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Friday, May 24, 2013

Dressing for School

John Marine | 2:27 PM | | | |
Dressing for school entails either regular clothes or wearing uniforms. Every school has different dress codes and guidelines for what students should and shouldn't wear. Those that require uniforms limit one's options to dress however they please. Those that don't have a strict code allows students to dress almost any way they please. Some schools that require uniforms may have certain days and times when students can wear whatever they want (as long as it's within rules, of course). How does/should one dress for school? That is the main point of this blog post. It is a commentary piece I've put together for all of you.

This blog post is a fashionable look at dressing for school, and it features two parts- with uniforms and without uniforms. The primary intent is mostly on primary school and secondary school fashions. It is one of few topics that makes my fashion blog different and unique from a lot of others. Welcome to my fashionable space of my blogging universe- "StyleSpace, by John B. Marine!"

--- Dressing for School: Without Uniforms ---

Schools that do not require uniforms allows students to dress up however they please as long as the clothing doesn't disrupt the learning process. Certain fashion items get banned from school dress codes, and those who violate the terms often get into trouble. Even some items that seem innocent are liable to be banned. For example, there was a school that banned yoga pants.

Often times, I am someone who believes that anyone should dress any way they please as long as it isn't overly promiscuous or offensive. Certain trends and styles make me wonder how far a student will push a school's dress code. I've been part of schools that had no uniform code for a school year, and then institute a uniform code the following school year. Just because something is trendy now doesn't mean it can trickle down into school uniforms. For example, spikes are hot today. You would not be able to wear anything spiked as part of your outfit at school if your school's dress code disallows them.

From a fashion standpoint, what makes no dress code great is that you get to gauge one's style without having to worry about having to feel like you can't express yourself style-wise. The ability to dress however you please gives you confidence. It allows you to be yourself and express yourself through the means of fashion. I was nowhere near expressive or independent to where I stood out fashion-wise. There have been a number of guys and girls at school that I've seen their own personal style with when there is no dress code. Certain guys I've known look all cool and casual. Certain girls I've known go with various styles ranging from casual to flirty to classy. I grew up in the '90s, so I've seen lots of midriff-baring and navel-bearing by some girls at school. I've even seen overalls/dungarees worn by girls as well as platform loafers. There were countless other '90s trends and looks I've seen, but I can only name so many from memory. So I'll just move on from here.

Dressing for School: What Works?

Guys will usually dress up in the best casual and sporty looks. Most guys usually wear some jeans or some aggressive cargo shorts. More classy fellows usually even wear some polo shirts or some dressy chino pants. Tops are usually either T-shirts or some polo shirts.

Girls have various options. A girl can dress up casually, almost like a day at the mall. She can dress beautifully with cute skirts and dresses. The option also lies in dressing up, almost like for a professional purpose or a semi-formal function. Or of course, a girl can dress up in a sporty way.

Challenging the Limits.

The limits of dressing for either side can vary depending on a number of factors. Some students may wear certain garments or certain accessories that a school may deem controversial or disruptive. For example, T-shirts bearing certain gang names or having truly offensive messages aren't going to sit well with certain dress codes and their enforcement of the dress code. Certain garments bearing certain messages or causes- such as any LGBT pride or political material- may also be deemed offensive and subject to the student being punished.

Crossdressing for School?

Some who choose to crossdress are among some of the ones who generate the most controversy in regards to dressing up in ways you feel comfortable. Remember earlier I mentioned dressing in ways that disrupt the education process? There are two incidents I best recall: a boy who wanted to wear a dress to prom, and another boy who loves crossdressing. Fashion is about expression. That expression even includes if one feels comfortable crossdressing.

Here is the most popular story that comes to mind for me in regards to crossdressing. Back in 2009, a student named Jonathan Escobar was crossdressing to school. People even poured support for Jonathan to keep crossdressing to school if he so chose. Take a look at this video I've provided for this. And if you ask me... for a boy (and this coming from a straight or mostly straight guy), he's cute!

^ "Cross Dressing Teen Jonathan Escobar (ORIGINAL the real story)"

That concludes part one of this blog post on dressing for school. Part 2 involves uniforms.

--- Dressing for School: With Uniforms ---

uniform polo shirt
^ from: - A polo shirt is a common top requirement for a school uniform for both boys and girls.

uniform pantsuniform shorts
^ both pictures from: - Pants and [long] shorts are more than appropriate for school uniforms.

uniform girls
^ from: - Girls have extra fashion options including blouses, skirts, skorts, and jumpers.

