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You can't wear THAT to school!: A History of School Uniforms, Introduction

Have you ever wondered how we ended up with school uniforms in so many schools today? Where the practice started and how it evolved into its current form? And what even is its current form? I mean, we in the States have a pretty good idea of what it looks like here—the standard polo/oxford and pants/shorts/skirt formula—but what form does it take in other countries? And for those of us in the United States—a country founded on individuality and freedom of expression, among other things—how do school uniforms fit into that framework and how have they changed as society has changed? How have dress codes transitioned as challenges to them have moved from individual complaints to courts of law? And what exactly are the pros and cons of dress codes?

When I decided the history of school uniforms was a logical place to start for the first real blog entry on a website that revolves around school uniforms, I envisioned one entry on the topic that moved from year A to year B to year C in a fairly straight line, but as is so often the case when you really delve into a topic, the rabbit hole I went down made all kinds of interesting twists and turns. So rather than a blog entry that is so superficial as to be little more than cotton candy, I'm going to try exploring the topic in a series of blog entries that address the above questions as entertainingly as possible. And hopefully some of you out there in the world will come along for the ride. And if our blog inspires questions that I haven't answered, leave them in the comments so I can see what I can find out—for all of us.

Uniformed school kids posing for a class picture

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