1. JTheGreat
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    JTheGreat Contributing Member

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    School Uniforms: Cliched, or Expected?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by JTheGreat, May 19, 2010.

    Like it says in the title, this is an issue with me. In my story, all of the main teen characters attend a boarding school of sorts. If it were any other story, I'd give them all plaid and blazers without a second thought. Only problem with project is, it's set in sort of a medieval time. I know that in real medieval times university students weren't required to wear any specific garb, because they paid for their teachers. But there weren't ever any boarding schools in the Middle Ages, other than monasteries and nunneries. So if you were reading this story, would you want some sort of organized dressing style, or would you not care? Perhaps the school crest emblazoned on every piece of clothing?
     
  2. MissBelle
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    MissBelle Member

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    Well, when I read your post I thought of Harry Potter for some reason, maybe because it is fictional and seems like a different time period. They (at least in the movie) had uniforms. I don't know how big of a detail this is, but it would not seem odd for them to have some sort of dress code.
     
  3. Sami Rae
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    Sami Rae New Member

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    maybe fancier clothing than normal with the school crest. no uniform per say but its required to follows some rules, as to what kind of clothing is acceptable and what isn't. and every one has to have at least one school crest on their person at all times while on the school property
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, e.g. one of the oldest boarding schools in England is Winchester, and it's over 600 years old. The scholars (never call them 'students') wore loose gowns over their normal clothes like other early schools--where do you think the academic gown and 'mortar board' originates from?

    Ties, btw, are very important, much more important than symbols or crests, for showing which public school a person goes/went to, hence the expression 'old school tie'. You might like to play with that, although the wearing of ties is post-18th century, of course.

    Blazers with crests on them are more typical of 'prep schools' i.e. schools for children under 11. After that, they go on to their public school, and there are some bizarre outfits around. However, almost all school uniforms in old public schools nowadays are an innovation from the early or mid ninteenth century. Of course, there are no state boarding schools or 'military schools' in Britain (for under 16s) unless you count institutions for young offenders etc!
     
  5. charm101
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    charm101 New Member

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    Most of boarding school wear uniforms to give emphasis to the school. One of it is to recognize/represents an institution or a school. A piece of cloth emblems a uniqueness on one's foundation in an institution.
     
  6. Northern Phil
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    Northern Phil Active Member

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    Hi,
    This is an interesting one, a boarding school set in the middle ages.

    Most boarding schools in the middle ages were run by churchs and as such the students observed very strict dress codes and religous practices. They also observed vows of celibacy which means that there would be no interaction between the boys and the girls.

    It depends entirely on what you're going for. Are you doing a historically accurate piece or are you doing a more fantasy epic?

    If you're going for the historically accurate piece then you could ignore the boarding school and have your characters home schooled by one of the parents, in which case they would not have uniforms.

    Either way all characters will have to come from rich backgrounds as no one in the middle ages could afford to send their children to a boarding school unless they were a rich noble.
     
  7. ithestargazer
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    ithestargazer Active Member

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    it's your story, and like you said it wasn't like there were boarding schools back then so your ficticious school can have any sort of uniform you want, whether its a full attire, or simply some sort of school identifier like a tie or crest.
     
  8. Roland of Gilead
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    Roland of Gilead Member

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    I think that, like others have said, any boarding school back then would have been run by the Church and thus would require something monky or nunny (honestly don't know how else to describe them.) Though having characters dress themselves can say a lot about the character and provide a good way to get to know them a little bit better.
     
  9. rhen2006
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    rhen2006 New Member

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    I like the idea of a uniform. You could use it to show personality in your characters. The laid back character would keep his shirt untucked, the straight-and-narrow character would keep his/her clothes in perfect condition, etc. Yes, the examples I gave were generic and predictable, but you know what I mean.

    On the other hand, not having uniforms would show even more personality, but it can become a bit more complicated as a writer, figuring out what sort of clothing is fashionable and in style. So the dress code might be easier in that regard.
     

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