School Dress Codes Back When We Were Kids Make Today’s Rules Look Like A Cake Walk
For many of us school dress codes were a fact of life. While dress codes varied from school to school, there were certain common threads hat ran through the regulations governing what we could and could not wear.
In the early days of formal education, dress codes were primarily enforced in private schools, where the expectation was that students would wear clothing that reflected the elite status of the school. This often meant formal suits or dresses, and strict adherence to codes of modesty.
As public education became more widespread, dress codes were also implemented in these institutions. In the early 20th century, dress codes were typically gender-specific and focused on ensuring that girls wore dresses or skirts, while boys wore pants and collared shirts.
For boys, the dress code was fairly straightforward. We were expected to wear slacks or jeans, along with a collared shirt. T-shirts were generally not allowed, unless they were plain white and worn underneath a collared shirt. Athletic wear was also not allowed, meaning that we had to change out of our gym clothes as soon as we were finished with P.E. class. . Boys were generally required to have short hair, with no facial hair allowed. They were not allowed to wear hats inside the school building.
For girls, the rules were a bit more complicated. Skirts or dresses were required, with hemlines generally required to fall at or below the knee. Blouses or sweaters were also required, with sleeveless tops generally not allowed. Girls were also expected to wear hosiery, meaning that bare legs were not allowed. Nail polish and makeup were generally not allowed in schools. Girls were expected to have a natural and modest appearance, with little to no makeup and nails kept short and unadornedHair was also a point of regulation in many schools. Girls were expected to wear their hair neatly styled, and some schools even required girls to wear their hair in a certain style, such as a bun or ponytail.
Later, dress codes became more relaxed and reflective of the counterculture movement of the time. Students were allowed to wear more casual clothing, and there was a greater emphasis on individual expression and self-identity.