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School Uniforms Are the New Black

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A subtrope of Limited Wardrobe.

Schools that require their students to wear uniforms are a common sight around the world. Given that Changing Clothes Is a Free Action doesn't apply in Real Life, it's not surprising to see students lounging around malls and shopping centers wearing them, as it shows that they just got out of school. However, there are certain characters out there who, even on their days off, will still choose to forgo their chance to wear casual clothes and instead wear their standard school clothes. A common explanation for this is that the student can't afford any other outfits and only has the uniform to wear, but that is not always the case. Another reason could be an individual's desire to show that they are part of a group. There have even been cases where schools require their students to wear their uniforms even outside of class. Or maybe they're just that damn comfy.


Of course, this is sometimes done with Fanservice in mind, since uniforms are very often appealing to fetish. (See also Catholic School Girls Rule, Sailor Fuku.) School uniforms are also a part of the Gyaru Girl (specifically kogal) fashion style, so characters who wear them all the time may be part of that subculture.

During a Beach Episode, the most strait-laced female member of the cast will typically be depicted wearing a school-issue swimsuit rather than a more daring bikini. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule.

Can overlap with Transfer Student Uniforms when a student continues to wear his/her old uniform at a new school that doesn't have one.

Compare Non-Uniform Uniform.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Arata: The Legend has Hinohara, who has yet to dress himself in more practical traveling clothes. Kadowaki is later guilty of it as well, refusing to wear what he calls "cosplay."
  • Bleach:
    • Averted with the high school characters: while they all wear uniforms for class and school-sponsored extracurriculars, they wear street clothes at home. Even the Shinigami have street clothes to wear off-duty. Tite Kubo really doesn't like the Limited Wardrobe trope. He reportedly wanted to go into fashion or design, according to some interviews back in '06.
    • Vizard Yadomaru Lisa wears a (modern) school uniform, despite having been dead for over a century. Since her time as a Shinigami was spent as Kyoraku Shunsui's lieutenant, though, maybe it's just habitual. Not to mention she isn't that different from Kyoraku, maybe even worse, given that she likes to peep on other people's matters and reads pornographic magazines in public with absolutely no shame.
  • In Cardcaptor Sakura, it is mentioned that Sakura's mother got married while wearing her school uniform. Justified, as the marriage was an Elopement, due to heavy Parental Marriage Veto.
  • Justified in A Certain Scientific Railgun. Tokiwadai Academy insists that its students wear their uniforms at all times, even when not in school, so it's rare to see Kuroko and Mikoto wearing anything else, and even Mikoto's many clones all wear the Tokiwadai uniform to avoid getting the original in trouble in case they're mistaken for her. Saten and Uiharu, who attend a school with less restrictive rules, are seen in casual clothes more often. The only time Mikoto is not wearing school uniform (outside holidays) is when she's committing terrorism to stop the Level 6 Shift Project. She even rents a hotel room just to change clothes!
  • Everyone who wears a school uniform in Code:Breaker rarely changes into normal clothes, even if said uniform is just a cover.
  • Lelouch vi Britannia of Code Geass usually wears either his school uniform or his superhero Zero costume (though he does have one "street clothes" outfit that he wears from time to time). In fact, he was even wearing his school uniform at the end of R2 episode 21, when he arranged a live, international broadcast at the Britannian capital's throne room, sat down in the throne, and calmly announced in front of a huge crowd of nobles and royals that he was the new emperor now that he had murdered the old one. Of course, it does help that his uniform would be seen as a status symbol, since Ashford Academy is mostly attended by affluent Britannians. It might also make people let down their guard, because how dangerous could a high school student really be? As well, the Royal Guard leader who found Lelouch in the first episode correctly identified Lelouch as a Britannian student in the ghetto before trying to kill him, so it likely helps students get by if they're ever outside the settlements.
  • Kamiyama from Cromartie High School wears his school uniform even when going out for shopping and stopping local gangsters with his super powered Mechazawa Motorcycle Hell. Every other character does the same (except, obviously, if they don't usually wear school uniforms). The only time we see any of the student characters out of uniform is when Hokuto wakes up at his home - he's in his PJs.
  • Daily Lives of High School Boys zigzags this trope. The main trio wears their school uniform even it's summer vacation or Christmas—but there were a few scenes in High School Boys and Summer Memories skit when they wore casual clothes. This trope was also invoked once in High School Boys and Summer Plans when Hidenori asked Karasawa to wear school uniforms to join a meeting on vacation planning in which the other participants are already wearing school uniforms.
