Major changes to the dress code announced

Here are the details, and student opinions, about the recent changes made to the dress code this week.

Sophia Berry, Editor

Last Thursday, March 3rd, Mr. Forrester announced some changes to the dress code.
During the pandemic, the dress code had been allowed to fall by the wayside, as teachers were more focused on enforcing masks than making sure their students were always wearing a collared shirt.
But as the fourth interim began, Mr. Forrester felt that it was time to “reevaluate and consider what [he] wanted the rest of the school year to look like,” and one of those elements that he wanted to reevaluate was the dress code.
In recent months, many of you may have seen some of your peers (or yourselves) in sweatpants, yoga pants, athletic shorts, and slides, but with this reassertion of the expectations, those articles of clothing are no longer acceptable.
However, this isn’t necessarily bad news to students wishing to avoid wearing collared shirts and jeans. Along with the reinstatement of the dress code, there have been some changes to help students assimilate to the old policy.
Now, students are allowed to wear a Saint Stephen’s t-shirt on any SSES activity day. For example, on any Lacrosse game day a player can wear their team shirt, whether or not it’s Friday, as was the previous rule. But this also extends to other activities such as the actors and actresses in the school musical. Additionally, the seniors are allowed to wear a college polo,T-shirt, or sweatshirt on any day of the week instead of a collared shirt.
“These measures are not meant to be punitive,” Forrester said. “They are meant to up our presentation around the building.” This school has long prided itself on the way its students presented themselves, and this is just a return to the status quo from before the pandemic.
One of the driving reasons behind the changes in the code is that Mr. Forrester has found that much of the current styles present in clothing stores today don’t provide comfortable, dress code appropriate collared shirts, and he wanted to adjust accordingly.
Forrester commented that “collared shirts for girls in particular have always been hard to find, so I wanted to make sure that everyone had an option to meet the dresscode requirement without feeling awkward or uncomfortable.”
Junior Parker Beale really likes that seniors are allowed to wear college attire because he feels that “even if [seniors] aren’t committed to a college it gives them more freedom.” And senior Caroline Day said that “It’s nice that we get to wear college shirts and sweatshirts because it’s nice to represent the school we’re going to.”
School spirit also informs the decision to allow for sport shirts on game day. The school wants to celebrate the many activities that students around campus are participating in. “Traditionally we’ve had Saint Stephens t-shirts as part of the dress code on Fridays,” Forrester said, “so I felt that by extending that would maybe help people feel a little bit better about showing school spirit.”
Beale agrees. “I like that we get to wear our game day shirts no matter what day of the week it is. This way we can show our school spirit and let our peers know there’s a game on that day.”
But there are still some complaints. Day feels that “this crackdown is kind of annoying. Sometimes you wake up late and are in a rush and don’t have time to put together an outfit, which makes sweatpants the easiest thing.”
Junior Bella Rosa and Sophomores Ashling Marshall and Emily Perkins were a little miffed that they can no longer wear leggings. “Sometimes jeans are uncomfortable,” Rosa said, “you have scratches on your knee from playing a sport or a sunburn from the weekend and jeans aggravate it.”
“We just want to be comfortable and we aren’t doing it to rebel or be scandalous.” Marshall and Perkins chimed in.
Overall the changes will take some getting used to, but for the most part it seems that these changes are for the better.
According to Mr. Whelan, the history teacher and history department chair, “we are approaching a time when masks are not as much a part of our lives and so it makes sense to reconsider the dress code. The dress code changes with the styles of the times and so must we.”