School uniforms and dress codes are intended to equalize students from different socioeconomic backgrounds, and ensure they’re wearing apping to school. But, while school uniforms have their benefits, one of their distinct drawbacks is that they can stifle kids’ self-expression and make them feel like they just don’t have the option to experiment with fun fashion and trends.

Fortunately, that’s not true. Just because everyone is wearing the same basic outfit doesn’t mean you can’t add some individual flair to your look. As long as you stick to the school’s uniform dress code, you can use accessories to bling out your school uniform and bag. 

Know Your School Dress Code

When it comes to adding personal flair to your school uniform, don’t start from a place of assuming you know what the school dress code allows. Most schools will allow students to accessorize their uniforms, but may have specific rules about what color shoes or socks your student can wear, or what kinds of jewelry are acceptable, or what hair colors are allowed. Get out the school handbook and go over the dress code rules with your student before you start personalizing your student’s school uniform. 

Spruce Up Your Backpack or Bag

While most schools that require uniforms ask students to wear specific garments in a narrow range of colors, often the rules don’t extend as far as to apply to backpacks, purses, and tote bags. Carrying a cute purse or tote can be a great way for your student to express himself or herself. You can dress up a backpack with enamel pins and buttons, tape and stickers, puff paint and markers, glitter, or iron-on embroidered patches. Buy your child a school bag in a solid color so that he or she has a blank canvas on which to express his or her individuality. 


Shoes, socks, and accessories are an easy way to help your child show off their personality while still adhering to school uniform rules. A bright, colorful pair of socks can add flair to a plain uniform, especially when they’re pulled all the way up. And, at schools where students are allowed to wear any shoes they want, kids can experiment with different shoe trends and styles, even going so far as to wear a different pair of shoes every day if they want.

Accessories are also a great way to add pizzazz to a boring school uniform. As long as your child’s school allows jewelry and hair accessories, then he or she is only limited by how much he or she wants to put on. Some kids wear only a single piece of jewelry, while many kids, girls especially, spice up their school uniforms with layered bangles and necklaces, rings on every finger, and hair accessories, too. Barrettes, scrunchies and other colorful hair ties, clips, and headbands can help your child add his or her own personality and style to the school uniform. accessories to

Experiment with Unique Hair Styles

Hair styles bring another avenue through which kids can express themselves while still wearing a school uniform, but it’s important to make sure your child’s new hairstyle is within the dress code guidelines for your school. Most schools will allow students to wear most of the more conservative hairstyles and natural colors, but more extreme styles, like mohawks, or bright colors, like blue and green, might be off limits.

On the other hand, they might not be! What’s more individualistic than a bright pink mohawk? Kids with long hair can experiment with new styles every day, including fancy braided styles like fishtail braidsFrench braids, and Dutch braids. A more casual style, like a messy bun or man bun, might suit a child with a more casual, laid-back personality. Even a simple ponytail can be jazzed up with a colorful hair tie.

Kids who like to wear their long hair down can also get on the self-expression train. Headbands, clips, and barrettes can make long hair look less plain and give kids an opportunity to show off some of their own special interests or favorite colors. 

Just because your child has to wear a uniform to school doesn’t mean that he or she can’t express himself or herself from 8:00 to 3:00 on weekdays. Kids all over the world find ways every day to express their individuality while wearing school uniforms. Whether it’s dressing up a plain backpack, pulling on a funky pair of socks, or doing your hair in a creative style, you, too, can help your kids express themselves without breaking school dress code rules.

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Last Update: Friday, 26th August 2022

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