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    Is Back to School Fashion Overrated?

    With the start of the school year just around the corner, I’m sure all of you lovely PI girls are shopping the latest and greatest styles–unless, of course, you wear a school uniform or are homeschooled.

    Growing up in London, I wore a uniform; the majority of schools required them. We even had a uniform for gym. I didn’t like it, partly because we had to wear these royal blue flared skirts, but I don’t recall hating it.

    When we entered sixth form, which is usually at 16–you technically finish school at 15–we could wear straight skirts, which we all looked forward to, and they could be navy, whoo hoo! We did get some days where we could wear civilian clothes, like on school trips, and we really looked forward to those, too.

    When my son briefly went to Christian school (I homeschool him now), I was reminded of my uniform days with fondness. I was looking at it from the other perspective. As a parent, uniforms are a stress-free alternative. But as a girl, it also had its many benefits. Consider the following:

    • There’s no confusion about school rules when you wear a uniform. So you don’t have to worry if your skirt is too short or your pants are too tight.
    • No one can be superficial when they’re dressed the same way as others–at least, not when it comes to clothing. There’s no pressure to make a fashion statement, dress sexy or keep up with current styles. If you’re homeschooled, there’s no peer pressure to keep up with the fashionable popular girls by buying the latest trends.
    • School uniforms are great if you feel you’re not a “fashionista.” You actually have an excuse not to be fashionable. And if you’re homeschooled and not interested in fashion? No sweat! You can wear your favorite clothes every day without having to worry about what others will think of your outfits.
    • School uniforms allow you to focus on what’s important. This is one of the great things about being homeschooled, too–you don’t have to dress to impress and can focus on your studies.
    • Wearing a uniform saves you time. You don’t have to spend hours figuring out what to wear to school or how to coordinate your outfit. You don’t have to worry about not having a wide variety of clothes. School uniforms allow you the freedom to wear the same thing every day without the fear of being ridiculed. If you’re homeschooled, you too don’t have to worry about choosing the perfect look day after day, saving you major time and energy!
    • Uniforms save your parents money. Again, keeping up with the current fashions can be expensive and many parents feel pressured into buying the latest styles to please their children.
    • And don’t believe the criticism that school uniforms stifle your creativity or uniqueness, because in reality, they allow you to express them in a better way. You shouldn’t be distinguished by what you wear, but by how you act and how you treat others. Your personality makes you who you are. You can’t hide behind your clothes when you’re wearing a school uniform.

    So ladies, if you’re depressed about having to wear a school uniform, don’t be. There are so many benefits to wearing them. They save time, stress and the need to fit in. So ultimately, you can focus on more important things, like studying.

    Do you have to wear a uniform to school?

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    [Note from the Editor: Thank you girls for all your wonderful, thoughtful responses to this article! Some of you have expressed that the title was a bit misleading to the content of the article. We totally understand – and apologize for any confusion! We hope that you agree that T.M. wrote a beautiful article and we hope you enjoyed it! Keep the feedback coming! We love to hear what you girls think about our content! Blessings, The PI Team]

    T.M. Gaouettehttp://www.tmgaouette.com
    T.M. Gaouette is a freelance writer, ghostwriter, blogger and fiction novelist. She was born in Africa, brought up in London and is now living in New England with her husband and four children. Devoted to Him, Gaouette is dedicated to glorifying God through her stories for teens and young adults. T.M. Gaouette is the author of "The Destiny of Sunshine Ranch" and "Freeing Tanner Rose," Christian novels for teens and young adults. She's currently working on completing her upcoming novel -visit tmgaouette.com for more on her Christian fiction work. Connect with her on www.facebook.com/TMGaouette and https://twitter.com/TMGaouette .

    51 COMMENTS

    1. I went to public school from K-3 and had to wear uniforms. Went to a private school for only 4th grade,no uniforms and now i’m homeschooled with duh no uniforms lol. Where all the homeschoolers at? x]

      • BeStillAndBreath98 i’m homeschooled too=)!i think it’s cool that being homeschooled you don’t have to worry about homework,wearing certain things to fit in and that you can have more fun.i’ve been homeschooled for K-4,(i think)2nd grade,3rd grade,6th grade,7th grade and this year will be 8th grade.my mom made sure that if i wasn’t home schooled i went to a christian school and i hope i never have to go to public school because i’ve heard lots of bad things about it. P.S. Bmac i’ll pray 4 you.