  • Mayu of Death Parade is sent to Quindecim (a place that decides where to send human souls) in her school uniform so they're the only clothes she's seen in most of the time.
  • El-Hazard: The Magnificent World both averts and justifies it. While the initial series plays it straight, in later series, Makoto is wearing native clothing. Jinnai continues to wear his school uniform, but this may simply be because, living with the Bugrom, getting new clothing is too much of a hassle.
  • Rin Tohsaka from Fate/stay night skips school to show Archer around the city. Despite being the heiress to a rather wealthy family (and the truancy accusations wearing a uniform would presumably invite), she still chooses to wear her school uniform for this outing. Reversed in the rest of the game, where she wears a red sweater, a miniskirt, and some delicious Grade S Zettai Ryouiki when not at school.
  • Atsunobu Hayashimizu from Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, to the point he wears it even at the beach! This actually also fall under Custom Uniform as his white gakuran is nowhere near the regulations of Jindai High.
  • Miaka and Yui in Fushigi Yuugi, though in the manga it's actually a plot point: As long as they both wear the uniform, each one is aware of what's going on with the other in the book.
  • Twins Sara and Sojyu of Futakoi Alternative are rarely seen out of their primary outfits, which appear to be school uniforms. School is rarely ever mentioned in the series, and never shown. They even spend an entire Sunday lounging about in their uniforms.
  • Yuki Nagato from Haruhi Suzumiya almost always wears her school uniform; justified, because her being a Fish out of Water, in the first chapters she still has to learn about human fashion. It should be noted that she was wearing that same uniform three years before she even started at the school.
  • Kagome of Inuyasha frequently strolls around in modern-day school outfit in feudal Japan.
    • Of special note is one moment from the first movie; she's about to return to the past wearing a miko outfit which is definitely period-appropriate, seeing as how she was given it while she was in the past. Her mother makes a point of stopping her right before she jumps into the well specifically to hand her a newly-cleaned school uniform to change into.
    • In the anime, Kagome doesn't wear her school uniform on her first planned excursion through the well, but more practical clothes. Fans complained, and all subsequent journeys would be in her school uniform.
    • And as it turned out, it caused a Stable Time Loop. Her legendary exploits, all done in her school uniform, led to the invention of the Sailor Fuku in the first place.
    • Rumiko Takahashi said in an interview (with her tongue firmly planted in her cheek, no doubt) that Kagome prefers to wear her uniform because it's durable and easy to clean.
  • Jotaro Kujo and Noriaki Kakyoin of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure insist on wearing their uniforms on a cross-Asia road trip: "We're students, so we should look like students." Jotaro even manages to get a replacement jacket specially woven in Pakistan when he lost his original one against ZZ during Wheel of Fortune, while Kakyoin sunbathed in his off-screen.
    • Later this becomes extremely prevalent in Part 4, where the large majority of the characters are highschoolers, and almost never take off their Custom Uniforms. The only real exceptions from under this rule are Koichi and Yukako, who wear casual street outfits on several occasions, but the rest of the cast are repeat offenders of this trope. In particular, Josuke doesn't even take his uniform off at home, which earned him a lampshade by his mom.
  • Averted for the most part in Kaguya-sama: Love is War, but played completely straight with Shirogane, who doesn't wear any other outfit outside of his house until chapter 119. Justified since his single father is unemployed, so anything that he would spend on clothing instead goes towards supporting his family.
  • Let's not forget the episode of Kaze no Stigma that featured Ayano having trouble deciding to wear on her Not-Date with Kazuma. Her choices were three identical school uniforms.
  • Justified in Kill la Kill since Ryuko's literally only outfit is her living weapon/school uniform Senketsu plus some pajamas. The outfit she was wearing before she found him got shredded when she put him on.
  • Kyo Kara Maoh!: Gunter has several uniforms made after Yuuri shows up in his school uniform, simply because it's black. (Black being a significant color symbolizing Yuuri's power.) So, Yuuri ends up with both black and his uniform.
  • In Lyrical Nanoha, Nanoha's Barrier Jacket design is based on the school uniform she wore when she was 9 years old, so in a way, she continues wearing her school uniform in battle well into her adulthood.
  • It's implied that the extremely poor Asami from Mahoraba doesn't OWN any clothes other than her school uniforms. She always wears them, even switching to gym clothes when it's too hot for the normal uniform.
  • Misaki Ayuzawa from Maid-Sama! wears the school swimsuit during the Beach Episode because she couldn't afford anything else. Eventually the manager of the Maid-Latte Maid Cafe gives her a spare outfit.
