A uniform is a distinctive type of clothing worn by a group of people in a certain situation or belonging to a certain organization or agency. The primary function of uniform is to provide distinction so as to separate the wearer from others outside the group. Uniform is an old tradition. Some of the earliest wearers of uniforms were religious sects who wished to be separate from the mainstream. At times the clergy distinguished themselves from others through their uniform – a tradition that still continues in most cultures and religions. Perhaps the area in which uniforms had the most drastic effect was in a warfield where a uniform or its absence could mean life or death. The Roman Army was one of the earliest to have incorporated a proper and rigid uniform code, which were emulated by others. Uniforms provide a very essential service in sporting contests where the two contending parties are distinguished through their colors.
The evolution of uniforms has proceeded in an opposite direction from civilian clothes. Whereas civilian clothing had greater latitude of design options, uniforms were encumbered by some utilitarian and other considerations. Uniform not only separates the in-group from the out-group – it is also a source of identity, an agency of greater discipline. For the clergy it could symbolize the religious tenets of the group and for the armed forces it could tell the ranking structure. However, design considerations are not altogether absent from uniform designs. Lately, sports uniforms and even armed forces uniforms are being designed by well known names.
School uniforms are becoming more comfortable, colorful and flashy. Other forms of service uniforms too are getting smarter. Today, just because one is wearing a uniform does not mean that it has to be boring. This section provides information about the amazing world of evolving uniforms for every purpose.