Are P.E. Uniforms Too reGYMented?

Because gym credits are required, almost everyone at Providence Academy has had to or will have to take a gym class. In all high school gym classes at PA, gym uniforms are required.

An 8th grade gym class.

People have many different opinions on the gym uniform. Some people like them, and some people don’t.

Teya Winn, class of ’20, says, “They are neutral, so that nobody has hurt feelings about them. And I think that it’s cool that guys and girls have the same gym uniform because it has a sense of equality. It’s showing that girls can be just as strong or fit as guys. That everyone has different strengths. And we all have to improve at something.”

Another student, Max Peckenschneider, commented, “It is okay, but it would  be nice if we had more options, like a tank top or a sleeveless shirt.” Since the PA school uniforms have several options, like a polo or a button down and a choice in colors, it makes sense for gym uniforms to have options too.

Some people like the top and not the bottoms or vice versa. Zoie Altenhoff, class of ’20, says, “I don’t mind the tops but I don’t like the shorts; they are unflattering and the waistband is uncomfortable.”

A high school grade gym class.

The gym uniforms used to be different.  P.E. teacher Mrs. Carron says, “After a lot of complaining, I asked if we could switch.”

“The old uniform was a lighter gray cotton shirt with navy blue mesh shorts,” says Mr. Fussy, another P.E. teacher. The shirt is now made out of a more athletic and active material and better for physical activities. “I like the changes to more athletic/active apparel. I feel that it is more comfortable for students to move in and I think it looks more like active wear that people wear when they are working out/exercising,” Mr. Fussy again commented.

Mrs. Carron agreed, saying, “I like the material better, but they are not a fashion statement.

Although the gym uniforms aren’t great, they are practical and better than the old ones. In addition, they are better than retro gym uniforms. Before the 1980s, men wore shorts and a school tee. Women, however, wore gymsuits which were one-piece outfits that looked like a a two-piece outfit, similar to a romper. They also had to wear white socks and sneakers, kept in pristine condition. These were required, and the gymsuits had to be purchased. (

Maybe the progression of gym uniform fashion is slowly getting better…maybe.











3 Replies to “Are P.E. Uniforms Too reGYMented?”

  1. Interesting article. As a PA parent, I was not aware boys and girls wore identical gym uniforms.

  2. I agree with Max Peckenscheider in that we should have more options for gym shorts. Good job Helana.

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