  • In My-Otome, the girls of Garderobe Academy are required to wear their uniforms everywhere. In one episode, Arika's briefly goes missing, believed to have been stolen and/or sold on the black market, since Otome merchandise is a very hot commodity. There are some exceptions, such as when Akane's on a date with Kazuya or when Nao's part of the Stripes gang, activities that they don't want to be associated with them as Otomes in training.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
    • Setsuna is one of the few girls who doesn't change out of her school uniform when hanging outside of class. She actually finds wearing casual clothes a little embarrassing since she's the businesslike type.
    • Kotarou, who mentioned that his school uniform is his fighting outfit. He clearly lives with few possessions.
    • Sayo Aisaka wears her school uniform perpetually, because of the fact that she's dead. Since she died some unspecified time in the past, her uniform is different to that of the rest of the school.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Shinji Ikari will wear his school uniform even when he goes out at night to wander the streets of Tokyo-3. Whenever there's some sort of vision that isn't an Out-of-Clothes Experience, like while deciding the fate of the world or rejecting Instrumentality and ending up on the beach, Shinji will be wearing his school uniform.
    • Rei Ayanami always wears her plugsuit or school uniform, but it's plausible she literally doesn't own any other clothes.
    • Mari in Rebuild of Evangelion wears a school uniform the one time we see her in something other than her plugsuit.
    • In a ridiculous extension, the third Rebuild movie has Shinji and Kaworu walk around in school uniforms even when they live in a post-apocalyptic wasteland where there hasn't been a school on this planet for over a decade. May serve to highlight Shinji's status as a Fish out of Temporal Water.
  • Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan: Big Bad Hagoromo Gitsune takes it literally and beyond:
    I will fill this world with something pure. Pure black, like these black eyes, this black hair, and black clothes...
  • In Princess Tutu, Rue and Mytho are rarely seen outside of their school uniforms, even when we often see other students from the school in casual outfits on their days off. For Rue, it's probably because she's the daughter of the Raven, and probably doesn't have any human clothes outside of her school stuff and the outfit she wore for the festival, for Mytho it could just be because Fakir didn't want to bother. Autor is also never seen in anything but his school uniform.
  • Kyousuke Hyoubu in Psychic Squad is often criticized by some people (particularly his comrades from his terrorist organization) for wearing the gakuran school uniform all the time, which is sometimes seen as a sign of his childishness. In a supplemental 4-panel strip, we find out that before that he used to wear his old WWII air force uniform, switching to the school uniform after repeated requests from his comrades to start wearing civilian clothes. (Which gakuran technically is, but notice that it still has a military look!) The only time he attempted to wear casual clothes, when going on a date with The Children and on explicit request from his comrades, a pretty messy Clothing Damage happened, which made his comrades give up and let him keep wearing the school uniform.
  • When the girls of Puella Magi Madoka Magica aren't in their Magical Girl outfit they're in their school uniform. Except Kyouko, who doesn't go to school (not that she has anymore variety). There are some exceptions, since Madoka appears wearing her pajamas in episode 6 and Homura uses casual clothing in the last chapter of the manga (she still uses the school uniform in the anime though). Homura's Magical Girl outfit looks really like a school uniform. You might mistake that she never transforms at all because of its appearance. It becomes truly ridiculous in Episode 7; Sayaka decides to skip school due to certain recent events, but when Kyouko calls her out for a talk, she wears her uniform anyway. In the manga, however, she wears a casual outfit.
  • The protagonists of Rosario + Vampire hardly wear anything other than their uniforms, regardless of how customized they are. When they visit Mizore's home village, since the weather is snowy, the others prepare for the cold... by adding scarves to their uniforms.
  • The princes in The Royal Tutor are always wearing rather anachronistic school uniforms, and two of them never even went to school.
  • In Saki, the high school-age girls are most often seen in their uniforms, even outside of class. It's somewhat justified as far as the tournament goes, since they're representing their schools (Senriyama's Hiroko makes Sera change into her uniform for matches, which results in Ako getting the idea to get Shizuno to do the same) in tournaments, although it doesn't seem to be an official rule, as not all of them do that. Eisui's players wear Miko robes, while Ryuumonbuchi's players wear their own clothes to the point where it could be considered an inversion; they have never been seen wearing school uniforms, and the fact that they don't is referenced in Saki Biyori.
  • The characters in School-Live! near constantly wear their uniforms. It's justified in that the zombie outbreak happened right after school ended and thus they were in their uniforms. They go clothes "shopping" later on (they check out an abandoned mall) but still don't change clothes for much other than sleeping. The girls constantly wearing uniforms is lampshaded by Kurumi, who jokes that school uniforms are the ultimate formalwear for all occasions (even funerals).
