The Saint Francis dress code is the focal point of countless campus debates among teachers and students alike. Everyone has a unique ideal dress code, so inevitably, there are always discrepancies in opinion. Some students feel that it is useful and aligns with the school’s mission while others find it unnecessary or too restrictive.
Personally, we appreciate that we are able to wear jeans, which allow a significantly large number of options. Wearing solid colors or patterns presents a sense of uniformity. Collared shirts can sometimes be frustrating to style, but they allow for the same standards to be applied to everyone’s tops. To gather more perspectives on the dress code, we have interviewed numerous Lancers about their thoughts on the school policy.
Many Lancers had various opinions on having to wear collared shirts during normal school days. Some students, including Layne Kohler (’22), voiced their disagreement with the strictness of collared shirt requirements. Kohler stated that “there just aren’t many options for collared shirts for women.” Stuti Pandey (’23) added, “I had to buy a lot of collared shirts before the school year. While I agree that collared shirts present formality and uniformity, I think the dress code should take into consideration equity in terms of costs, especially as most students wear collared shirts only at school.”
Despite these thoughts, numerous students we interviewed agreed with Caroline Kane’s (’22) opinion: “I think the current dress code allows students to express their personalities much more than any uniform would.” Rachel Larson (’23) added, “Coming from a Catholic middle school where we wore uniforms, the dress code definitely presents more flexibility, as I get to express myself through my fashion every morning.” But others, like Wyatt King (’22), would “rather wear a uniform so [they don’t] have to spend time picking out clothes in the morning.”
After asking a diverse group of students, we found that most individuals agree that while having to wear collared shirts isn’t great, the current dress code is more preferable than a uniform.
Saint Francis has taken steps in the past few years to create a more inclusive dress code, however there is potential to further amend it. There will never be a dress code that everybody agrees upon. Clothes are a medium for students to express their individuality and creativity; therefore, providing students with freedom to make decisions about their clothing is important.