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Students in Bangkok
A Pakistani student in School Uniform

A school uniform is an outfit—a set of standardized clothes—worn primarily for an educational institution. They are common in primary and secondary schools in many nations. When used, they form the basis of a school's dress code.

Traditionally, school uniforms have tended to be subdued and professional. Boys' uniforms often consist of dark short or long trousers and light-colored shirt, often with a tie. Girls' uniforms vary greatly between countries and schooling systems, but typically consist of a dress or a blouse worn either with a skirt or culottes or under a pinafore. In some countries, gender-specific uniforms have been a point of contention, with some schools permitting female students to choose either skirts or trousers while still requiring male students to wear trousers. The use of a blazer or suit-like jacket for either gender is also fairly common, especially in countries with relatively cold weather.

Use according to country

Antigua and Barbuda

School uniforms are used in Antigua and Barbudamarker.


School uniforms in Australia have traditionally followed the British models. Most private and government schools, in all Australian states, have a compulsory uniform policy, though the degree of enforcement varies. For boys, the uniforms generally include a button-up shirt and/or polo shirt together with either short trousers (especially for summer wear) or long trousers, often in grey. Where short trousers are to be worn, long (knee-length) socks in school colours are often required. Girls' uniforms generally include skirts, culottes, dresses, jumpers, blouses and/or poloshirts and sometimes also trousers and shorts. At private schools, uniforms for either gender often include a blazer, tie and hat. A different uniform specifically for sports is usually worn for physical education activities. These can include skin tight leggings, shorts, tennis skirts/netball skirts. The uniform in the picture on the right is from a public school.

Government schools, especially primary schools, in Australia tend to be more flexible with the way the school uniforms are worn than most private schools, which are strict regarding presentation of the school uniform.

In recent times Year 12 students at some Australian schools have been allowed to wear special jumpers (Leavers Jumpers) or printed tops to denote their final-year status. In some schools this has taken the form of a different coloured jumper (sometimes white or cream), or a special commemorative year-12 top (e.g. a rugby top) with the last two digits of the year and a name or nickname displayed (shown at right). Alternatively, tops are sometimes printed with the names of all students in that year level. Some schools also have different ties or blazers for senior years.


Uniforms take a role in began the fashion for Cambodia society today. Before, The School Uniform became the free to students just a white shirt and blue or black skirt and Trouser. In recent year, The School Uniform transfer into more strong and hard, suitable more for education.Began from Primary to secondary, school uniform allowed the male student and female student in the way they wanted but follow the style the school allowed. However, In high school, The female student must worn the skirt not up their thigh but down their knee. The style they always in Khmer traditional's Sampot which the pleat generally at the left or right and sometimes at the middle like Sampot Samloy.


Like most Caribbean countries all students are required to wear a school uniforms except in tertiary education institutes.

School uniforms are used in Barbadosmarker.


School uniforms are used in Belizemarker.


School uniforms are used in Bermudamarker.


School uniforms are used in Brazilmarker.


A little girl with a blue apron, in 2003.

The scholar uniform used in Chilemarker by the main part of their schools.

Until 1930, it was uncommon for students to wear a uniform. During Carlos Ibáñez del Campo government,all students became obliged to wear a school uniform.

Under the Eduardo Frei Montalva government, a unified uniform was introduced for all public and private schools and other education centers.

Actually, the traditional uniform has disappeared principally on private schools, that have preferred using a customized one.


Uniforms are a common part of the schools in China. Almost all secondary schools as well as some elementary schools require students to wear uniforms. Uniforms in mainland China usually consist of two sets, one for summer and the other for winter. Uniforms for boys in the winter usually consist of a zip up sweater and pants, and a collared shirt (usually white) with shorts or pants. The uniforms for girls in the winter are basically the same as the boys' uniform. However, the summer uniform for girls consist not only of a collared shirt and pants, they also have the option of a skirt.


uniforms are used in Cubamarker.


School uniforms are used in Francemarker.


School uniforms have no strong tradition in Germany and are virtually unknown today.

From the 16th century, students (especially of secondary or grammar schools and similar institutions) were often subject to regulations that prescribed, for example, modest and not too stylish attire. In many cases these regulations were part of wider laws concerning the clothing of all citizens of certain social classes. A blue coat became a widespread, obligatory status symbol of students of secondary schools; it fell out of use during the latter half of the 18th century. In newer times, school uniforms in any real sense did not exist outside of convent schools and private boarding schools. At times, certain fashions became so widespread that they approached uniform status; this is true in particular for so-called student hats (Schülermützen) that became widespread from the 1880s on and remained somewhat popular until they were banned by the Nazis. Their wearing was advocated by teachers and the students themselves and occasionally made mandatory, but never on a national or state-wide level. Another instance are the sailor suits that became fashionable around the turn of the 19th century. These, too, were not usually a prescribed uniform.

