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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Uniform of Porfirio Díaz, about 1900

A uniform is a set of standard clothing worn by members of an organization while participating in that organization's activity. Modern uniforms are worn by armed forces and paramilitary organisations such as police, emergency services, security guards, in some workplaces and schools and by inmates in prisons. In some countries, some other officials also wear uniforms in their duties; such is the case of the Commissioned Corps of the United States Public Health Service or the French prefects. For some public groups, such as police, it is illegal for non members to wear the uniform. Other uniforms are trade dressed (such as the brown uniforms of UPS).


Service and work uniforms

Workers sometimes wear uniforms or corporate clothing of one nature or another, including but not limited to shop workers, bank and post office[1] workers, airline employees and holiday operators, and bar, restaurant and hotel employees. The use of uniforms by these organizations is often an effort in branding and developing a standard corporate image but also has important effects on the employees required to wear the uniform. The first service uniform registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office was the Playboy Bunny outfit (U.S. trademark number 762,884). However the term 'uniform' is misleading because employees are not always fully uniform in appearance and may not always wear attire provided by the organization, while still representing the organization in their attire. Academic work on organizational dress by Rafaeli & Pratt (1993) referred to uniformity (homogeneity) of dress as one dimension, and conspicuousness as a second. Employees all wearing black, for example, may appear conspicuous and thus represent the organization even though their attire is uniform only in the color of their appearance not in its features. Pratt & Rafaeli, (1997)described struggles between employees and management about organizational dress as struggles about deeper meanings and identities that dress represents. And Pratt & Rafaeli (2001) described dress as one of the larger set of symbols and artifacts in organizations which coalesce into a communication grammar.

  • Rafaeli, A. & Pratt, M. J. 1993. Tailored meaning: On the meaning and impact of organizational dress. Academy of Management Review, 18(1): 32-55.
  • Pratt, M. & Rafaeli, A. 1997. Organizational dress as a symbol of multilayered social identities. Academy of Management Journal, 40(4): 862-898.
  • Pratt, M. G. & Rafaeli, A. 2001. Symbols as a language of organizational relationships. Research in Organizational Behavior, 23: 93-13


Across the world uniforms are worn in many schools. School uniforms vary from a standard issue T-shirt to rigorous requirements for many items of formal wear at private schools. School uniforms are some times also used at public schools too.

Countries with mandatory school uniforms include Japan, India, Australia, Hong Kong and the United Kingdom, as well as many other places. In some countries uniform types vary from school to school, but in the UK many pupils between 11 and 16 of age wear a formal jacket, tie and trousers for boys and blouse, tie and trousers or skirt or culottes for girls. The ties will usually be in a set pattern for the school & jackets will usually carry a patch on the breast pocket with the school's coat of arms and motto or emblem and name. Jackets are being replaced in many schools by sweatshirts bearing the school badge. Children in many UK state primary schools will have a uniform jumper and or polo shirt with the school name and logo.


Most, if not all, professional sports teams also wear uniforms, made in the team's distinctive colors, often in different variations for "home" and "away" games. In the United Kingdom, especially in soccer, the terms "kit" or "strip" (as in 'football kit') are more common.

Security and armed forces

Military personnel or civilian officials generally wear several kinds of uniforms:

  • battledress, khakis;
  • dress uniform: worn at ceremonies, official receptions, and other special occasions; medals are typically worn.
  • everyday work uniform, often with abbreviated forms of embellishment (such as using duller buttons or replacing medals with ribbon bars);


Domestic workers

Domestic workers are often required by their employers to wear a uniform.

Uniform hygiene

In some countries or regions such as the UK, Australia or Hong Kong, the laundry expenses of working- uniform or clothing can be partially deducted or rebated from the personal income tax, if the organization for which the person works does not have a laundry department or an outsourced commercial laundry.[2][3]


The Scout uniform is a specific characteristic of the Scouting movement, in the words of Baden-Powell at the 1938 World Jamboree, "it covers the differences of country and race and make all feel that they are members one with another of one World Brotherhood". The original uniform, which has created a familiar image in the public eye, consisted of a khaki button-up shirt, shorts and a broad-brimmed campaign hat. Baden-Powell himself wore shorts as being dressed like the youth contributed to reducing distances between the adult and the young person. Nowadays, uniforms are frequently blue, orange, red or green, and shorts are replaced by long pants in areas where the culture calls for modesty, and in winter weather.

Uniform buttons

Some uniforms have specially-manufactured buttons, which, in the case of antiques, often outlast the fabric components of the uniform, and become highly collectable items.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Heidelbaugh, Lynn (03-01-2006). "Uniforms". Arago: People, postage & the post. USA: Smithsonian National Postal Museum. Retrieved 10 March 2010. 
  2. ^ HM Revenue & Customs. "SE67240 - Tax treatment of nurses: expenses deductions - laundering uniforms - amount to be deducted". Retrieved 1 November 2007. 
  3. ^ Australian Taxation Office. "Claiming a deduction for laundry/dry cleaning of work clothing". Retrieved 1 November 2007. 
  4. ^ Peach State Button Club (2010). "Uniform (Division II)". Button Country. Georgia, USA: Retrieved 11 March 2010. 


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also uniform




Uniform f. (genitive Uniform, plural Uniformen)

  1. uniform (distinctive outfit as a means of identifying members of a group)

Simple English

File:Japanese school uniform
Japanese school children wearing uniform

Uniforms are special clothes to show that a group of people belong together. The group of people will all be dressed in the same way ("uni" means "one" so the word means "one form").

People may wear uniforms for several reasons. The uniform will help the people to feel a team spirit so that they work well together. They may also help members of the public to know who they are, e.g. in a department store a customer can tell who is a member of staff, or in the street people will recognize a police officer. Uniforms may also be worn because they are practical, e.g. it might keep them safe when operating machinery or keep them clean when doing their work.

In the army soldiers wear uniform. They also wear extra things such as badges on their uniform which show how important they are (what rank they are).

Nurses in hospitals wear uniform. Sometimes servants wear uniform when working for their employers. Important domestic workers may wear special smart uniforms called "livery" e.g. porters (doormen) at luxury hotels.

In some countries such as India, Japan, China, Korea, Australia and United Kingdom many school children wear uniform. The uniform would be a set of clothes with the school crest or symbol. It helps them to feel proud of their school and children from rich families and poor families all look the same. In Britain, for example, most young children wear school uniform. In state schools the children may wear polo-necked T shirts with a school logo. Other schools, especially private schools, may have a formal uniform, or they may be free to choose their own clothes so long as they are the school colour.

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