When the school opened there was no official uniform for the pupils. The only identifying feature was the blue and green hatband around the boater they wore on their heads.
However there is comment in the first school history that Mrs Swainson did not “consider fashionable costumes were suitable for school girls and elaborate ruffles, flounces and ribbons were discouraged”. The girls wore plain but serviceable melton or alpaca skirts with high necked jackets, or dark merino frocks of French merino. In summer the wore white pique coats and skirts with their straw boats. Clothes were bought reasonably inexpensively from Kirkcaldie and Stains
Miss Baber decided there need to be a uniform that was recognisable to the public
They were sensible navy blue cotton dresses for summer belted at the waist with wide petersham on which the girls were allowed to wear their silver buckles. In the winter the dresses were of blue serge or wool. Both summer and winter these dresses had detachable stiff white collars with a plain green tie. For out of school occasions they had navy blue coat and skirt with a white blouse and brown kid gloves, black lace-up boots and black woollen stockings. In the evenings the boarders changed for dinner – either into a white muslin dress or in winter a black velvet or velveteen dress.
Winter uniform 1920-1969
Miss Baber instituted a new uniform in 1920. How it was worn varied in accordance with the current fashion (eg in the 1930s when the flapper fashion was at its height – belts were worn around the hips – or lower, rather than around the waist). Various garments and fabrics were used over the period. In winter there was a dark green (as in the grass) box-pleated tunic, dark green cardigan, a long sleeved viyella cream blouse worn with a blue and green striped tie, brown stockings and brown lace up shoes. If you went off site you added to this your green velour hat (with blue striped hat-band), and dark brown leather gloves. Prefects were known to be on duty at the gates to check that you were correctly dressed.
1930s. Summer Uniform
|In summer from 1920 through to the 1960s a
blue-green cotton tunic was worn with a white shirt (no
cardigan and blazer as in the winter months, white socks and
shoes. In summer there was a cream panama hat with the same
(often just transferred from one to another), and beige
Summer Uniform, mid 1960s on
|In the mid 1960s Miss Ogle decided to
change the summer uniform and a
pale green “v” necked, a-line tunic appeared. It was not
becoming on anyone – it was worn with a short sleeved white
socks and brown shoes. It is worth mentioning here that a
required two pairs of shoes – “outdoor shoes” (brown lace
ups) which you
came to school in, took off, put into your shoe bag which
hung on your
peg – and put on your “indoor shoes” (brown flat court
shoes). One of
the most alarming items in this summer uniform were the
bloomers of the
same cloth which were regulation for PE. Extremely
unbecoming to all and
In the Lower School uniforms mirrored what was being worn in the Upper School. For winter, the Lower School students had a little version of the box-pleated tunic and blouse and a tie, long brown socks(with garters so they didn’t fall down) and brown shoes (outdoor and indoor as the “big girls” did). In the Lower school though they did not have a blazer or gloves – but a beret was necessary.
Lower School, winter uniform, 1940
Lower School 1920s
For summer they wore a button through dress with a white collar. While the Upper School was wearing their blue-green cotton tunic the Lower School dress was of the same cloth, and similarly when the Upper School were wearing their pale green the Lower School were wearing a button through dress of that cloth
1970 – 1994
This was a period of change – and a sort of mix and match period.
1070s through to 1985
For the rest of Miss Ogle’s time and all of Rev Clark’s the a pale green and white hounds-tooth cloth was chosen. It was worn winter and summer with only the pale blue blouse changing. Basic Uniform for Form 1 (Year 7 ) through to Form 4 (Year 10) was a tunic with three large pleats in the front and a straight back. This was worn with a green (with a fine blue stripe) “v” neck jersey, a street jacket also of green, brown tights and brown lace up shoes (indoor shoes disappeared as did the gloves and eventually the hats which by now had become little boaters, which took off very willingly in the Wellington wind). For Form 5 (Year 11) to the Upper VIth (Year 13) the girls wore a hounds-tooth skirt with two pleats in the front and back, but the rest of the uniform remained the same. In summer the only difference was the blouse which changed from pale blue long sleeved brushed cotton to a short sleeved pale blue poly-cotton one with pin – tucks down the front and the tights became short white socks.
Senior School Students, with a Lower School student, 1992
|1970s through to 1985
Miss Button became Headmistress in 1985. She was an Old Girl and was also very elegant in her dress. It did not take her long to make some uniform changes. The changes were small ones but helped identify various groups with in the School. To start with the Year 13s wore a plain green skirt (same style as the hounds-tooth one).
By 1990 the Senior School had an identity of its own and both the Year 12s and 13s wore the green skirt and the Year 13s were identified by a cream coloured blouse with a very fine blue and brown stripe in it and a tie. This was much smarter and soon after the whole Upper School was also wearing the green skirt and the hounds-tooth was out altogether. However there was a problem - jackets don’t get washed or dry cleaned as often as skirts and soon it was evident that dyes used by the manufacturers were not tough enough to withstand the cleaning processes – and jackets were often darker than skirts – the total look was not tidy.
In 1993 Miss Button established a Uniform Committee made up of parents, Board members, Old Girls, students and staff to design a new uniform which would take the students into the 21st century . Many, many designs were trialled and looked at – staff often had a fashion parade at Morning Tea times, before the current cloth was designed and garments made. The tartan in today’s skirts and tunics does not belong to any particular Scottish clan. The most important change that Miss Button and her committee made was to change the green – from what could loosely be described as “grass green” to the current “forest green”. Small adaptations to the uniform continue to take place dependent on fashion, the need and fabric.