The Nazis banned student hats – the last remaining, if voluntary, form of unified student clothing – because they considered them an attribute of class society. They did, however, institute mandatory membership in the uniformed Hitler Youth (HJ) from 1936 on. HJ uniforms were worn in the Adolf Hitler Schools and in the Napolas; students of other schools sometimes wore them to school at their own discretion.

In recent times, the introduction of school uniforms has been discussed, but usually the expression "uniform" (the word is the same in German) is avoided in favour of terms like "school clothing" ("Schulkleidung"). School clothing has been introduced in a small number of schools, for example in Hamburgmarker-Sinstorf in 2000, and in Friesenheim and Haag marker in 2005. In these cases the clothes are collections of shirts, sweaters, and the like, catering to contemporary fashion senses. Uniforms in a more traditional sense are almost never proposed in earnest.


School uniforms are used in Guineamarker.


According to former Education Minister Limor Livnat, about 1,400 Israeli public schools require pupils to wear uniforms.

School uniforms used to be the norm in Israelmarker in the state's early days, but have since fallen out of favour. However, in recent years, the number of schools using school uniforms has been increasing once more. Many teachers, parents and students are in favour of returning the school uniform to common use to prevent the deepening of the gap between affluent children and those less well-off. Nowadays school uniforms are mainly associated with schools belonging to the national religious school system, which is separated from secular Jewish schools. Arab Israeli schools also frequently require uniforms: for girls, it is often a pinafore to be worn over trousers and shirt.

Today, school uniforms in Israel consist only of a shirt with the school logo. In the summer, the uniform shirt is a simple T-shirt, while in the winter, the shirts worn are warm or hooded sweaters. Although the shirts are uniform, they usually come in various colours, and allow students to customize and express themselves even while wearing a uniform. The shirts sell for a very small amount of money, so that even those who do not have a lot of money can acquire them.


School uniforms are used in Irelandmarker and are similar to those in the United Kingdommarker.


School uniforms are used in Indiamarker.


In Italy, school uniforms are uncommon, partially because child uniforms are associated with the era of Benito Mussolini before World War II when children were placed according to their age into Italian Fascist youth movements and had to wear uniforms inside and outside school.

However, until the early 1970s many high schools required girls to wear black grembiule (resembling a doctor smock) on top of their clothes: no uniform was required for boys. Perhaps this was because at one time high schools were the only public schools to be co-ed (as opposed to junior schools and elementary), and girls may be required to "cover up" not to distract their male counterparts. Indeed this policy was highly disputed during the sexual revolution of the 1960s and later abolished.

Nowadays, many pre-schools advise parents to dress their children with a grembiulino, i.e., a small grembiule, usually shorter and more colourful, that can be purchased cheaply.

Some elementary schools advise some kind of grembiule for the younger pupils. Sometimes girls are required to wear a pink or white grembiulino, while boys may be required to wear a short cotton jacket, usually blue or black. In other cases both boys and girls may be required to wear a more neutral blue grembiule.

Some parents send their children to school in a grembiule even if the school does not require it.

Poet and children's writer Gianni Rodari has described adult life as "a school without grembiule and school desk".

In 2004 the Italian chapter of WWF warned that synthetic grembiules were harmful to pupils.

In July 2008 Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini proposed the re-introduction of the compulsory smock in public schools, provoking a debate in the Italian press.


Japan introduced school uniforms in the late 19th century. Today, school uniforms are almost universal in the public and private school systems. They are also used in some women's colleges. The Japanesemarker word for uniform is .

In the majority of elementary schools, students are not required to wear a uniform to school. Where uniforms are required, many boys wear white shirts, short pants, and caps. Young boys often dress more formally in their class pictures than they do other days of the school year. Girls' uniforms might include a gray pleated skirt and white blouse. Occasionally the sailor outfit is used for girls. The uniform codes may vary by season to work with the environment and occasion. It is common for both boys and girls to wear brightly colored caps to prevent traffic accidents. Also, it is normal for uniforms to be worn outside of school areas. This is going out of fashion and many students are wearing casual dress.

The Japanese junior- and senior-high-school uniform traditionally consists of a military style uniform for boys and a sailor outfit for girls. These uniforms are based on Meiji era formal military dress, themselves modeled on European-style naval uniforms. The sailor outfit replace the undivided hakama (andon bakama 行灯袴) designed by Utako Shimoda between 1920–30. While this style of uniform is still in use, many schools have moved to more Western-pattern parochial school uniform styles. These uniforms consist of a white shirt, tie, blazer with school crest, and tailored trousers (often not of the same color as the blazer) for boys and a white blouse, tie, blazer with school crest, and tartan skirt for girls.

