I never understood the advantages of uniforms when I was growing up. I just couldn’t wrap my head around why I had to dress like everybody else at school.
Why couldn’t I wear what I wanted to?! I didn’t get it.
There was always that really cool school in town where uniforms weren’t a thing. The pupils walked around in ripped jeans, fancy shoes, and branded t-shirts.
It looked like heaven to me in my blazer of questionable colours, stone-grey trousers, a bleached-white shirt with an awful tie (half undone, of course), and thick-soled black shoes on my feet.
(…I won’t mention the boater (read: straw-hat-with-a-ribbon) I had to wear on my head.)
Needless to say, I didn’t feel very cool at the time.
Looking back now, though, I sort of get it.
I began to realize the advantages of uniforms as I got older and found myself wearing them in a range of new scenarios. There were uniforms (of one form or another) for university clubs, numerous jobs I took, team sports, and so on.
It turns out there are far more benefits of wearing uniform than my younger self could appreciate!
Want to find out all about them? Keep reading to discover all the advantages of uniforms for schools, business, and teams that I could (in no particular order) come up with!
30 Advantages of Uniforms for Schools, Businesses & Teams
1. They Create a Sense of Togetherness & Community
First off, uniforms are, well…uniform in nature. They’re standardised and unchanging, which means everybody who wears them looks basically identical.
The context doesn’t matter. School, work, or club, you can’t help but look around at everyone else in the same uniform and feel a sense of togetherness. I mean, it’s clear visual evidence that you’re part of a group- bonded by your apparel. A sense of kinship and community develops as a result, which fosters positive relationships and personal satisfaction.
2. They Create a Sense of Team Spirit
From a sense of togetherness and community can sprout feelings of pride and belonging. It’s almost like your ancient brain looks around, recognizes its place in the group, and automatically develops an allegiance to it!
That’s a big deal when it comes to team building and camaraderie. You feel connected to the team, appreciative of your place in it, and eager for it to succeed. The mission’s no longer all about you; you’re willing to work harder (more on this later) to attain newfound success for everybody wearing that uniform.
3. They Encourage Teamwork
Bring a bunch of self-centred individuals together and they’re unlikely to work well together.
But something magical happens when you bind people around a common cause, idea, or identity. They end up fighting for each other, looking out for each other, and caring more for the betterment of the entire group.
Uniforms make that happen for each of the aforementioned reasons. You wear the same clothes, look the same, feel connected to the group, and embrace a sense of team-spirit in the process. The by-product? Better teamwork.
4. They Level the Playing Field
Schools without a uniform might have seemed cool to my younger self. But there were serious issues with their setup that I was blind to at the time. One of the main ones?
Inequality and its ramifications on student self-esteem.
Imagine a child from a low socio-economic status (SES) family. They might not be able to afford the fancy designer clothes that their peers wear every day. Heck, they might not even be able to keep them as clean to tidy.
That’s a big deal when you’re a young kid surrounded by wealthier students. You’d feel like the odd one out, different, and alienated from the group. By contrast, uniforms level the playing field and mean everybody (in theory, at least) wears the same stuff- regardless of SES.
5. They Reduce the Chance of Bullying
Bullying’s rampant in schools today. And it’s not just the old-fashioned ‘beat you up in the playground’ kind of bullying. These days, bullying’s gone digital- just like everything else.
Thanks to social media platforms and constant connectivity, kids can be bullied at all times of day and night. It’s constant. Even worse, some platforms (like Snapchat) make it possible to destroy the evidence, which makes it hard for victims to prove.
A young kid with low self-confidence who comes to school looking different to everyone else (in their fancy clothes) is an easy victim for bullies. They might be picked on for not wearing designed goods; ridiculed and shamed for the way they look.
It’s the school’s responsibility to put a stop to. However, uniforms can help in that they’ve levelled the playing field already. You don’t stand out as much, which is one less thing to make you a target.
