View Full Version : Dress Codes
(Many cultures' limits on what is acceptable and even tolerable are very different than what they were in the past. Even the meanings of words we use to describe different modes of attire have changed when one compares today to, say, the 1950s.)
For various reasons some institutions (schools, workplaces, churches, restaurants, etc.) attempt to utilize dress codes. What is your opinion of dress codes? Do they "work" effectively?
11-01-2011, 05:21 PM
I would say that they accomplish one goal while effectively accomplishing other things that may or may not have been intended by those implementing dress codes. For instance, it seems to me--just from experience--that the majority of teenagers who have to endure a strict uniform dress code at school are more likely to resent it and--as somewhat a result of their resentment--decide to dress themselves in whatever way they feel like after school and during their free time, whether it's socially appropriate or not. I'm not saying that's always the case, but I've noticed that it seems to happen more often than not.
I suppose you're talking about public school (as opposed to private schools), and I can certainly imagine some students doing just what you describe. The public schools in my state have changed drastically from years ago, that is in the dress they tolerate today. Private schools with which I am familiar have very conservative dress codes.
I am interested in any examples you might offer about how students you've observed dressed differently during the off-school hours as a result of the strictness of their school dress codes.
What are your feelings about dress codes in other places besides schools?
11-01-2011, 06:10 PM
I was actually talking about private schools, Catholic and other religious affiliated schools. Public schools don't usually employ very strict dress codes. Private schools generally do. An example of the kind of mentality that I'm talking about (being restricted by rules during school, and throwing care to the wind afterwards) is the concept that girls from Catholic schools are more likely to "put out" and be "easy" than girls in public schools because they feel constricted by all the rules (the dress code being only one of them) and feel rebellious. That was a concept floating around high school back when I was attending. I attended public high school, however, and I can't say I ever witnessed that rumor firsthand. It was just a rumor, and there's a possibility that it may not have been true at all, but I can definitely see where the logic of the proposed concept makes sense.
My feelings about dress codes in other places besides schools? I can't really say I'm too invested in the subject. I think workplaces have the right to ask their employees to dress nicely or to wear uniforms to represent the company, restaurants included. As for customers and other non-employees attending, I believe that dress codes are silly. Unless we're talking about a restaurant with a 5-diamond rating, there can be socially suggested dress codes or just ideas of what to wear to certain events, but if people don't feel obligated to follow those suggestions, they shouldn't need to. An example for this is that my father and I celebrated our birthdays recently (his is the day after mine) by going out to a fancy restaurant and to a concert afterward. The restaurant was very nice, it was also very expensive, but we dressed casually to eat. It was fairly interesting, to be honest, as we were joking about how everyone around us was overdressed. They probably would have argued that we were under-dressed, but neither us nor the establishment cared enough about it, especially since we were paying customers.
Some employers claim (anecdotally) that they notice employees' job performance tends to decline when they dress more casually. Likewise some teachers have told me they perceive the same trend among students. Proponents of private schools like to claim that the stricter dress codes and even uniforms help students perform better. I don't know whether there is empirical data to support these claims. I do believe that certain kinds of dress have a tendency to motivate people to behave in certain ways.
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