9 Oct 2014


Letter : U

During my whole school career I never wore an uniform. No school had one, apparently just after the war, the Germans had seen uniforms enough and also the parents had no money to spend for uniforms. Even in posh schools uniforms were not allowed, because it would kill the individuality of the child.

The first school uniforms in my life I saw when I moved with my parents to Belgium. I had never seen that in my life, the girls with blue skirts, white blouses and blue cardigans I saw on the street when they came out of school, I found awful. I was usually wearing jeans (which didn't exist in Belgium yet it was 1959) a dress, a skirt or whatever came into my mind. A uniform was in contradiction with the freedom of each child.

Today wearing uniforms in schools is still a big discussion in Germany. There are very few schools who do it, but not with a lot of success.

The black shadow of the past is still hanging over Germany

The minister of education in Germany decided  against school uniforms which are after the Second World War, still in fresh memories of the uniforms of the Hitler Youth and the League of German Girls.

The explanation is :

The introduction of a school uniform would mean that students are obliged to wear a uniform at school. That is, they can not decide for themselves what they want to wear and not everyone can wear what suits him and most importantly fits. Thus, the development of individuality is limited and the opportunity to express his personality through clothes would disappear.

And Wikipedia explains :

In recent times, the introduction of school uniforms has been discussed, but usually the expression "uniform" (the word is the same in German) is avoided in favour of terms like "school clothing" ("Schulkleidung"). School clothing has been introduced in a small number of schools, for example in Hamburg-Sinstorf in 2000, and in Friesenheim and Haag (Oberbayern) in 2005. In these cases the clothes are collections of shirts, sweaters, and the like, catering to contemporary fashion senses. Uniforms in a more traditional sense are almost never proposed in earnest.

The Bildungsstreik (education strike)  movement fights against School uniforms because they are mentioned being part of some kind of militarism

In other European countries wearing an uniform at school is also most uncommon. Except of course the UK !

In Belgium school uniforms exist less and less, some catholic schools still have uniforms but not the public schools. In total 8 schools in the whole country.

Jenny Matlock


Nicole orriƫns said...

I've never worn an uniform. Though I can see why it could be beneficial. For one thing, everyone looks the same.


Andrew said...

Not something I have thought about much, but interesting. I had to wear a uniform at secondary school and it was seen as a social leveller, that is you could not exhibit you wealth by having expensive clothing. This was silly as nearly everyone was exactly the same in social standing and wealth.

carol l mckenna said...

Very informative post for U ~

artmusedog and carol (A Creative Harbor)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Gattina - I wore a uniform ... and at least everyone wore similar clothes so there could be no hierarchy ...

But I can see where you're coming from .. cheers Hilary

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

I never wore a uniform. I can see how it might be a good idea for certain places, but in rural PA we didn't have the money for that type of thing....

Fun60 said...

Pros and cons on both sides. I had to wear a uniform which was strictly adhered to otherwise you would be suspended from school. I went to a grammar school and there were girls from all sections of society and as such the uniform gave no-one an advantage which was the idea.

Friko said...

I think most children prefer to wear casual clothes.

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

I've never see them here in the Pacific Northwest and not often in our US travels. When we went to London, I thought it was charming to see the little kids all in a row -- like something out of an old story book to me.
I never thought about the history, but I was glad I didn't have to wear one (or my kids).

Certainly makes sense why they wouldn't want them in Germany.

Lmkazmierczak said...

My kids went to a private HS and both genders wore uniforms...never had any problem expressing their individualism...plenty of after school events saw to that. Easy mornings since they knew what to wear and no one stood out as being inferior at school, no distractions with accessories, so I am pro uniforms♪ http://lauriekazmierczak.com/urban- life/

Linens and Royals said...

I always wore a uniform to school, no one thought of being an individual in those days. Older pupils made sure younger ones kept their hats and gloves on at all times while on public transport and didn't talk to boys while in uniform.
My grandson was in trouble once for wearing his sports socks with his uniform.

Anonymous said...

Clothing at school is a big deal where I work. Sadly, there are many girls who just don't wear enough to be appropriate.

Wandering Wren said...

I must admit i am a fan of the school uniform, I remember being shocked arriving in Belgium to find there was no school uniform at all and telling kids that they couldn't possibly wear jeans they needed to look smart at school, that decision was quickly reversed after seeing what everyone else was wearing!
Have a great weekend
Wren x