Are Dress Codes Really Necessary?


Have you ever bought an outfit that you were so excited to wear to school the next day, just to realize that it doesn’t fit the dress code? Have you ever been sent to the office and told you had to either switch your shirt, shorts, ripped jeans, or skirt because it was too revealing or distracting to the students around you? Dress codes, in my opinion, are not the most necessary school rule in Lewis Cass. Pros and cons do exist, but I think more cons are apparent then pros.

First, the pros are understandable. I understand the point in dress codes with some clothes that have been made that are way too low cut or too tight in certain areas. Parts of the dress code I agree with because I don’t necessarily want to look at someone who is dressed like that. I also agree with not being able to wear very cropped tops. Showing a little stomach is not terrible, but if one’s whole belly is sticking out, then he/she needs to have a tank top underneath their shirt.

Second, according to the website Life Hack, school dress codes can put stress on students. I believe to make a student feel worried or stressed to wear something to school because a staff member may tell them to change is wrong. Clothing is also a statement. Fashion in my generation is a big factor and kids like to express themselves through it. If one likes to wear ripped jeans and a tank top, they should be able to do just that without anyone to stop them.

Third, I do not understand how clothing can become a distraction. The Learning Network says that dress codes stating that what you wear is distracting is outdated and unnecessary. I wholeheartedly agree because if I’m wearing a shoulder revealing shirt, that should not distract a fellow peer from an algebraic problem. If a boy is wearing a muscle shirt, I’m not going to be staring at his arms in the middle of class because I know that I need to be paying attention and that would just be a little weird anyway. Jeans should also be allowed to have rips in them because a few holes that show one’s thighs aren’t going to do anything wrong except maybe make he/she cold. One should also be able to wear spaghetti straps because he/she could be very hot and wearing a tank top could help.

As my final point, with my generation’s fashion statements changing, the stores clothing selections have too. If someone were to go out into public, one would not see people walking around in Elizabethan Dresses or European Togas. Most likely girls of all ages are wearing skinny jeans and a shoulderless shirt. Stores know that too, so they sell clothes like that to make more money. Imagine being a parent taking their child shopping and all of the clothing selections that they have picked out do not follow the dress code.

Although, dress codes do keep a balance within a school. After talking to Mr. Bates, I can see why there needs to be a line set so that students can only push so far with their wardrobe. Mr. Bates enforces the dress code to prepare students for the future in looking presentable and respectful. While fashion allows individuals to express themselves, one also needs to keep in mind that they are representing his or her school.

In conclusion, dress codes are very nonessential. Students should be able to wear their clothes freely, express themselves through it, and not be stressed about what they are wearing. Though the dress code does some justice, I think it does more harm than that. Hopefully in the future we will get rid of this dreaded dress code and just wear our clothes in peace.

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