British retail chain Tesco is selling a school skirt that measures an itsy-bitsy 29.5 cm in length. To keep the hemline high, the skirt, called ‘Hitch and Stitch’, has parts of it hitched up and stitched in places. But when it comes to Delhi, most school principals approve of nothing shorter than 60 cm.
How short is too short?
“The skirt has to be touching the knee, around 60 cm. If a girl shows too much skin, then we take her aside and open the hem of the skirt, but not in an insulting manner,” says Dr Shyama Chona, former principal, Delhi Public School, RK Puram.
Designer Jattinn Kochhar, who has designed the school dress for Tagore International School, says, “I give equal weightage to the design element and the practical element. To make school uniforms interesting, I can add elements like a low belt but when it comes to the neckline and skirt length, I am extremely conservative.
Ideally, I would want to make a skirt that is two inches below the knee (65 cm), but kids feel comfortable in knee-length.” However, Ameeta M Wattal, principal, Springdales School, Pusa Road says, “Teenagers are rebellious and we do hold uniform assemblies where the defaulters are called and corrected.
A 55-cm skirt is fine by me, if the girl is able to carry it well. A girl who is on the heavier side, would feel comfortable in a knee-covering skirt. But I can’t even imagine that kind of a skirt (30 cm) in school.”
Meant for teenage school girls, Tesco’s skirt length will never see the light of the day in Delhi. Chona calls such a short school skirt 'stupid'. She says, “I know children of this age do silly things.
But letting them wear a skirt that short will be insulting to an educational institution. If a girl shows up in that tiny bit of clothing, I would politely ask her to go home and change.”
“Parents in any part of the world wouldn’t agree to this. A skirt as short as 30 cm is not acceptable for a school girl,” says Priyanka Mohan, mother of a 17-year-old girl.
Lata Vaidyanathan, principal, Modern School, Barakhamba Road says, “Teenage children are bound to experiment but it is worrisome that something that short is being designed, keeping school girls in mind.
It is way too short. This is a school, not a fashion show. Such experiments can be reserved for college-goers.”
Small thing, big debate
Protest: Siobhan Freegard of a parenting website Netmums says about the micromini school skirt, “It looks like it should be sold in a sex shop.” Shy Keenan, a child protection expert, said that the skirt could “invite very unwelcome attention.”
You Decide : A Tesco spokesperson said, “Ultimately, it’s for parents to decide what is appropriate for their child.”
Outraged: Missmage writes: “It’s inappropriate for a school to even consider it. I wouldn’t allow my daughter to wear it either.”
Not that bad: “I would let my daughter wear it... With tights or leggings, it would look fine. Even high-socks would look fine. Girls would feel good to wear such a good-looking skirt,” writes Tobius.
Take the call: A blogger writes, “It’s up to the parents what they buy for their children. Stop blaming the company.People complain as they can’t control their kids. Grow a spine, say “NO”.