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Readers' Responses: Opinions about Dress Codes

Speaking of Uniforms (Issue 21) and Dress codes (Issue 1) discuss dress Codes and uniforms. Readers sent the comments below.


Japanese students wearing school uniforms

What's your
opinion of
dress codes?

Send it to us.


I am substantially in favor of the concept of school uniforms. It appears to be the wave of the future.

Michael Solomon, U.S.

Well, personally I think that school uniforms are good for the public because I don't have to worry about what I am wearing the next day. I find if we wear school uniforms then people aren't that flashy, and they don't judge you over your clothes. I think this will help many people out with their self esteem. Sincerely,

Grady Calhoun, U.S.

In my school in Costa Rica we were required to wear school uniforms. They were very strict on what you wore. I personally think that uniforms benifitted the way I acted and my grades were very good. I think we should have uniforms because they take our $ differences away, our gangs away, and the way we think of people on how they dress.

Nicholas Baird, U.S.

I believe standardized dress codes should not be allowed. If people allow standardized dress codes, then it would support conformity, which is exactly what we are against. People have the right to express how they feel in the form of words, actions, and clothing. If you take away the way we dress, you are taking away part of our freedom.

Sonny Ono, Japanese (University of Texas)

I feel that dress codes aren't necessary because they pose many problems in and out of school. My school went to a field trip a few years ago and the kids that were wearing uniforms acted like we were very immature (which I don't agree with) and started immitating the things we were doing like brushing our hair and wearing other peoples' jackets because we were cold and they weren't. Uniforms don't allow kids the experience of expressing their own feelings through the way they dress.

Joyce, Philippines

Do you know of anywhere I can order a Japanese High school uniform?? I think they are very cool. Thanks.

Colleen Lester, U.S.

Dress codes in public school are a violation of kids' rights, as stated to the first amendment of the consitution. Children are being taught by these dress regulations that people should be ashamed of their bodies. I think it's sad really. The human body is a beautiful thing. They also influence kids to blend in with the crowd, form themselves and their opinions based on general society's views on "things that are appropiate". They are besides that absolutely unnecessary, and have little to no effect.

Booty, U.S.

Dress codes are OK as long as they aren't too strict.

Lisa Buroojy, U.S.

I believe that dress codes are an enfringement upon students' civil and moral rights. Assigning a specific dress code or uniform won't stop the violence in our schools. Clothing isn't chosen just to cover our bodies or to keep us warm, it's to help express ourselves. If people want to express themselves with racial slurs or sexual comments then let them, but everyone who sees their clothing with these expressions will know how that person is. Today's school system will never be satisfied with today's generation or any other generation. Something will always be wrong and there's no way that assigning a dress code will encourage kids to stop all of the violence, respect everyone, or even study harder. There is no real way to have a "perfect" world until society accepts eveyone for who they are.

Melissa Monteith, U.S.

I think that school dress codes are good and bad. They're good because they eliminate the problems of kids waking up every morning and trying to find clothes to wear. In some schools, there is a major problem with kids abiding by the dress code. Therefore, they have to set some standards. When those standards aren't followed, they usually go to uniforms. Dress codes may be bad because they take away from freedom of expression, which is stated in the United States Constitution. You must also remember that there are set rules for different places. Sometimes it may seem as though those rules violate our rights, but in many situations in life you'll be face with these rules. Dress codes is a major one, especially in the business world.

Carla Murchison, U.S.

At my school once you reach year 13 you no longer have to wear uniforms as you are permitted to wear your own clothing. Some students wear tight tops, tops that show their belly buttons, and short skirts. The teachers don't say anything to the students who choose to dress in this way though because when you are in year 13, you are treated as an adult no matter what image you create through your individual dress sense. I believe that being treated like an adult is a great thing because it teaches you how to become independent and how to cope when you leave school and go out into the "real world".

Carly, New Zealand

I think that the dress codes in the U.S. are way too extreme. If people were allowed to wear what was in style during their generation, why can't we wear what is in style now? They may talk about gangs as a big problem and a major cause for more strictly enforced dress codes but they had their own problems back then. Their problems were solved without changing the way a person dresses, so why should it change now? By changing the dress codes you are only asking to cause more trouble than what you had before.

Jeff Reininger, U.S.

I go to school in a small town in Montana. We have a dress code stating that we can only wear shorts for the first six weeks and the last six weeks of school. I feel that we are old enough to know when we can or can't wear shorts based on the weather because we are in high school. The dress code also states that we may not wear tank tops or shirts that show parts our stomachs or that have beer or tabacco ads.

Justin Framstad, Montana, U.S.

I feel a dress code is proper for certain kinds of businesses. Employees should have to wear suits and ties if they are in constant interaction with customers or clients. I work at a customer service call center. It is ridiculous for us to wear suits when all we do is answer phone calls from around the nation. Not one customer can see us. Wearing casual clothes for a business like this is feasible. However, I feel that all businesses should in someway incorporate casual dress. Casual dress allows people to dress comfortably. Comfortable workers make happy workers. Our comfortableness will show in our voices.

