By Rebecca Fowler
Who in her right mind would come to school dressed in a stiff, baggy, unflattering and stereotypically hick outfit? Coppell Cowgirls, of course.
From the first Friday girls spend at Coppell High School as freshmen, they marvel at the screaming letters, colors and designs flooding the hallways and football games in the fall, unable to wait until the day they get to make their own.
I remember being overwhelmed by the amount of thick COPPELLs traced down the legs of senior girls, the ribbon, lace and boa fuzz around each pocket and the fabric glued onto every square inch. My friends and I would sit at our lunch table talking about the overalls we liked and disliked, how hers are so cute, but she’s the only one who can pull them off. We began discussing the important questions, such as pants or skirt? School colors or our own? Conventional or unique?
After three years of “ooing” and “ahhing,” pondering and planning, and anticipating the summer before senior year, the time has finally arrived. It is, officially, overall season. And I have to say, it is quite exciting.
Though the designing, creating and comparing styles is fun, I believe the overall hype is not as much about the actual overalls as it is the right-of-passage to be able to wear them. After all, seniors have been waiting three years to claim that title and only get to boast it once in high school. For senior girls, overalls are a way of announcing their seniority and celebrating how far they have come.
I began to really plan my overalls toward the end of my junior year and eventually drew up what I wanted them to look like in the summer. I stuck with the common things like my name on the front, “senior 2010” on the back legs and a cross with a Bible verse on the back. I wanted them to be traditional, but I also made them unique by choosing a color scheme of only brown and pale blue and a few extra accessories like a flower in my hammer loop and a handkerchief in my back pocket.
They did not turn out how I my 9th grade mind had envisioned. Yes, they are perfect and just the way I wanted them to be as a senior, but it is interesting how much I changed my perspective over the years. I think this does not just apply to senior overalls but many things in life. Sometimes your original plan is very different from the ultimately better outcome of the real thing.
I know this is true for many of my friends as well, and theirs’ turned out to be adorable. I love getting to see all of my friends’ overalls, layered with memories and details that capture them perfectly for who they are.
The tradition of senior overalls has been ongoing for years and is unique for Texas, especially Coppell. Though other local cities decorate senior overalls, none do it to the scale of Coppell with sewn fabric, ironed-on pictures and a total cost that is often in the triple-digits. Many girls even have moms and seamstresses put their overalls together and often include them in their senior pictures and announcements.
With all this money and effort, some might say the overall tradition is an outrageous waste. However, I disagree. Though I do admit overalls are rather ridiculous in appearance, cost and time spent making them, I view their significance as more important.
Traditions are not so much about the actual action as the feeling that comes with carrying them out. Yes, senior overalls are fun to make, wear and compare, but it is more exciting to know that you are a part of something huge…and not just the seven hundred-plus senior class.
Senior overalls are just one of the many ways seniors feel connected to something beyond their small worlds. The tradition links us to our preceding classes and makes us proud to be Coppell Cowgirls. By continuing something that has been going on for as long as we can remember, senior girls have the special opportunity to leave a legacy and be a part of a unique and memorable tradition.
As far as I can tell, senior overalls are not going away anytime soon. In fact, they are almost expected of senior girls. And though this might be a bit over-the-top, I maintain my view that overalls are not merely a fun tradition but one that carries meaning and sentiment for Coppell High.
With that said, let’s bring on the denim.