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.    

5 thoughts on “School Uniforms

  1. I have all of the “class pictures” saved from my 35 years of teaching in the public school at the same location. You would be amazed at the differences in both dress and posture of those pictured from the beginning in 1963 until the conclusion of my career. The kids in the first pictures were really spiffed up; sports jackets and ties for the boys, flowery dresses for the girls. Everyone smiling at attention for the camara. Let me just say that at the end of my watch, the students were dressed, to be kind, “casual”. The class was more “bunched” together for their pose, and with many their proud, friendly, inviting smiles replaced with some smirky wise-apple faces.

    Times change and as parents and teachers you often have to go with the flow. But it is amazing to look back and see those changes reflected in their class photos of the day!

    1. Times change and then they change back when it comes to these things… (by the way, I love the term “wise-apple”! )

      We have to remember that they are still innocents inside, where it really counts (I know you know that Art!)

  2. Just look at the hideous gym uniforms we were forced against our will to wear at Pontiac Central High School.! And if you were the least bit long in the torso, it would most eagerly cause that condition named after a certain part of a dromedary anatomy!!! Oh the horror!!

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