de Shiro & Xiao Zi, Dezembro 25, 2022

Welcome to our attempt to explore the lovely variety of school uniforms shown in Dramaland, from the plain and simple clothing many students are used to seeing to the lovely variety of shapes, colours and uses. In this hopefully beautiful celebration of student fashion forced upon them by others. This editorial is in no way going to be taking a stand for or against uniforms but rather aims to look into how they are shown and used in Dramaland, as well as fill your screen with colourful school uniforms and portrayals of youth.

Unlike these boys in The Eclipse, who say no to school uniforms, we have no intention of taking a stand for or against them. 

For Shiro this subject is actually probably as far as one gets from her reality as none of the schools she went to had uniforms, even the slightest attempt to enforce a dress code was met with protests and people completely ignoring them. While Xiao Zi goes to a school where uniforms are mandatory except for on birthdays and other celebrations. Students are punished if they are not in full uniform and have to give a reason if they are not wearing it.

Together we will shower you with all kinds of student uniforms, helping you realize just how much information those pieces of clothing actually store. Guiding viewers all over the world to understand the uniforms of different countries.. With fluff, blood, joy, and so on and so on…                                                   

Before we start looking at the beautiful variety of school uniforms in dramaland you may want to know 

1. We are NO way associated with the fashion, drama or uniform industry, nor do we get paid to write this editorial. This is not to be seen as a statement for or against uniforms or as an advert for any uniform shown. 

2. This is purely written for entertainment purposes, and not factual statements. It relies solely on our memory, googling skills, wikipedia and charm. We reserve the right to be wrong, and kindly ask people to let us stay in our state of wrong. 

3. This is best viewed in landscape mode but should work for both dark and light mode users. Can be binged as a whole or savoured one section at a time. 

4. All the uniforms shown in this article have information or a link about the title they were sampled from, either as text or inside the photo/gif. 

   So, come on! Let's go explore!

Do you know the uniforms of Dramaland? 

There is a lot to learn by watching dramas, as you get to learn about food, traditions, culture and of course what youths wear to school, thus recognising the country of origin by the uniform. You can also guess years, type of drama just by seeing the uniform. And since we get to do (almost) whatever we want when writing an editorial on MDL we would like to play a little game with you, okay maybe not a game but we offer you this once in a lifetime opportunity to test your own knowledge about uniforms in Dramaland, pre editorial. 

How much information do you get from the following pictures? 

Can you guess the country? The drama? Age of the students? 

You will find the answers at the bottom of this article. 

One form- A lot of information!

If a picture is worth a 1000 words, if there is a uniform in it 888 of those words will be told by the uniform. As we mentioned in the intro the uniforms of dramaland may come off as just another piece of clothing but actually do store a lot of information, here are some examples of things we can learn by just looking at the uniforms the cast is wearing.

How old are you?

The most common use of the uniform in dramaland seems to be as a marker of age. As most youth dramas (and movies) will display the cast in uniforms on the cover. Some examples from each country:

China S.Korea JapanTaiwanThailandHong KongPhilippines

The students in High School and Middle School in the countries of MDL will be shown wearing uniforms.

As you can clearly see on the covers of the dramas on Xiao Zi’s list Youth Dramas:

Or by scrolling the tag School:

Watch or click on the page for any of these and the uniforms are bound to show up.

You could, for example, search for titles using your least popular tag and add the tag school:Take any random number, we will go with the11th title that shows up, click on it and go to the photos for the titles page.

 A photo of someone wearing a uniform is bound to show up… 

One of the most interesting cases of age determination by uniform is seen in Bring It On, Ghost, and its Thai adaptation Let's Fight Ghost. Where we meet a ghost with amnesia. All she knows about herself is the information she gets from her uniform.

When it comes to higher education, finding uniforms becomes a bit trickier as most college students get to wear what they want (unless you count hoodies as uniforms, as they tend to wear a lot of hoodies).

