The Cons of Uniforms

Jackie Bucaro, Staff Writer

I’ll just say it: I hate uniforms. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I went to a Catholic school with uniforms for nine years––I’m sick of them. There’s a whole lot of reasons to hate uniforms, but let’s look at what I consider the most important one: uniforms destroy the ability to express yourself with your clothes. 

At my middle school, the uniforms were boring: khaki pants and a white shirt, day in-day out. When I started coming to BSM, the biggest shock that came with no uniforms was how different everyone looked. They weren’t just wearing different colors and patterns, they were all in different styles. I’ve seen people in sweats next to people in sweaters over button-downs, next to people in cropped pants and patterned socks. There’s something great in seeing so many different looks because it shows the many different things that people like. 

Uniforms limit this freedom to express yourself. My middle school only limited your shirt, pants, and sweater, but after I left, they started to limit socks and hair accessories. Uniforms can limit way more than just a shirt and pants. If you violate the uniform, you’re in a similar situation to a dress code violation. Teachers would still have to enforce uniform rules just like dress code rules

Of course, I won’t deny that there are benefits to uniforms. You could theoretically sleep in later because you don’t have to choose what to wear. Often, you hear the argument that uniforms will limit bullying because people can’t be teased for what they wear. However, I can’t speak for everyone, but I’ve never panicked over choosing my outfit in the morning, and any stress associated with the choice has never forced me to wake up earlier. If anything, just take a few minutes to plan your outfit the night before. 

We have students wearing heels and blouses next to students in basketball shorts. People are pretty accepting of what you choose to wear at BSM.”

— Jackie Bucaro

And it’s not as if BSM students are horrendously judgmental about clothes. Even if I dress more sloppily than usual, I’ve never been made to feel ashamed of what I’m wearing. I don’t know of anyone who has been. I’m sure it’s happened, but I doubt it’s a widespread problem. Like I said, we have students wearing heels and blouses next to students in basketball shorts. People are pretty accepting of what you choose to wear at BSM. 

So let’s recap. Uniforms limit freedom of expression and harm the ability of students to show what they like through what they wear. There are some pretty clear benefits that people will point to when suggesting uniforms, but I don’t think they outweigh the freedom that no uniforms give people. BSM students have shown me that they’re non-judgemental and accepting, which is one of the reasons we don’t need uniforms––and we shouldn’t want them.