  • Karasuma in School Rumble does this as another major part of his overall oddness. Lampshaded. Though all his clothes look alike, his casual clothes have different patterns on the inside.
  • In Shinmai Shinmai No Futari Gohan, Ayari's school expects her to wear the uniform when going out, so she wears it when going out to the movies with her stepsister Sachi.
  • Maka of Soul Eater is almost always seen wearing some kind of school uniform - be it at school itself, when out on missions (coupled with her signature black longcoat) or just hanging out. She also gets a much snazzier new choice of uniform when Spartoi is formed. Soul Eater Not! shows there's a very liberal attitude to uniforms at Shibusen, and students can wear whatever they want, but it is a fashion of sorts to design your own school-uniform-type outfit and wear that every day. Given the potentially abrupt and far-ranging nature of school activities, it may also be convenient for students to be able to plausibly argue to random authorities they are students, which would somewhat justify a policy aimed at encouraging them to "look like they could be with the DWMA" at all times.
  • During the early chapters of Takeo-chan Bukkairoku, Takeo wears only her school's winter uniform and states outright it is the only clothing she owns. Her reasons for not owning more are because her Born Unlucky status causes the various misfortunes that befall her to ruin any other clothing. In the case of the uniform, it's black so it's not obvious when it gets dirty due to her mishaps while the long sleeves also provide some protection for her arms. When the youkai she lives with realize this, they take steps to alleviate the curse that causes her misfortune enough that she can at least wear other clothing freely. Following that chapter, and thanks to her housemates giving her clothes as gifts, Takeo wears a wider variety of clothing afterward.
  • Hitomi from The Vision of Escaflowne wears her school uniform despite being on a completely different world. Justified in that the only other clothes she has with her are her running clothes. However, given the amount of action she sees, her sweats might have been a more practical choice of dress.
  • Invoked in Wandering Son. The two transgender protagonists frequently wear school uniforms (a Sailor Fuku given by Takatsuki to Nitori and a hand-me-down gakuran from his brother for Takatsuki) outside of school to pass, even though they start the series as elementary schoolers and didn't even wear uniforms yet. As the manga goes on this is subverted as they buy more female and male clothing respectively.
  • In X1999, all the characters who are just high school students will be depicted wearing school uniform. Always. Even fighting. And they all look awesome! Except, for some reason, for Sorata. It's even commented on that he doesn't!
  • Yugi from Yu-Gi-Oh! always wears a variation of his school uniform during the various card game tournaments he competes in. This is lampshaded in the manga. When told he doesn't have to wear his uniform at the weekend, his response is "why not?", and he appears to be genuinely puzzled by the concept. Interestingly, the first time he DOES wear casual clothes in the anime (during the group's game against Otogi/Duke), no one says a word about it. The Abridged Series mocks this (which should come as no surprise, since it mocks everything else) in episode 22. The episode is half-way over before Yugi thinks to himself, "Isn't anyone going to notice that I'm not wearing my school uniform?"
  • Mostly justified in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, since Duel Academy is on an island, and sometimes when the students spontaneusly find themselves in a different dimension, they wear their uniforms. However, why was Kaiser/Zane wearing his school uniform in the Duelist League after graduating from Duel Acadamy? (He ditches this for a black coat, anyway.)
  • Averted in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, where only Aki and the twins are students and only wear their uniforms during school, and Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, where the students wear their casual clothes more often than their school uniforms.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V:
    • Played with Yuya. The only cloth of his school uniform he is always wearing in- and outside school is his jacket which he wears as a Coat Cape.
    • Yuzu wears a Non-Uniform Uniform. She wears it all the time until the climax of the first season, where she switches her clothes with Serena, who is wearing her uniform as well. After that, Yuzu keeps switching outfits throughout the series.
    • Sawatari and his three lackeys seem to wear their uniforms everywhere.
    • Most of Academia's students wear their uniforms everywhere. This is justified since their school uniforms double as military uniforms.
  • Before the The Dark Tournament, Yusuke, Kuwabara, and Kurama of Yu Yu Hakusho would go everywhere in their school uniform. This includes joining a contest to become the pupil of an Old Master in the mountains, attacking the castle of demons intending to take over the human world, and raiding the mansion of a evil rich guy to rescue a Mysterious Waif. Yusuke is an interesting example in that his 'uniform' is not in fact the school uniform since he specifically wears the wrong color as a form of rebellion.