However! If you want to find uniforms higher up your safest bet is to go to Thailand and possibly The Philippines as all the students in Universities shown on screen (that we have seen) in Thailand will probably wear some type of uniform… We dare you to find a title where the students do not wear uniforms by searching the tags University + Thailand on MDL. 

                     O-Negative, SotusI Promised You the Moon 

We also found this uniform present in a university drama (Oh Mando! is one of Shiro's favorites) set in the Philippines, but we have seen too few dramas with that type of setting to actually know what is the norm, we could of course have googled this or asked around but it is a lot more fun to make your own assumptions so we decided to just assume that students in The Philippines wear uniforms to university. Do not correct us if we are wrong. :)

People wearing uniforms in higher education can however be seen in specialized universities and higher education in historical settings as well as in specifically themed schools such as military, police and sports Universities. 

The scholars of Sungkyunkwan seen in the very appropriately named drama Sungkyunkwan Scandal have a uniform that includes not only blue and white robes but also get to wear this special hat, if only we were a scholar in the Jeoson period then maybe we too would have gotten to wear it, but sadly we were born to late… and not as men from influential families in Korea… only those minor details… 

The uniforms worn by the boys in Hwarang may just be the most colorful and dare we say pretty school uniforms of them all in Dramaland… As they have both these black, red and pink ones for show and white, purple and blue/turquoise ones in class and practice. Though they may look all sweet in these photos, Hwarang is actually a military school, and these men are fierce. 


And so are probably the men in Arsenal Military Academy, we have actually not seen this one yet but we think these are the school uniforms there… 

As you can see here in Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo  (a drama we have actually seen),  Jung Joon Hoon (Nam Joo Hyuk) from the swim team wears a gray uniform while While Bok Joo (Lee Sung Kyung) from the weightlifting team wears a blue uniform. 

And then there are these police academies, to be honest we have yet to have seen these two too but they did catch our attention for having school uniforms. Rookie Cops:

and this picture from Police University, where they seem to be wearing uniforms in class: 

Oh and we also found uniforms in this Supernatural school in Super Star Academy 

This drama is like a Chinese Harry Potter series. So the uniforms at Super Star Academy are unique like the uniforms at Hogwarts!

Flashbacks to the past and long timelines

There are a lot of dramas where flashbacks to the past are used, some with the same actors, others with a younger actor playing the role. Almost all will be seen wearing the school uniform, sometimes accompanied by the year but most of the time the uniform will be enough. Also, showing characters not in uniforms in school dramas depicts that a character has grown up or is capable of taking his or her decisions. This is used in movies and dramas in all genres and most probably from all of the countries found on MDL, our memory/watchlist does not cover them all but 5/7 is not bad right? 


 Consummation. Don't Disturb My Study and The Psychologist


Someday or One Day

Someday or One Day 



South Korea 

Happiness and Our Beloved Summer


1 Litre no Namida 

And then there is Nostalgia… Reliving the past by wearing the uniform again

While some will show us that we are looking at the past by using the uniform, there are those who will use the uniform to relive their own past. In Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha the very much grown up leads can be seen putting on their uniforms and taking photographs. Why did they do that? Partly to annoy Shiro, and others who find this type of behavior cringey, odd and out of place. But there must be a reason people put wearing a school uniform with their significant other on their bucket list, as this is far from the only place they did it. So we assume it has to do with feeling young again connecting, doing something they wish they could have done as teens… 

Or helping adults just unwind and remember the time before they had all these responsibilities and could live carefree, not that life as a student actually is so carefree. But as you can see here in Why Women Love putting on school uniforms is part of the flirting. We know we have seen it in more places (just not as annoyingly done as in Hometown Cha Cha Cha) So there must truly be something to this. 

As there is actually a drama (Forever Love) where people got to attend a wedding wearing their school uniforms, and though we know that Chinese schools have both casual and formal uniforms the guests at this wedding got to wear the casual ones. 

Now that is some uniform appreciation… and probably one of the most comfortable weddings in all of Dramaland. 