        • I go to public school. Actually my mom is the principal. Public schools arent that bad. Every school has other Christians, you just have to find them. And if you think the other kids are mean then ignore them and just think “I live for a higher cause.” Don’t knock on public school if 1) you’ve never been and 2) dont have all the facts

        • thanks but i love my school!! you can pray 4 1 thing tho… i think this guy in my math class has a crush on me, but i only started thursday!! i feel confused i dont think he should like me yet… i barely know him!!! 🙁

        • its not really that bad, its just more profane than anything but id rather have that than sex talk or girls getting pregnant.
          i honestly feel its where God wants me to be!!!

    2. Even though I’m homeschooled, I take my classes at a homeschool group once a week and do something else almost every day, so I still have opportunities to enjoy style. Last year though I went to a homeschool group with a dress code, which wasn’t as fun, but I agree that it was a bit easier.

    3. I go to catholic school 🙂 At my elementary (k-8) we had to wear uniforms. We had to wear izod uniform pants and polo shirts (red, green, white, or blue). Or skirt in navy, tan, or plaid. You could also wear a jumper, but no one ever did haha. Now that i’m up to the high school level we dont have uniforms, we just have a very strict dress code. We can wear regular clothes, just no jeans (except the designated jeans days) and the clothes have to be appropriate length and cut. We have to look dressy and nice, especially on school mass days. I was SUPER excited to not be in unifroms anymore, but i think the dress code is a REALLY good thing! I love my school <3

    4. I always feel sort of different at church because everyone their is either homeschooled or goes to Christian school. I am one of the only people their that goes to public school. But I don’t have to wear a uniform luckily though.

    5. I want to wear uniforms SOOO BAD!! I’m sick of being surrounded by girls who dress like they wanna go out with everyone at school. I’m sick of feeling like the loser with my plain t-shirts and nothing else. Everyone wearing uniforms would be SO GOOD. No more being distracted by *cough* “creative” shirts girls wear! Sigh. But I know God put me in that school for a reason….

    6. My school has what I feel to be a good comprimise – we have to wear logo-ed, polo shirts in various colors and sizes, but we can wear any bottoms as long as they aren’t jeans, sweatpants, too short, too tight, etc. I have worn uniforms for much of my life, and this way I get the best of both worlds – a bit of self expression without having to stress about the ENTIRE outfit.

    7. I totally agree with Ms. Gaouette! I wear a uniform everyday to school! It’s not bad at all! It’s just really hard to find skirts that are long enough and shirts that fit the handbook!

    8. I go to public school and we still get bullied about our clothes. Brands of pants and shirts. And it’s costs us about 200 every year for just my clothes. I have two other siblings. Either way you’ll lose at my school.

    9. From grades 6-12, I went to Catholic School, so I had to wear a uniform. I still didn’t fit in, though! For my high school years, I went to an all-girl Catholic high school, and people were still rolling up their skirts! I’m like, there’s no one to impress here! So I was a member of the “long skirt society.” It wasn’t real, it was something I made up in my mind as a joke. We had a few members–people who didn’t care about their skirt length because they realized there were more important things in life. Uniforms definitely don’t squash individuality because you can still customize your hairstyle, makeup, and accessories. Even your bookbag makes a style statement, so choose wisely. Even if others think you “fail” in all these categories, you can still shine via your artwork, creative writing, or performance in a play, sport, or choral group. Just keep it humble, no one likes arrogance.

        • Not all homeschoolers bash public school. They have different opinions about it. It honestly didn’t work out for me and my family but it seems to work for you and your family.Some public schools are AWESOME and some just aren’t.Bullying,lack of good education (pretty much the teachers doing their job) or fights breaking out is what drew away my family from the public school I went to cause it happened there. It might not happen at your school I don’t know but it did at mine and for a 7/8 year old at the time that was alot to take in.I’m not trying to bash public schools at all but since I saw that stuff I really don’t favor public schools that much. Don’t get me wrong some public schools can knock me off my feet but I and my family prefer being around other Christians,Being able to BE a Christian,Have good influences and get a good Christian education.Seeing stuff from a Biblical POV etc. So I’m sure you ment to say “i don’t like it when SOME homeschoolers bash public schools my school is AWESOME!!” cause not all do.

