School uniform stores losing money: Are these retailers necessary anymore?
School uniforms are not nearly as fashionable but save parents’ money
When my teacher handed me a note to give to my parents, my first thought was, “I’m getting A’s. This letter better not get me in trouble.” Even my parents were surprised to see a letter from school. They opened it up and saw what was more horrifying to me than a check mark about disrupting class, talking too much or a failing grade: school uniforms. I begged them not to fill in the “yes” circle. I had outfits planned and ready to wear when I started fifth grade, and this ballot was not the time to make me wear a bunch of yellow blouses, blue pants and skirts, and black shoes. It was lame, and it was a bit on the expensive side if purchased from traditional uniform stores.
I was one unhappy kid, grudgingly taking that letter back to my teacher. The other parents agreed with mine, and the Fashion Police were called. It was over. School uniforms were mandatory. My mother, a seamstress, even got creative after realizing just how much laundry would be involved in buying nonstop yellow blouses and blue bottoms. With a needle and thread, she was able to turn quite a few of her old clothes into my “new” uniforms. I grudgingly realized that she was saving quite a bit of money by investing in the same school uniform colors and less on buying me new school outfits.
Considering I also was living in a neighborhood with three rival gangs, and a concerning amount of boys my age getting bullied regularly or involuntarily joining to avoid the harassment, choosing the right colors in school clothes were very necessary. And if students wore their caps sideways, they better be very confident in that decision when they leave school grounds or head out for lunch.
But in a world of students living through a coronavirus health outbreak, who are either learning virtually or hesitantly going back to school, are school uniform stores even necessary at this point? In my case, it was for safety reasons. For other schools, it was a matter of training students in professionalism, learning to dress neatly, and (an overdone) way to represent school spirit and colors. But who’s going to police school kids from home for not wearing school uniforms behind their computer screens?