And in Twenty-Five Twenty-One Baek Yi Jin (Nam Joo Hyuk) puts on a uniform, not to relive his past but to sneak in to the school and help out/hang out with his friends 

However, this guy in Dine with Love does seem to understand that wearing a  school uniform does not make you a  high school student. 

How Rich are You?

The choice of school in Dramaland, while most schools will cater to the masses with simple equalizing uniforms, there are those schools that are there to cater to the elite - and is there really any better way to show that we are the best of the best than by having the uniforms be tailor-made, with lots of attention to detail and fabric? It will definitely make sure only the richest of the rich (and those sponsored by the richest of the rich) can afford to wear one.

As seen here,

Boys over Flowers 


and here as wellF4 Thailand 

Yes, F4 Thailand is as its name suggests a Thai Drama, the rich school uniform is very confusing… since you will notice most Thai uniforms are a lot simpler but sometimes money trumps geography.

Note: do khaki pants = wealth?

Speaking of equality and uniforms, in Don't Leave After School the students that retook the year did not get to wear school uniforms at first, making them stand out… there was a whole thing about it.

There are also several dramas and movies where students can not afford to go to school and therefore would rather long to wear the uniform. 

What season is it? 

One thing that Xiao Zi had noticed but Shiro had not is that much like the weather changes from season to season, there are actually different uniforms for different seasons, very logical, just nothing that had caught Shiro's attention, how about you, did you notice that? . So now we know to look out for seasonal changes, markers of time, and what not by looking at the type of uniform worn mostly in C dramas but it does happen in dramas from other countries too, or at least we think it does. 



Don't Disturb My Study

Do the students have P.E.?

Seasons change, type of class/field day differ as well as some uniforms are not really suitable for getting lost, we mean navigating in the woods… or having gym class. 

Kieta Hatsukoi 

And in the following gif it is clear to see which students will have P.E. and which students have regular classes that day. 

Happy Birthday

Which sect/school do you belong to?

Showing where you belong is indeed part of the function of the uniform, as most dramas will focus on one school at a time there will be times where there is school rivery, competitions and what not… to make sure viewers are not confused about who they should be rooting for the schools will have different uniforms making it easy for us the viewers (ok also for the people in that city) to easily identify the characters. 

 In A River Runs Through It there is a big sports event in the city, where the river runs. This is where we meet a significant side character for the first time, as she is from a different school. 

                           How many different schools can you count in this gif? 

Which school, which twin are you supposably… These two uniforms on the cover do indeed show us different schools but you cannot fully trust them to tell us Who Are You: School 2015. However, they did play a pretty significant role in this drama, showing the contrasts between these two girls' very different lives. 

In C-costume dramas with immortal/cultivating sects too, we can understand where an individual is from just by looking at the color of their costume.

Here (above)  in the The Untamed, we can see disciples of different sects wearing different coloured uniforms (if you don’t count the main disciples) so that we can distinguish who belongs where easily.

Here, in Love and Redemption the sect uniform includes not only clothing but also masks. We witness our main lead Yu Si Feng (Cheng Yi) getting severely punished for losing his mask. Which perfectly leads us to our next use for uniforms.

Framing the characters' personality

                          Happy Birthday 

Sometimes the uniform will be used to help us understand the character as a person who likes to study and follow the rules v.s daredevil, rebel or someone (often girls) who do not buy in to the schools strict policy of skirt length and would rather decide on their own how much of their legs they show. 

Expressing your individuality while wearing a uniform

The word ‘Uniform’ comes from the Latin works unus and forma, meaning one and form, respectively (source: Wikipedia) and are basically supposed to make all one as in all the same. So keeping individuality while wearing a uniform may not always be easy but kids and teenagers are experts at finding their way. As seen here in Light on Me every single one of these students is wearing the school uniform but they all look like they look more like a boy band on stage with similar but different versions.

Or here in Kieta Hatsukoi by wearing different shirts to accompany the uniform, all colorful and sweet just like the drama. 

Or this last one, had us thinking, are they wearing the uniform or are they not… yes they are… 

All Of Us Are Dead

What era is it ?

