The Foundation for a Meaningful Life
Kindergarten - Grade 9 in Southborough, MA
Fay Magazine: Fall-Winter 2017


by Daintry Duffy Zaterka '88
More than one hundred and fifty years after its founding, Fay School students continue to wear their blazers with purpose, pride, and a dash of sartorial panache. 
Whether plaid, checked, corduroy with elbow patches, or classic navy, the Fay blazer has taken many forms over the years, but it has always been a foundation of the Fay School dress code. Starting in grade three, boys are required to wear a navy or black blazer, and girls must do the same starting in fifth grade.
Among students in the Fay community, the blazer has become a symbol of rising status and increased maturity. “I feel like I’m older when I wear my blazer,” says sixth grader Charlotte Crawford ’21, who joined Fay way back in Kindergarten, when a polo shirt sufficed to meet the Primary School dress code. “In sixth grade, you wear a blazer with everyone else, and it means you’re one of the leaders of the Lower School.”
If you are wondering whether students feel stiff and formal in their blazers, you need only observe Lower School recess. Across the fields, you can see navy blazers reimagined and repurposed as picnic blankets, baseball bases, and markers for the outlines of a soccer goal. Soccer teams are frequently organized into blazers vs. non-blazers, and when recess is over, the blazers—and their owners—are dusted off to head back to class.
Students appreciate that the blazer and dress code is a fashion equalizer. “I don't have to worry about not fitting in because when I look down the hallway, everyone is pretty much wearing the same thing as me,” says Emily Randolph ’19. “I like having a dress code because it makes getting dressed in the morning so much easier.”
Far from cramping their fashion sense, many of our students even feel that the blazer and dress code only add to their flair. “I've always enjoyed dressing up, just to look sharp and be ready for whatever event I'm going to,” says seventh grade boarder Ezra Frain ’20. “Learning how to dress properly is also very useful. I’ve learned, for example, from my mother, father, and Mr. Duggar, that you don't wear a different colored belt with your brown or black shoes.”
For Fay students, blazers are celebrated symbols of color team pride. Every year on Prize Day, the outgoing red and white color presidents pass along their team’s red and white jackets to the incoming color presidents. Like the donning of the storied green jacket at Augusta National, this symbolic passing of the blazer is a ceremony laden with tradition and pride. “It is an honor to wear such a well-known blazer,” says Red Color President Shane Kelly ’18. “I get to represent my color team while looking sharp, and although the blazer may be massive on me, the Red Team gets excited every time they see the blazer come out of the dry cleaning bag.”
And for Fay alumni, a simple navy blazer can trigger powerful memories. “I remember buying blazers for my daughters for the first time. I was so excited, and they thought I was crazy,” says Rachel Sandler Diamond ’87, mother of Catherine ’15 and Sarah ’19. “It brought me back to my blazer and my time at Fay. I'm so grateful my children have the opportunity to walk in my childhood shoes as part of the Fay community.”
As for the future, who knows what new uses our students will find for their blazers or what fashion iterations it will take? It’s clear, however, that generations of Fay students to come will continue to #OwnTheBlazer.

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