The idea of requiring students to wear uniforms is nothing new and has been used for at least a century to help foster a sense of academia and respect for oneself within the school setting. When President Clinton said “I believe we should give strong support to school districts that decide to require young students to wear school uniforms”, he had based his opinion on a history of school uniforms having a calming effect on students. In England, school uniforms had been used for years both to distinguish those children who were part of the lower classes, attending schools that provided their uniform clothing for them, and to distinguish those children who were of the decidedly upper class as a badge of honor and social placement. “As can be seen in the history of the school uniform, such requirements of standardized dress also include a symbolic rhetoric of legitimate authority, a reservoir of institutional and organizational values of the school, and a method of social and cultural control over cohorts of students moving through the system. By including students in a recognized group as a member of a particular student body, uniforms are successful in building a sense of community and cooperation among children who might not otherwise work together. At the same time, regulations requiring specific items of clothing such as a ‘red or white solid colored shirt with collar’ serve to ensure that there are a large number of people in the market for these items, driving the price down. as they become produced in mass quantities. Children who outgrow their uniforms are also able to donate them for children who can’t afford them, proving that the English use of the uniform as a means of cutting costs can be effective.
There are a number of studies of the use of uniform use that indicate perception of the uniform, from both an internal and external standpoint, can have a significant effect on the individual’s identity. Internal factors can include the individual’s perception of the self as well as the individual perception of how others perceive the individual. External factors can include the group’s perception of the individual as well as the group’s perception of the ideal. Uniforms are shown to provide the individual with a sense of belonging to a larger group, a sense of authority, an idea of specific moral and ethical standards to be adhered to and a sense of direction or purpose in