'Neat and Clean' Still the Rule for School Clothes

'Neat and Clean' Still the Rule for School Clothes

Fairfax County Invokes New Dress Code Policy

Dress Code for Boys, 1965-66

(1) Clothes must be neat and clean and must fit properly (e.g., tight-fitting or low-slung trousers will not be worn).

(2) Belts must be worn with trousers that are provided with belt loops.

(3) Shorts will not be worn except in athletic participation.

(4) Shirts must have a collar, and must be buttoned, except that the top or collar button may be left open. Shirttails are to be worn inside the trousers.

(5) Socks must be worn.

Dress Code for Girls, 1965-66

(1) Shorts, slacks, or jeans will not be worn, except for participation in athletics.

(2) Sheer blouses will not be worn.

(3) Extremely tight-fitting skirts and sweaters will not be worn. Sweaters of conservative design are acceptable but must be worn with adequate foundation garments.

Source: Student Handbook, Langley High School, 1965-66

Public Schools Dress Code, 2003

"All students are expected to dress appropriately in a way that is consistent with the workplace.

"Any clothing that interferes with or disrupts the educational environment is unacceptable. Clothing with language that is vulgar, discriminatory or obscene or that promotes or depicts weapons, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, drug paraphernalia, violence or gang symbols is prohibited. Clothing should fit, be neat and clean, and conform to standards of safety, good taste and decency.

Clothing that exposes cleavage, private parts, the midriff, or undergarments, or that is otherwise sexually provocative, is prohibited. Examples of clothes include but are not limited to: sagging or low-cut pants, low-cut necklines that show cleavage, tube tops, halter tops, backless blouses or blouses with only ties in the back, and clothing constructed of see-through materials.

Athletic attire not in accordance with these standards may only be worn by students while they are participating in physical education class and other athletic events, not at other times during the school day."

Finally, caps, hats or head coverings are not to be worn inside the building or when classes are in session during the instructional day unless approved. Approval is given for medical or religious reasons. Students requiring accommodations for religious beliefs, disability or other good cause should see the principal. From time to time throughout the year, hats that do not violate the other guidelines are permitted for special events.

Source: Fairfax County Student Responsibilities and Rights, Regulation 2613.2


Langley freshman Hedda Skaug had a rough transition from Cooper Middle School to Langley High School on Tuesday.

Her “conservative” pink sweater, blue jeans and white sneakers looked great. She met Langley’s dress code.

But first period wasn’t over on the first day of school before nausea overcame Skaug and she had to call her mother to pick her up.

If she had worn jeans to school 38 years ago, when Langley met its first freshman class, her mother would have been picking her up for a dress code violation.

Her pink “conservative sweater” would have been OK, but jeans were outlawed at Langley in 1965.

The dress code was spelled out in the student handbook, which lists five rules for boys and only three for girls. Most of today’s students, not to mention their parents, wouldn’t pass muster.

Low-slung trousers were forbidden, and boys had to wear socks.

Girls could wear sweaters “with adequate foundation garments.” Department stores today don’t have “foundation” departments.

As for haircuts, things have changed.

In 1965, girls “may not wear their hair in pin curls or in curlers, either in class or around the school.

“Boys must have their hair cut in a normal, conventional style, and must keep it properly groomed.”

There’s no mention of mohawks, pink dye or backwards baseball caps.

But one phrase from 1965 was retained in the 2003 dress code adopted by the School Board last month: School clothes still must be “neat and clean.”