Teachers and parents often say their school uniforms are a little too tight and too formal, but are they right?
We talked to a few experts to find out.
Are the shirts too big?
Some schools may need to cut the size of a shirt to fit the classroom, but not all.
And if a teacher is wearing an oversized shirt, don’t expect it to be in a big spot.
“If a teacher wears a shirt that is too big, the shirts are too big,” says Jessica Rauch, assistant professor of organizational leadership at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
“And you have to think about how to make the shirt small.”
She suggests a simple, yet clever solution: just add a “sleeveless” option to your shirt.
If your school doesn’t offer a shirt for boys, you can always opt for a simple white shirt with a “man-made” collar.
What about the pants?
Some parents prefer to keep their children at home during recess, but some kids might prefer to take their shoes off in class.
The right school uniform can make all the difference.
“You can put the pants on as soon as you arrive in the classroom,” says Michelle Broussard, a certified personal stylist in New York City.
“They can take their socks off at home, or you can put them on at home.”
Raull says it’s up to the individual to decide if their child is going to wear pants in class, but it’s not always a bad idea to have them at home.
“A lot of teachers and administrators have decided to put pants on, especially after a while, when students have a lot of time to get dressed and take their clothes off,” she says.
Are they too tight?
If you’re worried about your child’s waistline, there are plenty of things you can do to help them stay trim.
“There are so many ways to make a teacher uniform fit your child, and I have to admit, I’ve found that sometimes it’s hard to tell,” says Rauchel.
For some kids, the waistband of their pants can be a little more snug, especially if they wear sneakers, says Raul Bajarin, a Certified Personal Trainer in New Orleans.
“I do tend to wear a little bit tighter, just to get the fit of the shirt right,” he says.
Are your kids too big for the shirts?
Some kids may want to put on the right amount of size.
But, if you are concerned about your kids’ hips, you may need a different solution.
“In terms of sizing, you should always be very careful with the shirt size, especially for girls, because they may need the size a little bigger,” says Brousdard.
“The size of the pants, for girls at least, you want to be very, very careful.
If they’re going to be wearing their pants with sneakers, the pants should fit very tight,” she adds.
Raulet recommends a school uniform with an “squeaky” fit, a waistband that is less than a half inch, and a waist that’s about the same size as a shirt.
Brouson says, for boys in particular, “You need a shirt with at least an 8” waist, or they may not have enough room to walk around.
Can your child wear the right shirt?
Rauls and Bajarins say it’s important to know what your child will wear.
“When you have your child wearing a shirt, they are probably wearing it for a specific purpose,” says Nachman.
“For example, maybe they are going to take a picture with their friend, or maybe they want to do something special for their teacher.”
“I would always advise to make sure that they have the right size shirt,” says Tompkins.
“Even though a student is wearing a big shirt, it’s still a good idea to make them comfortable, because the shirt can become too tight.”
For some boys, it may be best to try a smaller size shirt.
Raul says, “If you have a boy that is wearing the wrong size shirt, make sure to find a new shirt size for him.”
“A student can wear the wrong shirt, but then they will have to make up the difference,” says Joffe.
“It’s like, what’s wrong with him?
Do I have the wrong shirts?” he adds.
“But it’s also important to remember that these are the shirts your child is wearing.”