Picking out clothes for the day can be a stressful experience. What top should I wear with my Levi jeans? A long sleeve flannel? A t-shirt? A tank top? Sneakers? Flip flops? We are so focused on mixing and matching colors and styles that the dress code policy is, more often than not, an afterthought in the back of people’s minds.
Individuality vs. the dress code
Many students feel that the freedom to dress however they desire expresses their individuality. Wearing inappropriate attire, however, is not conducive to real world application. Most companies implement policies for appropriate attire, and students should know that poor decisions in dress can tarnish a person’s credibility in the workplace. Employers often scrutinize how potential employees dress as a means of forming assumptions about the person in question. Even if one’s future workplace lacks a dress code, the reality is that people will judge an individual’s abilities and competence based on one’s appearance. Therefore, it is important to wear clothing that complies with the dress code in order to prepare ourselves for our future workplace.
To the relief of many students, Kaiser’s dress code is not as restrictive compared with other schools around the island. For example, Niu Valley Middle School requires students to wear shorts with a minimum length requirement of two inches above the kneecap, in addition to requiring that they wear T-shirt uniforms. Kaiser abstained from implementing a uniform in the dress code. Students have already been granted ample freedom in terms of what to wear. The requirements are reasonable: covering private parts and avoiding negative and offensive clothing (i.e. clothing that depicts violence, drug use, destructive lifestyles, etc.). Some argue that enforcing the school dress code takes students’ time away from class. When a student receives a citation reports to the office, they may have to miss class time. However, students must understand that their violation of the dress code detracts from the learning environment and diverts students’ attention away from learning. While instructional time is important for the student who violates the dress code, their offense takes away quality instructional time from countless others.
At the end of the day, each student is responsible for dressing properly. Although abiding by the dress code may not be considered fashionable amongst youth, students must realize that such a code exists, not to make a school’s administration feel omnipotent, but to solely benefit the students. Employers will often scrutinize how potential employees dress and form assumptions of the person in question, so it’s up to the person who wants the job they’re applying for to dress appropriately. Though we aren’t just the clothes we wear, most don’t look past that that before judging a person for themselves.