Ms. Inglish has taught fourth through twelfth grade for 12 years, coached sports for 35 years, and witnessed the results of uniforms.
Fashion Rules Change Every Decade
Were any of you in grades K–12 during the 1960s or 1970s? Do you remember what you wore to school? The East and West Coasts were probably more fashionable and relaxed in their rules in those days, but some of the Midwest was still very conservative. Some of the finer points of the dress codes back then make me laugh today!
In the Midwest, during the '60s and '70s, fairly strict dress codes were established and followed in most public, parochial, and private schools. During the '70s, some universities attempted to outline and enforce dress codes from the '50s and '60s, but these attempts failed. By the 1980s, youth from kindergarten to college were wearing nearly anything they wanted.
In the past, it was mandatory that girls look different from boys. Everyone was expected to be able to tell the difference between genders by the clothing students wore. Those standards have fortunately died out over the years.
High School Fashion in 1965: Patty Duke on her "Patty Duke Show" about identical cousins and high school mates Patty and Cathy. Here, Patty is with Jeremy Clyde of the popular duo Chad and Jeremy in July, 1965.
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Dress Code for Boys: 1960s and 1970s
Shirts had to button down the front and have collars. Both short sleeves and long sleeves were allowed, but not sleeveless (muscle shirts). Polo-type shirts were okay as well, but T-shirts were not. Some boys wore ties with their shirts, but it was not mandatory.
Pants had to be dress trousers or casual slacks like khakis. Jeans were not allowed*.
Hard shoes like loafers or shined shoes with shoestrings and socks were required. Athletic shoes and sandals were not allowed. Families used a lot of shoe polish—it was messy and smelled like petroleum.
*Once in a while a boy here or there could wear jeans and go without reprimand. I lived in an agricultural state where many of the residents worked on farms and wore jeans.
If I remember correctly, allowing jeans for all the boys was the first step in relaxing the school dress code in my area, followed by permission to wear tennis shoes for boys only. Girls were still not permitted to wear tennis shoes at that time.
Hair was to be cut to the ears or just above, with a cleanly edged neckline—hair shaved short or in a crew cut was fine. In other words, no mullets, pigtails, "Beatle" cuts, mohawks, or large Afros. Boys were not permitted to shave their heads bald. For boys, braids, designs shaved into the sides of the head, and unnatural colors were also not allowed.
Boys were not permitted to wear earrings. One or two rings per hand were permitted, but bracelets and neck chains were discouraged.
A lot of boys carried pocket knives, just as their dads and granddads had when they were young.
Dress Code for Girls: 1960s and 1970s
Girls could only wear dresses or skirts with blouses—no trousers or slacks of any kind. In fact, it was the early- to mid-1970s before female office workers were permitted to wear pantsuits in the workplace in my city—and they had to be a matching jacket and slacks set.
Blouses or dresses could be either long- or short-sleeved but were required to be opaque. If sleeveless, armholes had to fit closely enough so that no part of the bra, slip, or straps could be seen. No low-cut or backless dresses or blouses were permitted. No black bras under white blouses, because the bras showed through. No short or bare-midriff blouses were allowed, but blouses could be tucked in or worn outside the waistband of a skirt.
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The length of skirts was not much of a problem in elementary school, but after grade six, skirts were checked regularly by school administrators. Skirts were required to touch the floor when girls kneeled on both knees at once. This test was required of several girls every day in the hallways at class changes.
Girls with skirts longer than knee length also were required to kneel. Floor-length skirts and dresses were also prohibited. We also could not wear tight skirts or skirts with slits. Mini skirts began appearing about the mid-1970s, but many schools instituted length requirements for those, and some teachers carried yardsticks to measure them.
Shoes had to be of solid construction, closed-toe, loafers or shoestring-tied shoes. Athletic shoes and sandals were not allowed. Socks were required until high school, when socks or hose could be interchanged.
There were no particular requirements for hairstyles other than to keep it clean and out of our eyes so we could see. Dying your hair unnatural colors was discouraged. This is particularly funny to me now, because my mother tried an auburn rinse on my hair without doing a spot test first, and my hair turned orange. A couple more washings and it was less orange, and nobody seemed to notice the next day.
Makeup was not permitted until junior high or high school, and then it was to be moderate to light. A couple of the girls wore a lot of black mascara, but teachers let it pass.
