Dressed for success?

Do not come to school in Indianapolis with your trousers sagging, your shirttail fluttering or your logo-flaunting apparel. For you shall be turned away. The city has just adopted a strict dress code. High school students, for example, must wear solid-colored shirts, either in white or their school's official color. Pants should be tan, black, or navy; go gray and go home. We're not sure what to make of these rules. For one, they encourage monochromatic ensembles, which worked for Michael Jackson and Regis Philbin but won't for the average 17-year-old. Nonetheless, we're sympathetic to the Indianapolis school leaders. Sir Richard Steele once wrote (in 1711 in The Spectator) that "The most improper things we commit in the conduct of our lives, we are led into by the force of fashion." Thus, a subdued dress code may occasion subdued behavior in the classroom, which in turn may catalyze some actual learning. That, or everyone will simply look dull.

"IPS buttons down its dress code," by Andy Gammill, Indianapolis Star, September 5, 2007

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