School Uniforms

Humans love to customize a uniform; it makes them feel saucy. Catholic school girls have done this for decades when they thought they could get away with it but the truth is most Catholic-school kids went to school looking like the young people in this picture, which it to say dressed in ill-fitting blazers style after J. Edgar Hoover’s suitcoats.

I went to Catholic school from Grades One through Four in a uniform designed shortly after the Great War. It didn’t matter that this was the Space Age. These garments were of heavy dark-blue serge. Since you couldn’t wash them presentability was preserved by decking them with a set of collar-and cuffs that buttoned on and off so your poor mom could keep on washing ironing and starching them every time she turned around.

And if the regular school clothes were bad the  gym suits were worse. We wore bloomers, not just at Notre Dame Academy but also when I got to a public school! Also in college! They were all a  kind of weird combination of shorts and bloomers below and a bowling shirt above. We were a sight to see.

The only attractive  thing about uniforms in my book was how nice this species of humanity looked in their school ties. If you ever dated a Catholic school, or even a prep school, boy in your youth you’ll remember what it did to you to observe all that rectitude of dress on the bodies of those wild creatures known as “boys.” Even today the sight of a loosened collar on a dress shirt sets my heart a-flutter.

There was Mystery in life then, and the school uniform kept the mystery of our growing bodies at least somewhat under wraps, which I now think was a good thing.

I don’t approve of the skimpy tops and short-shorts so many girls wear to school these days. They bring sex to much to the fore and then where’s your mystery? Plus I don’t care what they say: girls are judged in all kinds of ways when they dress in too revealing  a fashion. They just are.    


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