Starting the Conversation: Dress Code

Should Students Dress for Success?

Going to private school and being “required” to wear a uniform, for me, was great! No decisions, no competition, no peer pressure for a fashionable anything – just grab and go for all day, jeans and T’s when I got home. Sweet and Simple. Perfect. It was also great for my family not having to worry about financing a teenage girl’s wardrobe on top of tuition.

The school said they mandated the uniform to prepare us for potential careers, such as nursing, that require a uniform. They also said that the uniform on the outside made for inner-growth on the inside. Which, I always thought was a very nice sentiment and very helpful since my first job in Connecticut was at an IBM spin-off with a dress code so strict regarding suits, blouses and nylons that I longed for my high school uniform.

In addition, studies across the U.S. have demonstrated that when a public school goes beyond enforcing a dress code to eliminate inappropriate attire to enforcing a uniform or a “business casual” dress code, that academic performance goes up and school-based troubles go down. (Visit my blog for links to several studies that validate the overall positive outcomes of these studies).

Even so, many of my fellow students thought it wasn’t “fair” and many schools really don’t bother to enforce any kind of dress code, despite the proven studies. But what do you think? Are you, or have you ever been, required to wear a uniform? Do you think dress codes at school are needed? Should they be stricter? More lenient? Let’s continue the conversation on my blog at