6. They Look Smart & Professional
Whether you’re a young professional in a suit and tie or a teenager in school uniform, one of the main advantage of uniforms is that you look smart and professional.
There’s nothing wrong with taking pride in your appearance. And uniforms are a good way to do it! Let’s face it, trendy clothes might be ‘cool’, but they’re often scruffy & unkempt too- with rips at the knees and waistbands halfway down your butt.
That’s not great when you’re a school trying to set a good impression to outsiders, teams trying to set their sponsors in a good light, or certain businesses trying to appeal to the consumer. Pop on a uniform and that all changes.
7. They Help You Make a Good First Impression
This point leads on from the last. Imagine walking into a store and seeing dishevelled employees wearing scruffy clothes and looking like they just rolled out of bed. It wouldn’t exactly fill you with confidence about the business (especially in certain professional industries).
By comparison, picture yourself walking into a store that’s full of well-dressed employees in a tidy uniform. They’re sure to make a better impression and inspire newfound confidence in the business for which they’re working.
8. They’re Suited to Your Profession
Uniforms serve a practical function too- especially in the context of professional roles. Think about mechanics in their overalls or doctors wearing scrubs.
The uniforms these people wear are suited to the demands of their jobs. If they wore anything else to work they’d suffer as a result, getting dirty, uncomfortable, and so on.
9. They Create a Sense of Trust
You’re in a mall and you’ve just lost your child. Who do you walk up to: the random man with a pot belly who’s eating a hot dog, or the well-built woman wearing a security guard’s uniform?
The security guard, obviously. But why?
Well, for one thing, their uniform helps you identify them as someone who can help- as opposed to any other random person in casual clothes. For another, you feel an innate sense of trust because they’re in uniform. You associate it with authority and assume they’re the right person for the job.
In reality, the fat bloke with a hot dog might have been far better equipped to help than the security guard. He might have been a CIA agent in disguise! But he wasn’t wearing a uniform, so you didn’t trust him to support you. And there lies another advantage of uniforms.
10. They Help Groups, Schools, and Businesses Set Themselves Apart
One advantage of school uniforms is how they help schools distinguish themselves from others. It’s a bit like a business and its brand. The uniform has its own unique style and colours, which stands out in peoples’ minds.
Before long, you start associating the school with its uniform, which is good news in terms of growing its reputation in the local community.
11. They Get Rid of Unhelpful Cliques
What do all movies about high schools have in common? The cliques! The new kid walks down the hall and past each stereotypical group of teenagers: the jocks, the cheerleaders, the nerds, the goths, the cool kids…and so on. Right?
It might not be exactly like that in real life, but it’s not far off. And, unfortunately, they’re not always helpful as far as ‘everybody getting on together’ goes. Cliques create a sense of tribalism that can pit one group against the other and cause friction in the school.
Uniforms don’t get rid of this entirely, but they do disrupt the likelihood of it happening. After all, everybody looks the same, which means you can’t make snap judgments about who’s in which crew (and where you ‘belong’ as a result).
12. They Set You Up for Future
Another benefit of school uniforms is that they prepare young people for future situations, roles, and positions that might require them to wear a uniform! Think job interviews (suits and ties), working on a shop floor (badges, shirts, and so on), or becoming a scientist (lab coats and awful ties).
Someone who’s never worn a uniform before may find this far more tiresome, frustrating, and unnecessary than another person who’s worn uniforms throughout their school years. These guys and gals have that expectation set already, making those compulsory uniforms easier to stomach.
13. They Encourage Creativity
This one’s a bit out of left field. I mean, everyone in uniform looks the same- how is that creative?!
Basically, uniforms force you to think of other ways to set yourself apart that don’t rely on your outfit. Maybe a child chooses to focus their attention on mastering a new skill, communicating differently, on a new hairstyle, or whatever. In any case, they have to think outside the box and get creative with their identity differentials.
14. They Prevent Implicit Biases
Did you know that some teachers will treat children differently in class based upon the way they’re dressed. Awful, right? But that’s not even the worst part! The worst part is that they don’t even know they’re doing it.
