How Should Students Dress Up for College in India?


This is a contentious and much-debated topic amongst academia and other social circles. Be it in India, or around the world, this idea has been discussed multiple times and on different forums. Many educational stakeholders believe that uniforms may curb negative behaviors associated with student dress such as teasing, absenteeism, tardiness, gang-related activity, and violence. One primary argument espoused by opponents is that uniforms interfere with student’s right to freedom of expression. Various state governments and institutions are introducing sensitive rules regarding the implementation of dress code, which give rise to vehement criticisms from the student side.

On the other hand, some researchers such as Wilson investigated that the public school campuses of our nation are experiencing an unprecedented crisis of violence and a shocking decline in academic achievement. Gang-related violence and crime in public schools continues to grow and challenge school administrators and students. Student attendance and dropout rates are alarming, as is the presence of drugs, weapons, and violence in many schools.

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As a reaction to this threat of violence, many school boards are currently enforcing mandatory dress codes. These codes prohibit students from wearing clothing that is identifiable as gang clothing such as bandanas, particular colored handkerchiefs, college jackets, earrings and accessories.

So a research study is to be envisaged on the topic – ‘Students and Teachers perception on a uniform dress code for Panjab University Students.’ This study will focus on the perception of students and teachers regarding the uniform dress code.


In the 16th century, England was the first nation to require school uniforms.

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But these uniforms were not to be worn by elite students; they were to distinguish the poor children attending charity schools from other children. It wasn’t until 300 years later that students who attended better English public schools began wearing uniforms. Once this became the norm, it blossomed into an obsession, as well as a way to affect social and cultural control over the students.


The arguments over requiring school uniforms in American public schools began in the 1980s, with such comments as preventing individuality or freedom of expression at the top of the list of reasons against doing so. However, arguments for school uniforms have included reducing peer pressure to have the latest designer clothing and saving parents money on their children’s clothing by requiring the same uniform every year


Those who support school uniforms argue that if all of the students are wearing the same clothing, they will take school more seriously instead of worrying about what they’re wearing. Since many places of employment also require uniforms, this will prepare the students for future jobs, and gang violence will decrease because members will be unable to identify their rivals by their clothing.


On the other side of the coin, however, are those who are against the idea. They claim that the rebellious students will alter their uniforms, forcing teachers to spend more time policing the uniforms every day. Bullies will continue to persecute their victims over non-clothing-related subjects such as height, weight, hair and so forth. And if an older student physically attacks a younger one, a description of the attacker will be of little use, given that everyone else in the school is wearing the same thing.


The subject of school uniforms is unlikely to ever reach a conclusion that will be acceptable to everyone. But the problem really isn’t as simple as a change of clothing. A study performed by academics from the University of Alabama and Notre Dame concluded that student attendance, academic achievement, behavioral problems, and substance abuse showed no improvement after school uniforms were introduced. Perhaps a better way to improve student behavior would be for parents and school boards to hold children accountable for their actions, just as adults are held accountable by society for their actions. As noted by San Diego’s Fleet & Family Support Centers, children learn responsibility by being held accountable.

Reasons why university students should wear uniforms:-

Saving money

A huge bundle of money can be saved by simply enforcing uniforms in universities. An average student does not want to repeat clothes at least in a week, so they keep squandering money on clothes rather than on something more rewarding. In contrast, if having a couple of uniforms instead of fashion statement clothes for the college can save money for spending extravagantly on just clothing. And too students can pool in the savings and set up other state of art facilities, like food courts or better labs.

Less time consuming

A boy who studies at a university if spends about 20 minutes to get ready in the morning, most of this time is spent in selecting an outfit. The same goes for girls who end up wasting lots of time in getting dressed. Having a uniform would mean that each university student can save at least 15 minutes per day, which they can consume doing something constructive instead, like spending some quality time with their parents before leaving or having a proper breakfast instead of rushing out the door.

