Is dress code too extreme?


Canva by Emma Dela Cruz.

Bek Lopez, Managing Editor

This previously ran in our October 2022 Print Issue.

When you hear the words, “dress code,” I’m sure you roll your eyes just like I do. 

The godforsaken dress code always manages to weasel its way into school conversation, but especially around the beginning of the year. Summer passes us by, and we’re so used to shorts and tank tops that by the time we get back to school, it’s become a habit. 

The cooling weather sometimes solves this problem. Sometimes. There are those who are resilient warriors in the face of the chill and continue to wear shorts and tank tops throughout the winter. If you’re one of those people, I both admire and fear you. If you’re not one of those people, but still think the dress code is kind of lame, I’m still with you. 

The stupidly long and complicated history of the dress code includes regulations on what to wear to school. Over the years, people realized that ‘hey, maybe some of the regulations are unnecessary and sexist’ and so change happened and adjustments were made, but not everywhere. If changes were made in the school dress code, then it only happened within the past decade or so, and some states are still trying to figure out what’s professional and what’s overbearing. This school, for the most part, has done pretty well with the dress code. 

Overall, the dress code makes sense. No underwear showing, your midsection and upper thighs need to be covered, no vulgar clothing. It’s common sense. You can wear whatever you want to, but in school there’s a bit of a professional environment that needs to be adhered to. I say ‘a bit’ because I’ve seen more people sporting pajama bottoms than jeans in the last month and honestly, I love it. It’s not professional, but it’s fun and creative and comfy. I don’t know many teachers who will write up a student for wearing pajama bottoms. Most teachers are cool enough to let things like that slide, but some have been known to be on the stricter side. 

One rule that I definitely don’t agree with is the no-shoulders rule. I’m sure a lot of people think it’s really dumb that we have to cover our shoulders. School isn’t even really professional for anyone but the teachers and staff. I understand teachers having a stricter dress code because this is their place of work and students look up to them as authority figures. 

Students have no such expectations and so, logically, shouldn’t have the same dress code. Showing shoulders shouldn’t be a problem, and I’ve never understood the reasoning behind it. They’re shoulders, nothing special about them. 

Tank tops are pretty much essential in the warmer months. I’m sure some old guy will argue the ancient saying that “it’s distracting.” For you? Why are you getting distracted by my shoulders? I’m distracted by your creepiness, stay away from me. I can show my ankles and shoulders without getting punished because it’s my body. It’s my body, and if I’m comfortable and no one else but the creepy old guy is uncomfortable, then it should be fine. 

Restricting tank tops and shoulderless clothing just has negative connotations that point back to a darker, more sexist history that no one wants to talk about. The dress code itself should be simple and logical, but there is no logic to bringing back the no shoulder-rule. 

I would say I’m worried for the people who enjoy wearing sleeveless clothes, but then again, they were going to wear tank tops and spaghetti straps regardless of the rules. Does anyone care about it? Not really, no.