Waking up in the morning and staring blankly at your closet, wondering what you should wear to school that day is an experience that everyone has gone through. Choosing an appropriate outfit for school that attains to your personal style, while keeping up with the latest trends can become a difficult challenge, but having a dress code makes the process much easier.
The enforcement of dress codes provides a guideline that students can follow and creates a professional atmosphere. Dress codes have been promoted in schools for decades, because they produce a safe environment, encourage discipline, limit distractions and bullying, and make getting ready much easier, while still allowing self expression. Having a dress code at Maclay is necessary, to create a better environment for academic and social success.
The familiar phrase, “Dress for Success”, becomes quite literal when discussing the dress code. Enforcing a dress code creates an environment that is visually effective in the concept of looking organized and successful. “We want our students to dress a certain way or look nice for school,” Maclay staff member Angela Croston said. “We need guidelines for everyone to follow because not everyone has the same opinion on what looks nice or what looks decent.” Visually, dress codes eliminate distractions, conflict between class differences, and decrease social pressures to fit in. However, dress codes do not only make students appear as successful to the eye. They make them truly eligible to succeed by creating a serious environment while instilling decorum and discipline. These factors are necessary for an environment where students can learn how to adapt to professional circumstances.
The promotion of dress codes creates a safer environment in schools. On campus, if all the students and staff are dressed similarly, it is much easier to notice trespassers. The influence of gang violence is decreased when students follow a dress code because it does not allow them to wear gang-affiliated clothing. When students’ wardrobes are influenced by the dress code, bullying is limited because judgment is eliminated. To create a safe environment in schools, dress codes are unavoidable.
Unlike uniforms, dress codes are less confining, as they allow self expression and flexibility. Students can still convey their personal styles and follow the latest trends. While wearing the appropriate clothes for academic success, students can still exercise artistic freedom. Incorporating self expression into students’ clothes, while following the dress code creates a cheerful environment that promotes social success.
Many students view dress codes negatively because it promotes the idea that girls’ bodies need to be covered up. This mindset sexualizes girls by implying that young women should be precautious of their bodies and how men view them. However, to make school a safe environment for both genders, dress codes are needed. They limit discrimination towards people based on their clothes, so no one can be shamed or degraded for their appearance.
To create an environment on campus where students effectively succeed, feel safe, comfortable, and positive, dress codes must be enforced. Students who dress for success will gain the most out of their academic and social experiences at school.