    Comic Books 
  • Happy Kitty from Christos' Gage's Absolution is a rare western comic book example.
  • The identical yellow and black outfits worn by the X-Men before they "graduate" from Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters is a superhero version of this trope.
    • The Stepford Cuckoos, as the Three-in-One, often wear various prep school uniforms, even though the School doesn't require its students to do so.
  • Jules from Bazooka Jules wears a school uniform despite her school not having a dress code. By her account it apparently helps her get better grades.
  • Edwin Paine, one of the eponymous Dead Boy Detectives (a spinoff of Neil Gaiman's Sandman series) wears his St. Hilarion's uniform when solving mysteries. Then again, he did die in it, so he might not have a choice in the matter.
  • In SpyBoy, Spygirl spends most of her time in her sailor fuku school uniform (although it is possible that this is a costume from her TV show and not a real school uniform). Either way, this is her standard outfit till she transfers to Alex's school and starts wearing casual clothes to blend in.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Holldiay College students might not have an actual uniform but almost every one of them is always—except at costume parties—depicted in either a school jersey or school sweater. The only ones that aren't are those in band, and besides Etta who wears a jersey outside of band, the band gals are always wearing their band uniforms both in and outside of school.

  • A few characters in Despair's Last Resort are only wearing their old high school uniforms or at least pieces of them.
  • Doing It Right This Time hangs a lampshade on Shinji's canon dress sense by having Asuka ask him if he actually owns any clothes other than white button-up shirts and black trousers.
    Shinji (defensively): I have a look that works.
  • Kyon was falling into this constantly for a while during Kyon: Big Damn Hero, but managed to escape it by getting a Badass Longcoat and skinsuit... thing.
    • Haruhi actually uses this exact wording about Yuki.
  • Downplayed by Misty in Pokémon: Clefairy Tales. She normally doesn't wear her Squirtle Scout uniform unless she must, generally preferring a yellow tank top and jean shorts, though she will invariably show up in uniform when invited to a formal event such as the S.S. Anne party.
  • In Velma Dinkley's Beginning, Velma's trademark clothing turns out to be her old uniform she gets stuck wearing on her first day at her new school, because the rest of her clothes haven't been unpacked yet since the move.

