Should Dress Codes be Required?

Does a dress code minimize distractions in class or prohibit students from expressing themselves?

This question has long been a topic of debate. Some say that a dress code should apply to all schools since some students wear distracting attire, while others claim the rules are sexist and exclusive. 

Although some of these requirements are understandable, some don’t make any sense! For example, at a Catholic school in New Orleans, a sixth-grader was forced out of her classroom for wearing braided hair extensions. Students are constantly dragged out of class just because their straps are too thin or their pants are too tight, even though schools claim dress codes exist so kids can focus on their education.

But dress codes also have a good side! Some students worry a lot about their clothes, and a dress code makes them focus more on school and less on what they’re wearing. Students also get bullied quite often because of how they dress. If everyone dressed similarly without any distracting accessories, the teasing would most likely reduce.

As I noted in the previous paragraphs, dress codes have both advantages and disadvantages. Here is a list of some pros and cons of a dress code.


  • Dress codes prevent distractions among students and create a safe learning environment.
  • Students do not get teased in class for the clothes they wear because everyone is wearing similar clothes.
  • Uniforms also help save time in the mornings, and students do not have to spend time looking for the right outfit.
  • Kids will be more focused on school and will not worry about what clothes they are wearing. A study in New York showed that 68% of parents agreed that students had improved academic performance.


  • Students need to have freedom and be able to express themselves.
  • Most dress codes prohibit straps less than three fingers wide and shorts below fingertip length. If students have thin fingers or long arms, a dress code could apply differently to them.
  • Dress codes are sexist and only ban girls from wearing specific types of clothes.
  • They can create an unsettling atmosphere and lower self-esteem, and kids will overall feel less confident. A poll taken at a high school displayed that 76% of students believed that dress codes harmed their mental health.


My Opinion

I think that whether a dress code should be required or not depends on each community. Dress codes were created for a good purpose, and they can be useful in most cases. But exclusive dress codes should be modified. A lot of dress codes nowadays are super outdated, and making the rules a little more inclusive would cause a lot of change in school atmospheres. What do you think? Have you ever been dress-coded? Share your opinion and your experiences in the comments!