catholic school uniforms
|The Catholic school uniform stereotype consists of a pleated plaid skirt or jumper (a sleeveless dress), Mary Jane or saddle shoes, a blouse, and a sweater, for girls; for boys, a button-down shirt, a necktie, and dark pants. Actual school uniforms vary widely by location and individual school.|
Nearly all Roman Catholic schools have some form of dress code, and most of them (especially those with students in the lower grade levels) have a mandatory uniform policy.
 Purpose of School Uniforms
Stated purpose for uniforms, often set forth in school uniform policies, include reducing clothing expenditures for parents as well as avoiding distinctions among children based on whose parents can afford to buy them fashionable clothing to wear to school. The conservative clothing is also said to reduce distractions and help with student identification, ensuring that a stranger will stand out among the uniformed students.
 In North America
Until the early to mid 1970s, the uniform for girls almost always consisted of a skirt or jumper; but it is now common, in the United States, for female pupils to wear uniform shorts or slacks, especially in warmer weather. This is mainly the result of changing societal norms that, beginning in the late 1960s to early 1970s, resulted in a trend for women and girls in most levels of society to wear trousers and shorts, instead of skirts and dresses, for everyday life. Today, most schools require girls to wear skirts, others allow girls the choice of skirts or culottes and pants.
A kilted skirt is sometimes worn, especially in schools with predominantly Celtic student populations. In some parts of Canada, the skirt has been modified to include an attached pair of shorts beneath, for modesty called a skort. Bike shorts are often worn under girls' skirts or jumpers for modesty. Culottes are also sometimes substituted for a skirt, especially at Episcopalian or non-parochial private schools.
In the younger grades of such schools, girls are often seen wearing plaid jumpers over a blouse and bike shorts under the jumpers. Many schools require such a jumper up to the fourth, fifth, or sixth grade, presumably because the lifestyles and habits of younger girls may make blouses more likely to become untucked from skirt or culotte waistbands. After that, the jumper is often discarded in favor of a plaid skirt or culottes and blouse. Often the skirt and blouse must be worn with a sweater or sweater vest.
Boys typically wear a collared shirt, tie, and slacks of required colors, although polo shirts have to some extent replaced dress shirt.
Both sexes usually wear a sweater or blazer (or both) when required by regulations or weather.
Some schools have unisex uniforms--most often a distinctive shirt, and sometimes pants of a given color.
Uniforms may vary based on time of year. At many schools, students are excused from having to wear the fairly formal (and warm) uniforms described above during the hotter months of the school year in favor of lighter uniform clothing. However, at some schools appearance and formality prevail over comfort and students must suffer through the warm weather in their full uniform, which can include long sleeved dress shirts, ties, wool sweaters, blazers, wool skirts or jumpers, and knee socks or tights.