Education: Style at St. Trinian's

Perhaps the least alluring covering ever devised for the female body, not excluding the Mother Hubbard, the feathers of the Harpies, or the St. Laurent trapeze, is the saggy, sorry habit of the British private-school girl. At best, the ensemble —long black woolen or cotton stockings, knickers that approach the knee, a vague navy-blue outer garment called a gym slip and a long-sleeved, high-necked blouse with a frumpy tie—makes her resemble a hockey goalie; at sorriest, a carelessly stuffed knackwurst. Cartoonist Ronald Searle immortalized the getup in his books on "St. Trinian's."

Last week the headmistress of one private school defended the...

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