Why wear uniforms? Is there any specific reason for wearing a uniform in a place of work or education, or are there many reasons why it does make sense to do so?
Most places of work have some form of uniform or dress code of which workers or employees have to adhere to; this might vary from as little as wearing a polo shirt which promotes the name of the company or organisation right through to full uniforms worn by the emergency services for instance.
All uniforms will have their purpose, sometimes a uniform simply represents a place of work, or perhaps a uniform will be worn as part of protective clothing, alternatively it can worn for easy recognition or to distinguish people.
A uniform in a school works to keep everyone the same, it reduces the risk of bullying in some instances of children whose families can't afford nice clothing, designer labels or the latest fashions, everyone has to wear the same, and therefore are treated the same. A school will probably also enforce the correct way to wear a uniform, shirts tucked in, ties worn, blazers etc, a school uniform makes it easy to identify students, and which school they attend, therefore those children clearly are a representation of that school.
Emergency services and have their own particular dress codes, a police uniform will differ according to the tasks undertaken, however one thing remains very much the same and that is whatever uniform they are wearing they will be clearly visible, for instance when patrolling the beat a policeman will be wearing a helmet and the normal police dress however if attending a football match where trouble may occur, protective vests and fluorescent clothing will also be worn, subtle changes of head ware are worn when driving as opposed to patrolling.
This applies to the fire service too, t-shirts and trousers are usually worn when not at a shout, the t-shirts will specify which fire station the fireman belong to, whereas when attending a shout full gear will be worn, fire resistant safety clothing, large boots, helmets and breathing apparatus in some instance, Ambulance crews where uniforms which distinguish them clearly from the other emergency services.
The armed forces have their own specific clothing too, usually associated with the garrison they belong to, and the job they undertake. Clothing in the forces will be heavily identified with the job they are attending at the time, for instance on parade, on exercise or going off to war.
The various kinds of work wear which people adorn to do their jobs is amazing when you look closely, all sectors of work and industry use clothing for many reasons, dustbin men wear protective clothing and gloves to help keep their own clothes clean from dirt and grime and gloves to protect their hands from heavy lifting and sharp objects in people waste.
Healthcare professionals such as dentists, nurses, physiotherapists, surgeons etc, ( the men in white coats as it were) use tunics and overalls to not only protect their clothing but which often reflect the department they work within. Tunics such as these are also worn by the carers in old peoples homes etc or care staff in the community.
Hotels, restaurants and other hospitality venues will have a dress code so it is easy to pinpoint staff should you require them, whilst maintaining a smart appearance which represents that business, this too applies even in supermarkets, so that members of staff are easily distinguishable from customers.
So the reasons for wearing a uniform may vary from industry to industry but in general the need for a uniform is to either make everyone appear the same, unifying them, for protective purposes or to give a smart appearance as a representation of a company.
Anna Stenning researches the reason why a uniform has its place within so many industry sectors, and why wearing a uniform generally is a good thing from all aspects.