Wearing a lot of jewelry was discouraged because jangling bracelets and long earrings could become loud and disruptive. Moderation was the rule. One day, a 10th-grade girl with pierced earrings was walking down the hall, and a boy walked by and ripped the earrings from her ears. We saw a lot of blood. Very few girls in my school wore earrings after that.
Are Uniforms the Answer?
About half the schools in the US have implemented some type of school uniform. They argue that this directs more of the student's energies toward schoolwork and less toward fashion, beauty, and dating.
The most successful public school uniforms are just regular clothing in black and white. Kids can wear white shirts, blouses, or T-shirts with black slacks, skirts, or shorts (no short shorts), and black shoes. White socks are encouraged, but they can wear any color. In my city, the parochial school students show their individuality with colorful and wildly patterned socks with their uniforms.
Uniforms take a lot of financial pressure off middle- and lower-income families, especially those with multiple children. Some schools use tan slacks and skirts instead of black. Our local department stores ensure that these items are reduced in price each autumn for back-to-school sales and sometimes eliminate sales tax as well.
Kids in my city have been attacked for their name-brand street clothing, jackets, and shoes. Adopting uniforms has helped reduce clothing-related violence in the schools in my city that switched to school uniforms.
Women's style may be different today, but can be equally sophisticated.
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Modern Fashion Trends
Fashion trends in schools are drastically different now from what they were in 1968 and 1978! We were sent home if our skirts did not end at the mid-knee level or below—no pants, no shorts, no tight skirts, no skirts with slits, etc.
A hallmark of modern teen fashion seems to be skin-tight jeans. It reminds me of an old Star Trek: The Original Series episode in which Kirk and Spock time travel to the old west, and a resident looks at their clingy tunics and stretch pants and asks, "Are you folks with the circus?"
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: How can I cite this article?
Answer: Thanks for asking! I'd like the citation to be this:
Young Fashion: Public School Dress Codes of the 1960s and 1970s by Patty Inglish; April 27, 2012. https://bellatory.com/clothing/Public-School-Dress... Retrieved on (add the date you post the citation somewhere)
© 2012 Patty Inglish MS
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on October 10, 2019:
Hi Zoe! -- I'm happy this article has been useful for your studies! Thanks very much for your comment. Much success to you!
Zoe on October 10, 2019:
I am a student using this for National History Day club this was so helpful
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on January 04, 2019:
Hi Jim! -- I think the only hairstyles I recall for girls are the flip, reverse flip, page boy, beehive, and pixie for the 1960s and 1970s. For guys - buzz, crew cut, pompadour, and duck tail. Good luck with your book!
Jim Davis from Los Angeles on January 04, 2019:
I found this article while researching content for a new song I am working on titled "I Remember Sixty Five" the year I graduated from high school. The song is about high school and life in a small Southern town. While I remember the time and events vividly, I did not remember the names of hairstyles, etc. This article was very helpful. Thank you.
Patty Inglish MS (author) from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation on July 16, 2012:
Hey, Everybody! - Clothing certainly has changed. The only thing I wanted to change when we were in high school was the rule against slacks. We were really tired of kneeling down in hallways to see if our skirts touched the floor. In the middle-to-end of the Viet Nam War, there were more important things to attend.
While teaching GED classes for over a decade, we encouraged Bermuda (or a little shorter) shorts in spring and summer, but women with bikini bathing suit tops were sent home. Baggy saggy pants and underwear showing are pretty silly attention-getters, which also were sent home. Then one summer some women came to class with sleeveless shirts with huge armholes - and no bras - home again, home again, lickety split.
Susan Hazelton from Northern New York on July 15, 2012:
Boy, this is a blast from the past. My schools dress code looked like the one you published in your hub. I can remember having to wear dresses or skirts and blouses. The hem had to be at about the knee. There was no wandering into school wearing slippers instead of shoes, hair looking like you hadn't combed it in a week, or skimpy tops that showed your belly or your cleavage. And there certainly were no boys running around showing their boxers. Up, awesome and interesting.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on July 15, 2012:
Great hub Patty. Sorry it took me so long to find it. You and I must be from the same era. Shirts were mid knee and actually measured sometimes. Boys hair could not touch their collars. You brought back many memories of mine with this hub of yours. Overall, I'm glad that those rules prevailed over the "anything goes" rules (what rules?) of today. At least kids were not killed for their shoes or jewelry, etc! Voted up, interesting and sharing.
