Why Wearing a School Uniform Can Be a Bad Idea

School uniforms—some love them and some hate them. There seems to be a big rift between school uniform supporters and those against school uniforms. So what's the deal? Let's look at some of the reasons wearing a school uniform isn't a good idea.

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Wearing a Uniform Limits Self Expression

School children in queue
Mitch Diamond/Photolibrary/Getty Images

The most common argument against school uniforms is that they limit personal expression. Kids and teens use they way they dress to express themselves and to identify with certain social groups. Many students who are against school uniforms argue that they lose their self-identity when they lose their right to express themselves through fashion.

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The Initial Cost

It can be costly to buy school uniforms. Some schools specify a certain manufacturer or store in order to ensure uniformity, making it harder to find competitive pricing. Other schools may have a variety of uniforms, some for daily wear, more formal uniforms for special occasions, and yet another outfit for gym class.

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The Comfort Factor

Kids are very specific about what they are comfortable wearing. Some kids are sensitive to certain materials while others are opposed to buttons, zippers, and restrictive clothing. Some children are also uncomfortable wearing certain styles of clothing. Many girls, for example, do not like to wear skirts or dresses, which most girls' uniforms require. No uniform can suit all children.

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Uniforms Require Organization

This one is personal; as a rather unorganized mom, I admit that sometimes it's hard to know exactly what uniform parts need to be washed, dried and ironed the night before. I have spent many a morning scrambling to find a tie or a blazer that was required for an event.

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The Benefit Is Unclear

"Why bother?" is possibly the most common argument against school uniforms. Many educators and parents just don't see the point in switching over to uniforms, especially in American public schools where uniforms are still the exception and not the rule.