How much do I love that my children wear uniforms to school each and every day? Let me count the glorious ways.
My former teenage self who haunted thrift shops and sewed her own clothes in a mad quest for individuality would be ashamed of me now. I'm sure she'd tell me that uniforms are repressive and that they stifle children's creativity. Fascism! she might even cry (she's a little dramatic). I'd tell her -- try getting two kids out the door for school without losing your mind a few days in a row, and then get back to me about those uniforms.
The bottom line -- uniforms are easy. So very easy. There are no arguments about what we're going to wear, no battles over what's appropriate or inappropriate, and no tearing the house upside down looking for that special shirt that they must have. As long as I see white shirts hanging in my son's closet and blue dresses in my daughter's, I know we're good for the week, and that's that.
My 4-year-old daughter doesn't even have to wear a uniform this year, as she's still in pre-k, but don't tell her that. That's all she's worn since day one, and hopefully all she'll wear for the next nine years.
I say this as a shopper who loves nothing more than to buy adorable little girl clothes. The problem is those adorable clothes I sent her to school in during her younger years all got ruined. Washable paint is not washable; and chocolate simply won't come out of things. So I started sending her in ratty old clothes that I didn't care about getting ruined, but she looked like a ragamuffin. Now, she wears uniforms that are nearly indestructible, and she looks adorable.
I'm not in the camp who believes that uniforms help kids avoid feeling bad if they don't have the latest brand names, because that will always come through in some way. Nor do I believe that they make children behave better, or that they're less of a distraction than regular clothes, or any of the other reasons people cite when making a case for uniforms. If they do those things too, then great. For me, however, it's all about the convenience and getting out the door each morning with the least amount of stress. When it comes to that, uniforms can't be beat.
Do your children wear school uniforms? If not, do you wish they would?
Image via Julie Ryan Evans