This vintage photograph shows students protesting the high school dress code that banned slacks for girls in Brooklyn back in 1942. It illustrated a question in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle magazine on March 26 1942. As war raged around the globe, readers were invited to consider the burning question: “Should high school girls, particularly students of Abraham Lincoln High School on Ocean Parkway… be permitted to wear slacks to class?”
The article featured 16-year-old pupil Beverly Bernstein, who was suspended from Lincoln for showing up to class wearing blue gabardine slacks.
“She wore them to school, along with a lipstick-red sweater,” the Eagle wrote, explaining that she was then sent to the office of the dean of girls, who apparently issued the suspension.
Outraged classmates showed their support by coming to school the next day in pants.
“Girls show up in slacks at Abraham Lincoln High School, Brooklyn, in protest because a classmate, Beverly Bernstein, was suspended the day before for wearing slacks,” reads the caption on the photo above.
These rule-breaking wartime students also circulated a petition, stating that girls should be allowed to wear pants because “they are better than skirts in the event of an air raid” and to “conserve silk stockings.”