School Uniforms: Times Past

Irene Waters’ “Times Past” prompt challenge topic for March is: School Uniforms

For this months times past I thought we would look at school uniforms or lack of them. Do you see a value in wearing a uniform. For those in countries that don’t have uniforms would your prefer to have one. Tell us your memories of what you did with your uniform to make it a little more attractive. Any memories at all.


As a baby boomer growing up in the USA, I went to public schools. No uniforms. But there were rules about what to wear. Would it have been easier to have worn a uniform? I’m not sure, except perhaps as an equalizer between the haves and the have nots. Or the fashionable and the not so fashionable.

Gym day for girls in grammar school meant I could wear pants (and sneakers!) to school. My favorite day for both reasons: pants plus gym.

High school rules governed skirt length until I was in the 10th grade…and girls were allowed to wear pants. Hallelujah. I will just barely mention the ugly one piece green jumpsuit type “uniforms” we had to wear in high school PE class. I had to sew my last name on the back. I always felt sorry for the girl in my class whose last name was Zitts.

Girl Scouts.
Now that required a uniform.
I started out as a Brownie and worked my way up to Cadette, excelling at cookie sales…not so much at sewing.
I lasted through the 7th grade, at which point all the rules and requirements didn’t appeal to me anymore. I was a questioner. That did not jive with many Girl Scout Laws.

I also pushed the envelope that year during the troop trip to DC. I spotted boys in a hotel room window across the alley from our hotel room. I was 13. Called them, giggled and hung up. A few times with my roommates. I managed to talk my way out of being sent home.


Brownie salute – age 8

When I was 10 and 11 years old, I went to a Girl Scout overnight camp.

What did I love about it?
Being outside. Hiking. Campfires.
Making Campfire Stew. New friends.
Arts and Crafts.

What did I not like?
Mosquitoes. Latrines.
Eating cold canned Spam on hikes.

The required uniform: white (yes, white) short sleeved blouse, green belted shorts, green knee socks and a rope lanyard. Not comfortable. And even at that young age, the regimentation of it bothered me. It made no logical sense. Who wears knee socks in the summer? (although I think I skipped those on occasion).

This photo was taken on the first day…while the uniforms were still clean!  The 3 counselors are in the middle front row. I am standing, 6th from the left.

Girl Scout Camp Group Photo


When I was 13, I went to a YWCA overnight camp.
No uniforms and no canned Spam!
I stayed for a month.

12 thoughts on “School Uniforms: Times Past

  1. Ah…the good ol’ days! I hated those jumpers for gym class. And the horrible swimsuits. Girl Scout uniforms weren’t so bad, but now that you mention them, I wasn’t fond of wearing them to school. My kids went to private grade school and they had to wear uniforms, which they hated, but it sure made getting them dressed in the morning a breeze. Then they hit the grades where they could pick their own clothes and we moved them to public schools and then free for all styles restricted only by budgets. Love your photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Shelley! I don’t remember wearing the GS uniform to school, but maybe I did sometimes. Uniforms do take away the decision making aspect of getting ready for school – one positive for sure.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved your memories. I think I would have struggled not wearing a uniform. For us I’m sure it would have become a fashion contest and I would have stood out even more than I did. Our gym uniform were short little shifts with bloomer type pants. You didn’t wear them outside of PT (physical training but we saw it as physical torture) but you didn’t want to either. Your girl scout uniforms were a little impractical. We had girl guides in Australia and girls didn’t join the scouts until well into the eighities (perhaps even 90s) but we did have joint camps and possibly as I was already used to uniforms I didn’t see it as onerus to wear another. We had a lot of fun and for me I’m sure it was a great way to escape. Thanks for joining in again. Sorry I took so long to get back to you. A combination of a few things.

    Liked by 1 person

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