School uniforms get nip and tuck

23:38, Jul 25 2014
GET IT RIGHT: Raymond Gray and his daughter, Eveane Tuetue-Gray, 14, a student at Burnside High School, buy uniform garments at Mainland Uniforms.

Christchurch pupils are determined not to let their school uniform get in the way of fashion.

Boys are altering their regulation trousers to get that "skinny" look and girls are increasingly looking for tighter-fitting blouses.

Mainland Uniforms manager Carolyn Rhodes said the company tried to make the uniforms as fashionable as possible but had to abide by school regulations.

She knew of one entrepreneurial pupil who had been using his mother's sewing machine to take in friends' trousers so they could look "skinny".

"The boys do take more attention in how they look now than they did five to 10 years ago. The boys do spend more time in front of the mirror."

Skirt length was always an issue for girls, Rhodes said.


Shirley Boys' High School acting headmaster Neil Haywood said a recent survey of pupils found they wanted a more corporate look, especially seniors.

"They want the opportunity to wear their long pants and business shirts a bit more."

They also wanted the blazer to look a little more business-like, Haywood said.

Almost half the pupils said they hated the socks (45 per cent) and 34 per cent said they found them uncomfortable to wear.

The school has formed a uniform committee to create a new design, which will be introduced to coincide with the school's move to new premises.

Mairehau High School deputy principal Mark Bell said his pupils were quite conservative but there was always a minority who tried getting around the rules.

Some boys tucked their skinny trousers into their socks but most of the students wore their uniform with pride, he said.

"A small minority want to do what is trendy and fashionable now."

Hornby High School deputy principal Karen Wheeler said the school introduced a new uniform five years ago and chose a classical style, rather than a fashionable one.

"You'll always get students wanting to push the boundaries - that's their job - but I'm really pleased with the way our children wear their uniform."

Hornby High School year 10 pupil Connor Robottom, 14, said he always rolled his shorts up over his knees because "it looks better like that".

Burnside High School pupil Eveane Tuetue-Gray, who was this week shopping for a blouse with her dad, admitted to rolling her summer skirt up but not as high as some girls.

The Press