Despite the negatives, uniforms have many benefits

Alexis Lenzkes, Layout Editor

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Uniforms are aimed to create a neat, unified look among students and to prepare teenagers to follow set rules and guidelines that they will undoubtedly experience in their future schooling and careers.

At Mater Dei, girls currently have the option of four skirt choices: gray, pinstripe, grey plaid, and red plaid. Girls also have the opportunity to wear the navy and khaki pants, as well as the khaki shorts. Boys can wear khaki pants and shorts, gray pants and shorts, and blue pants and shorts. All students have the opportunity to wear maroon, white, gray, or red polo shirts. Students are also allowed to express themselves through whatever close-toed shoe, socks, jewelry for females, and a variety of school-related outerwear.

The type of required school clothing can be a controversial subject to some students and their families within both private or public schools. According to Statistic Brain, 23 percent of schools nationwide require uniforms or have some sort of dress code disciplinary enforced.

Although the word ‘uniform’ tends to have a negative connotation, many students tend to overlook a lot of the pros that come with uniforms.

One of the benefits of wearing uniforms is not running out of clothes to wear during the week or alternating the same jeans over again. Already knowing what you’re going to wear creates less stress in the morning. Uniforms can also be passed on through family and friends which is beneficial to students and results in lower costs. They also prevent students from feeling pressured to dress a certain way to fit in.

Junior Brock Wills, who just transferred, doesn’t mind the uniform change coming from Servite High School, which had a laid-back dress code allowing any collared shirt and khaki pant.

“I like uniforms better just because it doesn’t leave anything up to question whether it’s in dress code or not,” Wills said. “It’s really easy…”

But having uniforms comes with negative consequences too, including cost. According to Statistic Brain, the annual cost for uniforms is estimated at $1.3 billion. Mater Dei families can spend up to an average of $400 on uniforms, not including purchasing new shirts every year.

In addition, most families end up paying a lot of money for uniforms that can only be worn at school, rather than paying for day-to-day clothes. The benefit of having an abundance of day-to-day clothes is that students are able to express themselves and their own unique style while reducing expenses. Expression through clothing style is important because it allows students to create their own identity and develop their own sense of style.

“[Uniforms] take away the right we have as individuals to express ourselves,” junior Rachel Eskander said. “With clothes, people can wear whatever they want, while feeling comfortable and good about themselves. Clothing is a way of self-expression and uniforms take away this confidence that people gain from their clothing [by] making them conform to a unified ‘look.'”

In addition to uniform policies, there are limitations placed on the dress code. Many teachers enforce dress code for disciplinary and modesty purposes.

“Students will learn in life to do things they don’t like to do and that builds character,” Spanish teacher Marcos Corona said. “It’s not what they don’t like that’s the issue; it’s how they handle it. If there’s a policy in place, it is important that one will adhere to it.”

Although uniforms tend to make some students eyes roll, it’s all in good intentions to shape each of us to learn how to be compliant with rules and guidelines.

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