Senior students initially miffed about losing mufti privileges at Westlake Girls High School are now loving their smart new look.
A brand new uniform has been introduced at the all girls school this year, a change principal Roz Mexted has wanted to see from her first day on the job.
"We want our girls to look like a decile nine, high performing school, because that's what they are," she says.
And along with the new-look uniform comes the end of mufti for year 13 students, a privilege that has been part of the school for decades.
Head prefect Zoe Cronin says there was originally a bit of disappointment from the seniors in losing the mufti but the majority of the girls are now excited about putting on the new uniform.
Ms Mexted says it's great not having girls in mufti and that it was a "no-brainer" when they were doing a revamp.
"As the incoming principal one thing came across loud and clear to me," she says.
"I was getting feedback from students saying whenever they represented the school they did not feel great about the uniform, they were a bit embarrassed of it."
A uniform overhaul was also on her priority list at her previous post as headmistress of Nga Tawa Diocesan School.
She updated the "hideous brown number' the girls were wearing and it made a huge difference to the school morale, she says. And the design of the uniform was not something Ms Mexted took lightly.
Students voted on five options with the two most popular choices
being taken on board as the middle and senior school uniforms.
Wearing a tie was made optional for all year levels yet 97 per cent of girls got one, she says.
Keeping the uniform affordable was also of great importance, says Ms Mexted, with the entire ensemble of the new attire including a blazer costing less than the old one.
Deputy head girl Bronwyn Kjestrup says she's already received compliments on her uniform by someone riding the bus with her.
Others say they'd had compliments from students at nearby schools.
The majority of North Shore's public secondary schools still allow mufti privileges for year 13 students.
At Birkenhead College, Glenfield College, Northcote College and Rangitoto College year 13 students do not have to wear a uniform but must adhere to a dress code.
Like Westlake Girls High School, Takapuna Grammar took away senior student mufti when they introduced their new uniform in 2006.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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