Our Editorial: Despite issues, dress code is still important


Photo credit: Jen Kusch

By The Editorial Board

With warmer weather’s arrival, students are trading in their winter coats for T-shirts and short shorts.

Crop tops on an Urban Outfitters rack turn into dress code violations.

But instead of protesting the guidelines set in place to keep us covered, we should realize we are fortunate to have the privilege of not wearing uniforms. In cities such as Chicago and Cleveland, over 80 percent of public schools require their students to don matching skirts, khakis and polos. Recently, high schools have made headlines regarding dress codes when they have sent students home who came to school wearing seemingly appropriate attire.

By being able to wear our own clothes, we utilize an important form of self-expression.  However, our clothes should be what speaks, not our lack of.

At school, students should have some sense of formality and maturity. Wearing clothes that violate the school code not only makes other students feel uncomfortable, but teachers as well. Students lose respect for their peers due when they come to school with inappropriate wardrobe.

Part of the problems presented by dress codes come from the fashion industry. Fashion is an essential part of our culture. But when all of the shorts on the shelves are four inches long, there aren’t many options for students to choose from that fit the school code. The key is to find something that is both comfortable and school-appropriate. In this day and age, such a seemingly simple task may be difficult, but it is also necessary to maintain a culture of decency and sense of professionalism.

In addition to the challenges students face simply trying to find clothing that fits the school’s parameters, obtaining attire that fits one’s body can also be a challenge. Height and weight can become a factor in violating dress codes. Clothes will fit differently depending on the individual’s body type. Although an article of clothing is marketed towards a universal group, it is impossible for it to look the same on everybody. Bear this in mind when creating a school-appropriate ensemble. As students, we don’t need to dress professionally for school, but we do have to make sure our clothes are fitting for our work environment.

Similar to differences in size are those between boys and girls. However, these differences should not lead to differences in the dress code. Many facets of school dress codes are geared specifically towards girls. However, boys should be held to the same standards as girls.

However, despite the many obstacles that hinder our ability to follow the dress code, we still need to follow it. Just because it can be hard to follow the rules doesn’t mean we should not. The fight against the dress code will always be an uphill battle, but sometimes we’ll have to lose.

Think of school as a job. We are all here to learn in an accepting environment. While clothing requirements may seem like an annoyance, they are implemented so that every student feels comfortable.

Stay classy, Grosse Pointe North.