As society changes with time so may the uniforms, though it may seem like uniforms are pretty basic and could easily be the same ones used both 1920 and 2020 there are some differences. 

For example the P.E. Uniforms in Happy Birthday changed from blue 2001, to yellow 2018. 

And the school uniform worn by Lee Jong Suk in Hot Young Bloods that takes place in the 1980’s is quite different than the school uniform worn by him in School 2013.

Where are we?

To be perfectly honest, there are some uniforms that overlap in terms of style, however if you were to walk in on someone watching a drama without hearing the sound there will be cases where you will be able to tell which country the drama is from just by looking at the uniforms worn by the students even if the story is the same, as the case is in A Love So Beautiful: 

China: track suit 

S.Korea: shirt, name tag and skirt or pants.

A Love So Beautiful  

The story may not be the same but a rule of thumb that can be good to know is: If the name tag is embroidered on the uniform, you are most likely watching a title from  Thailand or possibly Taiwan. If the name tag is a pin you are most likely a title from S. Korea 

S. Korea 

Racket Boys


Someday or One Day


I Told Sunset About You

If the students are wearing sailor suits you are most probably watching a title from Japan. If we remember correctly, also some South Korean titles set in the 70s - 1990s.

Chugakusei Nikki

And so on… 

But to answer the question where are we, or more like from where do the students in the title we are watching study? 

Different types of School Uniforms

Sometimes I find myself wondering how they choose which uniform to use, because as  you can see the variety of uniforms found in Dramaland is indeed pretty huge, giving us uniforms who one by one may not seem that colourful but put together we get: 

Made from photos found in 1, 2, 3, 4,5, 67 

Do they choose what uniform to use in a particular drama solely on the basis of country the students are supposed to e studying and then just take whatever they can get a hold of? 

Or for those details they can choose. Do they go by the stylist or does the  other cast members get to have a say in it?  

Happy Birthday 

Or is it more about matching the set?  What came first in Light on Me?  Was it the Uniform or the interior design of the  set? 


We have identified the following patterns on school uniforms found in Dramaland:  

Our Secret 

PlaidAll of Us Are Dead 

The occasional stripe on the blazer

 True Beauty

and on a sweater or skirt

Who Are You: School 2015

We also have stripes on two colored tracksuits 

Don't Leave After School

As well as triple color tracksuits… 

Forever Love

We have also Identified the following types of uniforms  that we put in an easy to navigate table using the highly scientific method of observation and finding a picture in at least one title to support that observation, thus making it an undeniable truth. 


Can be seen worn by 

Looks a bit like this 

Sailor-like uniform

Students in middle school in titles form Japan

Shirt and black pants or skirt often accompanied by a tie 

University students in Thailand 

Track suit

Students of all ages in China, P.E. uniforms in school dramas from Japan, Taiwan and S.Korea. 

Shirt with name embroidered on it and shorts or skirt 

Students in schools (not universities) in Thailand 

Shirt + blazer and or vest + name tag  

S. Korea 

Colorful robes 

Costume dramas from both China and S. Korea 

Colorful robes+ hatS. Korean Historical

White shirt and a black or navy skirt/pants accompanied by a bow or tie

Taiwan, Summer uniforms for S. Korea.

Blazer and plaid skirt or pants 

Japan high school 

Shirt and blazer and or vest with the school emblem embroidered on it 

All of the countries on MDL, but rare in Thailand and China. 

Fun Fact! 

According to Koreaboo S. Korean students express jealousy over Chinese school uniforms for being comfortable, and Chinese students express Jealousy over Japanese and S. Korean uniforms for being more fashionable. 

We guess there is no way to make everybody happy!

  Time to put those uniforms back in the closet!  