    10. I have gone to a Christian private school for practically my whole life-since preschool. I am now going into my freshman year of highschool. It is required that I wear a school uniform-polos (red, navy, white, dark green) and skirts/skorts (khaki, navy, plaid). Personally, I enjoy our uniforms. I am not pressured to keep up with ‘what’s in,’ because, frankly, I don’t have a clue. With uniforms, I don’t have to feel insecure of my clothing; everyone else is wearing the exact same thing! And, I agree, when you wear uniforms, you have no clothing to hide behind. Your greatest accessory is who you are. There are no wacky trends to conceal that.

    11. I go to public school, and even though i agree that uniforms would make life just a little easier, i am always excited to wear shirts that i get from places like c28 and show off Christ through fashion! but most of the time, i shop for what I like and pay absolutly no attention to what’s “in” or “out”. haha most of the time i end up being “cool” either before or after everybody else haha!!!

    12. I’m glad I go to public school. Why would I ever wanna look exactly like the 3,000 other people in my school? I’ve never had an issue where my clothes distract me, and I’m and AP student. Nor has anyone ever made fun of me for what I was wearing? Anything can be cute and modest if you wear it right.

      And public school isn’t that bad. I love my school. I’m really glad I’m not home schooled. I like meeting new people everyday and going to class and such. My brother was home schooled and I just don’t think I could do it.

    13. fahion is very important to me and I have to wear a uniform at my school. It is awful, our uniforms are uncomfortable and ill-fitting. I know that in the article she says unifroms save oney, maybe for some people, but my school uniform is extremely expensive. The blazer (required) is a bout $120 and it is not even a blazr, its more of a men’s coat, and skirts are 30 or 40 and polos are about 20 or 30. I get alot of my clothes from the “closet” where people dropped off clothes that they outgrew or didnt need, etc. Nut overall, I hate my uniforms, and the uncomfortableness, crazy prices, and overall ugliness make it so absurd its practically laughable. I dont mena to complain or be harsh, but all in all it really is awful

    14. My publish school used to have a dress code that consisted of the five b’s: no breasts, bras, boxers, backs, and bellies. It wasn’t even enforced well. We now have a new principal, and his work at a Catholic school has finally given us a strict dress code, one that enforces modesty. I’m happy about it, but I hear that kids aren’t going to obey the rules. I admit that it’s hard sometimes to find shorts that fall 3 inches above the knee, but I don’t mind searching, because I know God wants me to be modest. I pray the girls in my school, whether they believe in God or not, will realize that modest is hottest…

    15. I go to a catholic school and we have to wear kakis and a purple polo. And on mass days we have to wear a purple and gold plaid skirt and a white button down shirt.. Im a senior and so ready to get to wear clothes that are cute on a regular basis in college! but I’m into really cute but still comfy! To me that’s the way to go! I hate my uniforms!

    16. I love public school and I love not wearing uniforms. I really don’t want to dress like everyone else because I love my style and I love expressing myself by the way I dress. I really don’t think uniforms would help that much- it depends more on the school if anything. Besides, even if everyone was dressed the same someone would find a way to make fun of someone.

      I used to go to private school and actually people are more mean there, having a small clique of people and they don’t let anyone else in. In my public school, no one really cares about that stuff. It all depends on which school you go to, I guess.

    17. I went to public school my whole life and my last two years of high school I went to a technical school attached with my high school. My home school (as we the students of the technical school call our main high school) does not require a uniform but sometimes I wish it did. Girls in high school sometimes take the freedom and twist it to fit their need to look “sexual”. Just recently though they changed the rules and are actually inforcing it which makes me happy because girls can’t get away with as much now.

      My technical school I did wear a uniform because we had to look professional because we worked with the public in our different areas of study. I was in early childhood education and I had to wear pink scrub top and black scrub bottoms and white shoes 4 days a week. Friday’s we were allowed to dress in normal clothes. I like the uniforms better because I had a lot of divas in my class that always wanted to be better than everyone else and it was just annoying listening to then complaim about what others were wearing.

      Right now I’m an exchange student in Brazil and all the schools (public and privet) where a uniform. It’s a T-Shirt with the name of the school and jeans everyday. I like it’s better because it’s simple, easy, light weight, and I don’t have to get up early to pick out clothes because I already know what to wear. And I could use as much sleep as possible because Brazilian schools start at 7:00am and Brazilians usually don’t go to bed until late because they watch soap operas on TV.

