Times Have Changed!

A story by Connie Westreich

When I was a little girl growing up in a suburb of Queens, New York, dressing for school was very important. My mother who made a lot of my clothes, trained me to pick out matching outfits. My socks, blouses and skirts had to match or blend in color. I clearly remember that when I was in kindergarten my mother made me an Alice In Wonderland dress with aprons in a variety of colors. The teacher would help me stand on a small table so that the class could see the details. Everyone was interested! Even five-year olds were anxious to dress neat and proper. Today, school clothes are much more informal. Children grab a pair of jeans out of the closet, any sweater or blouse that they can find and they don’t care about matching colors and the over-all look that they present. Not too many mothers are there to help them. This makes quite a difference! Fast-forwarding – little did I think that I would become a teacher when I grew up. Most of the years that I spent teaching, I dressed tastefully in skirts, blouses and dresses that were slightly below the knee. The tops were never lo-cut. My training for dressing for school as a student stayed with me, as I dressed as a teacher. Any type of pants or slacks were not allowed to be worn by female teachers. I used to pick out my clothes the night before, so that when I was rushing in the morning everything was there for me. The dress code today is very different for teachers. Maybe if it was a little more conservative, students might react in a positive manner. I am still very interested today in my over-all appearance when I walk out the door of my apartment!

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 dress code,informal,jeans,matching outfits,tasteful,teacher
  Queens, NY
Feb 26 1940

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