2patricias from Sussex by the Sea on April 28, 2012:
We both remember the days when boys dressed like boys, and girls like girls. Then, there was a time when everybody dressed the same.
Now, buying baby/toddler clothes for grandchildren, we both notice that here in England there is a very strict divide. It is almost impossible to buy "neutral" baby clothes. Right from birth size there is a pink/blue division. Rather sad.
This is an interesting Hub - voted up and interesting.
Sunilkath from Gurgaon on April 27, 2012:
Nice hub remembering me, my school dress code some boring butt cool.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 27, 2012:
This hub brought back memories as those were my school years. In 9th grade about the time school was ending for the year a bunch of us girls decided we would wear bermuda shorts to school. Our reasoning was if enough of us did it they would let it pass and it was hot outside. Well, we all got sent home to change into appropriate clothing. I hadn't thought about that in a long time. Very interesting hub.
Sondra Rochelle from USA on April 27, 2012:
Great Hub! I went to school in the 50's, so you can imagine what WE wore...poodle skirts, pony tails, DA haircuts, Ivy league shirts and hats, knee socks...everybody dressed for success LOL!!
Deborah Neyens from Iowa on April 27, 2012:
I had to click on this hub. I went to Catholic grade school in the 70s and we had to wear plaid skirts with white blouses. No pants. Girls would bring pants to pull on under our skirts to go outside for recess in winter. But I was quite the elementary school activist. When I was in third grade I started a petition to allow girls to wear pants in winter and got every girl in school (and most of their mothers) to sign it. After that, we were allowed to wear pants during the winter months, but they had to be one of the colors in the plaid skirts - red, blue, or green. And no jeans, of course.
The rest of my time in that school was spent finding ways to break the dress code, by wearing the wrong color socks or a different shirt over my white blouse, etc. I spent many a noon hour in the principal's office writing out "I will not break the dress code uniform" 500 times. (They had to throw that extra "uniform" in at the end of the sentence to make it all that much longer.) I guess I wasn't cut out for Catholic school. I got to transfer to the public school for high school.
Linda J Smith from Google on April 27, 2012:
Donna Cosmato from USA on April 27, 2012:
Nice trip down the memory lane of fashion. How times have changed!
Allen Williams from Pennsylvania on April 27, 2012:
I remember quite well in the 1960s the girls were not permitted to wear pants. They had to wear a dress or a skirt. My sisters and other girls always complained that their legs were cold in the winter when we walked to school. That rule was changed in the late 1960s when the girls could wear pants on cold days.
I also remember my cousin getting his hair cut in class because it was past his ears and the teacher warned him to get it cut. The teacher tied him to the chair at his desk and cut his hair with a scissor.
Good hub. I voted up and awesome.
1960s Kids' Fashion Clothing including denim jeans and corduroy slacks, tapered trousers and stylish pullovers, Sailor dresses, jumpers and bold plaids with bow accents, Pants-dresses, double-breasted jackets, flared slacks, ruffled shirts and turtlenecks, pleated skirts and button accents ....
In addition to tailored skirts, women wore stiletto heel shoes and suits with short boxy jackets, and oversized buttons. Simple, geometric dresses, known as shifts, were also in style. For evening wear, full-skirted evening gowns were worn; these often had low necklines and close-fitting waists.
The 1970s: Bell-bottoms, cowl-neck sweaters and boogie shoes
In the boys and young men's department, v-neck sweaters and reversible jackets carried the day, while poly-cotton blend jeans featured flared legs.
Popular styles included bell bottom pants, frayed jeans, midi skirts, maxi dresses, Tie dye, peasant blouses, and ponchos. Some accessories that will help pull together your early '70s Hippie outfits are chokers, headbands, scarves, and jewelry made of wood, stones, feathers, and beads.
Blue skirts, white blouses for girls; blue slacks, white shirts for guys. For social occasions you could wear your skirt length shorter than what was acceptable at school. The dresses at left and right are light and fun. We called these hip huggers.
How to start a 60s & 70s style wardrobe | dressing vintage
Choose clothes with bright colors and bold geometric patterns. Button-down shirts, miniskirts, and dresses are all good options. Accessories like oversized bows, low-block heels, and wide ties are also popular choices. Another way to dress like you were in the 1960s is to create a hippie-style outfit.
