School Uniforms Are Freaking Great

by Sa'iyda Shabazz
Originally Published: 
Sa'iyda Shabazz

Kids wearing a school uniform is a blessing for many parents. More schools, even public ones, are adopting the practice of uniforms. And while some people may not be fans, you’ll find a lot of people who are — including me.

School uniforms are great for a lot of reasons, mainly the ease they provide. While I didn’t give it much thought in the past, now that I have a school-aged child, I’m glad that my son is wearing a school uniform.

This is my son’s first year at “big kid” school. He’s spent the last two years in preschool, where the only clothing rule was no sandals. He goes to a public charter school, but I was relieved to learn they wear uniforms.

Here’s the main reason I love that my kid wears a school uniform: it saves time. Time is of the essence for me in the morning. Neither of us are morning people, so eliminating one step from getting ready helps. With the uniform, I simply grab it and lay it out on the bed for him. When I’m already running around making sure he has his breakfast and packing his snacks, I don’t need to worry about his clothes. In theory, picking something out the night before would be an option, but let’s be honest, I’d forget or spend hours searching for his favorite t-shirt.

Thanks to the school uniform, I don’t need to think in the morning — or at night. And I don’t have to fight with him if he doesn’t want to wear what I pick. No muss, no fuss, and it saves me a major headache.

School uniforms are also an easy way to level the playing field for kids. If everyone is wearing the same outfit, there’s less room for teasing and ‘othering’ kids who can’t afford a trendy wardrobe.

There are still plenty of ways for kids to express their individuality. That’s what they have backpacks for. With the little ones especially, there are plenty of PAW Patrol, unicorns, and Fortnite backpacks. My son carries a backpack that looks like a giraffe and uses a Super Mario lunch bag. He got to pick them out, of course. Footwear is another great way for self expression.

Joseph Chan/Unsplash

Being able to buy his school uniform in bulk was a lifesaver. Having to constantly do laundry sounds like an actual nightmare. So, I bought enough of everything that I don’t have to do laundry each night. If he spills something on himself or has any sort of accident, I have extra shirts.

For some parents, it’s the cost of a school uniform that causes the hate. Even if the school is flexible about where you get the uniforms from, there’s still the restrictions of color. It’s not easy to go to a thrift or consignment store and find more than one pair of charcoal gray pants in a certain size. And forget it if you need to get a polo in specific colors. The only good thing is, if you can, you can buy them a little big, giving them room to grow. Then you won’t have to buy them every time they decide to grow 2 inches overnight.

But, as a single mom, I do understand the financial struggle. I’m really lucky that not only were the uniforms not prohibitively expensive, but my son’s grandparents also pitched in with back-to-school expenses.

Nowadays, schools are becoming more flexible about uniform policy. While they may have an article of clothing with a school logo or monogram, it’s not always a requirement that students wear them, which means you don’t have to spend the extra money from a uniform shop. And because school uniforms are starting to become more prevalent, more stores are getting in on the game. You can go in store or online at Target and not only get all the supplies your kids need, but also their uniforms; Walmart is also a place for one-stop shopping. And clothing stores like Old Navy, Amazon, and even The Children’s Place are creating entire uniform sections.

For parents, having your kid wearing a school uniform is effortless. It’s one less thing you need to keep up with. There are already so many things we’re juggling, and knowing that their clothes aren’t one of those things is a total relief. And it feels like we’ll only see the amount of schools requiring a school uniform grow in the future. It may seem annoying now, but trust me, you’ll love it.

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