If a school requires uniforms, your options are very limited. In fact, you may have none outside of individual tops and bottoms. There are some families who probably can't afford to buy uniforms for their children. Some students even try to (no pun intended) skirt the rules by wearing certain garments barely within uniform rules. For example, a girl may wear a blouse that is still fairly within a school's uniform code. A school that requires uniforms basically takes away from one wanting to represent his/her fashion style. For some, that's a good thing because it takes the focus away from trying to stand out fashionably and pay more attention to being a good student rather than being some kind of diva. For some others, it is a bad thing to wear uniforms because you don't have the freedom to dress almost any way you please.

School Uniforms: What Works?

Schools that require uniforms usually allow for collared shirts for boys and girls and even give girls the option of blouses. No T-shirts are allowed. Twill pants and twill shorts are the norm for boys and girls in school uniforms. Jumper dresses, skirts, and skorts are usual girl-exclusive bottoms for school. Some schools may even allow for girls to wear cropped pants. Footwear is almost really the only kind of creativity and options come into play. Footwear codes vary, but from one of my former High Schools, footwear has to be closed-toe and have a back strap. No sandals are worn in most cases. For the most part, sneakers are most common as well as certain dressy shoes for both boys and girls. Cold days have certain dress codes for sweaters and jackets as well.

School Uniform Commentary.

School uniforms do not allow students to express themselves through fashion. Wearing school uniforms as everyone else are wearing uniforms basically takes away one's individuality, especially those who prefer to stand out among others. Some would argue that students don't need to stand out in fashion because school is about getting a quality education rather than wanting to stand out among others. Or for a more critical statement, getting students to stand out in the classroom rather than trying to stand out as the most fashionable student on campus. It would be a loaded statement to say that worrying over something like clothes can be detrimental and damaging to the learning process.

On the other hand regarding school uniforms, there is a certain quality to wearing uniforms. Dressing up in clothes preparing for a certain task gives you some sort of honor in what you do. Think about an athlete putting on his/her uniform in preparation to compete in a sporting event. When an athlete prepares to play a sport, he/she is dressed for the task and has power and confidence by simply wearing that outfit. Dressing for the task of school is the same way, and the team you play for is for you and your school to get an education while also being dressed in a manner that shows you're ready for the task.

Those are my thoughts regarding school uniforms.

--- Dressing for School: Faculty and Staff (Bonus Section!)---

I actually only wanted to discuss dressing for school as far as students are concerned. That is... until the perfectionist in me wanted to also discuss the adults. Here is a bonus section I've included in the discussion of dressing for school.

As much as students are upheld to a certain standard, equal credit is given to the faculty and staff of schools. The teachers and such are also held to a degree of professionalism. After all, who wants a sloppily-dressed instructor or an instructor wearing something sexually arousing to students? The style of faculty and staff are every bit as professional and classy whether it's a regular weekday or casual Friday. And even with a casual Friday look, faculty and staff still must present themselves stylishly.

What works for most instructors? Almost whatever faculty and staff should wear unless certain tasks require one to wear a certain outfit. Most teachers usually have their own unique style that sets themselves apart from others. Still- there is no competition to look better than another teacher. All that's important is dressing professionally and properly in the pursuit of educating students.

--- Dressing for School: Final Thoughts ---

Everyone into fashion should be allowed to express themselves through the means of fashion- including school students. However, there is a line (and even many lines) to be drawn as far as fashion and school are concerned. Clothing is not and should not be a deterrent to the learning process. There has to be certain limits to where there isn't an issue regarding one's individuality and the clothes he/she wears. No matter whether a school calls for casual clothing or uniforms, it is always important to just be yourself and let your personality shine as brightly as your fashion tastes. Uniform dress codes will disallow you mostly from sharing your own personal style, but you shouldn't let this completely take you over.

Regardless of the dress code instituted at schools, various constants remain:
• You are still going to school.
• You are still getting an education.
• You still are trying to make yourself a better person.

So don't sweat any dress codes too much. Dress properly and within rules for school; just don't be disappointed about not being able to wear almost whatever you want for school. Education is more important than fashion.

Cross-Promotion/Other Reading.

This was an original post I did long ago regarding school uniforms:

"School Uniforms" (John's Blog Space)
^ my old post regarding school uniforms in my main blog.

"Long Shorts" (StyleSpace by JBM)
^ Long shorts are more than appropriate for school. This post looks at long shorts.

"Skorts" (StyleSpace by JBM)
^ Skorts are an option for school uniforms. This is my SS post on skorts.

I hope you enjoyed this post here on "StyleSpace by JBM" and all of my other associated posts.

What are your thoughts about dressing for school? Remember that my blog post mostly concerned dressing up for school for primary schools and secondary schools. Thank you for reading!

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John Marine said...

I had a love-hate relationship with uniforms, but now I would say they can be useful. :) To avoid exaggerations some students make when dressing for school.

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