1960 Girls Clothes
Description Girls of 1960 were all about earth tone plaids and darker green shades, especially for fall fashion. Tapered plaid trousers paired with tunics or button down shirts were popular as were pleated skirts and bib-front and collared dresses.
1970s: Bell-Bottoms, Denim, And Midriffs Were A 70s High School Fashion Dream. 1970s teen fashion was heavily inspired by the hippie movement, as evidenced by a profusion of tie-dye. Both girls and boys donned flared pants, and denim was wildly popular.
The early 1960's didn't see much change in young boys fashion either. Clothing was very plain, with grey being a common colour. Shirts and shorts/trousers were obviously popular although shorts were often just trousers cut down. Waist coats and long grey socks were also common.
Bell-bottom jeans, hipsters and T-shirts were worn every day. Flower patches were everywhere and bandannas and ribbons were worn in their hair. Floral patterns were universal and the focus was on vibrancy and colour.
White suits with plunging necklines and wide lapels were common. When not in bellbottoms with halter-neck tops, women most often wore slinky knee-length wrap dresses. Jumpsuits and platform boots were popular with both sexes, as were hot pants and top-to-bottom gold lamé.
Deep, darker colors were the rage in 1960. They especially covered the spectrum between purple, red and green. Colors like like grape, plum, wine red, garnet and olive green. In contrast, neon bright pink was also a very popular color for those looking to make a statement.
Women's 60s style pants, crop pants, capri pants, cigarette pants, denim jeans, and pedal pushers were all common in the Swinging Sixties. High waists, full hips, and a tapered leg was the fashion of the early to mid 1960s. They came in every pastel, neutral or bright color imaginable.
- Bellbottoms. Bellbottoms were like the clothing mullet before the mullet was really a thing. ...
- Platforms. Wanting to be taller is a common wish among people. ...
- High-waisted jeans. ...
- Tie-dye. ...
- Feathered hair. ...
- The afro. ...
- Corduroy. ...
- Circular sunglasses.
Schools were crowded and noisy – not even half as cool and fun as Hollywood often portrayed them to be. There were plenty of opportunities for extra-curricular activities like drama clubs but for sports teams, they were just for male high school students.
In 1972, the Education Amendments of 1972 passed in the United States, which, as part of the Title IX non-discrimination provisions, declared that dresses could not be required of girls. Dress codes thus changed in public schools across the United States. In the 1970s, trousers became quite fashionable for women.
Late 80s: Me and My Calvins. A century after its invention, jeans were finally embraced by high fashion. Calvin Klein was the first designer in 1976 who showed blue jeans on the runway.
1960 Girls Clothes
Description Girls of 1960 were all about earth tone plaids and darker green shades, especially for fall fashion. Tapered plaid trousers paired with tunics or button down shirts were popular as were pleated skirts and bib-front and collared dresses.
School Dress Code Laws
The first school dress code law was established in 1969 by the U.S. Supreme Court. The case, known as Tinker vs. Des Moines Independent School District, involved several high school students who wore black armbands to school in a planned protest against the Vietnam War.
Elizabeth Smith Miller is often credited as the first modern woman to wear pants.
Just as a reminder of the journey behind us, we've decided to take a trip down memory lane and look at some of the most prominent dress code rules.
By looking at the school dress codes from different decades, you can totally tell how much fashion trends actually influenced them.. Back throughout the roaring '20s, a pretty common school dress code requirement for girls was that they need to wear a corset.. Yup, in the 20's a majority of school dress codes required that boys always come with a hat, as hats were usually a part of their school uniform.. As global fashion started drastically changing, schools everywhere had to adapt their rules, because certain things were not already part of the school dress codes simply because fashion didn't require them to be.. As for girls, they were still mainly forced to wear skirts, even though certain schools here and there slowly started allowing their female students to wear the pants (in the school).. Since guys dropped the hats, male hair trends went totally wild.. The funny thing is, just like cropped tops, baggy pants have currently found their way back into the fashion game, which just makes us wonder has the time come where millennials are running the fashion industry?
The 1960s' fashion changed the way we look at clothing. Everything from mini skirts to folk costumes, classic styles, and the bohemian styles of the hippie movement made a dramatic change in what was trendy.
