Why I Support the Dress Code
Pope Brown, '25
From hearing all sides of the NCS dress code argument – from the opinion that uniforms should be stretched out all through high school to a complete abolition of the dress code itself – I support the present NCS dress code in its purpose to prepare students for professional life outside of school.
The beginning of the dress code section in the Upper School Handbook states that, “We primarily represent ourselves through our actions and our words, but clothing can also reflect our individuality and how we present ourselves to the community.” By connecting clothing to personal expression and “individuality”, this statement supports the abundance of leeway that NCS does truly supply to students in the sense of fashion nuances. While narrowly restricting the amount of skin the school finds appropriate for a student to show, the, frankly, limited dress code is objectively straightforward, and strict with the intention of promoting a formal learning environment.
Relating directly to the dress code, the intention of putting students into a habit of dressing professionally for life and job opportunities is completely rational. While presently, the controversial ban of leggings could seem incredibly pointless to some, pinning “athleisure” as a prudent addition to the dress code would casualize certain degrees of formality intended by the writers of the dress code. Some students think that formal attire is only necessary on Cathedral days but coming to school with peers who look generally put together for the first 8:00 am class of the day brings energy and a general positive attitude to the community.
Something else that is worth noting is that the dress code wasn’t written to deny comfort to students. The ability to dress comfortably isn’t restricted to sweatpants and leggings and is simply implementing the unwritten social dress code of certain professional adult lives.
I don’t think limits of the dress code are arbitrary, and I totally support the idea of a formal learning environment. Learning how to get dressed up for different social situations and feeling more composed throughout the day is worth the restrictions. While the dress code will always be a hot topic of debate on the Close, I stand by the opinion that NCS is stronger - at least in small - because of the current dress code.
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