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Dress code is discomforting

MON. | 11-01-21 | OPINION

     Ripped jeans, tank tops, shorts. These are all things that make students comfortable and stylish, but once the first day of school hits, it’s time for a new wardrobe. Due to the dress code, we have to wear uncomfortable and hard-to-find clothing that can sometimes be expensive. Not only that, but the dress code can create a lot of insecurities for women and create false ideologies for men. From what it seems, dress code is something that should exist, but I believe it should have less restrictions.

     Here at Rose, the dress code consists of no tank tops, hats or hoodies nor ripped jeans. If you wear shorts, they must go past fingertip length. It’s different compared to some schools in Greenville, such as D.H. Conley who began requiring collared shirts. Dress code was initially placed to teach students to dress more professionally, but the policy feels mishandled. The idea that students, especially girls, should wear shorts that go to the knees is unrealistic. It is extremely difficult to find a pair of women’s shorts that go past half the thigh ー most have decided to wear gym shorts or masculine clothes. 

     Pants without rips are also hard to find. I recall going to Target to find pants for school, and pretty much every pair of jeans had rips in the knees. Upon going to the uniform store, I found school appropriate pants, but they were $40 a pair which is more expensive than jeans at Target. According to, public school parents tend to spend $25 to $200 on uniforms. There is no reason someone should spend this much money, especially when it’s meant to “cover distractions.”

(Liv) Dress Code 2.jpg

Graphic by Liv Carpenter

     Most schools bring up the excuse of their female students being “distractions” to their male peers if they are out of dress code. This idea is physically degrading because it is teaching women that we are dressing to impress boys. Staff members will take time out of a student's education to get them new clothes or have them go home to change. It seems that it’s easier to say, “boys will be boys,” instead of teaching them to be more considerate. 

     The excuse also criminalizes boys by implying that men have no self-control. I have quite a few male friends that know how to be respectful to their female peers. In fact, I’ve seen more teachers get distracted by clothing than students, and their immediate instinct is to blame the girls. According to Courier Journal, in public school, girls get dress-coded 60% more than boys. 

     I’ve witnessed female students and male students wear the exact same kind of outfit, and the woman would get dress-coded over the man. I’ve seen boys wear muscle tees to school, and they’ll wear shorts shorter than the girls. I’ve never heard of anything being said to them ー implying that they aren’t a distraction and don’t have to follow code.

     Since the dress code is being more enforced this year, it is appropriate for people to see the cons. If certain pieces of clothing are required, then they should be easier to achieve, especially for women. Everyone should be checked for the same reasons. Students should be worrying more about their education and less about what they wear.

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