Design : Consult : Manufacture

Helping to Boost Female Enrollment in Schools

Concord High School came to Focus Uniforms with a simple request. They wanted to design a signature school cap using specific materials. The cap also needed to have charcoal coloring.

Focus Uniforms could fulfill that request. And in the process of doing so, the company took a closer look at the uniforms that the Concord students already had.

Concord High School Gets Focus Uniforms to design a signature school cap using specific materials

Before Implementing a Quality School Uniform 

Concord offers an example of a school that already had a school uniform in place. However, that uniform had several problems.

A dismal brown color was the highlight of the uniform. It made the students look completely ordinary and lent them no sense of pride when wearing the uniform. This also did little to improve student confidence.

One of the intentions of a school uniform is to provide students with a sense of belonging in their school. Unfortunately, a poor uniform achieves the opposite effect. Students don’t want to wear it and thus they don’t take care of it.

This has a knock-on effect on the school. Those outside the school see students in these poor uniforms and develop a bad impression. Furthermore, a lack of student pride in the uniform means they’re less likely to take care of it. Thus, that bad impression deepens.

Focus Uniforms identified all of these issues with Concord’s existing uniforms. Then, they took a deeper look at the school's metrics. This examination showed that the school had poor attendance records and struggled with enrolment. Specifically, it struggled to attract female students to the school. This led to an unhealthy balance of male vs. female students.

Focus Uniforms presented this information to the school’s uniform committee. This showed the negative effect their current uniforms had. This discussion evolved to eventually include the school’s principal as well.

The school made a decision. Focus Uniforms would completely redesign the uniform with the goal of fixing the issues they’d identified.

The Focus Uniforms Solution

Focus worked closely with the uniform committee to create a suitable design. The first priority was to ensure the uniform has a more attractive coloring. The school’s preferred colors are green and gold, which made their previous brownish uniforms all the more confusing.

Selecting a more appropriate color palette created a more attractive uniform. And as importantly, it created a deeper sense of association between uniform and school. Now, when somebody saw a student in a Concord uniform they could instantly see which school they came from.

Focus then started to weave these colors into new uniform designs. The company created new skirts for both Junior and Senior female students. These skirts used charcoal as the base while incorporating flashes of the school’s green and gold colors. This resulted in a much more attractive plaid design that meshed all three colors together.

That skirt formed the foundation for the entire female uniform design. For example, the blouses had a white base with gold trim. Again, this stayed in keeping with the school’s preferred colors while maintaining the classic uniform feel.

Further garment designs completed and complemented the main outfit. A green jacket set the whole thing off. Plus, Focus designed a range of green knitwear to accompany the skirts and blouses.

Focus presented these designs to the committee and got approval. Thus, what started as a request for a cap turned into a full revamp of the school’s female uniforms.

The End Result

The relationship between Concord and Focus Uniforms began in 2012.

And it continues to this day. The new designs offered a massive aesthetic improvement over what Concord had previously. A huge lift in student improvement has helped the school develop a much better reputation.

Today, people see a student in a Concord uniform and get a good first impression. Students feel more confident and are happier to wear the uniform. This means they feel a sense of ownership for the uniform. As a result, they take better care of it, which means they look the part at all times.

Plus, the close relationship between Focus and Concord allows for improvements to the design.

However, it’s the effect on student enrolments that may surprise you the most.

Since implementing its new uniform designs, Concord has massively improved its enrolments. Parents now see Concord students in their uniforms and believe that the school is a good place for their own children.

Enrolment inquiries are through the roof. That’s a massive turnaround considering the school struggled with enrolment previously.

Interestingly, the school has also managed to redress the balance between male and female enrolment. Today, they have an even number of male and female students. This suggests that parents of female students feel more confident in selecting Concord due to the superior uniform. 

Can a Uniform Really Have Such a Huge Impact?

According to Focus Uniforms, 60% of a parent’s decision-making relies on aesthetics. If a parent sees a student in an unattractive or poorly-maintained uniform, they instantly form a negative opinion of the school.

When enrolment time comes around, that school falls to the bottom of the list.

That’s exactly what happened to Concord.

Their existing female students didn’t feel confident in their uniforms. Parents picked up on these feelings and decided not to enroll their own female children into the school.

Researchers have examined this concept of confidence in uniform in more detail. In the United States, a pair of researchers from the University of Nevada created a 49-question survey. They sent this to over 1,300 students to find out their opinions on school uniforms.

They discovered that female students identify more closely with the benefits that a school uniform offers. In particular, they appreciate not having to worry about clothing selections. Plus, they agreed that they worry less about how others look.

These benefits don’t just improve the student’s confidence. They play into the parent’s decision-making process. Not having to worry about clothing means that a big distraction gets removed. Thus, students can focus more on their school work than trying to keep up with trends.

This also leads to a reduction in bullying and a host of other benefits, which the report covers in a moment.

With this data in mind, it’s clear to see why Concord experienced such a boost in female enrolment. A quality uniform improves female students’ confidence. Plus, it encourages parents to choose your school.