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Schools Finally Remove Regulation That Makes All Girls Wear Plain White Underwear

Hannah Smith


Schools Finally Remove Regulation That Makes All Girls Wear Plain White UnderwearPA Images

Schools in South Korea have been instructed to ditch a decades-old policy that regulates the type of underwear female students are allowed to wear.

Seoul’s Metropolitan Office of Education said it would remove a mandate that meant pupils at girls’ middle and high schools in the capital had to wear plain, all-white underwear by the end of this year.


The regulations, which are enforced at roughly a quarter of all girls’ schools in the city, penalise students who wear coloured or lace underwear, with some guidelines also requiring students to wear blouses with sleeves that are ‘long enough that when raising one’s arms, the underwear cannot be seen’.

Korea high school students (PA Images)PA Images

Moon Jang-gil, who sits on the Seoul Metropolitan Council, told Korean English-language news site JoongAng Daily that 31 out of the 129 girl’s schools in the city currently enforced a version of the regulation, and that the schools in question were being asked to voluntarily update their guidelines or be forced to by the end of the year.

The decision comes after it was found that several schools had continued to enforce the dress code even after the Council removed a clause in the Seoul Metropolitan Government’s Student Human Rights Ordinance that stated student dress could be ‘restricted by school rules’ in March.


The Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education reportedly began conducting a consultation into the regulation after the youth activist organisation Asunaro received more than 400 complaints from female students about the underwear rules, Insider reports.

Several students said that they had been subjected to underwear checks, with teachers in some schools reportedly inspecting the colour of female students’ bras.

Female students in Seoul (PA Images)PA Images

A spokesperson for the Office of Education said that following the rule change, schools would be forced to remove the regulations, or face an ‘ex officio investigation’.


‘While most public schools follow our announcement, it often gets blocked by the school principal, the board members, or the steering committee in private schools as there is no legally binding force,’ they said.

‘Schools will now feel pressured by such an announcement and the news reports, which is what we are looking forward to.’

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Topics: News, Now, South Korea


  1. Insider

    Seoul's girls' schools are finally ditching a policy that mandates students wear plain, white underwear

Hannah Smith
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