No room for excuses

The teachers and the students, when are indulged in illicit activities, the usual answer brought forth by teachers, after being questioned is,
‘Oh! I didn’t know he/ she was a student. I thought he/ she was a colleague.’
When the student is in uniform, this excuse will no longer remain valid.

Symbol of being a student

  • No need of showing identity cards to get student discounts on coffees, fast food, travelling and now on even shopping too.
  • Besides this, teacher assistants or even guest faculty in our department, who look so young and are hard to differentiate from the students, uniforms can solve this problem too.

Appropriate dressing

Dress code brings about unity and eliminates discrimination. Just like one cannot wear everyday wear or casual dress to parties, similarly, it is unethical to attend college in party wear. Strict dress code for all universities would therefore serve the purpose.

Formal environment

If students are wearing uniforms in universities, it will make a very healthy and professional environment. And students will focus on their work rather than something unimportant.

Equality among students

As in some universities, few students are bullied for not wearing different clothes every day. They are being judged by teachers and their classmates. So students tend to engage themselves in illicit activities. So to avoid this, uniforms are the best way to provide equality to every student.


One of the most obvious advantages of wearing school uniforms is the fact that all students would look the same. Those who do not have sufficient means to buy expensive clothing can surely benefit from this, and parents can also save a bit of money from not having to buy trendy clothes for their children. Aside from these perks, school uniforms shows a unity at school, wherein students wear the same outfits that give them single identity that distinguishes them from other schools.

Feeling of pride

By wearing a school uniform, students may feel proud that he/ she belong to a certain school. Just doing this (especially if it is with a logo) will allow him/ her education with peers and even with other people.

Reduced behavioral Issues

Reports by K-12 experts and sociologists show that students in uniform are behaving more appropriately in their respective learning environments. Their findings came from the fact that uniforms dictate a stricter atmosphere that encourages students to follow school rules and regulations. Plus, it is also found that violence in uniform schools is lower than that of other schools.

Objectives of the study

  1. To find out the rationale behind having a dress code for university students.
  2. To find out the advantages of a dress code for students from its introduction in universities.
  3. To search the advantages to the university from the introduction of uniform dress code to its students.
  4. To find out if the uniform can be helpful in saving clothing cost for university students.
  5. To find out if uniform prepares student for corporate life.
  6. To find out if uniform gives a sense of belongingness towards university.
  7. To find out if uniform makes students professionally ready.
  8. To find out the perception of students and teachers about having a uniform dress code.

Research Hypothesis

  1. Having a sense of oneness and and belongingness to alma mater is the prime reason behind having a dress code.
  2. Students will spend less time in getting ready for university and can consume doing something constructive instead.
  3. Introduction of uniform in university can create a very formal and healthy environment in it. There will be equality among all students.
  4. Uniform is helpful in saving clothing cost for university students.
  5. Uniform is very helpful in preparing a student for professional or corporate life.
  6. Uniform gives a sense of belongingness towrds university.
  7. Uniform makes a student professionally ready.
  8. The teachers and Students want the uniform to be introduced in university for students.

Review of Literature

Lane and colleagues (1996) reported that although the courts have issued “inconsistent and ambiguous” rulings on dress codes, “the federal courts consistently have upheld the school district’s right to establish regulations for the day-to-day operations of schools.”

Caruso and Siegal (1996) explored that Educators and the public are divided over the value of implementing school-uniforms policies in the public schools.

The viewpoints favouring the motion are: – the chief benefits of school uniforms say proponents are that they make school safer. Uniforms are said to reduce gang influence, minimize violence by reducing some sources of conflict and help to identify trespassers. Parents benefit because they are no longer pressured to buy the latest fashions, and they spend less on their children’s clothing.

The contrary views are: – Opponents contend that school uniform policies infringe upon students. First Amendment rights to freedom of expression interfere with student’s natural tendency to experiment with their identities are tools of administrative power and social control. It offers piecemeal approach to issues of racial and economic injustice and may discriminate among students from minority backgrounds.