Regardless of what type of uniform any particular school assigns its students, all schools have a summer version of the uniform (usually consisting of just a white dress shirt and the uniform slacks for boys and a reduced-weight traditional uniform or blouse and tartan skirt with tie for girls) and a sports-activity uniform (a polyester track suit for year-round use and a t-shirt and short pants for summer activities). Depending on the discipline level of any particular school, students may often wear different seasonal and activity uniforms within the same classroom during the day. Individual students may attempt to subvert the system of uniforms by wearing their uniforms incorrectly or by adding prohibited elements such as large loose socks or badges. Girls may shorten their skirts; boys may wear trousers about the hips, omit ties, or keep their shirts unbuttoned.

Since some schools do not have sex-segregated changing- or locker-rooms, students may change for sporting activities in their classrooms. As a result, such students may wear their sports uniforms under their classroom uniforms. Certain schools also regulate student hairstyles, footwear, and book bags; but these particular rules are usually adhered to only on special occasions, such as trimester opening and closing ceremonies and school photo days.

The or the are the uniforms for many middle school and high school boys in Japanmarker. The color is normally black, but some schools use navy and dark blue as well.

The top has a standing collar buttoning down from top-to-bottom. Buttons are usually decorated with the school emblem to show respect to the school. Pants are straight leg and a black or dark-colored belt is worn with them. Boys usually wear penny loafers or sneakers with this uniform. Some schools may require the students to wear collar-pins representing the school and/or class rank.

The second button of the top of a male's uniform is often given away to a female he is in love with, and is considered a way of confession. The second button is the one closest to the heart and is said to contain the emotions from all three years attendance at the school. This practice was apparently made popular by a scene in a novel by Daijun Takeda.

Traditionally, the gakuran is also worn along with a matching (usually black) student cap, although this custom is less common in modern times. Jotaro Kujo from the manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure wears a more decorated and worn-out version of this cap as a form of rebellion.

The Gakuran is derived from Prussian army uniforms. The term is a combination of gaku (学) meaning "study" or "student", and ran (らん or 蘭) meaning Hollandmarker or, historically in Japan, the West in general; thus, gakuran translates as "Western student (uniform)". Such clothing was also worn by school children in South Koreamarker and pre-1949 Chinamarker.

 is a common style of uniform worn by female middle school and high school students, and occasionally, elementary school students. It was introduced as a school uniform in 1920 in   and 1921 by the principal of  , Elizabeth Lee. It was modeled after the uniform used by the British Royal Navy at the time, which Lee had experienced as an exchange student in the United Kingdommarker

Much like the male uniform, the gakuran, the sailor outfit bears a similarity to various military styled naval uniforms. The uniform generally consists of a blouse attached with a sailor-style collar and a pleated skirt. There are seasonal variations for summer and winter: sleeve length and fabric are adjusted accordingly. A ribbon is tied in the front and laced through a loop attached to the blouse. Several variations on the ribbon include neckties, bolo ties, neckerchiefs, and bows. Common colors are navy blue, white, grey, light green and black.

Shoes, socks, and other accessories are sometimes included as part of the uniform. These socks are typically navy or white. The shoes are typically brown or black penny loafers. Although not part of the prescribed uniform, alternate forms of legwear (such as loose socks, knee-length stockings, or similar) are also commonly matched by more fashionable girls with their sailor outfits.

Various schools are known for their particular uniforms. Uniforms can have a nostalgic characteristic for former students, and is often associated with relatively carefree youth. Uniforms are sometimes modified by students as a means of exhibiting individualism, including lengthening or shortening the skirt, removing the ribbon, hiding patches or badges under the collar, etc. In past decades, brightly coloured variants of the sailor outfit were also adopted by Japanese yankee and Bōsōzoku biker gangs.

Because school uniforms are a popular fetish item, second-hand sailor outfits and other items of school wear are brokered through underground establishments known as burusera, although changes to Japanese law have made such practices difficult. The pop group Onyanko Club had a provocative song called "Don't Strip Off the Sailor Suit!" Sailor outfits, along with other styles of school uniform, play an undeniably large role in otaku culture and the Japanese sexual canon as evidenced by the large amount of anime, manga, and dōjinshi featuring characters in uniform, Sailor Moon being one of the most popular examples.


Like most Caribbean countries all students are required to wear a school uniforms except in tertiary education institutes.

School uniforms are used in Jamaicamarker.


School uniforms are used in Kenyamarker.


School uniforms are used in some parts of Kuwaitmarker.


School uniforms are used in parts of Laosmarker.


In Malaysiamarker, school uniforms (Malay: Pakaian Seragam Sekolah) are compulsory for all students who attend public schools. Malaysia introduced Western style school uniforms in the late 19th century during the British colonial era. Today, school uniforms are almost universal in the public and private school systems.

