a newspaper man adjusts his pen

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

High school dress code, flashback to the 1970s

Members of the International Thespian Society of 1973 at Belle Vernon Area High School.

My yellowing high school student handbook turned up in the desk this morning while I rummaged for an old-fashioned checkbook to pay the monthly electric bill to a supplier whose online services have not been user friendly.

So late tonight I flipped through the rules for 1970 to 1973 to attend Belle Vernon Area High School to the dress code for a time when such things as marijuana and cigarette smoking were pretty much overlooked by the teachers.

Yet there were still a few teachers there with measuring sticks to check the lengths of girls' skirts to make sure they didn't fall too high above the knee. (Well that probably was a lame an excuse for freaky adults to get closer looks at the young girls' legs.)

A quick glance at our 1973 yearbook revealed the girls were some of the biggest violators of the code for their having had the audacity to wear trousers, no matter how kooky they looked in extra wide cut slacks with bold plaid prints. 

It seemed, though, that most of my classmates at the public school in southwestern Pennsylvania followed the following silly dress code:

1. Dresses and skirts

A. The length of a dress or skirt should be modest and in good taste.
B. Skirts should be loose enough to fall freely and allow comfort when sitting.
C. No jump suits, bloomer dresses, slacks or shorts will be permitted to be worn in school.

II. Trousers

A. Any trousers may be worn so long as they are clean, pressed and neat-looking, provided they are moderately fitted. Blue jeans are not considered proper school attire.
B. The tops of trousers should be worn above the hips.

III. Shirts

A. Shirts should have only one button open at the collar
B. The collar on shirts should be kept down
C. Shirts that are styled to be worn outside may be worn so, provided they are square cut. Shirts that are styled to be worn inside the trousers must be worn that way.
D. "T" shirts will not be permitted to be worn as an outer garment.

IV. Sweatshirts

A. The wearing of sweatshirts is not considered proper school attire

Meanwhile, shoes were expected to be neat and clean. Boys and girls were required to wear socks at all times. Girls had the option of wearing stockings. Girls were supposed to also wear moderate amounts of make-up.


Amanda Blu said...

Scooter, that photo is priceless. You are really letting your freak flag fly up in there.

Ladee said...

I don't remember seeing a written dress code, so this was very interesting. This photograph sums up the clothing diversity and change taking place in the early 70s. Common dress code from just four or five years earlier did not permit anything other than a knee length skirt. Slacks, pant suits, and jeans were not allowed. Things changed quickly by the time of this photo with the jeans and short skirts.

Thanks for sharing!

Scott Beveridge said...

Thanks for stopping by Ladee. It appears you are in this photo - no?