The youthful population of the 1960s wore short skirts, geometric prints, and bright colors.. Men grew their hair long.. Young people rejected traditional clothing and a kind of style anarchy created a new bohemian look introduced by the hippie movement.. Bright colors and fabric patterns taken from children's wear mixed with bold geometric prints, puffed caps, and knee-high boots to create a modern, new look—Mod style.. While the British dressed up, Americans dressed down.. Young men grew their hair long or allowed curls to grow naturally.. The tall, thin boots came in light shades and in colors.. Rockers and Americans who favored Western styles wore cowboy boots or motorcycle boots.
Discover how a new kind of fashion helped mark the arrival of the modern age
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London.. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. In the 1950s, fashion was dominated by the tastes of a wealthy, mature elite.. The fashion industry quickly responded by creating designs for young people that no longer simply copied 'grown up' styles.. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. It took a new kind of shop to break the dominance of Paris and to fully ignite the potential of youth fashion.. Boutiques were small, self-service shops set up in London by designers who wanted to offer affordable fashions to ordinary young people, offering a very different experience from the often rather formal 'outfitters' and old-style department stores.. The slim-fitting, brightly coloured outfits produced by London designers became hugely influential throughout the UK, as well as in Europe and America – helping to create the seductive image of 'Swinging London'.. Later in the decade, influential designers included Barbara Hulanicki who, like Quant, focused on fun dresses with daringly short hem lengths, and Marion Foale and Sally Tuffin, notable for their quirky day wear and code-breaking trouser suits for women.. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. As the decade went on, dress codes, even for the older generation, became increasingly relaxed: tailoring loosened, public figures like Jackie Kennedy began to favour shorter skirts, and fewer people wore accessories like hats and gloves.. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London.. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Pierre Cardin, Emanuel Ungaro and Yves Saint Laurent were among those European designers who successfully translated a couture aesthetic – producing bold, futuristic designs for young people who wanted everyday wear.. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. By the late 1960s, style had become quite theatrical.. London's Kensington Market became a mecca for young people wanting to create their own alternative look, selling lots of colourful clothing, much of it sourced in India.. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Share this article
All societies define childhood within certain parameters. From infancy to adolescence, there are societal expectations throughout the various stages of ...
An overview history of children's clothing provides insights into changes in child-rearing theory and practice, gender roles, the position of children in society, and similarities and differences between children's and adults' clothing.. To modern eyes, it may appear that when little boys of the past were attired in skirts or dresses, they were dressed "like girls," but to their contemporaries, boys and girls were simply dressed alike in clothing appropriate for small children.. When swaddling was still customary in the early years of the eighteenth century, babies were taken out of swaddling at between two and four months and put into "slips," long linen or cotton dresses with fitted bodices and full skirts that extended a foot or more beyond the children's feet; these long slip outfits were called "long clothes.". These modifications in children's clothing affected women's clothing-the fine muslin chemise dresses worn by fashionable women of the 1780s and 1790s look remarkably similar to the frocks young children had been wearing since mid-century.. The ritual of little boys leaving off dresses for male clothing continued to be called "breeching" in the nineteenth century, although now trousers, not breeches, were the symbolic male garments.. When neoclassical styles were in fashion in the early years of the century, females of all ages and toddler boys wore similarly styled, high-waisted dresses with narrow columnar skirts.. Victorian children From about 1830 and into the mid-1860s, when women wore fitted waist-length bodices and full skirts in various styles, most dresses worn by toddler boys and preadolescent girls were more similar to each other than to women's fashions.. Some mid-nineteenth-century children's dresses, especially best dresses for girls over ten, were reflective of women's styles with currently fashionable sleeve, bodice, and trim details.. The fact that girls can wear both pink (feminine) and blue (masculine) colors, while boys wear only blue, illustrates an important trend begun in the late 1800s: over time, garments, trims, or colors once worn by both young boys and girls, but traditionally associated with female clothing, have become unacceptable for boys' clothing.. As toddler girls outgrew their rompers in the 1920s, new play clothes for three-to five-year-olds, designed with full bloomer pants underneath short dresses, were the first outfits to extend the age at which girls could wear pants.
