Non-uniform day – historically referred to at school as ‘BEST.DAY.EVER’.
From our first day of school, uniforms become a mundane part of our life, and as we grow, we struggle to get away from them. Whichever path we take, there’s usually a uniform (or dress code of some sort) that comes with it. From the fire service to the military, chefs to professional athletes, they all wear matching outfits. But ironically, as we grow older, we tend to grow to love the uniforms we once loathed as a child.
It’s not just the brain power they save in the morning by not having to decide what to wear. Matching clothes instil confidence, assign responsibility and create a sense of pride with shared success. But why?
The Power of Uniforms
Uniforms started as a cultural tool to create hierarchy within societies. It hasn’t always worked out well – the Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan…hmm! But generally speaking, they empower us for the good (…especially in the bedroom ;-))
They represent a purpose – the fireman entering the burning building, the astronaut leaving earth, the chef, the pope, the doctor, the pilot. You look at what they’re wearing and youinstantly recognise their role.
But uniforms don’t just represent roles and status – when worn by more than one person together, they become even more important. Wearing matching clothes represents a common goal, a ‘we’re all on the same side’ mentality.
One of the best examples is in sport.
Uniforms in Sport
‘Leave the jersey in a better place.’
The mantra of the All Blacks – the single most successful team, across any sport. Ever. They’ve been around for 115 years, maintain a 78%-win percentage, and are widely recognised for their famous Haka dance – we don’t need to explain what that is.
Clearly something’s working for them, and interestingly many players put a lot of emphasis on the psychological effect of the All Blacks jersey.
Dan Carter called it “a piece of armour”.
Steve Hansen said: “It is something you have for a period of time, but you don’t own it.”
Richie McCaw said: “You are putting on something bigger than yourself.”
And Sir Colin Meads said: “I saw one young feller kiss the badge on it. I thought this is a man’s game, it’s not for that sort of thing”.
The ‘uniform’ in question has becomes an honour and a responsibility – the weight of success that’s been woven into that iconic kit has become its own motivating factor. Each player doesn’t want to be the one to let that legend slip.
A similar feeling transcends other team sports of course. Diego Maradona, one of the greatest footballers of all time, famously once said “when I pull on that Argentina shirt, I become a man possessed. I make a decision and I refuse to lose”.
Choosing your own uniform
Uniforms don’t mean we have to conform. Superhero’s chose their own uniforms. From The Avengers to The Justice League – the talismanic outfits are so embedded in pop culture you could draw them all blindfolded.
Although each hero has a very unique look, they all have a degree of conformity. It’s not the Lycra that makes us look up to them – it’s the emblem on the chest, the signature weapon, the cape and the ‘do good’ status they represent – it’s ‘same same but different’.
Choosing their own iconic look means they are recognised for their role and status, whilst still expressing their own style and identity.
So, what’s to stop you choosing your own look for the family. You are a team after all.
You might not be Batman, and your son certainly isn’t Robin, but in our opinion, all Dads are superhero’s (here’s the evidence) with a Cub as their sidekick. They deserve the right to wear matching outfits and choose their own family uniform.
Put simply, matching clothes create a sense of kindred spirit. The shared appearance is a nod to a united passion that goes deeper than material things. It’s a public display of pride and belonging, an unspoken acknowledgement that you’re not alone. That little guy you’re with, in the matching denim jacket, he’s in your team and you’ll always be rooting for him.
That being said, we’re not keen on the phrase ‘Family Uniform’. It’s not nearly cool enough – we like to call it ‘BeingMANCUB’, it’s got a better ring to it.
So now you understand why matching up makes you feel so good, what are you waiting for…