U for Uniforms


Proud Mr O with the offspring

Uniforms are a wonderful thing! They mean the kids never have to compete with the latest fashions at school. I asked our four “What is something starting with “U” that you all find different or unique in Australia compared with Nigeria. The answer came back in unison: “UNIFORMS!”

I thought this was odd. I knew they wore uniforms in Nigeria, so what was different?

Miss O 2: “We didn’t have different uniforms, we wore the same thing all year.”

This makes sense, as they don’t have the seasonal changes we have here in Australia. We have summer and winter uniforms and I remember when I was at school there were very strict rules around when you changed from one uniform to another!  Here in Melbourne, given our weather can be rather changeable, there is a couple of weeks of flexibility, but even then I have seen kids wearing summer uniform to school in the middle of winter so I’m not sure all the schools are as strict as “in the old days”.

Here the boys wear shorts in summer and long pants in winter.



Miss O 2 has a lovely gingham school dress which she refuses to wear (I think she’s worn it twice) because she MUCH prefers the culottes (or skort)  which means she looks like she is wearing a skirt but can do all the tomboy things without anyone seeing her pants.

Miss O 1 is in Year 12 so she now wears “casual” (sadly for Mum and Dad’s wallets).

The photo above was taken in July 2011. None of them look anything like that any more! Mr O 1, the older of the two boys, is now taller than I and almost as tall as Dad. What a growth spurt in 20 months!

Those are the winter uniforms. In summer of course the jackets and jumpers  hardly see the light of day, the girls have dresses (or culottes for the primary ones) and the boys wear shorts.

Then there are sports uniforms for sports days.

It isn’t just the kids who have uniforms. Mr O also has a uniform provided by his employer, everything except his underpants and singlet, it seems. Mr O was quite surprised about this, but I have to say it does help the budget when we have so many kids to buy uniforms for!

Despite coming from a hot country, Miss O 1 loves the colder weather as she enjoys layering up with lots of woolly clothes. I think the novelty will wear off in a couple of years. I’d live in a sarong if I could, but the office isn’t too happy about that as a dress code and in winter it is too cold.

Some of the private schools in Melbourne have interesting colour choices for their uniforms. I remember seeing a gold and purple striped blazer on public transport years ago but Google is not letting me find an image to share. I am wondering if Wesley College have changed from striped to plain purple. They were certainly very distinctive and I’d love to be able to share a picture with our overseas readers. If nothing else I am sure the children learn to cope with being distinctive early on! Our kids would probably love this uniform as compared to Nigerian clothes, ours can be pretty boring – I looked at a comparison earlier on, in Interview with Mr O.  One of the outfits we highlighted there was rather purple!

I know some of our American readers are very jealous of our school uniform culture and wish they had them too. It does make life easier on those rushed mornings!

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7 comments on “U for Uniforms

  1. In Italy, I wore a uniform from kindergarten to the end of high school, now kids only wear uniforms in elementary schools.


  2. I also agree with uniforms, every one looks the same, no expenses with extra clothing or labels. I wish I wore a uniform to work too, it would make my life easier in the morning!
    I don’t have school going kids, but I find that most public schools seem to be quite relaxed with school uniforms – at least I see kids wearing all sorts of different colour shoes, their hair doesn’t have to be tied up, they wear make up, jewellery…
    My sister who lives in South Africa, and has school going kids, tells me schools are quite strict with dress code there.


    • I agree Sami. In fact I wish our schools were a little more stict in relation to the uniform. Trying to get the kids to wear the right thing is difficult when they come back with “but everyone else”! I drive past the high school every morning too, so I also see the mixture.

      Getting the boys to iron their shirts and not go to school looking like they just tumbled out of the laundry basket is difficult! 😆 Of course, if they are going to a SOCIAL event, they fight to get the iron!


  3. Thanks for publishing this beautiful family picture. I have always welcomed it that my children were expected to wear uniforms to school. For sure it saved us a lot of money otherwise the kids would have needed many more outfits. They would have wanted to wear something different every day!


    • Thank you Uta. They have grown SO MUCH since then, it is like they are different people!

      We could not have managed without uniforms, I think! Four kids is a LOT of clothes (if the size of our laundry baskets is any indication)!


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