New Zealand School Uniform: Seasonality

Figure 1.--Many New Zealand schools have winter uniforms that look like summer uniforms, but this is not always the case. Many schools use short pants both during the summer and winter.

Many New Zealand schools have distinctive summer and winter uniforms. It is not always possible to destinguish the seasonal nature of the uniform without knowing the actual school regulations. At some schools the boys wear long pants in the winter, but at many the winter uniform is a heavier grade of short pants. There are many other seasonal differences in New Zealand school uniforms. Not all schools have seasonal uniforms, but most do.

New Zealand Climate

New Zealand is the southernmost of the South Pacific Islands. It is, however a country composed of two islands located north and south of each other and thus called North and South Island. There are considerable climatic differences between the two islands. On the northrn part of North Island the climate is almost tropical. On the southern part of South Island there is a highly temperate climate with glasiers and occasional snow in the winter. These seasonal factors affect the uniforms adopted by the various schools on New zealand. Many New Zealand schools have seasonal uniforms to adjust to the climatic changes.

Winter Uniform

Winter uniforms in New Zealand tend to be most formal uniforms, usually the most similar to traditional English styles. The winter uniform generally consists of a tie, sweater (jumper), grey shirt, heavy-weight grey or blue shorts, knee socks, and black lace-up shoes. The sweater in particular is a good indication of a winter uniform. The kneesocks were mostly grey with top bands in the school colors. Some schools had black and light-blue kneesocks. Some schools also have suits and blazers worn during the winter, but this is most common at private schools.

Summer Uniform

The summer uniform at many schools consists of a light-weight grey shirt, grey cotton shorts, and Roman sandals worn without socks. Often the wearing of a tie is suspended. This is the most common uniform worn at numerous schools during the summer. We also notice blue shirts and shorts at a few schools instead of the more grey summer uniform. It is not always possible to know if a New Zealand school uniform is a summer uniform because short pants were often worn in both the winter and summer, even on South Island. Normally Roman sandals worn without knee socks was almost always a summer uniform. Sandals were not, however, worn during the summer at all schools.


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Created: November 17, 2003
Last updated: 4:36 AM 5/21/2006