I used to not believe in uniforms.
I mean, come on, a pure-white horse with a horn sticking out of its forehead? How the heck could that be conducive to a peaceful, productive learning environment?
Over and over, my children explained, very patiently, that I had misheard. That what they had to wear to school every single day was a uniform. Not a unicorn.
(I say “patiently,” but they said it in the exasperated way that they always used to explain that the boat to the Toronto Islands really does exist, even though I told them I don’t believe in ferries.)
So for years, we pulled together various uniforms. A tunic thing in elementary school. Various colours of collared shirts and blouses, tops, bottoms. Kilts, kilt pins. Tights, socks, shoes.
(I have never understood – as a Jew who is just a wee bit Scottish by marriage – why Jewish girls’ schools are so drawn to kilts.)
The last year we bought uniforms in Canada (last year), we paid something like $60 each for 3/4 sleeve blouses. More or less. Skirts were probably around the same. Perhaps a bit more. My daughter literally never had enough uniforms; who can afford that kind of hit right before Rosh Hashanah, every single year.
And we only had one girl in uniforms at any given time – imagine if you had two, or three, or seven.
(Her school had a used-uniforms gemach, to give them out free, but we only managed to get anything worthwhile from it once.)
Israel has a slightly different take on school uniforms.