It looks like one boarding school on the other side of the pond is aiming to squash any and all signs of traditional femininity in its students. Just to be on the safe side, don’t plan on rocking anything above your ankle if you find yourself at Cheltenham Ladies’ College. The prestigious school for young women ages 11 to 18 opened in Gloucestershire, England, in 1854, and it seems Cheltenham would prefer to hold on to the dress code from its inception. A recent letter to parents warned that for the school’s dress down days and social events, known as ‘mufti’ days, students better cover up. Cover it all up.
Skirts can’t be higher than an inch above girls’ knees. No make-up can be worn and hair should be tied back. Also, Cheltenham ladies should toss out the window any high heels, short shorts or cleavage-baring items. If there’s a bra strap to be seen or even the peak of underwear at school dances, students will be promptly thrown out of the event. Sounds like these girls should start investing in ponchos immediately- unless, of course, those ponchos are too short.
Apparently, this excessively heavy-handed approach was a reaction to parents’ queries about the $14,000-a-term school’s dress code. The school has even given recommended options for clothing, saying “a girl who wears jeans, T-shirt and sports/Converse-type shoes cannot easily go wrong.” Thanks for the fashion advice Cheltenham. To me, that’s far too many restrictions for young women just beginning to discover their own personal style and sense of self. And for a school that prides itself on producing some of Britain’s brightest minds, it’s pretty silly that they fear students “will not strike the correct balance without guidance” when it comes to the clothes they wear.