Wholesale Unforms: Part 1
A uniform is a type of clothing worn by members of an organization while participating in that organization's activity. Modern uniforms are most often worn by armed forces and paramilitary organizations such as police, emergency services, and security guards, in some workplaces and schools and by inmates in prisons. In some countries, some other officials also wear uniforms in their duties; such is the case of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service or the French prefects. For some public groups, such as police, it is illegal for non-members to wear the uniform. Other uniforms are trade dresses (such as the brown uniforms of UPS).
Workers sometimes wear uniforms or corporate clothing of one nature or another such as aprons, lab coats or chef coats . Workers required to wear a uniform include retail workers, bank and post office workers, public security and health care workers, blue collar employees, personal trainers in health clubs, instructors in summer camps, lifeguards, janitors, chefs, public transit employees, towing and truck drivers, airline employees and holiday operators, and bar, restaurant and hotel employees. The use of uniforms by these organizations is often an effort in branding and developing a standard corporate image but also has important effects on the employees required to wear the uniform.
The term uniform may be misleading because employees are not always fully uniform in appearance and may not always wear attire provided by the organization, while still representing the organization in their attire. Academic work on organizational dress by Rafaeli & Pratt (1993) referred to uniformity (homogeneity) of dress as one dimension, and conspicuousness as a second. Employees all wearing black, for example, may appear conspicuous and thus represent the organization even though their attire is uniform only in the color of their appearance, not in its features. Pratt & Rafaeli, (1997) described struggles between employees and management about organizational dress as struggles about deeper meanings and identities that dress represents. And Pratt & Rafaeli (2001) described dress as one of the larger set of symbols and artifacts in organizations which coalesce into a communication grammar.
Uniforms are required in many schools. School uniforms vary from a standard issue T-shirt to rigorous requirements for many items of formal wear at private schools. School uniforms are in place in many public schools as well.
Countries with mandatory school uniforms include Japan, South Korea, Thailand, India, Australia, U.A.E, Singapore, and some schools in China, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, among as many other places. In some countries, uniform types vary from school to school, but in the United Kingdom, many pupils between 11 and 16 of age wear a formal jacket, vest, tie and trousers for boys and blouse, tie and trousers, skirt, or culottes for girls. The ties will usually be in a set pattern for the school, and jackets will usually have embroidery or a patch on the breast pocket with the school's name, coat of arms, and motto or emblem. Jackets are being replaced in many schools by sweatshirts or hoodies bearing the school patches. Children in many United Kingdom state primary schools will have a uniform jumper and/or polo shirt with the school name and logo.
Most, if not all, sports teams also wear uniforms, made in the team's distinctive colors, often in different variations for "home" and "away" games decorated with embroidery, tackle twill or embroidered patches. Fans often show support by wearing spirit wear which usually consists of hats hoodies, sweatshirts or fleece blankets decorated with their favorite team’s logo or mascot.