Manny Alvarez, Cuba

I attended a school where dress code was mandatory. I went to Catholic school and we wore uniforms. I think that with a dress code there would be less fights and schools would be a better place for younger kids. They wouldn't have to worry about not wearing the cool clothes because everyone would be wearing somewhat the same thing! I am not saying to actually wear the same colors but a dress code as in neat clothing and dress pants and shirts of any color, not one specific thing.

Lori, U.S.

I think that dress codes are the worst thing you can make a student wear. We got a new principal this year and he has made our dress code so strict that if you have any parts of your stomach showing you get sent home. We can't were double meaning shirts or shirts advertising anything. I think dress codes are worthless.

Junior, U.S.

I think dress codes are bad for schools to have. It doesn't allow the students to show their own personality. Our school is thinking about getting a dress code and I hope they don't.

Heather, U.S.

I think that there should not be dress codes. People cannot show their individuality. Also when we get older we have to pick out our own clothes. If we grow up knowing what we were going to wear every day the same thing, we could have trouble with this here. I like how I dress and there is no reason to change it.

Brittani Kokko, U.S.

Dress codes are unneeded. People dress different because that's the way they want to be seen and known as, and if you take that away from them, then they can find other ways to be different. Like crimes and drugs. Plus only some people get caught breaking the dress codes and others don't. I feel that if you look good in the way that you dress, you have the right to express it.

Katie Myers, U.S.

I have to write a news story on dress codes, and I got many different opinions. It's nice to find a website that features opinions, also. I am a high school student, and personally, I think that it is a bad idea. It does have it's good points, sure, but even the good points about it could cause a serious rebellion from the students. It is a way to express ourselves, how we dress, and you have to admit, teenagers don't really have much freedom of speech, no matter how people deny it. In cases where there are gang-related colors, I'd understand. But not in a smaller town, like the one I live in. I'm glad that I don't have a dress code.

Miranda Hoffman, U.S.

I belief that school uniforms really prevent individuality and imaginative creativity side. School uniforms also prevented expression. There can be problem about being clone to one another for reason of administrator to separate the students from another. Life would be dictatorship of censorship to personal rights, based on the 1st Admentment of Consitution of the United States.

H. Michael Fu, Chinese/Taiwan

I don't think dress codes are right for all types of clothes. I think everybody has a way of expressing themselves in fashion and they shouldn't have that right taken away from them just because somebody else doesn't agree with it. I do think that things like alcohol or sexual content on clothes shouldn't be allowed because there's no point in wearing stuff like that.

Katie Grembowicz, U.S.

I think uniforms and strict dress codes save money, are safer for the students, and more logical.

Sarah Chevum, U.S.

I am a parent of 3 children, ages 9, 11, & 14. School dress codes are archaic to me. It is an attempt to control children. The more that we, as adults, control every tiny aspect of children's lives, the more they will find other ways to rebel. Even Japan is having problems with uniforms. We need to guide our children and allow them to grow up and learn by experimenting with that guidance. I'm so tired of the educational problems and the "dumbing down" of our educational system in this country. It's about time that we address the real problems. It's not the kids. It's the adults whom they are emulating: parents, teachers, etc. I have seen more dishonest adults in the administration of education than honest ones. And my children see this too. What a horrible example. I'm tired of hearing how horrible children today are. They're no different than children of other generations, other than they are having to grow up faster and many lack the support of parents and grandparents. When are we going to see the light?

Vicki Whittiker, U.S.

I think wearing uniforms is a good thing. It's a more practical thing than waking up every morning and having to pick out a new outfit to wear. Uniforms aren't cheap, but is is less expensive than having to buy a wardrobe for winter and another for the summer. Any way you look at it, without wearing uniforms, it simply costs more money.

Julianne Compton, U.S.

In the schools in my state (Colorado), there are dress codes for the purpose of reducing gang violence. The gang violence did, in fact, decline but it seems as though it was just outdated...not that the dress code helped significantly. The police and other authorities seem to punish their students just because they are unsuccessful at doing their job. I don't agree with a dress code for the reasons that we have here.

Mike Wiman, Colorado, U.S.

I believe that all schools should acquire a uniform. I think that uniforms benefit everyone. I have been going to a private school now for 3 years, and I have found that during school when everyone is wearing their uniforms, no one is really looked at any differently. In public schools, however, there is a lot of racism because of their clothing.

Vanessa Reid, Canada

Authorities may think that dress codes are a good idea, and I agree that they do belong where making a good impression is necessary. I don't believe that schools should have dress codes because it is an American right to have freedom of expression.That right should not be taken away.

Deana Smallwood, U.S.

