March 10, 2015

How to Jazz Up a Uniform

As someone who has worn a school uniform for a good 700 days of the past 1440 of my life, I think I've gotten pretty good at dressing up my uniform, and dressing around the dress code. 

We can't all be blessed with Serena van der Woodsen's chic uniform

As much as uniforms do simplify life (I literally roll out of bed and know exactly what I'm wearing down to my socks), it also opens up a whole 'nother time and place for self-expression. I think it's this part that most people who are anti-uniform don't see. 

For one thing, wearing a uniform 5 days a week means the occasion of wearing of our "normal clothes" becomes something special and out of the norm. Getting "dressed up" on the weekends could be something as simple as jeans and t-shirt to the mall with friends--something that's out of the norm for us. 

Within the realm of the school regulated uniform, there are also plenty of opportunities for self-expression. I've compiled a list of my favorite ways:

Play around with makeup (if dress code allows)--I know most schools with uniforms include some stipulation about makeup, mostly "no excessive makeup may be worn" but I have yet to meet one girl who has ever gotten in trouble for wearing too much makeup. As long as it's not too over-the-top (aka can be categorized as 'distracting') you should be good to go--have fun with it! Play around with new styles.

Dress up, or down, your hair! I like to (subconsciously) challenge myself to do something different with my hair everyday. Whether it's parting it on a new side, adding some flowers or pins to it, even simply tying it up in a ponytail when you normally leave it down....changing your hairstyle up can score you some really cool confidence points, plus personal points for courage!

Accessorize! Utilize all those necklaces tangling together and the rings turning your fingers green. Again, I try to wear different pieces and combinations of pieces each day, although I do wear my heart locket everyday. Wear some rings, maybe a bracelet, some earrings sometimes....never wear too much though! I always say if you have a bracelet, generally you don't need rings too and wearing a necklace and earrings works well, but not with anything else (except maybe a ring or two). Experiment! 

Hair color is another way to change it up, although the rule of thumb at my school is this: if it's not a color that could normally grow out of someone's head, you can't wear it. Of course, this doesn't stop some people from dip-dyeing blue or green (or even one girl dyeing her entire head dark purple!) If you don't want to dye it, hair chalk is a great, temporary option.

Not so much a way as to brighten up your uniform, more to brighten up your day, spray some of your favorite perfume! I'm a perfume addict so I have bottles and bottles of it lined up on my dresser--it's quite lovely picking the scent that fits my mood that morning. 'Either smell good or don't smell at all'--words to live by.

If dyeing isn't an option, hair accessories are! Hair chains, headbands, bows, flower pins etc. I have an entire collection of hair accessories in my room that, sadly, are gathering dust right now because I grew out of my phase of wearing them just as the collection grew to the large size I have now. Oh well, I'll wear them again sometime. 

Shoes! While a great deal of variation probably isn't allowed (ie 'all shoes must be black flats') you can still flair it up with your own personal favorite pair of black flats!

Nail Color. I always like to have fresh paint on my nails, usually because my color tastes differ from week to week. Painting fun designs, going French-tip, using accent nails (one of my personal fave techniques), or even just straight color coats--it's a colorful way to brighten up your day.

Do you wear a uniform? What are some ways you have to brighten it up? 


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