear, and accessories worn - another of the benefits of uniforms is that they set everyone on an equal footing in a realm in which it is appropriate to do so.

Benefits of Uniforms: Simplicity

As girls go through adolescence, decisions about what to wear, matching outfits with accessories, and hair styling can both reach an excruciating pitch and take enormous amounts of time. For some this is one of the benefits of uniforms, they simplify this area of life, so that - for a good part of the year, for a good number of years - what to wear today just doesn’t have to be considered.  In addition, the question of what’s in fashion, how much to spend on clothing, what others will think of one’s attire, etc., are all laid to rest in this sphere of life. This doesn’t mean they’re gone: it just provides one portion of life in which the pressure is off. Letting everyone enjoy the benefits of uniforms.

Simplicity is also achieved in the order provided by a uniform. There is no need for staff time spent considering if this skirt or that blouse meets a school dress code. One can see at a glance that everyone is in order and ready to turn their attention to the work of the moment, whatever that may be. The benefits of uniforms in such situations are invaluable.

Benefits of Uniforms: Identity

A girl in uniform has, undeniably, one less way to express herself. She can look at this as a crippling disadvantage. Or, she can consider first, that everyone else in the school is in the same situation and second, that there may be other ways to distinguish herself within the boundaries of the military school environment. Excellent academic performance, leadership, community spirit, integrity, and athletic achievement can all distinguish someone no matter what she or he is wearing.Thus the benefits of uniforms in this setting can help one find other ways to establish her identity.

Benefits of Uniforms: Loyalty

Loyalty is expressed in a variety of ways. We pledge allegiance to our flag. We perform civic duties like voting. We serve our country in various ways. In some cases loyalty is expressed through a school uniform, a daily and ever-present reminder of a commitment. A uniform is not donned in isolation. It is part and parcel of choosing and accepting the mission and the principles of a school that is designed to help young women come into their own in the context of service to others. It is a sign of commitment. It is a sign of loyalty. Helping girls learn loyalty is just one of the benefits of uniforms.

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