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No Pants Allowed-52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy and History

11 June 2011

Week 24:  Clothes-What types of clothes did you wear as a child?  What was 'in fashion' and did your style compare?

Growing up in the sixties we were not allowed to wear pants to school.  I remember having to wear dresses or skirts to school through eighth grade at the public schools I attended.  I have never really been overly fashion conscious and I don't remember specific outfits I wore as a child to school.  I do remember having to throw pants in my school bag for outdoor recess in the winter.  I imagine I had snow pants, too. 

Sunday dresses were different from my school dresses.  I remember getting Cinderella dresses for Easter and then wearing that to church on Sunday.  We had church shoes and school shoes.  We didn't wear our black or white patent leather shoes to school.  We wore school shoes and had to take a pair of tennis shoes for gym class. 

In the summer I remember wearing pedal pushers or shorts.  The collar and trim on the shirt usually matched the bottoms.  White bobby socks and tennis shoes were the norm.  These were considered our play clothes.  Winter play clothes consisted of knit pants, no jeans at that time for girls, and cotton button down blouses, or knit turtlenecks.

I remember the first time I wore pants to school.  I was sure I was going to be sent home.  It was eighth grade picture day, 1971.  Pant suits were in vogue and I had a very nice purple pant suit. It was a knit two piece.  The belted top came down to upper thigh length.  It had gold buttons on the shoulder.  The bell bottomed pants matched the top exactly in color and material.   I wanted to have my picture taken in that.  So, I broke the rules and wore it for picture day.  I worried all day that someone was going to say something, but no one did.  I remember wanting wire-rimmed glasses so bad, but my mom said "No, only hippies wear wire rimmed glasses!"  It wasn't long after that I got contacts!


Claudia said...

I had forgotten about the no pants rule. I remember wearing a pair of slacks under my skirt or dress in the winter and it was very cold outside. I would take them off when I got to school.

How irrelevent that seems now. Now they go to school like the are going to the beach.

Nancy said...

Through all my years of public school we girls were never allowed to wear pants! These days it seems like the dress code is "anything goes!" I remember wearing skirts with suspenders just like in your photo.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for commenting. It seems unreal that we had a no pants rule. I agree about today's dress code. I was ecstatic when we got to wear jeans in high school. That is pretty tame today. (Brenda-because blogger won't let me sign under my name to leave a comment! Sheesh!)

Marian B. Wood said...

Wonderful memories and photos! But of course the boys had to wear white shirts and maybe even a tie for school assemblies, right? Imagine trying to have that rule today. Ha!

Kristin said...

I didn't get to wear pants to school until I was in college. I remember going on a trip to NYC with my father who gave me some money to buy clothes. I bought two pairs of bell bottom jeans. must have been about 1967. My grandmother was so disappointed when she saw what I bought. She wished I had gotten a little suit. However I was the first student in the art department to wear bell bottoms. ;-)

Amanda said...

Looks like we are about the same age, Brenda. I did not realize public schools didn't allow girls to wear pants in the 60s and early 70s - I thought that was just the Catholic schools I attended!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the comments. I remember white shirts and ties for boys, and my son use to complain because I wouldn't let him wear jeans to church! I loved it once I could wear bell bottoms!

Anonymous said...

what year did they stop banning pants

Brenda Leyndyke said...

I think the 1971-1972 school year was the first year it was okay to wear them. It is funny because within four years jeans were what everyone was wearing. The raggier the hem, the better.

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