The shape of your tie is everything in British secondary schools.
Because uniform is mandatory, the way you wear your tie tells the rest of the class who you are, outside of wearing the same mandated clobber as everyone else. It can be fat and short (for wannabe rockstars and bullies), peanut-shaped and skinny (for ravers and battery acid-eaters) or normal, like you’re a nerd trying out for an episode of the Junior Apprentice.
It’s not just ties. Bending the rules to express your individuality is a time-honoured form of school-age rebellion and teenagers tweak their uniform from head-to-toe accordingly.
Between the ruffled shirts and dampened jumpers provided by most British schools, black smart shoes become black Air Force Ones;…