Thursday, November 11, 2010

Uniform inspiration: the Uniform point of view from Dunedin

Uniform: dress of a distinctive design or fashion worn by members of a particular group and serving as a means of identification; broadly : distinctive or characteristic clothingExcellent post in MPB today:

Here is my comment (and a bit more)

I like the idea of wearing a something out of context – like the supermarket smock – but I think the clothing with logos, names tags etc which is a modern interpretation is parody rather than flattery. I like some military fashion if it is still essentially functional and hard wearing but military inspired sheer tops for example are just plain silly.

I wore a school uniform (several actually) I loathed “mufti” day with a vengeance because I did not have a sense of my own style. I also wore a supermarket smock for some years and it saved my own clothes, it was not particularly flattering but it was hard-wearing.

I work in a medical school many of the senior staff are men and wear a uniform of a shirt and trousers, jacket and tie or similar. The administrative staff are mainly women and wear smart skirts and tops, some in management wear corporate style skirts and jackets. Mainly I wear skirts and tops, or dresses either home-made or from op-shops. From time to time I wear a 1970s shirt dress reminiscent of a cleaners smock, because I identify with the workers at the coal face or grass roots whichever way you want to put it. I wonder if we all have our own uniforms - clothing which makes allows us to identify with a certain group - thinking back to some of MPB’s earlier posts there is the uniform of a "goth" or "punk" or "hipster".

Moral judgements about who should (or should not) wear certain uniforms do not surprise me, but I am saddened as there continues to be so much value placed on the way people dress and appearing fashionable. My daughter is 9 and is now aware of her clothes and how she dresses. I do not wear fashionable clothing in the true sense of the word, but I hope I dress in way which reflects my values. I will encourage her to develop her own sense of style and resist taking on board the comments of her peers. However, the “uniform” she will wear to school, until she has to wear a school uniform, will be practical and hard wearing, affordable and comfortable. We will choose her clothes together and “fashion” may or may not play a part in that decision making.

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