To explain the Fielding school uniform as described in the fan fiction tale The Hallowed Halls of Fielding would require a dissertation, but we shall give it the old school try. In the Daria TV series virtually nothing is known of Tom Sloane's life at Fielding and the descriptions here are limited to the fan universe detailed in HHoF and the fanworks based on such descriptions.
All students at Fielding wear the school uniform.
When do they wear it? They pretty much wear it unless given permission not to wear it. From their very first days on campus they are exposed to the dress code in preparation for passing through the crucible known as The Knowledge, and the Fielding uniform is on the minds of their questioners. (The book devotes five pages to uniform rules past and present.) Virtually no one has mastered the arcane uniform code and most students have gotten used to wearing the uniform at all times. (They'll remove the blazer and sweater vest while remaining in their dorms but wear the other components of the uniform.) Since uniform offenses can lead to demerits most students follow the rule "better safe than sorry".
The uniform is what one would expect it to be.
- A heavy, dark blue blazer with large lapels and no pockets. Over where the right breast pocket would be is a sewn version of the Fielding crest. The blazer has two gold buttons with miniature versions of the crest which distinguish it further from the blazers worn at other schools.
- A blue sweater vest. Students are required to wear the vest at all times, even in the hot days at the end of summer. The only day the sweater vest may be removed is during "Ditch Day" which occurs near the end of the school year.
- A red tie worn with a full Windsor knot. An exception is made for young students who might not have the dexterity to tie a Windsor knot; a clip-on may be acceptable. (However, the hazing students receive for wearing a clip-on improves their knot-tying skills measurably.) Even female students must wear the Windsor knotted tie. Most students keep their ties in a semi-knotted state and slip the tie on and off at the beginning and end of the tie, tightening and loosening as needed, but never unknotting the knot.
- A pleated blue skirt for girls and blue slacks for boys. The skirt's regulation length is mid-knee and the regulation length of the pants is ankle-length. Slacks must be creased.
- Patent-leather shoes. Without going into detail, the rule is that the shoes must be monotone in color, and black, brown, or blue. Generally, laced shoes are preferred. High heels, ballet slippers, boots, sneakers (except as athletic wear) and anything out of place in a private school would generally be forbidden.
- All socks at Fielding are blue socks. For boys, the rule is that the socks must be long enough to obscure any skin which would show between the top of the shoe and the end of the pants leg. The girls are expected to wear their socks at least calf-high.
- There are exceptions made to the skirt rule for girls. If engaged in a sort of activity where the skirt could be snagged or come loose the skirt may be exchanged for corduroy blue slacks for the duration of the activity - but girls are expected to return to the skirt as soon as possible. As the temperature drops, girls may swap the calf-high socks for blue pantyhose and for blue leggings during the most freezing part of the year.
These rules above are the basic rules. The uniform rules fall under a set of rules regarding general life at Fielding which cover hairstyles, jewelry, accessories, makeup, and all aspects of appearance and behavior.
To state that all Fielding students strive for a benchmark uniformity achieved by none would be a gross misstatement, and the sure sign of an outsider. Many students engage in rebellions against the uniform code by flouting it at every secure opportunity. Boys will wear ties that come close to sliding into the least red of reds in the spectrum, or will wear their slacks without creases, or shoes without socks. Girls will try to elevate their heels or "roll" their skirts, or let the hemline creep as much above the knee as they can get away with.
The general rule of enforcement is "the greater the status, the greater the slack." Seniors and Topisiennes can get away with a lot; elementary school kids will be demerited for even the slightest infractions. Some examples of sartorial rebellion:
- Members of Tops have turned flouting the rules into an art. A few daring Tops members will tie very short ties in loose friendship knots not unlike Girl Scouts. The rule is to expose as much leg as possible otherwise - socks low, hems high. Many Tops have their uniforms tailored to be as form-fitting as they can get away with. (Quinn Morgendorffer is known to flout the rules occasionally but remain close to the standard uniform code - some Tops resent this as Quinn looks attractive without much uniform modification.)
- Buttons Gwinnett's trademark is, well, buttons. Her blazer buttons are usually replaced with larger or more interesting variations (jade buttons instead of gold) and she will add buttons to the blazer at places where they usually don't appear. (The cuffs, for example.)
- Hats are generally forbidden at Fielding, but Clayton Arbusto is known to wear a cowboy hat and the members of the Fielding Lacrosse Team - the "Lax Bros" - will wear brightly-colored hand-knit hats and toboggans. Even so, all hats are removed during class time.
- Daria Morgendorffer and Elsie Sloane prefer the standard uniform. Initially Daria hated the "one-mold-fits-all" mentality but discovered that having a uniform meant that she had to spare no extraneous thought to fashion choices, which she preferred above all else. Daria will occasionally let the deadly gap appear between the Windsor knot and her collar often seen on older girls.
- Tom Sloane generally follows the uniform code. "The better you dress, the more with which you can get away," he might say.
- Patrick Hackney's appearance can be said to be "disheveled". No creases, scuffed shoes, and a loose knot - but his ties and shoes are very expensive. Every now and then, Pat Seven will flout the rules with a gold tie instead of a red one. However, he is making strides in improving his overall appearance with the help of his girlfriend, Quinn Morgendorffer.
In general, the rules make wearing the uniform an uncomfortable burden. If there is anything that unites student at Fielding, it is distaste for the uniform rules but few students would ever give up the uniform. The sentiment is that if they had to suffer, so shall future students. Beyond a certain age, many influential alumni look back fondly on their uniformed days - hazy delusion sets in - and they shall ensure that the uniform remains a tradition.