Friday, 9 December 2011

Girl in uniform

I remember a time when I despised uniforms. I would deface my school tie as much as I could possibly get away with, wore it tied in the latest styles (long and skinny, short and fat, short and skinny but NEVER how it was designed to be worn), I’d take my skirt up so you could “see what I’d had for breakfast” (incidentally, I’ve never understood that saying, I don’t and have never kept Weetabix in my knickers), or bunching it up at the waist and then dropping it down just for inspections.

Now I love uniforms. Not just in a “ooh he looks fit in his white naval uniform a la that film from the eighties that I can never remember the name of” kind of way. Although, personally I’ve never been a big fan of that white uniform, possibly down to a general aversion to white knowing how difficult it is to keep clean. But I do like a nice man in a uniform. Anyway, I digress massively from my point.

I can’t see any negatives to uniforms. Sure at school I said I hated it (as did all of us, funny how we said we all hated them because we wanted to show our individuality at a time when we all would have done anything to fit in), but I think deep down secretly it was a relief. I didn’t have the confidence to come up with something stylish to wear day in day out.

Lucky, lucky people who get up every morning and have a uniform to put on.

For those of us with uniform free jobs, and not blessed with a natural “even looks good in a bin bag” sense of style, trying to come up with something to wear day after a day is tedious, and not having much time because you have two other people to dress (admittedly one in a uniform, yay) means it is easy to end up with the “covered myself in glue, wandered into wardrobe and wandered out wearing whatever has stuck to me” look. If I had a uniform all that would be a thing of the past.

Schools use the standard line that a uniform makes everyone feel like they belong and avoid difficulties arising when people can’t afford the latest trends. But I suspect that the real reason we have school uniforms is because one clever mother, many years ago, realised that having to think of something to wear every day was just a pain in the backside.

I don’t even enjoy shopping (although the man would disagree with that statement). Sure I love having something new to wear but the elation is relatively short lived when I get home and realise I’ve got nothing to go with whatever I thought looked good in the shop but in the cold light of my own bedroom accentuates how utterly out of proportion my boobs are to the rest of my body (and not in a good way). Besides, my mum always taught me to try on anything before buying it, a lesson I have never faltered from, so many a bothersome hour has been spent in a tiny changing room, with a screaming child pulling the curtain back to reveal my greying knickers to some poor unsuspecting fellow just waiting for his wife to hurry up so he can get home.

Nope, give me a nice uniform any day. I reckon schools should offer a uniform service to mothers as well as the kids. Then we could all get kitted out at the beginning of the new term together. A terms worth of clothing would arrive nicely packaged in cellophane all at the same time.

I’ve often thought that I should come up with my own little uniform, some trousers (non-iron) and a couple of t-shirts and jumpers embroidered with the kids names (they are, after all, my employers). But that would just be weird. So I am stuck with trying to think of something to wear every day and the irritating rounds of futile shopping that go with it. Still there could be worse things. I just need to stay away from changing rooms with uncomfortable looking men hanging around outside, although that is possibly a good rule to live by anyway.


  1. I have a uniform - jeans and a t-shirt - easy and good all year round with or without coat.

  2. That's pretty much my uniform too, but then I end up wearing it all evening and on weekends too, so it doesn't feel quite proper!!! I need someone to give me a nicely embroidered tshirt and tell me I HAVE to wear it to make it official! Thanks for your comment :-)