A&E: Many feel dress codes are restrictive towards their forms of self expression and fashion


Sarah Olson

Many feel the differences between middle school and high school dress code are drastic and unnecessary.

Dress codes have been a controversial topic when it comes to school environments. With students back on campus, many SCHS students have recently transitioned from middle schools, where the dress code rules are different than at SCHS.

In recent years, dress codes have come under scrutiny for being biased against female students and actively suppressing fashionable expression. Sophomore April Ngo has experienced the sexism of dress codes.

“They (dress codes) disproportionately affect girls and feminine-presenting people,” Ngo said. “In a way, it kind of polices our bodies at an unfair level.”

Many students feel the dress codes from their previous schools had a negative effect on them and their ability to adapt to the weather properly and comfortably in addition to expressing themselves. Ngo recalled her experiences from Buchser Middle School.

“I was dress-coded a lot at the beginning of the year since we were coming out of summer, and it was really hot,” Ngo said. “I would wear shorts, but I would be dress-coded because they were ‘too short.’”

At SCHS, Ngo is glad that the restrictive clothing rules are no longer in place and enjoys the freedom to express herself through clothing.

“I felt really relieved once I entered high school,” Ngo said. “Now that I have more leeway in high school, I can dress the way that I want.”
Other students shared they are not mandated to wear a uniform anymore after many years at their previous schools.
When asked, freshman Flynn Lesnick explained that Monticello Academy, a private institution in Santa Clara, mandated strict school uniforms, causing discomfort and disagreement among many students.
“It was relieving not having to wear a uniform almost everyday,” Lesnick said. “I feel like I can dress more comfortably now.”
While some students hate the dress code, sophomore James Mook believes not all problems are due to the dress code and instead fall on the students as well.
“To be honest, I couldn’t care less about the dress code, but I can agree that people shouldn’t be showing as much skin as they’d sometimes want to,” Mook said. “Students just need to use common sense sometimes.”
Many students transitioning into high school appreciate SCHS’s lax dress code.

“Now that I have the freedom to express myself, my style has become more elaborate and fun,” Ngo said.