As a girl going to school in the 1960s and 70s, and later as a public school teacher, I’ve experienced both sides of the dress code debate. In 1971 a lawsuit against my school system forced it to amend the code to allow facial hair for males and pants for females. Even then there were rules. We could only wear pants that were part of a matching set, with a tunic top or vest that came down to the hips.
By the next year we figured out that the new rules were not going to be enforced. By my senior year in 1973, we were wearing the forbidden jeans. I can remember the first day I wore jeans to class. I spent the entire day worried that I’d be sent home to change. My mother had even tried to talk me into taking a change of clothes with me to school.
But the day passed uneventfully, and before long all the girls were wearing pretty much what we wanted. I’m sure that the school officials figured out pretty quickly that a pair of jeans was preferable to the extremely short skirts of the day.
- Maybe that’s why the insistence of a charter school in North Carolina that pants on girls is somehow counter to the “traditional values” of the school seems so puzzling. The ACLU sued the school on behalf of three girls, and last week a court ruled that the rule was a violation of the Constitution’s equal protection provision. Evidently the school’s administration thought they could take state tax money as a charter, but still pass rules based on their religious beliefs.
- In other dress code news, we go to British Columbia, where a dress code for the Legislative Assembly written in 1980 is being used to tell women not to bare their arms. A bare armed protest was staged the next day.
- The National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, has a new exhibition, Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence , which can be seen until January, 2020. included in older displays.
- Marks & Spencer has developed a played based on the history of the store, using clothing from their archive and replicas.
- The popularity of period dramas on TV and in film has created work for historical consultants.
- There are quilts, and then there are quilts.
- How one museum is reconsidering the out-dated notions included in older displays.
- What happened when the Soviet government in the 1920s considered a post-revolutionary fashion for women.
- Here’s the fascinating story of Eliza Hamilton, and how her clothing style “froze” when her husband Alexander was killed.