People of (ahem) a certain age will remember that the invention of pantyhose for women was a real game changer. At my catholic high school, the girls were not allowed to wear pants–of any kind–to school and were expected to wear dresses or skirts with socks(very 50’s) or wear Garter Belts with hose. Yep, you read that right!
Dresses were above the knee if you were modest, but the current fashion called for 4 inches above the knee. This wouldn’t be a problem, but when you realize that garters come down so far on your leg that the tops of your hose almost always showed when you sat down. The boys found this a delightful non-problem, so they would cheerfully get an eyeful every time we sat down, and they’d hang out near the water fountain to watch the skirts hike up as girls went for a drink.
Of course, cheerleaders were allowed to wear skirts far shorter than anyone else, and the main difference between the squads was that the “A” squad wore skirts just below crotch length(with black underpants, of course(snicker)….
It was amazing that the nuns let this go on rather than break the taboo against women wearing pants that had been around for decades. The man I was assigned to as a student teacher told me he was very grateful when the schools decided to let girls wear pants, jeans and pant-skirts. Since the young girls had no idea how to sit when wearing the short dresses, they would sit with their legs open, rather than crossed and he used to be afraid to look at his students when standing in the front of the room….there was a lot of stuff on view…..On a practical note: garters held an “oops” factor–sometime the little clips lost their grips so your hose could suddenly fall down, and the clips were very uncomfortable to sit on…..Once the fashions moved from mini-skirts to micro skirts, girls gave up on gartered hose completely. On to wearing go-go(knee-high boots, a la Nancy Sinatra), or thigh-high hose will lace tops, or no hose at all……As far as the guys were concerned, it was all good….
The next time you hear parents or kids complaining about strict school dress codes, you can snicker as you remember this little tidbit….I did!