Why We Shouldn’t Have A Strict Dress Code

In my opinion I strongly believe that strict dress codes should not be enforced in schools. So many students struggle to express themselves and it is draining as a sophomore student myself to attend a school with a dress code that does not show any individuality. I do believe there should be a dress code, however not a strict one. When there are super strict dress codes, more students are more likely to break it on accident. For example, forgetting to wear a belt. Now that student has to miss class because of what they’re wearing. It’s a privilege to be able to have an education, we shouldn’t be taking that away because of what a student is wearing. 

The website CostHelper Education reports that a full uniform outfit can cost from $25 to $200 depending on the school and retailer, with a full wardrobe of uniforms ranging from $100 to $600 for four or five mix-and-match outfits.

This piece of information I found was really shocking to read, it would be much cheaper and convenient to not have to shop for specific uniforms for school. A lot of clothing stores especially for girls, only sell a wide variety of things that wouldn’t normally be in dress code, like ripped jeans, or shorts being the right length etc. After doing some research I found a parent who tried going school shopping while having a strict dress code. 

“Shorts can’t hit higher than three inches above the knee and skirts, two inches above the knee. But we only found one pair of shorts and a few skirts that were o-kay by the code.” “One skirt was suitable on a petite Shirley (her daughter), but too short for her other daughter, Heather.”

Dress Codes like this are difficult to follow as many growing kids come in different sizes. It’s not fair for taller people to not be able to wear the same shorts as a shorter person their age.  I interviewed my mom, Lucy Feeley about her thoughts on dress codes.

“They’re easy and make getting ready in the morning a lot faster, however it’s hard shopping for things that fit the dress code, especially in today’s society where trendy clothes are a lot more revealing,” Feeley said.

Even though uniforms may make morning routines a lot faster and easier I would argue that kids may forget about something like a belt or to do laundry, therefore it’s harder to have backup uniforms. If there weren’t uniforms and the outfit you wanted to wear was in the washer or dryer you could simply just pick something to wear from your closet instead of searching or waiting for your uniforms to get out the washer or dryer. 

Another reason to abolish strict dress codes is because it does not allow students to express themselves, making schools lack diversity.

Adrienne Dixson, a professor of education policy, organization, and leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, believes dress codes can prevent self-expression among students.” These rules aren’t neutral: many target girls, and especially black girls, by regulating skirt length and headwraps,” a report on school dress codes in the District of Columbia that was compiled by the National Women’s Law Center states.” 

Girls of color who are more likely to have different hair styles such as afros and hair extensions would get punished. 

Overall, I believe a dress code should be enforced, but with good reasoning, not strictly enforced and it shouldn’t prevent anyone from expressing their race, sexuality or religion.

 Jones, S. (2018, August 31). Do school dress codes discriminate against girls? Education Week. https://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2018/09/05/do-school-dress-codes-discrimate-against-girls.html 

 Why school uniforms are a bad idea. (n.d.). LiveAbout. https://www.liveabout.com/the-arguments-against-school-uniforms-2101087 

 School dress codes make shopping hard. (2005, September 18). https://www.walb.com. https://www.walb.com/story/3643825/school-dress-codes-make-shopping-hard/