A school in Ipswich, UK has banned skirts for girls. They now have to wear trousers.
It clearly has been a war on short hemlines. Teachers were found with tape measures to check the length of the skirt. Recalcitrant students were often sent home, some were required to change into a school owned skirt, others were made to unhitch the skirt to roll down the hems. Some even suspended.
It is a matter of discussion of course whether strict uniform rules in educational institutions improve the standard of education. It may not, though teachers may have more time to concentrate on their subjects ( pun intended) rather than monitor the hemline.
I guess we grew up in a world without television. And fashion fortunately did not play an important role in the growing years of our lives . Our parents knew children grew fast. And our school uniforms had to last for two academic years. We were no exception. The first day of school had all of us in uniforms that extended at least 3 inches below the knees. And with long john socks one could barely see skin! Well into the second year, the hemline would show a decrease. It then led to opening of hems to increase the length to what was thought decent enough. The discolouration of the exposed cloth to the concealed hem was obvious, but no one cared.
In my class, one of the girls started a movement by wearing the belt at the hip. And it caught on. I have no idea what it did to our appearance, but sure enough, I joined the gang. The low waist movement of our times? Anyway, our teachers turned a blind eye.
My elder one went to a popular girls college run by nuns. They found girls just out of schools, having got rid of the school uniform, rather unmanageable. They came dressed like Britney Spears. Not all, but a few were enough to raise their hackles. The shalwar kameez rule was enforced It was amusing to find a senior, fierce looking Sister standing at the gate, giving students a look over as they walked in. We would find girls hurriedly donning a jacket over their sleeveless kurtas before they turned into the lane leading to the college. Obviously the jacket would be off as soon as they left in the evening.
But there are others who seek attention. For instance, the Badminton World Federation wanted to ban shorts and introduce skirts for women players. A feeble attempt to glamorise the sport. The idea was dropped almost as soon as it surfaced. Some felt, if the men wanted to watch girls in skirts they would go elsewhere and not to a game of badminton.
Probably a Maria Sharapova or Anna Kournikova in any sport can add glamour. What tennis players wear or what they do not are hotly discussed. And they make the most of it. They don designer apparel with trendy jewellery. Even with the dress code at Wimbledon, they still make their fashion statement. Perhaps, the reason why officials at Wimbledon have also wanted to look their best. The ball girls, linesmen, umpires have their outfits designed by Ralph Lauren their official outfitter since 2006.
While less clothing can cause a controversy, you would think it makes sense to wear more? But in some countries apparently not. Take the case of the purdah. There is a ban on that too.......And the debate continues ....