A study was carried out to: <ul><li>Determine and describe all the stakeholders’ preferences and problems with regard to high school girls' uniform; and</li> <li>To make recommendations for the prototype uniform that could be tested amongst stakeholders.</li></ul> A survey was conducted through three questionnaires for the three different groups, namely the Form-3 girls, parents (represented by the mothers), and the teachers at the school, to determine the functional and aesthetic preferences and problems experienced with the current school uniform. Form-3 girls were selected because it was assumed they had passed the spurt of growth between the ages of 15 and 17 years. Their mothers had the experience of purchasing the family’s clothes, while the teachers spend most of the time with the girls observing the quality features of the uniform. Purposive sampling was used to select the girls, their mothers and five teachers from each school, resulting in a total sample of 150 girls, 150 mothers and 84 teachers. Fifteen (15) schools were selected from two highly populated urban areas, namely: the Hhohho region (Mbabane) and the Manzini region (Manzini). `The analysis starts with the descriptive characteristics of the demographic information of the stakeholders in the uniforms used in the school. Data was expressed in frequencies and percentages. Means and standard deviations were ranked in descending order, the most preferred functional and aesthetic features placed at the top. The functional and aesthetic performance problems were also ranked, with the feature giving most problems placed at the top. The study revealed that Swazi high school girls rated both their functional and aesthetic preferences high. Amongst the performance preferences, sensory-aesthetic dimensions were rated as very important, followed by durability (that the tunic should not fade in colour), comfort and ease of care. Performance preferences that were considered less important by the girls were the wearing of the tunic in summer and winter and using the tunic for class and sports. Mothers were not asked about comfort preferences because they do not wear the tunic; however, amongst the functional performance qualities tested on them, durability, care and cost were considered important. As was the case with the girls, mothers also considered symbolic preferences less important, for example that the tunic should show family and cultural values. The comparison of the combined functional dimensions to the combined aesthetic dimensions indicated that the girls and their mothers rated the functional performance preferences of the tunic higher than the aesthetic performance preferences. Teachers were only asked to respond on end-use and symbolic qualities of the tunic. Teachers considered the wearing of the tunic in winter and summer more important than the symbolic preferences. Symbolic preferences were also seen to be less important with the girls and their mothers. From the problems it can be concluded that the mothers and the girls did not experience major problems, except that the tunic fades. Mothers saw the cost of the tunic to be too expensive, as the same tunic could not be worn for sports. All the preferences relate to choice of style and fabric. Consumers preferred a panelled style of tunic with a waistline; however, in order to accommodate for growth, a semi-fitted princess style was recommended.
Dissertation (MConsumer Science)--University of Pretoria, 2011.