In our school all our dress code is--is that we have to wear shorts that reach our fingertips when we put our arms down. We also cannot wear shirts that show our stomach. Another thing is wearing shirts that have any advertising of tobacco, alcohol or co-ed naked shirts. No one thinks the shorts rule is fair because everyone has different arm lengths!

Shonna Richardson, U.S.

I highly recommend a dress code in my high school. A lot of kids wear gang colors. Others are considered dorks because of the way they dress.

Alana S., U.S.

School uniforms are not right for adolescents! While wearing uniforms, we cannot express our values and our actions. I attend a school in which we do not have school uniforms. We don't have any problems with gangs, violence, or dress code violations.

Lee Hendrick, U.S.

I don't think school uniforms are all that bad as the students put them out to be because you do not compete with others over whose clothes are better. Although I do think that they should have one day of the week where we can wear something other than our uniforms. For example, Friday could be the day we do not wear our uniforms.

Linda Saleh, U.S.

I think that I love uniforms. I don't have to worry about what to wear in the mornings, or what my friends will think of me.

Chi, U.S.

Dress Codes are not a necessary part of today's society. Sure there are fights over certain clothing styles or name brands, but taking away our freedom of expression will not solve all of our problems. I believe that stricter rules should be enforced and a normal way of dressing should stay.

Jen Reiss, U.S.

I think we should have to wear uniforms at school because it will 1)make us look and feel more mature 2) less troubles with gangs and nonsense like that. Plus the military is sharp and disciplined in uniform. Why can't we?

Andrew Batts, U.S.

I think dress codes are necessary in schools. It creates a safe and equal environment among students. It's too bad that people think you have to express yourself with material things. Whatever happened to a mind and voice.

Heidi Haussner, U.S.

I am doing a project on dress codes at our school. I go to a relatively large school and there is much diversity. We come from a small town in Vermont so clothes are self-expression. Art and music, literature and speaking promotes awareness and the ability to grow beyond pre-formed ancient molds. Given the opportunity our society can grow and develop. The world's greatest inventions are created to pass through standards and barriers. Do not enforce upon the future of tomorrow uniformity. Allow us to be creative and diverse. We will create a modern universe.

Sarah Bergman, Vermont, U.S.

I do not like dress codes or school uniforms because they take away from one's originality, individuality, and ingenuity. They become problems in school because violators find the punishments unfair and cruel. Dress codes need to be modified and made less strict and school unfirms should only be in private schools.

Marc, U.S.

I believe that a dress code is pointless. A lot of people use their attire as a form of expression. It really shouldn't matter what you wear to school. If you are focused enough on what you are doing, then what you wear shouldn't affect what info. you absorb in school. Dress code is just a petty rule that the school board feels they have to touch on because they don't care about real issues that affect us daily in a classroom. In my classes roaches happen to be roaming around as if they owned the place, why doesn't the school board do something about that?

Kellie, U.S.

Hi, my name is John Montoya and I am 11 years old and people in this world think that kids don't make a difference. Well guess what. They do and I am way against the fact that we can't wear what we want. I mean some things are not appropriate for school but in Texas it gets like really hot and we can't wear shorts. I don't think so or what about when it gets cold we can't wear pants. Well we can. It's just we have to wear tight pants when we should at least be able to wear baggy pants to keep us warm.

John Montoya, Texas, U.S.

I wore a uniform for 6 years in school I think uniforms are very useful, reasonable, and convenient, but I can't agree with school uniforms. In Japan, teachers say the same thing. "You should wear uniforms because it is a school rule." They advise, "If you wear uniforms, you won't do bad things." Junior and high school students know that short skirts, dyed-brown hair, earrings and so on are bad things, but when they are 13-18 years old, people are growing the most. I grew up 10 cm in 3 years, so my skirt became shorter and shorter. My teacher got angry at me. A lot of students think it is very stupid, so I think school uniforms are not necessary.

And, it is very important what people think about clothes themselves. Children can learn from choosing clothes themselves. They can things like how to adapt to temperature or climate. So, I disagree that school uniforms are necessary.

Tamami Iwashita, Japan

I agree that students should wear school uniforms because wearing uniforms can make their minds clear. They can concentrate and think about school work better.

It is the same thing when you wear a uniform for sports. For example, if you wear a baseball uniform, you think more about the game and you are more comfortable. So, it's easier to play.

But some people may disagree to wear uniforms because they feel stiff and formal. They might like to wear other clothes. Some people don't want to wear uniforms because they are expensive.

Hirofumi Hayasaki, Japan

I believe that dress codes are necessary in certain environments, and not so necessary in others. For example, I volunteer in a professional office and I am required to wear professional attire such as a suit and tie. This doesn't bother me because I am representing that organization when I am there and I should be appropriately attired. However, I have attended private schools which have enforced strict dress codes and I do not see the need for them. Why should one be subject to rules such as these when they are simply learning in a class room? I can understand an office, but not a class room!!

Matt, U.S.

Send us your ideas about dress codes and uniforms.

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