Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Last night, our mother-daughter book club went to hear Gail Collins in celebration of International Women's Day. Gail wrote a cool book about the women's movement, which I will now read.

During her talk, Gail mentioned that almost every woman she knows who was working outside the home in the 1970s has a "slacks story" - sometime when she was yelled at or not taken seriously because she wore pants in public. My mom is about Gail's age, and she was nodding along knowingly during this portion of the talk, which I found ironic.

I found this ironic because she sent me to an all-girls school where there were very strict wardrobe restrictions. There were uniforms. Uniforms with knee-length pleated skirts (no more than two-inches above the knee! They measured!) and boxy button-downs and v-neck monogrammed sweater vests.

"Mom!" I said. "You sent me to a school where I wasn't allowed to wear slacks in the NINETIES!"

"I know!" she laughed.

Hahaha! That was feminism at its finest. Especially when the head of the upper school lectured us ladies about the honor and privilege of taking one's husband's last name.


AmyRobynne said...

Do girls wear pants in the upper school at Shef's school? Girls are allowed to wear pants Nov 1-Apr 1 at Peter/Dan's school, but none of the older girls do because they think the cut is ugly and they'd rather wear the skirts. The lower school girls wear pants sometimes instead of jumpers, but not often.

kc said...

No uniforms at Shef's school! He wears sweatpants 24/7. ;)

It was skirts with no pants option PK-12 at Visitation. My sister was allowed to wear any blue slacks at Holy Angels.

AmyRobynne said...

Interesting! I had no idea they didn't wear uniforms! I'll have to ask my FIL about the history there. I can't count the number of times he's mentioned how much the school changed over the 40+ years he taught there.

When Leo's not at school, he's always in sweatpants.

Anonymous said...

I don't have a "slacks in the workplace" story -- not quite old enough for that -- but it was a matter of concern when I wore pants to (public) school in third grade.

mem in CA