The History Of School Uniforms

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countries. Consequently, clothing reform, which was advocated by reformers in 1898, was gradually accepted by the public and took its trend in militarization. As described by Antonia Finnane, the militarization of public costumes as a notion of enhancing China’s military power infiltrated the nation: In place of the long robe, male students began to don trousers and jacket,…Straw boaters or military peaked caps replaced the traditional round cap. School uniforms were often modeled directly on military uniforms, as was the case in Japan, and commercial suppliers of military uniform touted for custom among students. Furthermore, after the revolution, clothing reform took on the trend of simplification, which stemmed from the idea of militarization. Embroideries and trimmings were replaced by plain shirts, and bright colors on garments, especially student garbs, and were reduced to black, grey or white. A new clothing style called “Wenmingxinzhuang (civilized new clothes)” was popularized among female students. The plain blue or white shirt with wide sleeves and black skirt became the standard uniform in many schools throughout the country. Aside from the idea of raiment’s militarization, such simplification echoed 1898 reformers’ idea that traditional Chinese garments were overly complex. Conclusion From the time it was proposed in the late nineteenth century to its implementation in the twentieth century, clothing reform was endowed with different meanings and potential
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