Employees who dress in a uniform every day might get bored.

Employees who dress a uniform every day might get bored.

Which one is grammatical and which one is more idiomatic?

  • 1
    You can only dress yourself or another person; you can't dress a uniform (put clothes on it). Wear [a] uniform would be more idiomatic. (And a dress uniform, where dress is an adjective, is a smart version of a military uniform worn on formal occasions.) May 15, 2020 at 8:05
  • 1
    Why do you think the second option might be correct?
    – Astralbee
    May 15, 2020 at 8:17
  • @Astralbee I just realised by reading your answer that there is a difference in meaning between dress and wear. I thought "wear a uniform" is the same as "dress a uniform"
    – Costa
    May 16, 2020 at 19:42

1 Answer 1


Your first sentence is the only correct one.

"Uniform", when describing a set of standardised clothing, is a common noun and needs the indefinite article "a". You also need the preposition "in" to denote that the subject (the employees) is dressing in the uniform. To "dress a uniform" is certainly not idiomatic, but if it were to mean anything it would mean adding adornments to the uniform itself.

You could say that someone "dresses uniformly", but that is using an adverb form of the word "uniform" and does not necessarily refer to the kind of uniform worn by military, or certain workers etc.

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