Dress Codes Need to be Enforced and Explained

The reasoning behind dress codes need clarity


Photo by Ellie Kuehn

The skirt and skort, standard pieces of Juan Diego's standard girl's uniform.

Dress codes are everywhere, in public schools, private schools, and places of work. These rules set a standard for how people should dress, making everyone look a certain way, and that specificity goes even further with uniforms. Specifically, female dress codes, which have been scrutinized for harshness, and the severity of such rules.

At Juan Diego, female students have more options than male students, but the girl uniform has harsher rules and is under more scrutiny. Pants can be worn all year round, and shorts can be worn in the first and fourth quarters for both boys and girls. Skorts, must be no more than two inches above the knee, and worn with tights. The skirt, which also must be no more than two inches above the knee, is required on formal dress days, and doesn’t need to be worn with tights or stockings.

Just this school year, it has been decided that girls can wear the skirt, not only on formal dress days, and not with tights, after serious problems with the length of the skirts. These changes have opened an entire new box of problems for girls uniforms, and whether or not people are following the rules. What stays, what goes, and what will get you a fine?

Although tights aren’t mandatory with the skirts, they are with the skorts, but why? Girls, despite knowing that we are supposed to wear tights with the skorts, aren’t wearing anything with them, and they seemingly aren’t getting in trouble, raising a question to the dress code policy. Most of the reasoning behind the girls dress codes, at least in our Catholic school, make sense, with modesty and all, but there are some small things that just aren’t logical, and aren’t enforced, which creates problems all around.

Dress code doesn’t apply just to the school uniform, it also goes to spirit dress. The main problem I have found is with the rules and consequences due to bottoms, like jeans, yoga pants, or leggings. According to the JDCHS handbook, pants may not be ripped above the knee, and administrators actually enforce it, while they ignore things that pertain to the everyday uniform. Girls have been forced to put tissues and even notecards in the rips of their jeans to avoid fines. The rule against yoga pants is leveled out as it seems that the school wants spirit dress not to seem overly casual, and it holds true for boys as well, since they can’t wear sweatpants or joggers made of similar materials.

The real problem is knowing what is allowed, what isn’t, and why. Dress codes should be discussed and enforced by the administrators for all students, to add clarification as to why the rules are there, and give reasoning to these rules.