  • Gogo Yubari from Kill Bill is only ever seen wearing a school uniform. She's intended as a parody of certain other tropes.
  • The daughter in The Purge bizarrely decides to hang around in her school uniform even though she's home and it's nearly dark when the movie starts. Might have been because her boyfriend snuck in, and she thought he'd like it, but it really isn't practical given how the whole night is all about survival.
  • Maruti along with the other students from The Return of Hanuman. Maruti wears it all the time, he even sleeps in it.
  • Babydoll from Sucker Punch.
  • Rare Western Example: Andrew from World's Greatest Dad is only seen in his school uniform, even outside of school. Director Bobcat Goldthwait mentions on the commentary this is because Andrew dislikes going home [to change] to avoid his alcoholic mother.


  • The Harry Potter series doesn't really describe what the characters are wearing outside of class, but it can be assumed that they're wearing their school robes (or at least some sort of robes). The movies except the first avert this by having them wear muggle clothing everywhere, even the pure-bloods who have no concept of what muggles would wear. This is because when WB did market research after the first one, they found out that general audiences didn’t like the uniforms/robes.
  • The straitlaced Yo-less in the Johnny Maxwell Trilogy wears his school uniform when hanging around with Johnny and his mates. In fact, he's the only kid who ever wears the school uniform, which Wobbler says means it isn't really a uniform, and he should be sent home for not wearing a T-shirt and jeans.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In American Dreams, the youngest son, Will, tended to wear his Catholic school uniform all day. Partly justified by the fact that his polio and leg brace would make it difficult to change pants in the middle of the day- but that doesn't explain keeping the tie on.
    • The same was true of Meg, J.J. and Patty but not to the same extent.
  • The two younger kids in black•ish, but not the older kids as the school drops uniforms after a certain grade level (presumably this is accurate for at least some LA-area private schools...)
  • When Degrassi had uniforms, the scenes at The Dot after school had the place awash with teenagers in khakis and jellybean-colored polos.
    • Season 12 features a storyline in which Zig is still wearing the once-regulation khakis in school after uniforms were abolished, because his family couldn't afford to replace a still-usable pair of pants.
    • Clare started at Degrassi after attending a Christian private school, but left her old school uniform on for a year before getting new clothes.
  • In classic Doctor Who one of the Fifth Doctor's companions, Turlough, is introduced as an English schoolboy. It's soon revealed that he's not what he seems and he joins the Doctor in his travels through time and space...but never removes the uniform! (except once, memorably, to trade it in for some hot pants and a speedo.) After his first story, though, his invented story as a schoolboy is never brought up again, and as Turlough doesn't come across as school-age, the rest of his tenure sees him as a young adult in a suit.
  • In Gilmore Girls Rory is seen very often in her Chilton outfit, even when she's lounging around Stars Hollow and presumably has had time to change. She likes wearing it because she doesn't have to think about what she's going to wear.
  • A slight variation in Glee is the cheerleaders wearing their uniforms all day every day. At many high schools, cheerleaders wear their uniforms to classes on game days, but not other days, and not outside of school.
    • Don't forget the Warblers, who don't dress down even when school's out.
    • Although it tends to vary for the Warblers; it seems as though they wear their uniforms during all performances, even at night or on the weekends (like Silly Love Songs or the GAP Attack) and/or if the other performers are in costume, but Blaine and Kurt both dress down for Rachel's party.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze has the transfer student variant. Until the change of seasons necessitated other clothing, we never see him out of it, even during an outing to a karaoke bar after hours. It also counts as a Non-Uniform Uniform since it comes with a different Fun T-Shirt each time.
  • Outnumbered zigzags this. It depends on what day of the week it is.

  • AC/DC's lead guitarist, Angus Young, tried a number of different stage costumes before settling on his Ashfield Boys High School uniform at the suggestion of his sister.
  • The Hives are famous for performing in matching outfits with a black-and-white colour scheme which have included school uniforms with blazers featuring a crest with a prominent H. British TV host, Jonathon Ross described the look as "half rock band, half Hogwarts Sixth Form outing".
  • In My Chemical Romance's "I'm Not Okay" video, they wore school uniforms. Literally, the new black, because otherwise, those dudes wear a lot of black.
  • The late Chrissy Amphlett became infamous for her stage costume, a school uniform that did not hide the tops of her stockings very effectively.
  • The J-Pop group Sakura Gakuin has school uniforms as their costumes. Justified that they're a school-themed group.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Shadowrun: Teenaged shadowrunner /dev/grrl wears her school uniform on runs.

