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25 Fashion Trends Your Mom Rocked at School (But You Can't)

Slap Bracelets

Slap bracelets have popped up several times in the past, but schools just recently jumped on the bandwagon to ban them. The reason? They’re dangerous. Apparently, the sharp edge could cut hands and arms. Considering they’re often made from old measuring tape, it’s possible, but it still feels like a stretch. Others said the bright colors were distracting, which is getting even more Stretch Armstrong.

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Spaghetti Straps

Spaghetti straps are everywhere from blouses to sundresses. They’re the ideal thing to wear when it’s nearly 90 degrees outside, but it’s a no-no if you’re heading to school. Like many of the other pieces on this list, it’s just too distracting for boys in the classroom. How would boys ever get an education with spaghetti straps in the same room?

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For some weird reason, several schools have started banning headscarves. That means girls can’t hide their hair in scarves anymore. The ban is even worse when you consider that this is also a ban on some religious freedoms.

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Opaque Backpacks

Clear backpacks aren’t everywhere, but several schools have implemented a rule that requires students of any age to use a backpack that’s see-through. It isn’t everywhere and is mostly due to violence and school shootings. Back in the day, our parents could use whatever backpack they wanted to use.

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Leggings have been banned for the same reason as yoga pants: they don’t leave much to the imagination, even though they don’t show any skin. There is some merit to this claim, but girls can’t even wear leggings with tunics or tops that fully cover their backsides—even though leggings + oversized sweatshirts were the go-to staple back in your momma's day.

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Summertime in southern states is pure misery, but most girls can’t wear shorts to school that are above the knee. You might say, “What about shorts that go to the knee?” Well, most fashion brands don’t make shorts that long. And even when they do, they’re so ugly that no one would ever buy them. All it takes is one look at your mother's yearbook, and you'll be drowning in envy of all those pairs of sunkissed legs.

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This word doesn’t look like the way our grandmas say “pajamas” for no reason. These pants were so loose that you could totally sleep in them. Back in the day, fashion was all about bulky, bright, and busy clothes, and Jammers totally fit the criteria. However, nowadays a lot of schools have a no-sweatpants policy that would prohibit you from rocking pants like these. Also, the general fashion guidelines of our time would definitely not allow it.

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Sleeveless Tops

Because shoulders are oh so scandalous, sleeveless tops have been banned in many schools. We’re not just talking about spaghetti strap tops here; sleeveless t-shirts have been banned at many schools as well. Ridiculous much? 

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Natural Hair

Several students have been sent home with natural hair. Each school gives a different reason, but the obvious reason is that the rule is racist. To make matters worse, schools have even begun sending home girls who wear box braids or cornrows. What’s left?

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Crop Tops

Crop tops with low-rise bottoms can be a little much for young students, but what about crop tops with high-waisted bottoms a la '80s style? A lot of the time, there’s very little or no skin showing, but that hasn’t stopped school administrators from banning these tops altogether. 

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High Heels

We’re not sure why you would want to torture yourself by wearing high heels all day in school, but you should still have the right to do that if you want to. Many students don’t have this right because their administrators believe that high-heeled shoes have too much potential to be used as weapons. Nevermind that more students have been stabbed by pencils than shoes..

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Mini skirts that barely cover the goods shouldn’t be worn in schools, but skirts that go to mid-thigh are completely appropriate in our eyes—just not in the eyes of most school admins. To the knee or not at all! Good luck finding any skirts like that besides pencil skirts, which are way too formal for high school.

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Yoga Pants

Okay, your mom probably didn't wear yoga pants to school -- she probably didn't even know what they were, for that matter. But if yoga pants had been a thing back then, your mom definitely would've rocked the look with an oversized sweater and a scrunchie. By today's standards, however, yoga pants apparently cling to the body too much, which can be "distracting" to male students. It doesn’t matter that yoga pants are comfortable and fully cover the lower body; nowadays, the female form is deemed too improper for school. 


Yes, sandals and other open-toe shoes have indeed been banned at many schools around the world. Administrators have taken the stance that these kinds of shoes can be “dangerous” for kids to wear because their toes are exposed and could be injured. We understand banning open-toe shoes in science labs, but otherwise? Definitely not. Your mom donned sandals to school and lived to tell the tale. 

No Bra

Way back when, when feminism was really taking flight, the “no-bra” movement began. For years, women were comfortable not wearing bras. As time went on, the social norm of wearing undergarments crept back in. Many schools now will send you home for noticeably not wearing a bra!

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Roller Skates

That’s right, we bet your moms owned skates at some point or another. Sure, they may not have skated down the halls, but the would skate to school, carry the wheels over their shoulder during classes, and then skate back home. Now, schools have banned almost every form of transportation besides cars. Students are widely no longer allowed to have skates, skateboards, scooters, or even Heelys on campus.

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Low Cut Tops

I don’t mean tops that show tons of cleavage. Some schools have banned girls showing off their collarbone. Collarbones are at the base of the neck – how can you not show them? That eliminates most tops.

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Distressed Jeans

Distressed jeans aren’t uncommon and have been around for ages – until now. Schools have begun banning distressed jeans or any clothing with holes in it. One school in West Virginia went as far as to tell students they had to put duct tape on each hole. The principal carried around a roll of duct tape just in case.

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The Colors Red and Black Together

Some schools apparently feel like the colors red and black are just “too sexy.” Girls are forbidden to wear these two colors together. Our moms had it a lot easier when they could wear whatever colors they wanted together.  

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Open-Toed Shoes

Girls that wear open-toed shoes are just too “sexy,” don’t you know? We don’t really understand how toes can be distracting, but whatever. Our moms could wear them, and we don’t see any issue with wearing them today.

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Nude or Sheer Material

This one we slightly get. Someone wearing nude or sheer material may cause you to do a double-take. That being said, wearing sheer clothing over other pieces are on-trend. Not to mention, nude fabrics aren’t actually showing off any skin. What the heck?

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Strapless Tops

Low cut, spaghetti, and strapless tops! Don’t show off your shoulders or collarbone, because it could distract the boys. This may not seem like a big deal, but strapless dresses are even banned at many proms.

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Dresses with Slits

Some schools banned dresses with slits completely while others don’t want the slit to be too high. We get it to a point, but a dress with a slit that’s below the knee is ridiculous. Even at proms, girls are restricted with what they can and cannot wear.  

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Cold Shoulder Blouses

We adore cold shoulder blouses. Sweaters with cold shoulders are so incredibly comfortable, but schools have a vendetta against shoulders. They’re clearly too sexy. A shoulder can be the start of a war—isn’t that what happened with Helen of Troy? Her shoulders enticed men.

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Apparently, some schools feel as though hoodies promote “criminal behavior.” A ban on warmth is a little ridiculous, don’t you think? Kids can still wear jackets without a hood, but that doesn’t make it any better.

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