We could of course mention all the other things youths and those reliving the past do in Dramaland while wearing uniforms seeing it is all from murder, scheming, falling in love, baking cakes, and occasionally taking a class and actually studying. But that would probably take forever as we are sure there are a lot more school uniforms out there just waiting for you to notice for functions beyond covering the body and unity/control and whatnot at schools. If you scroll back to the uniforms we showed you in the start of this editorial, are they easier to identify or did we just confuse you? Whether you learned something or not we do hope you enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures of the diversity of school uniforms found in dramaland.

What are your thoughts? Do you have a personal favorite? Would you like to relive your youth by wearing a uniform?

Credits: Screenshot and  gifs were either taken by us or found  in MDLs database. The titles they were sampled from will either be mentioned right before the picture/gif, below the picture/gif or be linked to inside the picture/gif.  The cover was found in Someday or One Day. All sources used outside MDL will have a link to them as well.  Special thanks to AnQuat and the editors for all their help. 

Answers to “Do you know the uniforms of Dramaland?” 

1. China, high School, A Love So Beautiful 2. S. Korea, historical military, Hwarang 3. Hong Kong, Frozen, 4. S. Korea, High School, A Love So Beautiful, 5. S. Korea, Historical,  Sungkyunkwan Scandal, 6. Taiwan, high school, Someday or One Day, 7. Japan, Middle School, 1 Litre no Namida, 8. Kieta Hatsukoi, Japan, High School, 9. Thailand, High School, The Best Story,  10. Philippines, High School, He’s Into Her Season 2, 11. Thailand, University, O-Negative, 12. China, Costume, The Untamed

P.S. After putting this article  together we also visited Wikipedia where we found out that we were partly wrong about our observations. We have summed up the basic uniform information for each country here below, but there is a lot more to learn about these uniforms out there…


Types of School Uniforms 


Uniforms are required for all students from secondary school. Chinese uniforms usually consist of several sets, as there are both formal and casual sets for both summer and winter. The formal uniform consists of a white collared shirt with a sweater on top (usually accompanied with a tie) with skirt for girls and suit for boys. Everyday uniforms for girls and boys are very similar: tracksuit. The thickness of the material varies with season.

Hong Kong 

The school uniforms in Hong Kong. Most of the schools in Hong Kong follow uniform patterns similar to that of British schools Blue Blazers, white shirts and pants/skirt and tie. While Catholic schools follow Catholic school uniforms with plaid skirts or black pants, a tie and button down shirts. Some girls school Chinese cheongsam as uniforms to retain their culture. Sailor suits are also found in some schools but for girls only.


Japanese junior and senior high schools usually consist of military style uniforms for boys and sailor outfits for girls. Many schools also use western style uniforms, which consists of a white shirt, tie, blazer or sweater vest with school crest and trousers for boys and white blouse, tie, blazer with school crest and tartan skirt for girls. Uniform styles can vary according to seasons, but it is mostly sleeve length and material used that varies. 


A shirt and long skirt for girls and white polo shirts and trousers for boys. They are sometimes accompanied with a tie or blazer/vest, and mostly used in private schools, since 2008, the Department of Education decided to remove the requirement for students to wear uniforms, so that students from low income families could save money. 

S. Korea 

“The majority of elementary schools except some private elementary schools do not have uniforms; however, the uniform is strictly enforced from the start of middle school and up. A typical South Korean uniform usually consists of a shirt, blazer and tie, with skirts for girls and trousers for boys”. (Source) 

You will also notice the square name tag pin that is accompanied to more or less every student in S. Korea.  


Two sets of uniforms: one for summer and one for winter. During summer, short sleeved shirts with long trousers for boys and pleated skirts for girls are used. In winter, Long sleeve shirts are used.


The schools in Thailand have uniforms from a very low age up to University.There are regulations for every single part of the students clothing including the length of the hair. Boys in schools in Thailand wear shorts with open collared, short sleeved shirt with socks and trainers, while girls wear knee-length skirt with white blouse, along with a loose bow tie, socks and school shoes. The colors of the shorts vary by age, red for kindergarten, black or khaki for the rest. 

“The student's name, number, and name of the school are often embroidered on the blouse or shirt” (Source)

school youth uniforms