Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Gym Suits: A remembrance

Yesterday, since T and I were both still off work, we did our grocery shopping in the afternoon. On the way home, we drove past a group of high school girls in t-shirts and baggy shorts walking together - the track team, I'm guessing.

Seeing all of these girls in their sort-of matching gear gave me a flashback to  my teenage years, and the dreaded Gym Suit. If you are too young to remember gym suits, or if your school was more enlightened in the 50s through 70s, then God bless you, and I hope you are truly thankful.

For the rest of us, gym class meant changing into a "ladylike" one-piece romper. It was cotton, I think. Surely they wouldn't have inflicted polyester on us, would they? Ours had a culotte style of skirt, although I understand some actually had bloomer legs, which is the only thing that could have made it more hideous. The top closed with snaps, I believe, and had a tasteful and impractical notched collar.

I can't recall how long we had to wear these contraptions. It may have just been in junior high, but I definitely remember thinking, "They want us to wear WHAT?!" when I first heard about them.

Our ensuing discussion about gym dredged up another clothing memory. One of the high schools I went to had a pool, and one of the phys ed modules was swimming. So of course you had to bring a swimsuit for that, right?

Wrong! The school provided you with a swimsuit. Flimsy, black one-piece suits with no structure and no support, if you know what I mean. I guess if there was any positive aspect to them, it was that they made you want to stay in the water, where it was hard to see how unflattering the suit was.

What about you? Did you ever have to wear a uniform for phys ed class? Sound off in the comments.


Kitt said...

Oh yeah, we had these horrible one-piece romper things, too. Navy blue on the bottom, with thin blue horizontal stripes on top. Hated 'em.

Aser said...

Yes, gagsome gym uniforms, from 7th grade to graduation. Blue, blue, blue, like short-sleeved tennis dresses with blue gathered-leg panties underneath. I remember that some of the more strict religious affiliations had permission to wear longer jumpers with bloomers to the knee beneath.

Why did you remind me of this? I'll have nightmares tonight.

Lydia Manx said...


Just had to make us recall that brain-bleached time?? Oh, no, our private all-girl school had purplish (brick red mixed with purple color) one piece jumpers that were a mixture of polyester. Made running ever so fun. Thankfully I went home after school and could change into my inappropriate bikinis and hang out with my friends who never saw me at school!!

Bernie said...

You girls got to wear bathing suits for swimming???

We guys went au naturel.

I could relate some interesting stories about that, but none of them is appropriate for mixed company.