School Changes Dress Code: No Ripped or Frayed Jeans

School Changes Dress Code: No Ripped or Frayed Jeans

Carlisle Stone

This semester, Westminster introduced an addition to the Middle School dress code: no ripped or frayed jeans. In the past, we have been allowed to wear ripped jeans, so why change the dress code now? 

Originally, ripped jeans were not allowed because the administration was trying to make school feel like a more formal environment, but now kids are wearing sweatpants and shorts to school. “I think originally when the dress code was drafted in 2020, the idea was that we wanted to help students dress in a way that would make them feel like school’s a place where you are a little more formal,” says Catherine Zidow, the 8th-grade girl’s grade chair. “But obviously since the pandemic has started we have recognized that in the scheme of things it’s much more important that the students are comfortable.” 

With the comfort of the students being a priority, the dress code has become more casual than ever. Students are wearing sweatpants, athletic shorts, and leggings to school every day, and many people feel like the change to no ripped jeans is irrelevant. “It’s a little pointless,” says 8th grader Kendall Hermanson. “I mean they’ve let us wear them for two and a half years, so why now?” Many people agree with her. 

However, ripped jeans were banned because people stopped following the rules.  We eliminated it because at first, we allowed rips only in the knee,” Says Dean of Students Vielka Reina. “However, everybody was coming in with rips on the thighs and big rips, not just a regular rip on the knee.” 

Although many people also suspect ripped jeans were banned because they distracted other students during school, students and teachers alike don’t agree.  “I don’t feel like ripped jeans were much of a distraction,” Says 8th grader Mary Caroline Gilliland. “Especially with the right restrictions.” However, the new rule was not made because ripped jeans distracted the other students. Reina says, “I want to make it very clear that the girl’s dress code has nothing to do with the boys. It’s not about the boys are being distracted.” 

The banning of ripped jeans was not the only change made to the dress code. First, the deans eliminated the boys’ and girls’ categories. Now, all students have to follow the same dress code. So, if girls can’t wear ripped jeans, neither can boys. The Middle School Deans also got together with the Upper School Deans and decided to merge the dress code, so now everybody in the Middle and Upper Schools has the same rules. Every time a new rule is added to the dress code, the clothing options are more limited. Reina says, “It feels more restricted for the girls no matter what is allowed.” However, this year, because of the relaxed dress code, at least the Middle School girls have some variety in their clothing options. However, it will definitely come as a surprise to many when the dress code changes back to the way it used to be. Reina says, “I think the shock is going to happen in August when I think we are going back to what we had before.” Therefore, students should expect to see the old dress code coming back in the new school year.