It’s an implicit bias, which means it operates outside of conscious awareness.
Maybe they expect less of scruffy and dishevelled children and respond more favourably to well-dressed ones. Alas, this usually works to the detriment of poorer children whose families can’t afford the new, stylish, fashionable apparel.
Remember how school uniforms level the playing field in terms of appearance? Well, an added bonus is that they should eradicate this implicit bias in the process.
15. They Make It Easier In the Mornings!
Mornings are hard at the best of times. Yet they’re even harder when you’ve got to pick an outfit for school or work. You can spend hours choosing the right clothes and making sure you look good! That’s bad news for busy parents trying to get their kids out the door to school on time, or for professionals who can’t afford to be late to the office…again.
Here lies another advantage of uniforms: you don’t have to worry about choosing what to wear! You slap on the same clothes as always and get on your way.
16. They Lead to Less Emphasis on Superficial Matters
This point leads on from the last. Basically, all that worry about what we look like doesn’t really serve us. We’re left overly concerned with what people think, over conscious about our appearance, and reliant on outside validation. We’re comparing ourselves to others, judging ourselves in the process, and focusing on things that ultimately don’t matter.
Slap on a uniform and you can get back to the more important stuff- like nailing the latest school assignment, pushing for a promotion, or simply focusing on feeling more content in life.
17. They’re Better for Your Bank Balance
It’s true that school uniforms aren’t always cheap. Yet they’re a darn sight less expensive than going shopping for new clothes every month! Some people (or their parents) spend shocking amounts of cash on new clothes just so they don’t have to wear the same outfits too often.
Make uniforms compulsory and you get rid of that expense. You can sit back and relax with your healthier bank balance, only paying out for the occasional new shirt or pair of trousers.
18. They Can Be Passed Down or On
Another financial incentive behind uniforms (especially school uniforms) is that they can be handed to other people. Your oldest child might outgrow their school shirt, but it could be ideal for your youngest (or it will be in the future)!
Likewise, imagine an employer with a set of uniforms for their staff. If one employee leaves, then they leave behind the uniform too. Assuming the new starter’s a similar size (and the clothes are still in decent condition), then they shouldn’t need a brand new uniform.
19. They Increase Attendance
Here’s another advantage of school uniforms: they’ve been known and shown to increase school attendance among students. Why?
Well…I don’t know for sure. But it could be something to do with the absence of pressure to wear trendy new designer clothes all the time. Everyone looks the same in uniform, which reduces the level of comparisons kids make amongst themselves. You can go to school feeling less self-conscious and more confident about how you look.
Oh, and then there’s the reduction in bullying I mentioned. Let’s face it, there’s nothing like a bully to make school seem like a bad idea! Take away the bullying and it’s natural for attendance to go up.
20. They Reduce the Impact of Gang Affiliation
Remember how uniforms make a difference when it comes to cliques? Well, they help in a similar way in terms of gang affiliation at school.
Kids can’t choose what they wear, which means they can’t affiliate themselves with a gang through their clothing. Uniforms will never eradicate gang affiliation in schools, but they may at least make a dent in the issue.
21. They Can Prevent Safety Incidents
Young children love to run around like headless chickens playing games and shouting and screaming at the top of their lungs. They’re not thinking about the potential to trip and fall over their baggy trousers or undone laces. They’re more concerned about running away from the kid with cooties.
It’s another reason why uniforms often make sense in schoolyards! You can save young kids from themselves (and the injuries that follow) by providing uniforms that mitigate certain risks. For example, thick-soled shoes provide ankle support and safety from unseen sharp objects on the floor.
22. They Make It Easier to Concentrate
Remember how uniforms make life simpler in the mornings? Well, they come in handy throughout the day for the same reasons. You’re not fussing around all the time making sure you look your best, or worrying about how you look as much, or focused on your new outfit and peoples’ reactions to it.