The uniforms at Malaysian public schools are as follows:
Malaysian primary school girls wearing the pinafore
A Malaysian secondary school class photo.
All but one of the girls sitting in the front row are wearing the baju kurung
  • Primary school
    • Boys
      • White shirt and
        • Navy blue short trousers; or
        • Navy blue long trousers
    • Girls
      • Navy blue pinafore over white shirt; or
      • White baju kurung (a long tunic that covers the arms) over long navy blue skirt

  • Secondary school
    • Boys
      • White shirt and
        • Olive green long trousers; or
        • Olive green short trousers; or
        • White trousers (generally only for Form 6 students)
    • Girls
      • Turquoise pinafore over white shirt (Form 1 to Form 5); or
      • Turquoise skirt with white blouse (generally only for Form 6 students); or
      • White baju kurung (a long tunic that covers the arms) over long turqouise skirt (Form 1 to Form 6)

As to the choice between long or short trousers for boys, in recent times it has become more common for Muslim boys to wear long trousers, especially at secondary level. Chinese or Indian boys still wear short trousers at primary level and in the first couple of years of secondary at some schools.

Students are required to wear white socks and white shoes with the above uniform. For modesty reasons as well, most schools require female students who wear the baju kurung to wear a plain-coloured camisole underneath.

In addition to these, schools usually have their own school badges which must be sewn or ironed on to the uniform - generally at the left chest. Some schools also require students to sew their name tags in addition to the school badge. For upper forms, students generally have to wear a school-specific tie, except those who are wearing the baju kurung.

In Malaysia, Muslim girls tend to wear the baju kurung. Most of them start wearing a white tudung (Malaysian version of the Muslim headscarf or hijab) upon entering secondary school, for religious reasons. Non-Muslim girls tend to wear the pinafore. Some non-muslim girls wear the baju kurung..

Muslim boys may wear Baju Melayu at school on Fridays, often with a songkok hat, so as to be dressed for going to the mosque for prayers at lunchtime.

Girls who choose to wear the pinafore, especially those attending co-ed schools, also usually wear shorts under their pinafore to allow for carefree movement as the skirt of the pinafore only covers up to the knee. Those who wear the baju kurung tend not to wear shorts under their long skirt as their long skirt already covers their legs.

Public schools also have their own authority to set special school uniforms for prefects, class monitors, librarians and as such, there are many varieties of them depending on schools.

Neckties are often worn by prefects, class monitors, librarians, and other students of rank. Some schools have neckties as standard issue, but even then, the neckties are generally reserved for school events and public appearances, and are not part of the everyday school uniform, the tropical climate making them uncomfortable.

The hairstyle of students is also given attention by schools and the Ministry of Education Schools do not allow students to colour their hair. For boys, there is usually a maximum length of hair allowed, for example, the hair must be a few centimetres above the collar, and no sideburns are allowed. Violation of boys' hair regulations is often punished with a caning but some schools offer the alternative of an enforced haircut at the school. The use of hair gel is prohibited in some of the stricter schools, in order to prevent excessive hairdressing. For girls with long hair, their hair must be properly tied up, often into a ponytail. Some schools dictate the colour and type of hair accessories that can be used. Some prohibit even girls from having long hair. Wearing make up in school is prohibited.

Schools usually enforce their school uniform code thoroughly, with regular checks by teachers and prefects. Students who fail to comply may be warned, given demerit points, publicly punished, sent home from school, or caned.

Private primary schools generally have uniforms identical to those of the public system. Most private secondary schools, however, have their own school uniform. Today, many private schools have their students wear polo shirts in the school colours, and girls wear skirts instead of pinafores. The "baju kurung" is also accepted.

There is no set uniform in kindergartens as they are privately owned. Each kindergarten might have different uniforms or allow free choice of clothing. The uniform in most Malaysian kindergartens is the sailor uniform. These schools also tend to have a sports uniform. The remainder have uniforms identical to that of the public primary school uniform.


School uniforms are used in Mexicomarker.


School uniforms are used in Nepalmarker.

New Zealand

Traditionally, many New Zealand Intermediate and high schools have followed the British system of school uniforms, although it is common in state schools for the boy's uniform to have a jersey and grey short trousers rather than a blazer with tie and pants (long trousers). This usually consists of a variety of the following apparel: an 'official' school jersey, jacket and tie, a grey/white shirt, pants and/or shorts, and, in many girls' schools, kilts. Blazers and jackets are of varied colours according to the school - dark or light blue, grey, crimson, scarlet, green or black. Some follow the British practice of having contrasting colours edging the lapels and jacket fronts. Caps or other headwear have generally been discarded since the 1970s. Where short trousers are worn, boys are usually required to wear long dark socks, which may require garters to hold them up.

