Schools adopt uniforms to increase public awareness and branding, ensure a coordinated appearance, support discipline and reduce distractions and bullying related to inequities in personal clothing. Uniforms are far easier and less stressful to monitor than dress codes that are often vague or convoluted and beg to have their limits tested.
But one of the main reasons schools require students to wear uniforms is to foster a sense of unity and school pride. This is also the primary purpose of spirit wear. Spirit wear is generally associated with sports teams, but every school administrator and teacher knows that kids who are proud to be part of their school are more motivated to show up and be part of the learning team.
Spirit wear is inherently enthusiastic and inspiring
Students in dress uniforms may be properly “branded,” but they may also be uncomfortable, especially if dress uniforms require formal attire such as jackets and ties (often the case for girls as well as boys). Polos and other less formal uniform choices are more versatile, more conducive to outdoor activities.
Some parents have argued for years that girls are automatically disadvantaged on the playground when they’re forced to wear skirts or dresses to school. In pants or shorts, boys can do more. So for schools that normally require skirted dress uniforms for girls, the spirit wear alternative could boost daily exercise without sacrificing comfort or modesty.
Not every child is excited to wear a uniform, but who doesn’t love spirit wear? It comes in variations, so students can have a little more flexibility to express themselves differently from day to day without sacrificing compliance with the intended look.
Spirit wear garments tend to be more affordable. Plus, kids can wear it more often, outside of school as well as to class. This extends its value, helping parents get a better return on their financial investment as they face the inevitable fact that kids grow at an alarming rate.
Teachers and other staff can get in on the act as well, furthering the visual sense of unity and, just perhaps, helping foster closer relationships within the school “family.”
Besides, if students will be learning online instead of in the classroom – at least at the beginning of the school year -- dress uniforms won’t even be needed. However, seeing one another and their teacher in comfortable, familiar spirit wear will help protect sense of unity and school pride even as everyone is working to protect their health.
You wouldn’t be the first to switch
Baguley Hall Primary School in Wythenshawe, Manchester, UK has switched from formal dress uniforms to athleisure wear as a response to COVID-19. They wanted to maximize the time students spend outdoors in the fresh air, as a nod to the pandemic. However, traditional PE won’t be part of the curriculum nor will students be able to store their gym clothes at school as they did in the past. Having students come to school wearing play-ready attire seemed to make the most sense.
But it’s not a free-for-all. Branding and a coordinated, orderly look still matter, so students are advised that joggers/leggings must be black or gray, polo shirts must be white, sneakers must be black. School sweatshirts are part of the kit as well.
The school does have a warning for others contemplating this switch: let parents know right away, so they don’t purchase new dress uniform components that won’t be needed. (Whatever changes you make, even last-minute, your online store will make it easy for parents to find the right stuff and get it fast.)
Every day could be Spirit Wear Day!
Many schools already designate one day a week when students can “dress down” but still within guidelines. Some schools encourage spirit wear on the day of the big rally before the Homecoming game or other special occasions. Changing that up to allow certain spirit wear as everyday wear could be just the welcome-back-to-school boost your students and faculty need.
Whatever apparel options you choose to represent your school -- dress uniforms, sports uniforms, staff apparel and spirit wear – your online SquadLocker store gives everyone one-stop shopping convenience and assures their selections are top quality, compliant with your dress code, properly decorated and the right size. Simple. Fast. Contact-free, delivered right to their door. That should raise anyone’s spirits!
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