How old *are* you guys anyway?

snowsheepThus spake my long-suffering boss today. It was below zero (Fahrenheit) this morning and all of us gals of a certain age had been cackling about how, when we were all in high school back in the Jurassic Age, we were prohibited from wearing pants to school. We had to wear articles of clothing that ended in skirts. And, yaknow what? When we were in high school, the fashion of the day was mini-skirts. And I do mean mini. How high up the thigh could you get away with without having the old-fashioned *male* high school principal corner you in the hallway and tell you that your skirt was too short. And then there were those damn garter belts. No panty hose in those days. You had to wear this blasted garter belt that hooked up your nylon stockings, the ones that were usually full of runs or maybe even, uh, unclean, since we had to wash those things by hand… And with our micro-mini-skirts, it was almost impossible to keep that particular piece of undergarment from showing when we were in a sitting position. And when it was minus 28 degrees (Fahrenheit), we walked to school in those outfits, usually without the assistance of appropriate coats, boots, hats, and gloves, whatever. We wanted to be fashionable. We could’ve worn pants underneath our skirts and taken them off at school. That was allowed, at least up in Da Yoop it was. But who would be caught dead wearing some lumpy-looking old pair of pants *under* their bee-yoo-tifful micro-mini-skirt.

Thank heaven those days are gone. The schools these days have some rather different issues with dress codes, which I won’t go into, mainly because I have always ignored the whole issue as much as possible since I had my own kids. Clothing was *such* an issue when I was a kid that I remember swearing that when I had my own kids, I wouldn’t fight about it. I didn’t. And guess what. My kids dress more tastefully than I do.

And yes, I work with a bunch of other old bags. Very, very intelligent, creative, wonderful old bags. And our long-suffering boss is younger enough than us that he wasn’t quite there for the dress code wars of the 60s. But he’s not *terribly* far behind. And he deserves a medal for having to put up with trying to herd us old cats around. Mrrrrrooowwww.

8 Responses to “How old *are* you guys anyway?”

  1. Marquis Says:

    Something tells me that I probably shouldn’t share this, but since I just survived a nine hour meeting today, my compass is still spinning.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you Mantyhose:

  2. Kathy Farnell Says:

    When I was in High School, I had to wear a uniform to Shrine High. The rule was we COULD NOT roll our skirts to make them shorter. When we knelt down, the skirt had to touch the floor. How embarrassing in the 60’s to be seen that way! So, being a very smart person and not wanting to break the rules, I went to Woolworths (the five and dime) and purchased a pair if mens suspenders. The suspenders held my skirt up nicely without my having to roll it up at the waist. I was legal – so I thought. Sister Hilda (her real name) attacked me in the hall between classes and tried to unroll my skirt. She sort of sputtered when she found the suspenders but all she did was make me take them off. The school rules never changed officially but I understood that I was not to wear the suspenders to school again. (I reserved them for my 1 1/2 mile walk home.) When I started to go to Dondero High School the next year, the rule in the public school was that your skirt could not be more than 4″ above the knee. All of the guys that were on hall patrol would call us over to measure our skirts to make sure we were not breaking the rules! As for the garter belts – yes they were a pain but I covered mine up with bloomers. My bloomers were flowered, leopard print, and some had lace on the bottom edge. We all wore them to cover our garter belt. Those were fun times but it would have been nice to wear jeans to school. Dondero started to let girls wear jeans and pants in 1969 but I was no longer there.

  3. Dog Mom Says:

    I was in elementary school when apparently my Mom and several other Moms got together to petition to let their little girls at least wear SNOWPANTS under the mandated skirts in the winter. Yes, apparently the school dress code in the ’60s forbade girls from wearing *snowpants* until the Board got put in its place by a group of Moms.

    I remember the snowpants-under-the-skirts throughout elementary years. Don’t recall when girls were allowed to actually wear pants, but in Jr High (or was it Sr High???), we were THRILLED to be allowed to wear jeans! After that was allowed, I was hard-pressed to NOT wear jeans! In fact, jeans continue to be my absolute favorite clothing item. Go figure!

  4. Jay Says:

    Ah yes, the hated snow pants. I used to walk around the corner and take them off and carry them to school. Of course I probably froze. And at least once fell down skinning my knees and tearing a hole in my tights (the thick kind). Then had to explain how that had happened with no hole in the snow pants.

  5. kayak woman Says:

    I remember the rolled skirts too!

    When we were in elementary school, we actually *could* wear pants to school. I think this may have been a function of the extreme cold we often got in the winter. The rules changed with junior high.

    And I have heard of the man tights too although some of those are pretty darn fancy. I don’t wear pantyhose exactly (if I can avoid them) but I have found some nice tights (DKNY) that fit me well (so I am not tugging at them all the time) and I wear them *all* the time in the winter. As long underwear and with [what passes for] business casual.

  6. jane Says:

    I remember Bubs sending Jay back upstairs from breakfast to change her clothes one time. apparently whatever skirt that was did NOT pass the Bubs dress code. Don’t remember the year but I was young and cute and in elementary school. probably the late 60’s.

