A changing uniform for a changing world

SPONSORED: Schoolblazer is at the forefront of a move to relaxed and comfortable uniforms which look smart, as the company’s Co-Founder Tim James explains

It is well known that school uniforms create a sense of identity for pupils and provide a level playing field where students can focus on academic and sporting excellence rather than worrying about dressing to impress.

Increasingly uniform is seen as a key component of the school’s brand and ethos, allowing the school to project its values and identify.

When school uniform was first introduced in the 16th century the garments worn were designed to prepare their students for the world of work and society, with frock coats and hose being common. Some schools have retained this, whilst most evolved into a simpler blazer and grey trousers look after the Second World War. We are now in the middle of a new revolution. A recent study found that only 1 in 10 people wear a suit to work, with over 75% of offices adopting a casual dress code. The challenge is clear: to create a relaxed and comfortable uniform which looks smart and builds pride, whilst reflecting the less structured and more relaxed approach of the modern workplace.

There has been a real change over the last few years. We are able to show much more variation and innovation, and we’re seeing many of our ideas adopted

Schoolblazer, the leading uniform supplier to independent schools, have embraced this trend. Employing recent graduates from some of the UK’s leading fashion design courses, and working with the world’s leading textile suppliers, they have been at the forefront of the move to bring a new sense of style to uniform. Working closely with the school’s branding consultants and leadership teams, the garments are carefully created to reflect the school’s ideology and distinction.

The company then run extensive focus group research amongst pupils and parents. Whilst the changes have been subtle so far, the cumulative effects are large. Gone are the days of a simple navy blazer and badge. Instead the focus is on details, with jacquard linings and bespoke fabrics providing the school identity, and a move towards softer fabrics, such as tweed, pioneering the development of more relaxed tailoring.

Co-Founder Robin Horsell adds: “There has been a real change over the last few years. We are able to show much more variation and innovation, and we’re seeing many of our ideas adopted. We are excited by many of the new ideas our design team are presenting and are looking forward to sharing these with our schools.”

W: www.schoolblazer.com