The same can not be said for previous Hillsdalians.
Some say, ‘don’t wear white after Labor Day,’ others say, ‘your belt must match your shoes,’ Hillsdale College said, ‘women can’t wear slacks.’
On Nov. 21, 1944, The Collegian published, “Recently from the ‘higher ups’ came down the word that the girls on Hillsdale campus could no longer wear slacks around the campus or down into the town.”
The college literally became the fashion police there. Who knew it had authority over what people wore off campus?
The article continued, “The main reason behind this decision was that it would look more lady-like and be generally nicer to prohibit wearing them.”
A criticism of the decision written later in the article said, “Ten years ago slacks were not accepted, but this isn’t 1934.”
Well you are correct on that.
Another critique laid out in the article said, “We believe the girls should follow the decree and not wear slacks to classes or around campus during the week, but what about Saturday? To most students this is when we clean our rooms, run our errands in town, and do the odd things that have accumulated during the week.”
Wow, we spend our Saturday’s differently.
Even after these first critiques, the anti-slacks edict was not taken well by the female-half of the student body.
More criticisms were published on Feb. 13, 1945.
Reynold Jeltema said, “It should be left up to the judgment of the girl whether or not she can wear slacks with grace.”
This is a good point — can you imagine the debauchery that would ensue if girls were to start wearing pants WITHOUT grace?
Lois Wise said, “People should be old enough to know what to wear and when to wear it.”
Donna Jean Johnson wrote, “We should at least be able to wear slacks to breakfast.”
I hate how pathetic that sounds.
Mary Rummel said, “What no-slacks rule?”
Later the slacks prohibition was amended.
On Jan. 29, 1946, The Collegian published, “The council has decided that no girls will be allowed in the dining room on Saturdays if they are wearing jeans. However, slacks are permitted.”
I would love to be the person that the fashion-enforcing council hired to stop girls who were wearing jeans from entering the dining hall.
With a job like that you really would be able to watch the show that goes down at student union dinners.
By Nov. 7, 1947 things still had not changed.
Marge Randall wrote in The Collegian, “Girls should be allowed to wear slacks in the dining hall on Saturdays.”
It wasn’t until Feb. 26, 1970 that The Collegian printed, “The discussion began when it was brought to the attention of Pres. Phillips that students had complaints concerning the dress regulations at Curtiss Dining Hall. The opinion was expressed that students had come to Hillsdale because of its size and the personal attention, not because those enrolled were neatly dressed.”
Oh, I actually confused Hillsdale College for the New York Institute of Fashion because of the student fashion choices, which is how I ended up here.
The article continued, “President Philips did say that he was willing to meet half way.”
Well, that was a good sign for those opposing the dress code and for me, because if I couldn’t wear sweatpants to dinner, I think I would spend every meal at McDonalds.