    Video Games 
  • Academagia: During the school year, all students are required to were clearly identifiable school uniforms basically everywhere but their rooms. Furthermore, each college has its own variation on design and color scheme. The main reason for this is to assuage the understandable concerns the general populace and government of Mineta, over the hundreds of potentially mischievous and/or incompetent magic-users-in-training in their midst.
  • Jimmy Hopkins from Bully frequently visits the town near his school in his school uniform during his days off. Of course this is mainly attributed to the player choosing to do so as opposed to the character.
  • Alyssa in Clock Tower 3 wears a school uniform through most of the game. She has alternate costumes, but they're a little creepy. Especially for a 14 year old.
  • In the earlier Harry Potter video games, the student characters wore their Hogwarts uniforms at all times. Even while hanging out at the Burrow or shopping in Diagon Alley.
  • A staple of the Persona series, used to emphasize that the protagonists are (or at least, used to be) Ordinary High School Students caught up in events caught up in events that are way over their heads. They will usually stick to the uniforms for the entire adventure, and can you blame them when those uniforms are that stylish?
    • In the first Persona game, this is justified since the Zombie Apocalypse leaves them no time for a reasonable wardrobe change. But since they're stylish, who's complaining?
    • Persona 2: Innocent Sin, high school characters keep their uniforms on throughout the game, despite getting plenty of opportunities to change. In Eternal Punishment, Tatsuya finally ditches the uniform for a stylish red tracksuit though.
    • As SEES from Persona 3 is technically a school club, the crew wear their school uniforms for club related activities, complete with a red "SEES" armband. Though in this case, "club related activities" means hunting shadows, planning and executing missions, and other things that are defiantly not normal extracurricular activities. It does add a sense of professionalism to the whole thing, and their stylishness cannot be argued.
    • Justified (or at least Hand Waved) in Persona 4 where the Investigation Team wear their uniforms as a means of concealing their activities. Since the safest entrancenote  to the TV World lies within the local department store, they can't exactly carry their weapons and armor out in the open (in fact, Yosuke and the Protagonist got arrested for doing just that). They come up with the solution to use their school gear to smuggle it in, and to avoid unwanted attention. Of course, the uniforms are still very stylish.
    • While Persona 5 mostly averts this trope, you can play it straight in the dungeons by equipping your party with not just your school's uniforms, but the ones from previous Persona games (and even Shin Megami Tensei if...) as well.
  • Kyo from The King of Fighters has entered various competitions while wearing his school uniform. Shingo Yabuki does so as well but that's more attributed to the fact that he wants to emulate Kyo as much as he can.
    • From KOF '99 and onward, he changes his outfit, but his numerous clones wear his old school uniform.
    • Funnily enough, despite his uniform being considered an iconic part of his character, Kyo left school without graduating.
  • Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army: Raidou always wears his school uniform, even when going out and fighting demons. What's that? In the Yakuza-run bath house, he's naked and thus does not wear the uniform? Heh, nope. He keeps the hat. So he's always wearing at least a piece of the uniform.
  • The cast from Senran Kagura wear their school uniforms wherever they go (unless you change their costumes), even when being on a mission, unless they activate Shinobi Transformation... besides Homura, whose transformation is to just wear wrist guards with her school uniform. She and the rest of her group change to different set of casual costumes, with Homura gaining a new Shinobi Transformation costume, once they abandon their school. Given that most of the cast is to varying degrees pretending to be normal high school students, this is probably policy: as individuals many of them have an abnomal upbringing and need constant reminder of their cover, and in groups wearing matching school uniforms goes a long way towards explaining the presence in a random location of a group of teenage girls... especially during school hours.
  • Alessa Gillespie in Silent Hill is never seen in something other than her school uniform.
  • Filia in Skullgirls is always seen in her uniform, as she's homeless and it's likely the only clothing she has.
  • In Splatoon one of the reward of the Amiibo challenges is the possibility of dressing your Inkling in a school uniform. It comes with a standard ability (Ink Recovery up) plus two empty slots.
  • Sakura from Street Fighter has become quite famous for entering martial arts tournaments in her school uniform. Even in Street Fighter IV where she travels abroad to visit Ken she's still wearing one as she now uses it as her fighting uniform. Finally averted in Street Fighter V, where she has graduated from high school and no longer wears her uniform.
  • Reisen Udongein Inaba from the Touhou Project game Imperishable Night wears a uniform composed of a long-sleeved black suit jacket, tie, and short skirt, similar to a private school uniform..
    • For that matter, Touhou plays the Limited Wardrobe sister trope in general, except for Reimu and Marisa, where it's averted and Sanae where this trope here is inverted (she wears a Miko uniform most of the time but rarely an actual School uniform).

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc: Kiyotaka Ishimaru explains in a free-time event that he wears his school uniform day in, day out to keep him focused on homework. He even owns ten identical copies of it.

  • In El Goonish Shive, Moperville North HS's uniform policy was so short-lived that the main characters' playing dressup with them at a party the weekend before it went into effect adds up to one-fourth of their total wear time and almost half their on-panel scenes.
  • The girls of Gunnerkrigg Court usually take any chance they get to change out of their school uniforms. When the former Suicide Fairies show in uniform outside of class, it's a clue that they didn't get a summer holiday. And when Zimmy and Gamma are seen wearing their uniforms in the middle of the night, it's a sign that they've more pressing things to worry about than changing into pajamas at bedtime.

    Web Original 
  • Survival of the Fittest v4 has Maria Santiago, who still wears her uniform from her old school at Bayview (which, for the record, does not have uniforms).

