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A uniform is a set of standard clothing worn by members of an organization while participating in that organization's activity. Modern uniforms are worn by armed forces and paramilitary organisations such as police, emergency services, security guards, in some workplaces and schools and by inmates in prisons. In some countries, some other officials also wear uniforms in their duties; such is the case of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service or the Frenchmarker prefect. For some public groups, such as police, it is illegal for non members to wear the uniform. Other uniforms are trade dressed (such as the brown uniforms of UPSmarker).

Service and work uniforms

Workers sometimes wear uniforms or corporate clothing of one nature or another, including but not limited to shop workers, bank and post office workers, airline employees and holiday operators, and bar, restaurant and hotel employees. The use of uniforms by these organizations is often an effort in branding and developing a standard corporate image but also has important effects on the employees required to wear the uniform. The first service uniform registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office was the Playboy Bunny outfit (U.S. trademark number 762,884). However the term 'uniform' is misleading because employees are not always fully uniform in appearance and may not always wear attire provided by the organization, while still representing the organization in their attire. Academic work on organizational dress by Rafaeli & Pratt (1993) referred to uniformity (homogeneity) of dress as one dimension, and conspicuousness as a second. Employees all wearing black, for example, may appear conspicuous and thus represent the organization even though their attire is uniform only in the color of their appearance not in its features. Pratt & Rafaeli, (1997)described struggles between employees and management about organizational dress as struggles about deeper meanings and identities that dress represents. And Pratt & Rafaeli (2001) described dress as one of the larger set of symbols and artifacts in organizations which coalesce into a communication grammar.
  • Rafaeli, A. & Pratt, M. J. 1993. Tailored meaning: On the meaning and impact of organizational dress. Academy of Management Review, 18(1): 32-55.
  • Pratt, M. & Rafaeli, A. 1997. Organizational dress as a symbol of multilayered social identities. Academy of Management Journal, 40(4): 862-898.
  • Pratt, M. G. & Rafaeli, A. 2001. Symbols as a language of organizational relationships. Research in Organizational Behavior, 23: 93-13


Schools

Across the world uniforms are worn in many schools. School uniforms vary from a standard issue T-shirt to rigorous requirements for many items of formal wear at private schools.

Countries with school uniforms mandated include Japan, Indiamarker, Australia, Hong Kongmarker and the United Kingdommarker, as well as many other places. In some countries uniform types vary from school to school, but in the UK many pupils between 11 and 16 of age wear a formal jacket, tie and trousers for boys and blouse, tie and trousers or skirt or culottes for girls. The ties will usually be in a set pattern for the school & jackets will usually carry a patch on the breast pocket with the school's coat of arms and motto or emblem and name. Jackets are being replaced in many schools by sweatshirts bearing the school badge. Children in many UK state primary schools will have a uniform jumper and or polo shirt with the school name and logo.

Sports

Most, if not all, professional sports teams also wear uniforms, made in the team's distinctive colors, often in different variations for "home" and "away" games. In the United Kingdommarker, especially in soccer, the terms "kit" or "strip" (as in 'football kit') are more common.

Security and armed forces

In the case of uniforms worn by military personnel or civilian officials, there are generally several kinds of uniforms:
  • battledress, khakis;
  • dress uniform: worn at ceremonies, official receptions, and other special occasions; medals are typically worn.
  • everyday work uniform, where earned medals are typically replaced by ribbon bars;


Prison

Domestic workers

Domestic workers are often required by their employers to wear a uniform.

Uniform hygiene

In some countries or regions such as the UKmarker, Australia or Hong Kongmarker, the laundry expenses of working- uniform or clothing can be partially deducted or rebated from the personal income tax, if the organization for which the person works does not have a laundry department or an outsourced commercial laundry.

Scouting

The Scout uniform is a specific characteristic of the Scouting movement, in the words of Baden-Powell at the 1938 World Jamboree, "it covers the differences of country and race and make all feel that they are members one with another of one World Brotherhood". The original uniform, which has created a familiar image in the public eye, consisted of a khaki button-up shirt, shorts and a broad-brimmed campaign hat. Baden-Powell himself wore shorts as being dressed like the youth contributed to reducing distances between the adult and the young person. Nowadays, uniforms are frequently blue, orange, red or green, and shorts are replaced by long pants in areas where the culture calls for modesty, and in winter weather.

See also



References


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