A school uniform is an outfit (a set of standardized clothes) worn primarily for an educational institution. They are common on primary and secondary schools in various countries. Traditionally, school uniforms have been largely subdued and professional. Boys’ uniforms often consist of dark short or long trousers and a light colored shirt, often with a tie. Girls’ uniforms vary greatly between countries and schooling systems, but typically consist of a dress or a blouse worn with a skirt. In some countries girls are allowed to wear trousers. The use of a blazer or suit like jacket for either gender is also fairly common. In some countries, such as Japan, the school uniform is generally standard in all schools, but in others, such as Great Britain, each school has an individual uniform, varying in color and often making use of badges.
Japan introduced school uniforms in the late 19th century. Today, school uniforms are almost universal in public and private school systems. They are also used in some women’s colleges. The Japanese word for uniform is “seifuku.”
In the majority of elementary schools, students are not required to wear a uniform to school. Most Japanese elementary schools require a yellow cap or hat, or if it’s raining, they must hold a yellow umbrella. It’s common for both boys and girls to wear brightly colored caps to prevent traffic accidents. Also, it’s normal for uniforms to be worn outside of school areas.
The Japanese junior and senior high school uniform traditionally consists of a military style uniform for boys and a sailor outfit for girls. These uniforms are based on Meiji era formal military dress, themselves modeled on European style naval uniforms. The sailor outfit replaced the undivided hakama. While this style of uniform is still in use, many schools, such as parochial schools, have moved to more Western-style patterns. These uniforms consist of a white shirt, tie, blazer or sweater vest with school crest, and tailored trousers (often not the same color as the blazer or sweater vest) for boys and a white blouse, tie, blazer with school crest and tartan skirt for girls.
Much like the male uniform (gakuran), the sailor outfit bears a similarity to various military styled naval uniforms. The uniform generally consists of a blouse attached with a sailor style pleated skirt. There are seasonal variations for summer and winter (sleeve length and fabric are adjusted accordingly). A ribbon is tied in the front and laced through a loop attached in the blouse. Common colors are navy blue, grey, white, light green and black.
Shoes, socks and other accessories are sometimes included as part of a uniform. These socks are usually navy or white. The shoes are typically brown or black penny loafers. Although not part of the prescribed uniform, alternate forms of leg-wear (such as loose socks) are also commonly matched by more fashionable girls with their sailor outfits.
Regardless of what type of uniform any particular school assigns its students, all schools have a summer version of the uniform and a sport-activity uniform. Depending on the discipline level of any particular school, students may often wear different seasonal and activity uniforms within the same classroom during the day. Individual student may attempt to subvert the system of uniforms by wearing their uniforms incorrectly or by adding prohibited elements such as large loose socks or badges. Girls may shorten their skirts; boys may wear trousers about the hips, omit ties, or keep their skirt unbuttoned.
Because school uniform are popular, second-hand sailor outfit and other items of school wear are brokered through underground establishments know as “burusera”. Sailor outfits, along with other styles of school uniform, play a large role in otaku culture and the Japanese sexual canon as evidenced by the large amount of anime, manga and doujinshi featuring characters in uniform, Sailor Moon being one of the most popular examples.
If you are interested to see/know more about School Uniforms in Japan, Check books of them.
There are some in Amazon.