There's a lot of back and forth when it comes to how women dress, but if there's one thing that the history of dress codes has taught us is that a woman's body is political, no matter how benign her closet is. Some, of course, would be quick to…
So when did these dress codes start to become more lax?. "A woman of leisure was a woman of means.. "Once you change the 'silhouette' you change the feminine ideal.. When you change that feminine ideal, society, and a woman’s place within it, shifts.. "Laws well into the twentieth century prohibited women from working in mines, so some women disguised themselves as men to avoid legal penalties," Smith explains.. But as we'll see, the fear of the female pleat will follow women well into the 21st century.. While we can't say this problem is a non-issue during present day (just think of how many times Hillary Clinton's pantsuits were mentioned during the 2016 elections), there was an interesting shift in 1992 that allowed our female members of Congress to push back against their public image: They reached 10 percent in terms of demographics , and their male counterparts were forced to realize they weren't going anywhere.. Add into that the fact that often times school dress codes are put into place for "purity" reasons when it comes to girls, and how one of the first questions a woman hears after getting sexually assaulted is " what were you wearing ?". and dress codes become a little less benign.
In his new book 'Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History', Richard Thompson Ford traces the death of suit, and unpacks the symbolism behind Silicon Valley’s new casual wear of hoodies and sweats.
In my book, Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History, I look at laws, workplace rules, and social customs that concern what we wear and what our clothing signifies.. In its popularity the suit makes an egalitarian statement, reflecting its origins as a rejection of the explicit status symbols of aristocratic dress.. The counterculture targeted the suit as a symbol of uptight, bourgeois conformity, and in today’s culture, which values individual authenticity above social cohesiveness, the suit is becoming unfashionable.. Tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel made this anti–dress code explicit in his 2014 book Zero to One, advising, “Never invest in a tech CEO that wears a suit.”. According to Silicon Valley insiders, “in the fast-moving world of tech, the idea is to show you are not wasting precious time on something as vain as fashion.” When Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer appeared in a 2013 Vogue magazine spread wearing a sapphire-blue Michael Kors dress and Yves Saint Laurent stiletto heels, Silicon Valley’s reaction was neither congratulatory nor indifferent; it was disapproving.. In its place, the casual tech dress code, which suggests indifference to attire while also ascribing moral importance to it, has become the 21st century’s expression of professionalism.
Historical evidence of men telling women what to wear for millennia
Counterintuitively, this ruling was actually celebrated by many women – simply because they could leave the house for the first time without the objection of their husbands and fathers.. AND, ER, SO ARE TABLE LEGS… It was decided in the UK that women must cover their whole bodies in public – necklines were raised to just below the chin, and hemlines dropped to below the ankle.. Men, meanwhile, had pockets since the 1600s.. And they worked just fine, by the way.. As a result, the hijab was deemed representative of female modesty and piety – while also symbolising the upper class.. 627AD: THE HIJAB IS IMPOSED FOR MUHAMMAD’S WIVES Originally, the word ‘hijab’ could mean ‘veiling’ or ‘seclusion’ – but it only became enforced when Muhammad began entertaining increasing numbers of male visitors in the mosque where he lived.. Wearing the hijab only entered the public sphere centuries after Muhammad’s death.. 200BC: MARRIED WOMEN ARE MADE TO DRESS DIFFERENTLY In Ancient Rome, women were made to start wearing a floor-length, modest gown called the ‘stola’ as soon as they were married.. 400-500BC: MODESTY IS IMPOSED – KIND OF Nobody is completely certain why breasts suddenly started being covered up in Ancient Greece, but sculptures from that time show goddesses hiding their chests behind their hands, or dressing in over-sized, flowing robes that hung loosely over their upper bodies.
Japanese school uniforms were first adopted more than a century ago to distinguish students attending elite institutes. The outfits have changed over time and are now standard attire at junior and senior high schools across the country. Loved by some and derided by others, they remain a central aspect of student life.
The debate over school attire was poignantly illustrated earlier this year when a public primary school in Tokyo’s ritzy Ginza district caused a stir by adopting uniforms by Armani as an option for students.. The standardizing of the naval-style school uniform was aided further when it was adopted by Imperial University, the forerunner of the University of Tokyo, for its all-male student body in 1886—single-gender education was the norm in Japan up to the end of World War II.. At first some students imitated the pictures from their childhoods by wearing hakama to class as a fashion statement, while others pressed school heads to make the trousers the official school uniform.. The early history of school uniforms in Japan is an amalgam of school policies and student aspirations and expressions of self.. However, at the start of each school year people willfully push such concerns aside and indulge in sentimental scenes of students in new uniforms taking part in school entrance ceremonies.