    18. I go to an all girl’s catholic high school and I really don’t care about our uniforms. However I do have to point out some faults.

      1. There is still ALWAYS confusion about uniforms at private schools. Sometimes the skirt can be too short if you are very tall, or the blouse is too tight, or maybe the sweater sleaves are ripping because you have a tendency to chew on them when nervous. Maybe you’re wearing too much makeup or your hair is unacceptableor your shoes are the wrong colour for a formal day. Student handbooks often don’t make explanations about uniforms super easy to understand, and they often have long lists of what is and is’t allowed. Detantions are dealt out every day about uniforms because not every girl wants to look through the student handbook’s never ending list to see if they are wearin acceptable socks. So yes, it still is very confusing.

      2 &3. There IS very obvious peer pressure and bullying in these schools, and often it is even worse. You do have tobe a fashionista or a hipster, you needto make yourself pop. Most girls roll their skirts to avoid looking like nuns, and mock the girls with long skirts. We are allowed to wear makeup and jewelry and sheos or our choice so there is a constant contest. If you don’t keep up with the trends switching from bright to mild lipsticks and eyeshadows you get ridiculed. If you’re hair is boring you’re not fun. Money is also HUGE. I mostly wer leatherette loafers bcause I’m a big aimal rights activist and a vegan. But if you’re wearing “cheap knock offs” that you try to pass off as gucci sheos people never look at you the same. If you’re diamonds aren’t real and all you’re stuff isn’t 18k gold or over you have no friends. Luckily my family is very fortunate so i don’t have to worry very much about this stuff, but many people do. If you can’t compete with clothes, you compete with everything else.

      4. In private schools if you’re not focused on clothes you’re focused on boys. In all girls schools 2x more, you have to go to the nearby boys school all the time. I don’t have this problem though, I’m a trendsetter at school and I do endless amounts of activities (musical theatre -lead, tennis- mvp, dance -prima donna, show choir- lead) and I’m still an AP student with a 4.5 and in the top 5 of my class. For those who do focus on scool, it isn’t frindly. We are often pitted to become best in class, actually, everyones aim at my school is to be top of the class. We focus on school too much.

      5. You have to make sure you don’t wear the same pair of shoes too many times, or make that one pair of feather earrings the ones you wear everyday. But overall, yes it does save time.

      6. Most schools (atleast in America) that require uniforms are private. What does that mean? – Tuition. Saving $200 by not buying regular clothes for your child is noting compared to the $17,000 you pay for a private education. And I don’t even save for my uniforms, where I live many of the private schools have set uniform stores where students get the uniform because many schools have special plaid skirts or crests. Getting enough skirts, polos, blouses, sweaters, and blazers for 5 days a week for 9 months easily adds up to way more than the amount of money girls in public spend buying clothes. Plus, what about vacations and weekends? It’s not like we can just walk around in our uniforms on the weekends! My wardrobe consist of the same amount of clothes as my public school friends because not only can I not wear my uniforms on non-school days, I also need a variety in my wardrobe. People you hang out with or see you often will certainly notice if you wear the same thing 15 times in one month. So no, it does not save us money.

      7. Taht is a very valid point, but style still helps boost your own individuality. You can be nice and smart and active, but there are maybe 350 other girls just like that in your school of 600. This also causes for more cliques, because not everyone is commenting on your super nice outfit, but yo’re known as “the latina who is in the top 5 when everyoneelse is asian.” Most often private schools are cliqued up by race or how well you do in class. It all depends on how you look at it.

      All in all, you had really good intentions with this, but it is just really faulty and past its time. Thanks for your insight though 🙂

    19. To a Moderator:
      I noticed you didn’t post my comment on this post, and I want to thank you. Sometimes I will have a stressed-out day and I’ll post stuff I don’t mean. So, just saying thanks.

    20. Honestly, there is no such thing as as no confusion over dress codes. Tall girls, girls with curves, etcetera still may be breaking the dress code and there is nothing they can do about it.
      Most schools with uniforms alow people to choose hair, jewelery, and maybe shoes and makeup. People also come with different body shapes. Problems regarding fitting in and fashion instantly resurface.
      In schools where the uniforms are any clothes that fit into the parameters (for example, any navy skirt with any white dress shirt), students with less money dont have the same things. In schools with exactly the same uniform for everyone, students with less money only have a few sets of clothes (these types of uniforms are expensive) and they show wear quickly.

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