Dressed to Impress

Are the new dress code rules really necessary?

School dress code policies have been argued and debated for years. This year, SM altered its dress code regulations and made some pretty significant changes. 

The new policies state that on non-uniform dress days, neither boys nor girls are permitted to wear sweatpants, joggers, jogger pants, or warm-up suits of any kind. 

Similar to other schools, the regulations for the girls are much more strict and more enforced than the boys. 

This year at SM, the girls are not allowed to wear earrings during school hours or at school religious events. In previous years, jewelry with religious symbols or images, such as a cross, have been permitted. 

The policy for nail polish has also been changed. Natural, discreet, colors that were not distracting were formerly permitted. As of this year, nail polish is not tolerated and wearing it can result in a detention. 

In addition to the dress code changes, the consequences for a dress code violation have also been changed. Unlike previous years, a first offense violation is a one-hour detention. A second offense will result in a two-hour Saturday detention, and a third offense is a three-hour Saturday detention. After three dress code violations, a fourth will result in school suspension. 

The violations are per semester. 

Fashion is one way that students can express themselves. This is especially difficult to do at a private school with uniforms. Before these new rules, the existing dress code left little to no room for students to decide how they want to dress, now it’s even more difficult to have any choice in how to dress. 

Accessories such as nail polish or jewelry give girls more freedom to show their personality through their appearance at school. Earrings and nail polish are barely noticeable. Is it really necessary to take away these privileges? Will nail polish and earrings truly take away from the desired “clean” and “well -groomed,” look of students? 

In most cases, no, these new dress code restrictions and even the existing ones will not affect the overall appearance of students. Instead, it would give them more control over how they choose to express themselves.