Why I prefer uniforms over free dress


Julia Krider '23

After eight years of choosing her outfits at public school, Julia Krider ’23 loves wearing uniforms on the Hill.

I slam my hand on my alarm clock, forcing my eyes to open and my legs to move out of my comfortable blanket cocoon. I blindly brush my hair, painstakingly force my contacts into my eyes and pack up my lunch and school bag. I glance at the clock and — shoot! The bus leaves in 10 minutes, and I’m not even dressed yet. Sprinting up the stairs, taking three at a time, I slip on my trusty polo shirt and blue pleated skirt, ready for the school day.  

As FSH returns to campus for the 2021-2022 school year, many students can relate to the scenario above. After a year that quickly devolved into Mickey Mouse pajamas on full display for Zoom school, students are readjusting to wearing a uniform every day. 

I know that for me, uniforms have made this transition infinitely easier. If I had to choose between thirteen shirts, five pairs of pants and innumerable accessories, getting ready would be more difficult. 

Uniforms are great! They save time, energy and sometimes even money. 

Some may feel differently about uniforms. I wouldn’t consider myself a particularly stylish person, and I don’t put a lot of thought or effort into what I wear. For someone who expresses herself through her clothes, uniforms can be confining. Having a uniform comes with a uniform code, which some Tologs say is restrictive. Students want to wear certain sweatpants, hair colors and shoes, yet the uniform code doesn’t allow for these creative liberties to be taken. 

For me, after eight years of public school, I can confidently say that choosing an outfit every day is the worst. Even if you set your clothes out the night before, stressing about how they’ll look and if the weather will change spontaneously make choosing outfits one of the more unfortunate parts of the school day. 

Now, instead of the time-consuming process of trying on those shorts with this shirt or debating between a pairing of shoes and socks, I throw on whichever skirt and polo shirt I have available. For someone who is perpetually late to everything, those minutes saved from just putting on my uniform are quite valuable. 

What I experienced every morning of my time served at public school was decision fatigue. Decision fatigue is a psychological concept that refers to the exhaustion that one feels after having to make many decisions. Decision fatigue can lead to one making poor decisions, and, believe me, I made some poor fashion choices because of how little I started to care about what my clothes looked like. Choosing a new outfit for every day of the week became more of a chore than an opportunity to express myself. 

In middle school, there were few things that were more stressful than showing up to school in the same shirt twice in the same week. Keeping up with the trends and refreshing one’s wardrobe can be quite expensive. Instead, with uniforms, one can save money by wearing the same thing but keep it stylish with additions like jewelry, hair accessories, shoes and socks. 

When I get to college, I am looking forward to wearing what I like. For now, I appreciate everything that uniforms provide for me.