Being allowed to wear long trousers as part of the uniform, rather than shorts, often marks the transition from junior to senior classes. At some schools, seniors are allowed to wear casual clothing, known colloquially as "mufti".

During the 1980s and 1990s there was a tendency for the traditional uniform to be replaced by cheaper and more 'modern' options: polo shirts, polar fleece tops, or a complete doing away with uniforms in favour of mufti. This trend seems to have been reversed in recent years and only a small number of secondary schools now do not have uniforms at all. Intermediate schools usually provide the option of skirts or culottes for girls and sometimes shorts while boys will wear shorts. Also bike shorts or tights are sometimes worn under girls' skirts. At high school girls will usually wear culottes, skirts or pants and boys will wear shorts or pants. Some girls' schools also have navy blue skirts and open necked white blouses long in winter and short in summer, as the skirts are not allowed higher than below the knee; the skirts also have splits up the center at the back.

North Korea

School uniforms are used in North Koreamarker.


School uniforms are used in Portugalmarker.


A Pakistani student in School Uniform
A school uniform is an outfit—a set of standardized clothes—worn primarily for an educational institution. They are common in primary and secondary schools in many nations. When used, they form the basis of a school's dress code.Due to its colonial history public and private sector schools both have uniforms. Although exact design varies, boys mostly wear shirts and trousers with a tie, while girls wear a dress or a skirt when young and the traditional "shalwar Kamiz" agfter turning 12 or 13. Uniforms differ between winters and summers e.g the colour of the trousers might be different in summers, while in winters students will have to wear a blazer, in the summer they will usually be permitted to leave the blaxer off.

Although strictly enforced when young, older school children personalise their clothing e.g. by wearing low coloured jeans instead of pants, or girls might wear a hijab. Young kids however can face fines, can be sent back home and can even face verbal and physical punishment for not wearing the right clothes. Some school provide a day where boys and girls can wear "coloured clothes" i.e. anything that they wear normally while others do away with uniforms altogether by the time they reach A levels.


School uniforms are common in Philippine schools for both elementary and high school, as well as a few colleges. For boys, a school uniform normally consists of a white shirt (some similar to the Barong Tagalog) with short sleeves and slacks of either khaki, black or blue. For girls, a uniform would be a white blouse with short sleeves, a ribbon, a necktie and a pleated skirt.

In the 1970s and 80s, school uniforms were usually white long-sleeved shirts and neckties with black slacks for boys, while short or long sleeved blouses with ribbon and blue pleated skirts for girls. During that time, the skirts were usually shorter, ranging from about half an inch after the upper knee or shorter, while the longest was 1 inch before the lower knee. Due to the growing cases of abuses, the school uniform code for girls slowly grew stricter until the late 1990s, when skirts were made much longer.

Some schools, especially for boys, require wearing a coat and tie alongside the white shirt. But this mostly applies only in colleges and international schools.


In Russia, school uniforms were abolished after the 1917 revolution, but were re-introduced in 1948. Initially, the new uniform was very similar to that in place before the communist takeover. Wearing uniform was made mandatory and pupils were penalized for not following the rules.

The style of Sovietmarker school uniform was modernized in 1962, and since that time was modified each decade. There could be some variations across different Soviet Republics. Boys generally wore dark blue pants and jackets, girls — brown dresses with black aprons and black bows (on special occasions, white aprons and bows were worn). The members of the Young Pioneer organization, to which literally every student belonged, wore famous red neckties. Special sport uniforms also existed for physical education classes. In the early 1980s, a dark blue three-piece suit was introduced for girls and the strict rules on haircuts were loosened.

In 1992, mandatory school uniforms were abolished. Today, there is no unified standard uniform in Russia; however, certain schools may have their own uniform that students are required to wear. Educational institutions without a uniform may also have a certain dress code.

There is also a modern-day tradition for girls to dress into brown Soviet-style school uniform for their graduation ceremony.


Singapore has some of the most distinctive school uniforms anywhere. Uniform is absolutely compulsory for all students, not only at primary and secondary school but also at the pre-university (Junior College) level. The normal uniform for boys is shorts or long pants in the specified colour and material, with a short-sleeved shirt (often white). Girls' uniforms include pinafores or skirts, with blouses and shorts underneath.

Uniform requirements are laid down in great detail by each school and these are rigorously enforced. Colours and styles for shirts or blouses, and for trousers or skirts, are tightly specified, and in some cases the shirt or blouse must have military-style epaulettes, and/or a metal badge on each collar, and so on. Some schools, most famously Raffles Institution, have a 100% all-white uniform. Because of the tropical climate, blazers and ties are worn only for special occasions. It is therefore the boy's shirt or girl's blouse, rather than a blazer as in the UK, on to which the school badge must be sewn. Nearly all schools require white socks and white shoes.

