Different people have different reactions and opinions when it comes to the implementation of dress codes. Like in our school (DLSU) for example, dress codes even became a political issue; one political party wants to fully abolish the dress code while another political party wants to keep it but do a few modifications. A dress code can be justifiable if used in proper situations that really do require certain attires. In a respectable university, there is indeed a need for a dress code for it to be able to maintain a decent and professional image and an atmosphere conducive for learning.
There is a saying “You are what you eat.” I believe the same thing applies to clothes; you are what you wear. The clothes you wear play a big part on other people’s impression of you. I once watched and episode of “How do I look?” that featured a 40+ year old mother of two who wore skimpy and revealing clothes in public. In one part of the show, the host shows the featured person letters from their loved ones about why they want him/her to change their look. The woman got a letter from her children that said that some of their friends think that she was hooker, even though she wasn’t, because of the way she dresses. This is a clear example that it’s important to know how to dress for the occasion.
If people are what they wear, a university is its students. Students reflect the kind of environment and education a university provides. In my previous school, we were discouraged from going to public places while wearing our school uniforms especially when we are with friends because we tend to be a bit rowdy. This is part of our school’s strategy to maintain a clean reputation. If a student misbehaves out of school premises, and outsiders complain and take note of the school he/she came from, it is the school’s reputation that will be tarnished. The same thing applies to the clothes university students wear because clothes greatly affect one’s image.
Although I strongly encourage having a dress code, it also has its negative effects. As college students, we should be treated as respectable adults. Implementing a dress code gives the impression that school authorities do not believe that we are responsible and mature enough to know what to wear and not to wear in a classroom. Having a dress code also prohibits the students from expressing themselves freely through fashion. It also makes students spend money if in case the ones they currently have are not accepted by the dress code, and then they have to buy new ones.
As a woman myself, I enjoy playing around and experimenting with different outfits and styles but I still believe that there is a time when you can wear your mini skirt and a time when you have to stick to your jeans. People should be mindful of the things they wear in public, especially in school. There are clothes that may seem merely fashionable to you but it may also be seen as offensive by some. There is still away to be both fashionable and respectable at the same time, be creative.