Happy and comfortable in the same old standard uniform, you can return your focus and attention to more important things throughout the day.
23. They Help to Improve Discipline Levels
At the risk of sounding like a 1950’s high-school principle, another advantage of school uniforms is that they tend to boost levels of discipline. After all, you’re able to concentrate more on things that matter! The knock-on effect is that you can listen better to the teacher, follow instructions without having them repeated, and avoid any unwanted attention from others.
The same goes wherever you are and whatever you’re doing. Student, employee, team member…your discipline’s sure to get a boost with a uniform on your back.
24. They Lead to Better Work Ethic
Student or employee, the nature of human psychology is that you start associating your uniform with work as time goes by. I mean, you wear the same uniform to work each day when you’re working and then take it off in the evenings to relax, right?
It’s natural to relate the uniform with the need to work. After a while, you might find it impossible to work without the uniform on! Your mind’s so used to this particular set up that no other one will do. In the same way, putting your uniform on can help you establish the work ethic you need to get through the day.
25. They Create Advertising Opportunities
Sensible businesses are always on the lookout for new (and effective) marketing opportunities. That’s how they become better known in the industry/community and, with any luck, start making more sales at the same time.
Enter another benefit of uniforms for employers! Ask your employees to wear one and you open the door to a new advertising channel.
Just as sports teams cover their kits with their sponsors’ logos, you can put your tagline, latest promo, business information, or anything else onto your uniforms. Not only will your employees wear them at work, they’ll have them on before and afterward too. It’s like free marketing.
26. They’re Good Branding Tools
Looking for new branding opportunities too? Look no further than uniforms.
You can (and should) design them in line with your business’ brand. Everything from the type of clothes you ask employees to wear (shoes, shirts, trousers…) to how they look (colours, decorations, writing, logos…) should go hand in hand with your chosen brand image. Get it right and people will soon identify the uniform with your business.
27. They Allow Easy Identification
Humour me again and imagine (for the second time in this article) walking into a store. You know exactly who to ask for help because of their uniform, right? You can identify them in a heartbeat, which helps you solve your problem more efficiently.
Now imagine going into a store where nobody was wearing a uniform. You’d be wandering around asking strangers for help before you eventually found the right person to talk to!
28. They Create a Safer Environment
The fact that uniforms enable easy identification of people is by no means trivial. It’s also a genuine advantage when it comes to safety. How?
Because, at school or work, you know exactly who isn’t meant to be there because they’re not wearing the same uniform. That enables you to identify intruders instantaneously and take swifter remedial action as a result.
29. They Reduce the Need for Dress Code Policies
Schools that don’t have uniforms have to write reams of policies about what is and isn’t allowed. Okay, so maybe not reams. But definitely more than schools that wear uniforms!
First, they have to detail what clothes are appropriate and what aren’t. And then they have to describe how those clothes should be worn on premises to uphold the image of the school. This is all far simpler when everybody’s wearing the same thing.
30. They Create a Sense of Pride
Have you ever heard players on a sports team (and its fans) talking about being ‘proud to wear the shirt’? It speaks to the value that people put on uniforms. Basically, they represent something more than a mere item of clothing.
The shirts, shorts, trousers, hats, ties, shoes, or whatever clothing the uniform in question contains, come to represent the actual business itself, or the actual team itself, or the actual school itself.
People (assuming they’re proud supporters of the team, business, or school) rally around the uniform and feel proud to wear it as a result. It indicates something about them as an individual and showcases their allegiances in the process.
Don’t Forget These Benefits of Wearing Uniforms
My opinions on uniforms have changed since my school days.
What once seemed wholly unnecessary, I now recognize as more than a little beneficial! In fact, whether they’re worn at school, in business, or by sports teams, uniforms provide a wealth of advantages to both the people wearing them and the organisation providing them.
Have you been wondering about the advantages of uniforms? Well, I hope this post has helped! I’ve included all the uniforms advantages I could come up with- but feel free to drop a comment below if you can think of any extras!