At almost all secondary schools, boys are not permitted to wear long trousers until they start secondary 3 (normally the year in which a student turns 15, but in certain cases he might be a year or even two years older). In a few schools, the year of changing from shorts to longs is secondary 4; and in one or two, such as Catholic High Schoolmarker, male students must wear short pants throughout their time at the school.

South Africa

Typical example of an assembly in a South African school.
All students are in uniform, with a sharp difference between the sexes.
As in many other former British colonies, all South African private and public schools have a uniform, and it is compulsory in all public schools and in the vast majority of private schools. Uniform types vary less between public and private schools than they do across regions, where schools in more rural areas tend to forgo the daily wearing of ties and/or blazers for boys and girls regardless of their public or private nature. However, many of these same schools will have a "number ones" uniform for special occasions which include such items. In cities such as Cape Town, on the other hand, it is more common to see formal apparel required in public and private schools on a daily basis. Many schools across South Africa also provide the choice between a summer and winter uniform, with khaki uniforms and brown shoes being very common in the summer. South African law has not required gender neutrality in school dress codes and a distinction between girls' and boys' uniforms remains. Boys of all ages are normally required to wear grey or khaki short trousers with long socks, as in the illustration (right). Until recently, the straw boater was a common accessory in affluent public and private high schools, although these have now become optional in some cases.

South Korea

Almost all South Korean secondary students wear a uniform called "교복"(校服, Gyobok). The majority of elementary schools except some private elementary schools do not have uniforms; however, the uniform is strictly monitored from the start of middle school and up. Based on Western-style uniforms, the South Korean uniform usually consists of a shirt, blazer and tie, with skirts for girls and long grey trousers for boys. More recently, the uniform is often worn by celebrities who target the younger, teen audience to sell entertainment products. The school uniform and school setting is frequently used as a venue for romance. As a result, the uniform has become something akin to an expression of fashion amongst students.

Sri Lanka

All public and private schools in Sri Lanka require their students to wear uniforms. This is uniform is standard for boys with a white short sleeve shirt (long sleeve shirt for ceremonial occasions), blue or white (for ceremonial occasions) shorts for boys under grade 10 (15 years of age) and white longs for boys of and above grade 10.

Girls' uniforms may differ from school to school, however all uniforms are a white single piece frock. The differences may include the dress having short sleeves or no sleeves and having a collar or not. Most girls schools require their students to wear a tie.

For ceremonial occasions both boys and girls may wear the a white or black blazer (depending on the school, with its badge) with the school's tie.

International schools have their own individual uniforms of different color and styles.


School uniforms are used in Taiwanmarker.


Thai school boys in football shirt uniform.

School uniforms are used in Thailandmarker. They largely consist of a white blouse and dark blue skirt for girls and a like wise coloured shirt and trousers for boys. Brighter football shirt styled tops and sports shorts are now being introduced in some schools.


School uniforms are used in Tongamarker

Trinidad and Tobago

Like most caribbean countries all students are required to wear a school uniforms except in tertiary education institutes.

School uniforms are used in Trinidad and Tobagomarker.


School uniforms are used in all public and private institutions. There are several exceptions and most kindergartens do not require school uniforms. The uniforms vary in their appearance; primary schools use one-piece blue uniforms while in secondary and highschools boys wear dark grey trousers with white or light blue shirts, jackets and a tie. Girls have skirts and shirts coloured like boys plus a tie. Most private institutions have their own uniforms. School uniforms for primary schools were black coloured until 1990s.

In summer months teachers usually allow their students if they do not prefer to wear uniforms. Also during trips students usually do not wear uniforms. None of the universities or higher education institutes have uniforms.

School uniforms have a long history in Turkey. They were first introduced because normal clothing would give hints about the child's family's economic situation. In order to prevent groupings amongst children from different social classes, uniforms were accepted.

United Kingdom

Many British primary and secondary schools require pupils to wear uniforms, but further education colleges and some school sixth-forms (for age 16+) do not usually have a uniform.

Schools vary widely as to how prescriptive the uniform is, and how much the wearing of it is enforced.

School uniforms are required to be fair for both genders, provide a reasonably low cost and tolerate religious freedoms e.g. allowing sikhs to wear turbans.

School uniforms were first introduced on a large scale during the reign of King Henry VIII. The uniforms of the time were referred as "bluecoats", as they consisted of long trench-coat-style jackets dyed blue. Blue was the cheapest available dye and showed humility amongst all children. The first school to introduce this uniform was Christ's Hospitalmarker and it is the oldest uniform of any school.