Wilson (1998) investigated that the public school campuses of our nation are experiencing an unprecedented crises of violence and a shocking decline in academic achievement. Gang related violence and crime in the public schools continues to grow and challenge school administrators and students. Student attendance and dropout rates are alarming, as are the presence of drugs, weapons, and violence in many schools. As a reaction to this threat of violence, many school boards are currently enforcing mandatory dress codes. These codes prohibit students from wearing clothing that is identifiable as gang clothing such as bandanas, particular coloured handkerchiefs, college jackets, earrings and accessories. Some states have even passed laws that allow the public schools districts to mandate school uniforms.

Isaacson, Lynne (1998) investigated that ‘Eric digest’ on student public dress policy had an article which read this “In recent years, schools across the country have experienced violence, gang activity, and thefts of clothing and accessories, many school boards, mindful of their responsibility to provide safe school environment for students have implemented policies specifying dress codes for the wearing of uniforms.”

David (1998) investigated that claims are made on the positive impact of Dress code on variables like absenteeism, turnover, behaviour problems, academic achievement etc. But at times it felt that dress code has negotiable impact on these factors rather than those pronouncements by uniform proponents have raised strident objections and created a political climate in which public school uniforms have become highly contested.

Brown (1998) investigated on a survey of principals conducted by the National Association of Secondary School Principals found strong support for uniforms. Seventy percent of the 5,500 principals surveyed at NASSP’s 1996 annual conference said they believed “requiring students to wear uniforms to school would reduce violent incidents and discipline problems”. In addition to having a sense that uniforms may aid in violence prevention, many administrators “believe that uniforms will reduce discipline referrals, while improving attendance, achievement, self esteem, and school climate”

Brunsma, D.L and Rockquemore K (1998) claimed that Mandatory uniform policies have been the focus of recent discourse on public reform. Proponents of such reform measures emphasize the benefits the benefits of school uniforms on specific behavioural and academic outcomes. Tenth grade data from The National Educational Longitudinal Study of 1988 was used to test empirically the claims made by uniform advocates. The findings indicate that student uniforms have no direct effect on substance use, behavioural problems, or attendance. Contrary to current discourse, the authors found a negative effect of uniforms on student academic achievement. Uniform policies may indirectly affect school environments and student outcomes by providing a visible and public symbol of commitment to school improvement and reform.

NAESP (2000) The National Association of Elementary School Principals points out that uniforms once were the trademark of a private or parochial school; today “the number of public schools adopting uniforms and strong dress codes is growing annually”. In a national survey of elementary and middle school principals conducted by NAESP in May 2000, 10 percent of the 755 respondents “said that their schools already had adopted a uniform policy and another 11 percent were considering the concept”

DeMitchell, (2000) conducted a study on the principles of educational institutions who reported that their schools had a formal dress-code policies that usually prohibited halters, low- cut tops, tank tops, low riding pants, wallet chains, sunglasses, headgear, and exposed undergarments. Codes also often prohibited clothing with advertisements or depictions of drugs, alcohol, and tobacco products, r displays of offensive messages. Some codes contain requirements that hair is clean and well groomed, and that clothes be clean, neat and properly fastened.

Balakrishna (2010) conducted a study on women students who have had embarrassing encounters with the security guards at the college gates on account of so called immodest ways of dressing. If you are a college student in India’s Silicon city, be prepared for the security guards to stare you down if you aren’t ‘properly’ dressed. In fact, they can refuse student’s entry to students if they aren’t ‘decently’ attired. Worse, if your tank top doesn’t measure up to the outsourced guard’s morality, you will be fined. In Bangalore, college guards enforce dress code.

Cite this page

How Should Students Dress Up for College in India?. (2020, Sep 10). Retrieved from

How Should Students Dress Up for College in India?
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