  7. grandmothertrucker Says:

    At Shrine Elementary, Sister Patrica Marie ( Piglet was her nickname), the Principal, let us take the upper half off of our uniform, the jumper part, and by 5th grade you could wear the skirt alone without the jumper. The nuns eyed us and told us to pull our skirts down if they were too short, the 70’s. They told us about the rules that Kathy mentioned, we laughed. They said if we kneel on the floor, the skirts should touch the floor. This garbage kinda wore out in the mid-70’s. They just didn’t fight with us about it anymore…. we were told that we were allowed to wear our gym shorts under our skirts anytime, not to be made of jean material either….

    By 7th grade, they said we could make pants out of the same material ( hideous red white and blue Catholic plaid ) That was 76. My mom made me a pair. ( my older sisters were sooo jealous… ) We could wear red white or blue socks or shirts with our uniforms, if they were solid by 76. We could wear pants under our skirts in the winter, but NOT jeans. Particularly Levi brand. Not allowed. Piglet showed up in Clawson when our school had roller skating night on Wednesdays at the Clawson Roller Rink, and kicked us out if we wore Levi jeans. ( I don’t think she should have been allowed to do that. ) Even kids that were not from our school, got kicked out of the roller rink, for wearing Levi jeans. We all quit going there with the school. She stood there with a scissors, walking up to kids and cutting off any shredded pieces of jean hanging loose, you TRIED so hard to wear on the heels…… that b*tch. In 1977, she got the on PA for morning announcements, and said that “LEVI JEANS ARE A SIGN OF THE DEVIL. ” I was in 8th grade, thought she was nuts, and when mom and dad asked me if I wanted to go to Shrine High or Dondero High, I chose Dondero. Nobody wore micro minis, but we could wear whatever we wanted, as long as we didn’t show “mid-drift”, that was the thing in the late 70’s…. do not let your belly button show, keep pulling your shirt down……. The teachers gave up and just told you, “Do not wear that shirt to my class again, ok?”

    You could wear pants Shrine if you went straight to the girls room, and took them off once you were indoors, and got the generous excuse of being late for class, excused. The nuns started hanging out by the bathrooms at the end of the day, to see who was wearing pants and trying to sneak out the door with them on. You had to leave the skirt on too. But they better not be Levis, or you could get suspended… “saturday jug” That was when you go to school on saturday morning, PAY Piglet $1.60 and hour, and she has you write your multiplication tables for an hour, or go outside and pick up garbage, or whatever she comes up with…… the nerve of some penguins….. If you did anything wrong to get suspended, you got “Saturday Jug.” That was when they stopped hitting us with rulers, and grabbing us by our hair…… which could bring on a whole mess of blogs from allll my siblings….

    I remember Gumper telling my sister BETSY ( her name was Betsy then… ) that she was NOT going to wear THAT skirt to school in the 60’s one morning. She had to go change, and she cried and argued with dad. So she just packed what she wanted to wear in a bag, and changed her clothes when she got to school.

    I still hate paid…… unless it’s a flannel shirt or a kilt.

  8. Pooh Says:

    Ah, yes! The fashion wars of our youth. How can I not chime in.

    Elementary school brings back just a few memories. One, hanging upside down on the monkey bars, and a boy shouting, “I see London, I see France, I can see your underpants!” Two, the hole(s) in the tights, that Jay mentioned, usually caused by sliding on the mini-ice pond that formed in Waterworks Park, although I don’t remember carrying my snow pants to school. Three, being allowed to wear shorts on Field Day in 6th grade, but some girls wearing, gasp, nylons. My proto-feminist, not boy-crazy mind could not wrap around that thought. “You can wear shorts, and you chose to wear nylons and a skirt, and then not be able to play????”

    Junior High was when I remember there being more conflict with the school over what we wore. Many of us, it seemed, kind of snuck in the mini skirts, by continuing to wear the skirts we’d worn in elementary, even though we were now taller. “This old skirt… Well, it was knee length in 5th grade, so it must still be okay to wear.” But we were also buying new skirts and mini-dresses and go-go boots and hot pink fishnet pantyhose (to wear with our lime green mini-dress!) Yes, by now we’d pretty much switched from the garter belt and separate stockings to pantyhose, even though it was more expensive, and you couldn’t throw out just the leg that had the run. I think the rule at our school was that the skirt couldn’t be shorter than your fingertips. I just tried that, and it seems really short!!! But we still weren’t supposed to wear pants. Hats off to Julie, who in 8th grade wore a very short tunic/dress. When she was told to go home and change, she said, “Well, I did bring the pants that go with the outfit.” So they let her wear the pantsuit. That was the camel’s nose under the tent, and soon lots of girls started wearing pants. (And I wonder if the school administrators weren’t relieved that they didn’t have as much skirt policing to do!) Bubs wouldn’t let us wear pants in Junior High School, because she said none of our pants were nice enough for school. By the end of high school, I was wearing jeans pretty much all the time, and some were much rattier than the ones I’d had for play in Junior High!)

    Today’s fashions for youth? Just how long will the sagging pants fashion continue? Some of the girls are doing it to, although they usually wear soccer shorts underneath. And the tank tops that are two sizes smaller than the bra underneath? But at least today, everybody is not in lock-step. There seems to be a wider range of fashions to choose from.