May 7, 2008

Choice of clothing

Picture courtesy of Stella Duce All Girls Catholic High School

When you look at students in the US or Europe, there seems to be little idea of what is appropriate and inappropriate dress for the classroom. You can wear whatever you want and from what I see on the movies, there are plenty of girls who wear skirts where if they just bend a little bit you can see everything. Here in Indonesia almost all schools from preschool to the last year of high school, private or state-run have to wear uniforms. Then there's also a sport uniform and one more, scout uniform! I have to say I liked having uniforms because you don't have to worry about what to wear everyday. It gives a sense of identity, it helps maintain a neat and tidy appearance, it is also less expensive for parents in the long run.

I wore uniforms all my school going days and my favorite was the school uniform in my high school time in Yogyakarta back in the eighties: a short-sleeved white shirt with a checkered dark blue and white pleated skirt underneath. The skirt length is regulated, no noticeable jewelry or make up allowed except for a single watch, a one piercing per ear, or a simple chain necklace. We would practically get warned if we customized our uniform, because the school is not about individualism. Regardless of my former high school strict dress code, I am all for it. How do you feel about school uniforms? are they good or bad in your opinion?


Judith said...

El Seragamnya keren yak,jadi inget seragamku dulu waktu di Marsudirini.Bedanya seragam kami ada kombinasi warna hijaunya tapi ya tetap kotak2 gitu,he he ...

sima said...

nggak pake seragam underwear kan :)
wah bagus sekarang pakai rating ya kayak film :) bisa dicontek nih :)

Toni said...

I miss all those days in Bandung. :(

Fun said...

aku juga lebih suka pake seragam.. kesannya rapi dan setara dengan yang laen2nya :)
kalo dulu seragamku cuman seragam biasa aja, yang beda cuman baju olahraga doank :)

Therry said...

I quite liked the school uniform I used to wear, actually. It was one of those traditional Catholic school uniforms - tartan skirt, long-sleeved shirt, a tie and a sweater plus dark stockings and black shoes.

In summer, the uniform was a nurse-like type of dress in gingham pattern, still with the jumper. No stockings, but long (or short, depended on the weather) socks with still black shoes.

And when we got to year 12, we could wear this different coloured jumper and tie that really indicated we were seniors. Hahaha.

Elyani said...

@Judith : oh dulu di Marsudirini ya? Kalau di Jogja, Marsud dikenal dengan nama SMA Santa Maria. Seragamnya juga kotak2, cuma beda warna dan design sama di sekolahku.

@Mbak Sima : hahaha...seru juga kalau undies-nya ikutan seragam :)

@Mas Toni : dulu di SMAN 3 atau SMAN 5?

@Therry : from your description, I think yours were much better than mine...but I love my uniforms too!

colson said...

Nice post. Especially because you relate uniforms to identity.

Strikingly ( to me)it seems like most adults speak sympathetic about their unformed schooldays. Is this nostalgia, romanticized reminiscences? And did these uniforms really "give a sense of identity"?

The answer probably is yes twice But the second yes is about a collective identity only I guess.

As for me, my uniform experience was when I was in the military (compulsory service). That was an uniformed identity I hated. And the only happy moment in those 2 years I can remember was the moment I could change back to my civilian clothes.

To an individual identity I prefer.

Elyani said...


Identity is a very confusing word and highly subjective. The way you define a school maybe different the way I define it. My points were really intended to highlight by wearing uniform that you shouldn't be judged for what you wear, because uniform allow students to be recognize for who they are, treated on their individual merit rather than what they wear. It's a visual cue that tells the students that this is where they belong. It is the same reason why the doctors, nurses, soccer team wear uniforms. For us, girls, choosing what to wear can be very stressful :)