School uniforms are still the default in most places, and are generally well supported by parents for the following reasons:
- It makes kids look smarter, supposedly helping to put them in a working mindset and promoting school pride.
- School uniforms, in the state sector, are much much cheaper than regular clothes - they are sold in supermarkets and most schools follow a similar style - white shirt, grey/black trousers/skirts, black.grey blazer, with the only bespoke item to the school being perhaps the tie or colour of pullover. Here’s a link to a low cost supermarket called Asda so you can see the options and prices.
- It promotes equality - as the uniforms are cheap, everyone looks the same, regardless of the wealth of parents.
Things change post 16, when students have the option to leave school and enter work, or stay on to study for two years of ‘A’ Levels (the quals required to go to university). As this period of study is optional, some schools and further education colleges allow students to wear their own clothes.
I went to a posh private school, so our uniform was bespoke and very expensive. Post 16 we wore our own clothes, but were required to dress as if working in a professional environment, ie skirt or trouser suits in neutral colours with blouse or smart tee - think trainee lawyers.