    Western Animation 
  • The Delightful Children from Down The Lane in Codename: Kids Next Door wear school uniforms at all times despite going to a school that doesn't even have uniforms. The boys wear blazers while the girls wear sailor suits. It's there to accentuate both their Creepy Child looks and their formal, Faux Affably Evil personas.
  • On Daria, Brittany and Kevin wear their cheerleading and football uniforms, respectively, as their standard outfits. Kevin even wears his shoulder pads (possibly because he's fairly slim by jock standards and wants to hide that fact).
  • On Fanboy and Chum Chum, the three cheerleaders are always wearing their cheerleading outfits. Considering they're completely identical, it's clear the animators are cutting corners with the character models.
  • On The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, even before Endsville Elementary was established as having a school uniform, Mindy's pretty much always seen in her school clothes—the only exceptions are for if she's doing something related to cheerleading (in which case, she wears her cheerleading uniform), if it's a winter-themed episode (in which case she'll wear winter clothes) or if it's for some event/competition (like a beauty pageant or a school dance).
  • On Harvey Street Kids, Frufru seems to almost always be wearing a private school uniform, which is fitting as she seems to be quite wealthy. None of the characters are ever shown attending school, though them doing so is alluded to.
  • Lily wears a sailor school uniform (complete with very short skirt) in Kappa Mikey, an Affectionate Parody of Anime. Notably, Lily is never seen going to school when she's off the set of the Lily-Mu show.
  • Discussed in an episode of Pepper Ann where the school tries out instituting uniforms. No one but Pepper Ann minds, as the uniforms chosen are considered very fashionable. Once the school decides against using them anyway, the kids decide that's even better because it's "cooler" to wear them outside of school, where people will know it's a fashion statement.

    Real Life 
  • Some Japanese schools ask or require their students to be in uniform whenever coming or going to school, and since club activities can happen on weekends, students may be spotted in uniform on Sundays. Conversely, some students are just too lazy to change into regular clothes. One manual on Japanese etiquette says that for funeral attendance and other formal occasions, it's acceptable for kids to wear their school uniform — making this trope slightly more literal than you may have expected. Indeed, school uniforms are so ubiquitous and prevalent in Japan that a fashion trend developed out of this. Many Japanese magazines aimed at teenagers frequently have sections devoted to dress code-friendly trends and stylized versions of real uniforms. There are even entire boutiques and fashion brands dedicated to unregulated uniforms. In the rare case that a Japanese school doesn't have uniforms, it's entirely possible that some students will decide they look cool, and wear them anyway.
  • In Australia, where school uniforms are the norm, many students simply can't be bothered changing out of their uniforms at the end of the day and seeing students walking around shopping centres in uniform on any given weekday afternoon is not an unusual occurrence.
  • In Brazil, in the vast majority of public and private schools, students are required to wear uniforms. Although uniforms usually consist of shirts alone, so some students, mainly boys, wear a T-shirt of their own under the school shirt, then after school all they have to do is take off the uniform shirt, and no one will know that five seconds ago they were wearing a uniform, since they will probably look like your typical American public school student.
  • Schools have uniforms by default throughout the Commonwealth and East Asia. It's also the norm throughout South East Asia, even in the most rural of places. There is a certain nationalistic pride in wearing the nationally-standardized school uniform.
  • Apparently there are cafés built out of this trope in Taiwan. The style of some school uniforms of Taiwanese schools are apparently fashionable enough that there are cafés where the waitresses are dressed in those uniforms. Japan does that too, and it's a different trope entirely.
  • Students in South Korea also wear their uniforms outside of school, although it's more common for elementary and middle school students to do this than high school students possibly for fashion purposes. Many students have classes on Saturday so it's not uncommon to see them on weekends as well.
  • Irish elementary and secondary schools are still overwhelmingly Christian (Catholic in the Republic), so kids and teens are commonly seen in uniforms before and after school, as well as on their lunch break.
  • Subverted by a Toronto police spokesperson who recommended that students avoid doing this because it divulges where they can be found during the day; he got in trouble because it was taken as "schoolgirls shouldn't wear short skirts because that'll turn predators on to them".
  • Many Catholic secondary schools' uniforms in the US are nothing more than specific slacks and polo shirts, so it's no surprise that a student may not change immediately after class unless it's for something like sports. If they're not really uncomfortable, why bother changing?
    • Dress shirts/blouses, specific skirts (usually pleated), specific sweaters, and shorts (during hot weather) are also often permitted. By and large, the uniforms are a subset of business casual and would not look out of place in an office.
    • Some schools (including many public ones) get around the uniform issue by having a dress code to be followed that is similar in effect. Many universities are the same in many regards in order to prepare their students for corporate or government service dress codes.


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