Why can’t my daughter wear knee length socks at secondary school?

One mum tries to get to the bottom of the no-knee-high socks rule at senior school - and what this could mean for her daughter

Pic: Getty

My soon to be 11-year-old daughter is due to start secondary school this September. We’re all very excited about the big move and can’t wait. But, we’ve just received an email from the school outlining their recommended school uniform list, which has made me absolute rage: think proper turning green, Hulking out anger.

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On the school uniform list are the usual things you’d expect. Blouses, blazers, skirts, black shoes, and then I reach this line: Black\Natural Tights or short white socks (no knee length socks).

We’ve just received an email from the school outlining recommended school uniform list. And I really am raging

Say, whaaaat? What on earth could be the reason for not allowing knee length socks? I just can’t get my head around it. I know, I know, this is a first world problem, but let me explain my rage. And I really am raging.

My daughter hates tights. She finds they make her skin itch, they make her perspire, and overall, she finds wearing them a really unpleasant experience. She hasn’t worn a pair of tights to school in five years. (Now, my other kid would wear tights in peak summer, but that’s another story).

But she could wear ankle socks, right? There’s no way to dress this up, so I’m going to have to be frank, but my daughter is olive skinned and hairy. She has me to thank for that, so I’ll take the blame, but right now, she has lots of dark, downy, hair on her legs.

I’m going to have to be frank; my daughter is olive skinned and hairy. She has me to thank for that

She’s fully aware of it, doesn’t like it, but we have yet to reach the point of dealing with it and removing it. So for her to wear ankle socks, means we would have to start removing her leg hair. But, why should we be pushed to do so? As my husband said to me, “Kids can be nasty, they could really start on her about this.”

Knee high navy school socks

So let’s weigh up the options. Firstly, what the hell is wrong with knee length socks? Somebody tell me why oh why she can’t wear long socks? Is it due to the cliché of sexy school girls in their uniforms? Secondly, she learns to live with tights, which in the hot weather is going to suck for her. Thirdly, she wears ankle socks and wears her hairy mary’s proudly (or humiliatingly). I don’t really think this is an option, as I don’t want the risk of her being picked on. And fourthly, we venture into hair removal.

Of course the time was always going to come where she asks me to remove her hair. In fact, she has asked in the past, so we tried bleaching it, and it made her skin burn and turned her leg hair orange, which is not a good look! But she’s not even 11 years old yet, and once you start removing body hair, there’s no going back.

I have a certain amount of expertise in removing body hair, having been doing it since my teens, and I know waxing and epilating are significantly better options than hair removal creams or shaving – but her pain threshold is low, so I know waxing and epilating will be vetoed.

For her to wear ankle socks means starting to remove her leg hair. But, why should we be pushed to do so?

Having now vented my spleen about not being allowed to wear knee length socks (seriously, do any of you know why? If so, please do tell me!) I think I may have calmed down just a bit. I’ve emailed the school asking for their reasoning behind this somewhat arbitrary rule and so far, I’ve been sent a reply which simply listed the school uniform requirements. I pushed the school again, for an actual reason, and once again was sent the school uniform list(!) And when I pushed yet again for the reasoning behind this policy, I was then directed to the online code of conduct for the school, which pretty much explains students should follow the school uniform policy. So, no actual answer seems to be available.

But in the meantime, my husband has talked me off the ledge, by reasoning that we should let her cream or shave her legs, and in time, maybe she’ll come around and decide to try waxing or epilating. Or maybe, just maybe, knee length socks will be allowed after all.

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About the author

Mum-of-2 Danielle Graph is MadeForMums’ Community Manager, looking after our friendly and supportive forum and Facebook communities. 

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