Uniform – the designator for U in the NATO International Alphabet.
Even if you didn’t have an official school uniform, you probably wore clothes that were uniform in their character. They blended in with your schoolmates’. Even though we like to be different, there is a phase when we are young where standing out from the crowd is excruciating. Most of us grow out of it, sooner or later.
Uniforms can be good or bad. They can help provide a sense of cohesiveness and comradeship. They can bring people together in a common bond. They can also be used to degrade or dehumanise people. Think The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas.
I’ve had a few uniforms in my time: three school ones, my Brownie and Guide ones; various sports uniforms (either team colours or conforming to required dress standards). My father looked very dashing in his Imperial Airways uniform – both formal and ‘tropical kit’. My youngest brother was in the Royal Navy, but I haven’t managed to find a photo of him in his kit. There must be one somewhere.
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23 thoughts on “U for Uniform”
Good post! My sister wore a uniform at her school, but I didn’t at mine, and so it was a big subject for us at the time. Makes a big difference, but that difference is not itself uniform- some people thrive in them, some don’t. I think.
Good point, Melanie. We had a ‘failing’ inner-city school opposite where I worked. It was not pleasant being there when the kids were out and about. Then a new head came in, and everyone went into uniform. Behaviour improved overnight. I’m sure there were many other changes that the kids responded well to, but this was the one the neighbours saw!
In a few years’ time I expect the way to improve behaviour will be to allow self-expression through clothes!
Awwww… look at adorable Jemima. I love that photo of you and the photos of your father. It is funny, I pretty much have a Mom “uniform” I wear to make my life easy – jeans and a shirt with a pullover (3 different colors, Ha!) when it is colder.
My flip flops are on even on some chilly days. I wore many uniforms in my life being a starving actress….I mean waitress. I always liked that I didn’t have to think about what to put on (still do) when I had jobs with uniforms – and even when working in the theater – I had a costume to wear, but I have NEVER been one who was into clothes and fashion – so it works for me. More time to do other things. 🙂 I think my daughter would be horrified to wear a uniform to school, however, she loves her new Karate uniform. Such a fun discussion. I bet it would be fun to share “uniforms” worn in life with a bunch of people…okay my crazy mind is kicking in – I shall go now. ;0) Thanks for sharing and have a fabulous night/day ahead!
I think you’re right – I was never into clothes or fashion either – maybe uniforms help us out there. Check out another lovely post on uniforms:
Interesting observation about the connotations of uniforms.
Visiting from A to Z ~
Wendy at Jollett Etc.
Thanks for visiting, Wendy!
Personally I like uniforms, even in colleges and universities. Mainly because it saves you from the headache of planning of what to wear everyday! Being a girl, this is a constant dilemma.
It is indeed, Nats! Thanks for visiting 🙂
I always looked forward to wearing my Brownie and Girl Scout uniform to school on the days of our meetings – the sash with badges, knee socks, beanie – all symbols of who I was. My blog for today was also on uniforms but from a storyteller’s point of view. Please visit if you have time.
I will do! I found another great blog with uniforms too 🙂
I’ve always been in favor of uniforms for school – so much less angst over what to where and easier on the budget for families. I had the usual – a pinafore for my Catholic school, sports uniforms, and of course my son now wears one for the US Army – Airborne.
You were so darling in your school uniform, Jemima. Great photo!
Thanks, Noelle! I bet you looked great in yours, too 🙂
thank you for your comment on my blog.
am curious where you found a review of The Bench
and yes, now you found me lol
You’re welcome, Susan. I’m fairly sure the review of your book cropped up in my Goodreads feed this week. It must have done, because I was intrigued and took another look at the details 🙂
I never had to wear a school uniform except for feast days. We had to wear a tie. I hate wearing a tie 😀
Multicolored Diary – Tales of colors
MopDog – The crazy thing about Hungarians…
I preferred wearing a tie to those silly scarves that were part of lots of retail uniforms in the 1980s; just give us ties like the men have!
I liked wearing my uniform back in school, compared to some other uniforms, it was rather nice. The trick was to see how individual you could be whilst still keeping to the school rules!
I also love that you’re doing to NATO alphabet as your challenge, you have no hardships on thinking what to do each day 🙂 (My U post was a nightmare to think up).
Right on both counts, Jess. The length of the hem of your school skirt was the key issue in my day! And once I settled on the theme it has been easy from that point of view – I’m so bad at making decisions I’ve already started jotting things down for my next year’s theme!
OK first of all your dad was handsome! He looks like a film star in that one picture by Paramount! A man in a uniform always looks wonderful. I still wish nurses had their old style uniforms (they can wear pants) but they were so nice and starched with the hat. I had to wear a uniform in High school and the cardigan, which was outrageous in cost, was so badly done. I remember one arm being much longer than the other:)
Thanks, Birgit – he was handsome, although I didnt realise it at the time! The dark one is probably when he was about 18-20. Funnily enugh his expression is the same as mine in my first passport photo and also one of my youngest brother. The second photo is on his id card for an RAF base in the Sudan in WW2. I can see a lot of things in that one.
I’m workng on his memoirs – a book called White Water Landings – to be released this summer.
Oh that is great! How wonderful
My kids attended Catholic schools and wore uniforms. I liked the uniforms concept. It made dressing for school every day easier.
I’ll agree with you there, Jolie. Funnily enough I still favour the colours of my school uniform – may just suit my colouring, though 🙂
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