Tuesday, 21 October 2008

School Uniform For the Recalcitrant 18-Plus Miss of Today? – Probably the Best Summer Dress Ever Pictured...

...But that's just my opinion - what's yours?

Taken from Strictly Uniforms magazine and published in the late 1990s, this series of pictures fits in nicely with the bulletin board discussions I came across recently, and that I have reported upon fairly extensively in previous posts. Some debate has raged whether or not school uniform should be retained for girls in their late teens (or even early 20s) still living at home, or a least under the supervision of some responsible older adult, despite in actuality having left school. In particular it has been related how one or two such young ladies have been trained in the art of knitting and sewing so that they might manufacture their own gingham dress - school summer dresses being considered difficult to obtain in the larger sizes. Well, clearly they are available, such an example is pictured here and to my mind, as such it is absolutely perfect for the job. Little details like the puffed shoulders, the high buttoned collar all serve to project the correct and much sought-after image of discipline and control - and it even incorporates a belt of the same material, neatly fastening at the front with a white plastic buckle, so, so nearly perfect, what else could you want?

Well...I guess...Perhaps long sleeves with buttoned cuffs would perfect the look, together with a little bit of white piping added here and there (perhaps around the edging of the cuffs, collar and breast pocket if there is one? Ensuring that it stays clean is something guaranteed to keep her mind concentrated on her appearance, you see. Makes one consider incorporating completely white collar and cuffs doesn't it?) and the provision of a breast pocket with some sort of school badge and motto boldly embroidered upon it.

The more observant of you have noticed that in actuality the thing is in a fetching vertical green and white striped material rather than gingham - ring a bell? Think about the institutional uniforms that the clinical-trial volunteers find themselves being put once having entered the experimental psychology department of that lovely little private and secure hospital depicted in INSTITUTIONALISED volume 1.

Here is,then, one half of that inspiration - albeit if realised in some practical hardwearing fabric such as nylon or polyester - the other half was furnished by those wonderful 1960s nylon dress-style ladies' overalls. To understand the institutional version that I envisage, you have to form something of an amalgam in your mind's eye of the two. Then we come to the lady holding the cane - in my mind at the time I first saw these I immediately saw her as being a governess - of course in the employ of their cruel stepmother; that's always been my way, but that's another story ( incidentally that was nothing like the actual storyline - but I have always tended to conjure my own , which I guess is why I'm sitting here doing what I'm doing today). No, not wanking, writing...I'm bloody writing - ok?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have this photo set and it is indeed one of my favorites. I am usually more of a fan of rever collars on a school dress but these dresses look good. I also have a party of the girls in nappies.