A Regalia Reflection

Students in the 1950s pose for a picture. Their outfits reflect the trends of the time.


Throughout our school’s 92-year existence, many traditions and customs have changed. One major component that has changed with the school is the uniform.

The iconic uniform of our school — button-down shirt, tie, and khaki pants — has not always been the standard. In previous years, the uniform followed the trend of the time. In the 1950s, many students wore leather jackets to school and had the duck-tail hairstyle, neither of which would be allowed today. 

In Proudly We Speak Your Name Mr. Micheal Moran ’61, a longtime teacher at the school, describes the Catholic High uniform when he was a student in the late 1950s and early 1960s. “When I began at Catholic High, there was a significant contingent with a look that might surprise today’s students. The duck-tail hairdo was popular in the middle and late fifties…The duck-tail virtually demanded an accompanying wardrobe accessory: a black, leather jacket,” said Mr. Moran.

Another longtime teacher, Mrs. Bitsi Bonner, has seen the uniform change throughout her tenure at the school. Compared to when she started working here in 1987, the uniform has not changed drastically. “Khaki pants or dark pants; collared shirt; tie, but there were no class ties, just a tie; belt,” said Mrs. Bonner. However, there have been changes to the senior uniform. Previously, seniors had to wear suit coats following Senior Ring Mass. 

Mr. Tom Handloser ’80 has seen the uniform change not only during his time as a teacher at the school but also when he was a student. As a student in the late 1970s, there wasn’t a clear-cut attire. “We didn’t have [a uniform]. We had to wear a tie during the non-summer months, but it didn’t even have to be a button-down shirt. People wore a polo shirt with a tie,” he said.

Throughout the existence of the school, the uniform has changed in small and large ways, yet at its core, it still remains the same. Mr. Moran writes about Father Tribou’s reasoning for the creation of the current dress code, “He always essentially said the same thing: ‘The way you dress says something about the seriousness of the activity in which you are engaged in. We think school is serious business, so you should dress accordingly.’” 

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