“Fashion Policeman”


In the spring of our senior year in high school, the principal called Mary down to the office. He told her that she was not allowed to wear sandals without stockings. She could either wear nylon stockings or socks with her sandals, but she could not have bare feet. It made no more sense then than it does today. But he was in charge and had the power to suspend her, so she capitulated.

All the girls wore stockings to school, held up by garter belts or girdles. Pantyhose had yet to be widely available. Stockings were purchased at the hosiery counter in the department store. You would ask the clerk to show you what was available. She would bring out a couple of flat boxes(such as those pictured above), remove one stocking, place her hand inside it to show you the color and see if that color satisfied. If not, she would bring out another color. After a while I recognized I liked anything named something like Sun Tan.

During the end of my high school years someone invented a “run-proof” stocking. Runs or “ladders” were the long line of detached stitches that occurred when you got a hole in a stocking. Fingernails commonly snagged causing runs. While it was true that the “run-proof” stockings didn’t run, they did develop enormous holes. I still remember one of my classmates darning those holes to make the stockings last a little longer.

I am still astonished when I see bare legged women at church wearing high heels. Apparently, while I wasn’t paying attention, wearing stockings, including panty hose, went out of style. I can’t imagine any high school girl getting sent home today over her lack of socks with sandals!

11 thoughts on ““Fashion Policeman”

  1. I think it depends on the school, Elizabeth. My boys are both in private English school boy style schools and there are very strict uniform requirements. They have to wear long socks and school boys long shorts with black lace up shoes and a blazer.


  2. We weren’t allowed to wear sandals – with or without socks – when I was in school. As an adult, I became one of those ladies who bucked the trend by refusing to wear panty hose at all. I still feel self conscious, but I do it anyway!


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