I never wore a school uniform as a kid but I always wished I did (I’m sure it’s a grass is greener situation where kids who wear uniforms wish they didn’t). It’s not super common for American children to wear school uniforms unless they’re in certain private schools, but that’s not the case worldwide. These pictures of school uniforms from around the world will give you a glimpse of what it’s like to be a student in Europe or Asia or Africa.
From the vibrant green uniforms in Kenya, to Malaysian children who look like their flag, to children in the UK looking oh-so British, school uniforms can be a thing of beauty and give insight into a culture. Some studies even suggest that
students wearing uniforms listen more attentively, (perhaps because they’re not preoccupied by their peers’ fashion choices).
Regardless of 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 kid can’t get enough, check out what
school lunches look like across the globe). 1 American School Uniforms
Uniforms in America are mostly worn at private or Catholic schools (though most schools have some sort of dress code). Uniforms are often a solid polo or white button-up, paired with a plaid or solid neutral jumper, skirt, or pants.
2 Japanese School Uniform tokyo SOPA Images/LightRocket, Getty Images
This style of Japanese uniforms are known as “seifuku” and they’re similar to European-style naval uniforms. They typically have a bow and striped detail at the collar and a flat panel across the back. This
seifuku style is associated with junior high school and younger grades, per Learn Japanese 123, as older students typically wear plaid skirts or blazers and slacks. 3 French School Uniforms PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP, Getty Images School uniforms haven’t been required in France since 1968, per The Guardian, but some schools still have them in place, like this one in Asnieres-sur-Seine, outside Paris. The uniforms are generally casual, with sweaters and sweatshirts in a certain color scheme and a students’ choice of pants. 4 Kenyan School Uniforms Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket, Getty Images
Most school students in Kenya wear uniforms; in 2003 the government eliminated
uniform fees, per Poverty Action Lab, which made them for accessible for all. The uniforms are often in beautiful vibrant colors like this bright green with a pink collar. 5 British School Uniforms ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP, Getty Images
Almost all students in England wear a uniform to school. They look and style of the uniform will vary by school and by season, but generally it consists of khaki or gray bottoms with a blazer, and for girls, a skirt with a sweater (jumper as the Brits say) on top.
6 Pakistani School Uniforms Christian Ender/Getty Images News, Getty Images
It’s the norm to see students in uniforms in Pakistan. Sometimes
girls will wear a Salwar Kameez suit and boys will wear blue or brown trousers, per K12 Academics. Pictured above are Pakistani children in a Christian school. 7 Malaysian School Uniforms
All Malaysian students, regardless of whether they attend public or private institutions, will wear a uniform. Here, student uniforms mimic the colors of the country’s flag.
8 Spanish School Uniform Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
You won’t find all students wearing uniforms in Spain, though it is customary in most private or Catholic schools. Here Spanish royalty, Princess Leonor and Princess Sofia, arrive at school (in 2010) wearing a classic uniform consisting of a gray skirt, black sweater, and white collared shirt.
9 Russian School Uniforms Mikhail Aleksandrov/TASS, Getty Images
From 1994 to 2013 school
uniforms were not obligatory in Russia, per K12 Academic, but uniforms were reintroduced by a new education law in September 2013. Each school chooses their own uniform usually consisting of a solid or plaid bottom and a vest or collared shirt, and often girls wear white bows in their hair. 10 Chinese School Uniforms VCG/Visual China Group, Getty Images
It’s not unusual to see bright and fun uniforms in China, like these from the Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province (also can we talk about that amazing slide?). Some
Chinese uniforms come equipped with GPS tracking devices to let students and teachers know where students are, per Business Insider. 11 Indian School Uniforms Christian Ender/Getty Images News, Getty Images Study referenced: "School discipline, school uniforms and academic performance" Chris Baumann , Hana Krskova, International Journal of Educational Management, August 8, 2016