11 photos of school uniforms from around the world, from kindergarten to high school


I never wore a school uniform as a kid, but I always wanted to (I’m sure the grass is a greener situation where kids who wear uniforms wish they weren’t. do not). It’s not very common for American children to wear school uniforms unless they’re in some private school, but that’s not the case around the world. These photos of school uniforms from around the world will give you a taste of what it’s like to be a student in Europe, Asia or Africa.

From vibrant green uniforms in Kenya to Malaysian children who look like their flag, to British children who look so British, school uniforms can be a thing of beauty and give a glimpse of a culture. Some studies even suggest that students in uniform listen more attentively (perhaps because they aren’t concerned about the clothing choices of their peers).

No matter what you think of uniforms, it’s fun to take a little trip around the world without leaving your computer (and if you or your child doesn’t have enough, check out what school meals are like around the world) .


American school uniforms


Uniforms in America are mostly worn in private or Catholic schools (although most schools have some sort of dress code). Uniforms are often a plain polo shirt or white shirt, paired with a neutral checked or plain sweater, skirt or pants.


Japanese school uniform

tokyoSOPA Images / LightRocket, Getty Images

This style of Japanese uniforms is known as “seifuku” and they are similar to European style naval uniforms. They usually have a bow and stripes on the collar and a flat panel on the back. This seifuku style is associated with junior high and younger, according to Learn Japanese 123, as older students typically wear plaid skirts or blazers and slacks.


French School Uniforms


School uniforms have not been compulsory in France since 1968, for The Guardian, but some schools still have them in place, like this one in Asnières-sur-Seine, outside Paris. Uniforms are generally casual, with sweaters and sweatshirts in a certain color scheme and a choice of pants for students.


Kenyan school uniforms

Wolfgang Kaehler / LightRocket, Getty Images

Most of the students in Kenya wear uniforms; in 2003, the government removed the flat fee, by Poverty Action Lab, making it accessible to everyone. The uniforms are often in beautiful bright colors like this bright green with a pink collar.


British school uniforms


Almost all students in England wear a school uniform. The appearance and style of the uniform varies by school and season, but in general it consists of a khaki or gray bottom with a blazer, and for girls, a skirt with a sweater ( sweater as the British say) on the top.


Pakistani school uniforms

Christian Ender / Getty Images News, Getty Images

It is the norm to see students in uniform in Pakistan. Sometimes girls will wear a Salwar Kameez costume and boys will wear blue or brown pants, according to K12 Academics. In the photo above, Pakistani children at a Christian school.


Malaysian school uniforms

AFP, Getty Images

All Malaysian students, whether attending public or private institutions, will wear a uniform. Here, the student uniforms mimic the colors of the country’s flag.


Spanish school uniform

Carlos Alvarez / Getty Images Entertainment / Getty Images

You won’t find all students wearing uniforms in Spain, although this is the custom in most private or Catholic schools. Here, Spanish royalty, Princess Leonor and Princess Sofia, arrive at school (in 2010) dressed in a classic uniform consisting of a gray skirt, black sweater and white collar shirt.


Russian school uniforms

Mikhail Aleksandrov / TASS, Getty Images

From 1994 to 2013, school uniforms were not compulsory in Russia, according to K12 Academic, but the uniforms were reintroduced by a new education law in September 2013. Each school chooses its own uniform usually consisting of a background plain or checkered and a waistcoat or shirt with a collar, and often girls wear white bows in their hair.


Chinese school uniforms

VCG Group / Visual China, Getty Images

It’s not uncommon to see bright and fun uniforms in China, like the ones in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province (can we talk about this amazing slide too?). Some Chinese uniforms are equipped with GPS tracking devices to let students and teachers know where students are, according to Business Insider.


Indian School Uniforms

Christian Ender / Getty Images News, Getty Images

Referenced study:

“School discipline, school uniforms and academic performance” Chris Baumann, Hana Krskova, International Journal of Educational Management, August 8, 2016

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