It’s been a while since I’ve seen the Soviet Union schoolgirl uniform in the flesh. For the uninitiated, it resembles the stereotypical male fantasy of a French maid’s uniform: There’s a long-sleeved dress, typically brown or navy; a white pinafore; a prim lace collar; and dainty ruffle sleeves. During my year abroad living in a now Russia-annexed, Crimean village, I actually wore the number to my local high school’s graduation. I was wildly uncomfortable in the revealing, thigh-skimming look: It was a far cry from the sexless American graduation shrouds and mortarboards my peers were receiving their diplomas in. But, hey, this was Russian tradition—and during the Soviet Union, the uniform was mandatory for school girls in middle and high school. One day out of the year and for custom’s sake, I couldn’t complain.