How to Be Punk at a School with Uniforms

There are kids who would like to be punk, everywhere, all the time! Unfortunately, some times they can't exactly do this at school, because they wear uniforms. While you may not be able to battle the school board and have all the uniforms burned in a furnace, you can carry off the punk look and attitude with a little extra effort on your part.


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    Fix up your jacket. If your school doesn't have a problem with you walking around with a hoodie/jacket, fix it up with some band patches, buttons, studs or spikes, and try painting some band logos on it, or painting slogans/logos all over it.
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    Decorate your school bag. Buy a messenger bag or a black/dark blue backpack and add pins/badges with your favorite bands, sayings and symbols (any rebellious symbols will do but some symbols may cause more offence than you intended, such as Nazi or white supremacy symbols) on them. You can even add duct tape to your bag. You can also draw/stitch things onto it for a little originality. Get a marker or a corrector pen for some scrawling of your own. You can even make your own bag.
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    Stay unique. Anything that is labeled by the dress code, do not wear. For instance, if all you are required to wear is a uniform shirt, then do not wear khaki pants. Instead, wear rocker belts (pyramid, bullets, spiked) with good belt buckles over jeans or black pants.
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    Paint your nails. A bold color, such as black, blue, or red, or even mix and match. Roll up your sleeves. For the finishing touch, wear a leather jacket or dark hoody.
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    Put safety pins in everything. Put them in your hat, your jeans, shirts, your bag... Everything.
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    Keep your hair. Try to stay within the rules, but still be unique. Try a messy look, or some spikes, or possibly a faux mohawk. Test your boundaries.
    • If your school has rules and you aren't allowed to dye your hair crazy colors, just dye the very ends, so that you can easily cut them off if your school has issues with it. You could also try a temporary dye - this also helps when you are experimenting.
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    Ties. If you are forced to wear a tie, leave the top button undone and let the tie hang sloppily. Roll up your sleeves too if you have to wear a dress shirt. Also, If the school does not require a specific tie to be worn, go to your local thrift store and pick out the ugliest or most satirical ties you can find. Also, if you want to be extreme, rip up your tie, pull out strands, just destroy it. Maybe even add a few anarchy symbols.
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    Rock your socks. Knee high, pink, green, hello kitty, whatever! Wear them. Don't tuck them in your pants! Also try to punk up your shoes. Draw, write, paint and color on them!
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    School Crests. Some schools have them embroidered on jumpers, shirts or hats. If you are good at sewing or embroidery, try modifying the crest so that it says something completely different. Usually, the changes are difficult to spot, but the results of people seeing them are great! Don't go too far in making too obscene messages, but it's all a matter of testing. If you're not good at embroidery, use a permanent marker or some acrylic paint.
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    Strict School? Some schools have an incredibly strict dress code, we know. So look at the rules and interpret them. Buy yourself some black converse if your school says you have to have black shoes. Only allowed school colours and/or black and white for accessories (like hair ties and headbands?)... make your own, preferably with a big anarchy symbol on it. Just interpret the rules.


  • Punk involves not only clothes, but music and attitude. If you ever feel pressured, remember your values and you'll be fine.
  • Don't be afraid to express yourself!
  • Use iron-on patches from fabric stores which can be put on pants, skirts, shirts etc.
  • Add cool bracelets, necklaces, etc.
  • Avoid belt buckles with a country look. Nothing kills a punk outfit more than a Budweiser belt buckle.
  • If your school requires you to wear a tie on Mass days be sure to wear a skinny tie, not a regular one.
  • If your school prohibits dying your hair unnatural colours then just dye the tips so if they have a problem with the colour then you can just snip it of.
  • One way to get around school colors is to spill stuff on yourself such as strawberry milk. Not only will your white shirt have pink all over it but if the administration says anything about it you can just tell them to smell.
  • If your school allows you to wear headphones, wear them around your neck.


  • If you have spare uniform clothing, keep it. You never know when you will be punished for your 'inappropriate' clothes! You may have to buy new ones, so keep the spares.
  • If you wear fingerless gloves to school you'll have to take them off in the lunch line. Cafeteria people say it's 'unhygienic', if you don't you won't eat.
  • You may get into trouble for disregarding school rules, but that is a risk you must be willing to take.
  • If your school has uniforms because it's a private school, other punks might see this as your fault. It's not your choice to wear the uniform or go to that school, right?
  • Some kids will try to get you into the drug/night scene, so avoid them. You're still in school, and these memories will affect you later.
  • There is a fine line between high street punks and emos. Don't cross it. If you find yourself being called emo, get some brightly colored clothes. Pink, yellow, and anything neon works better then black anyway because it's much more disruptive.

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Categories: Punk