In 1870 the Elementary Education act introduced free primary education for all children. The popularity of uniforms increased and eventually most schools had a uniform. During this period most uniforms reflected the trends of the age, with boys wearing short trousers and blazers until roughly the age of puberty and then long trousers from about 14 or 15. Girls mainly wore blouse, tunic dress and pinafore later progressing towards the beginning of the 20th century to gymslips.

These uniforms continued until the 1950s when after the Butler reforms secondary education was made free and the school leaving age was raised to 15. These reforms encouraged schools to implement uniform codes which were similar to other schools. Distinct "summer" and "winter" uniforms were sometimes required, particularly for girls where dresses were mandated for summer and gymslip for winter.

Over the last ten years a trend towards wearing school sweatshirts and polo shirts or t-shirts, (as well as more casual styles of trousers, such as plain, dark-coloured jeans, cargo pants or tracksuit bottoms), has been observed in many schools in the UK. This was seen as a way to modernise the uniform as well as make it more affordable to lower-income families who could not afford blazers, etc. Equally, temperatures in classrooms have changed over the last 50 years in the United Kingdom due to the introduction of central heating systems. This has, in some schools, made older uniforms, such as thick jumpers and blazers, seem impractical, especially in the summer months, prompting the adoption of more casual uniforms.

Nevertheless, there are still many schools of all kinds that retain (or even have reintroduced) the traditional blazer and tie in a bid to 'smarten up' their pupils and to combat bullying. Typical is a dark blazer in a specified colour (often but by no means always black) with the school's badge (with coat of arms or logo) sewn on to the left chest pocket. Trousers and skirts will also be of a specified colour, typically grey. If a tie is to be worn, it is usually of the school's special design, often with coloured stripes. Until the early 1970s it was common for boys to be in brief short trousers with long socks, until age 13 or 14. Nowadays most boys wear long trousers at both primary and secondary school, with shorts now required only at a few elite traditional schools, and even there the shorts are nowadays much longer and baggier than was normal in the 1960s and 1970s. Shorts are sometimes worn in warmer weather by primary school boys, and very occasionally in secondary school.

In most state schools, girls have a choice of trousers or skirts as part of their uniform - typically black, grey, navy, or sometimes brown or maroon. Similar to the shorts for boys, insistence on skirts is generally confined to independent and traditional state schools, after several state schools faced claims of sex discrimination on denying the option of trousers. In practice, however, many girls still wear skirts by choice, especially in primary schools. The kilted skirt is also common for girls in private schools. Additionally, the tailored shorts that are now in fashion in the UK are now increasingly being permitted during the summer months. Unlike in the United States there is no law forcing gender-impartial uniforms. As a result, especially in privately funded schools, the girls' and boys' uniforms often differ significantly from each other.

In areas of substantial minority-culture population, notably some inner cities, schools may allow female pupils to wear religiously-appropriate clothing, often in the school's typical uniform colours. Depending on the level of religious observance of the pupil, and the school's willingness to permit non-regulation clothing, this can sometimes cause difficulties.

United States

Few state schools in the United States have formal school uniforms, but most have dress codes regulating student attire. Dress codes usually include limits on skin exposure. They generally include prohibitions on clothing with tears or holes, exposure of undergarments, and anything that is obscene, gang-related, or unsafe. Some school dress codes specify the types of tops (e.g. collared) and bottoms (e.g. khaki) that are allowed, as well as specific colors (often the school colors). In recent years there has been a significant increase in dress codes (see below) for all levels of schooling. In most cases, while regulations vary greatly, a general idea of what is typically permitted includes

According to the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the fraction of American public schools requiring some sort of uniform rose from 3% in 1997 to 21% in 2000.


The efficacy of uniforms, in improving academic performance and student attitudes, is often debated.

A study published in The Journal of Education Research by David L. Brunsma, of the University of Alabamamarker, and Kerry A. Rockquemore, of the University of Notre Damemarker, states:

"The findings indicate that student uniforms have no direct effect on substance use, behavioral problems, or attendance. A negative effect of uniforms on student academic achievement was found."

"Children that are instructed to wear uniforms to school are less likely to have self esteem problems because they feel as if everyone is equal. They also work better with others they not as shy and develop a sense of pride in their self for achieving good grades in school."

In Vivian Gussin Paley's book, White Teacher, she discusses the need to embrace differences, not ignore them.

Laws and rulings against school uniforms

In the Australian state of Queensland, Ombudsman Fred Albietz ruled in 1998 that public schools may not require uniforms.

In 2006, a new Education Act was passed within Queensland, Australia. This Act gives school staff within the public education system the power to assign punishment for non-compliance with school uniform dress code. According to the Act, students may not be suspended or expelled for non-compliance with the dress code. Punishment consists of one only of the following three choices for each non-compliance: 1. Detention. 2. Exclusion from any activity that is a non-essential part of the school's education program. 3. Exclusion from any activity where the student will be representing the school.

