By Luxmi Mathivannan '19
The 2016-2017 school year ended with quite the surprise for many NCS students: a new dress code. NCS students are now saying goodbye to their beloved yoga pants and sweatpants and turning to jeans.
No longer will there be any discrepancies between leggings and yoga pants, or the length of athletic shorts; the new dress code is short and simple. While many students hoped that NCS administration would permit leggings into the dress code because of their similarity to yoga pants, they decided to go in the other direction. The new dress code entails zero athletic clothing except for sweatshirts and t-shirts, and a new 5-inch inseam for all shorts, skirts, and dresses.
While this change will not affect the lives of some students, many are outraged, and some are even turning to alternative options. A big concern for many students is shopping for new clothes to fit the dress code. To them it feels unfair that they are now required to spend money on clothes that they may not wear outside of school. For several students, it seems that a uniform would make life easier and less stressful. The idea for a uniform, resembling Lower School, would follow the dress code, has become increasingly popular amongst many of the juniors and freshman. However, this raises concerns as to what this would do for the school’s image of individuality and spirit.
For many, the installment of a uniform would be counter-intuitive and hurt not only the school as a whole, but us as individuals. When schools require uniforms, they run the risk of promoting conformity over individuality. But when we’re able to choose our clothes, we can distinguish ourselves for our uniqueness, and bring out a certain school spirit that a uniform diminishes. We typically don’t realize it, but the way we dress says so much about ourselves and a uniform would only limit this freedom of expression.
Regardless of how it may threaten our sense of individuality, the fact remains that the installment of a uniform would logically not be helpful. NCS has directly stated that the lack of a uniform helps their admissions, as we are the only all-girls school in the DMV area without a uniform. Many people forget that in previous years, the NCS upper school had a uniform that was eventually dismissed, so readopting one would be an enormous task that should not be taken lightly.
Although it’s annoying to have to purchase new clothes, the better alternative to buying $160 uniforms would be to express our voice in the way we dress instead of surrendering this right completely. After all, would you be more comfortable in a polo shirt and a khaki skirt, or a t-shirt and jeans? As the days grow colder and wearing the same routine of clothes becomes tiresome, one has to ask: how long will these girls be willing to keep this up?