In the Philippinesmarker, the Department of Education abolished the requirement of school uniforms in public schools per DepEd Order No. 45, s. 2008. However, a school attire was required under DepEd Order No. 46, s. 2008. The following were "suggested" as proper school attire in the latter order: Polo shirt or t-shirt with sleeves and pants for males; dresses, skirt and blouse or blouse and pants for females.

In the United Kingdom, technically a state school may not permanently exclude students for "breaching school uniform policy", under a policy promulgated by the Department for Children, Schools and Families but students not wearing the correct uniform are asked to go home and change. In some parts of the country, schools may not insist on students wearing a uniform as a precondition to attending and taking part in curricular activities.

In the United States, a few states have regulations declaring that public schools must allow students to drop out of uniform policies. Although Section 83 of the Massachusettsmarker Legislature appears to prohibit dress codes in public schools by declaring that schools may not "abridge the rights of students as to personal dress and appearance" [8866], Section 86 states that "The provisions of sections eighty-three to eighty-five, inclusive, shall apply only to cities and towns which accept the same" [8867] and other sections of the law allow schools to impose dress codes, and in fact many public schools in Massachusettsmarker (mostly in the Bostonmarker area) have mandatory school uniforms [8868].

In 1969, the United States Supreme Courtmarker ruling in Tinker v. Des Moines Independent Community School District affirmed students' rights to free expression in public schools, although this related to the wearing of a black armband (not to uniforms as such). California Education Code 48907 affirms students' rights to "the wearing of buttons, badges, and other insignia" as well freedom of speech in student publications, subject to limited restrictions.

Also see


  1. The Australian school system at International Education.
  2. See e.g. Fairhills High School uniform rules.
  3. See e.g. school uniform price list making distinction between summer uniform and winter uniform.
  4. Picture of a grammar school girl in uniform at National Library of Australia.
  5. "Year 12 jerseys as casual wear", Vogue Australia, 24 July 2005.
  6. Israel QA File news, Israel diplomatic map
  7. Dr. Zvi Zameret, Fifty Years of Education in the State of Israel, Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 14 July 1998.
  8. "la scuola dei grandi".
  9. "WWF: attenti ai tessuti di grembiuli e abitini per bambini", VITA magazine, 13 September 2004.
  10. Associated Press, "Students Protest as Italian Senate Passes Reforms", ABC News, 29 October 2008.
  11. 制服でたどる百年
  12. 女子生徒に洋装制服登場、大正モダン
  13. 平安女学院(京都)と福岡女学院(福岡)の間で、セーラー服の起源を巡る論争が勃発!
  14. Grigsby, Mary (1998). "Sailormoon: Manga (Comics) and Anime (Cartoon) Superheroine Meets Barbie: Global Entertainment Commodity Comes to the United States" The Journal of Popular Culture 32 (1) 59-80
  15. Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia 1997. Surat Pekeliling lkhtisas Bil. 3/1983 - Pakaian Seragam Murid-murid Sekolah. Retrieved 4 June 2007. Available online at
  16. SMK Perempuan Sandakan. Peraturan Sekolah''. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
  17. Aliran Pemikiran Pendidik Malaysia. Peraturan Sekolah''. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
  18. Tan Ee Loo, "Teachers and students scoff at 'baseless' statement", The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 23 May 2008.
  19. Tan Ee Loo, "Student with 'too transparent' uniform can be told to wear undergarment", The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 24 May 2008
  20. Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia 1997. Surat Pekeliling lkhtisas Bil. 2/1976 - Potongan Rambut Murid-murid''. Retrieved 5 June 2007.
  21. "Students get a trimming from their peers", The Star, Kuala Lumpur, 12 August 1998.
  22. Kementerian Pendidikan Malaysia 2003. Surat Pekeliling Iktisas Bil:7/2003 - Kuasa Guru Merotan Murid. Retrieved 4 June 2007.
  23. Elaine Webster, "New Zealand School Uniforms in the Era of Democracy: 1965 to 1975" in Costume, Volume 42, Number 1, 2008 , pp. 169-183(15).
  24. Pictured at The History of School Uniforms.
  25. See e.g. Uniform rules at Logan Park High School.
  26. Summary record of the 909th meeting, UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, September 2003, para 24.
  27. See e.g. School rules, Canberra Secondary School.
  28. School rules, Raffles Institution.
  29. "My Shorts Will Go On", Stomp (Straits Times Interactive) Retrieved 22 August 2006.
  30. "A parent's guide to schooling",
  31. Picture of senior high school boys in blazers, short trousers and straw boaters.
  32. "School uniform", CBBC Newsround, retrived on 28 August 2008.
  33. I
  34. Gutek, Gerald L. "Historical and Philosophical Fondations of Education: A Biographical Introduction."

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