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School dress codes: have they influenced how you dress?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Hi all, 

 

If you went to a school with a formal dress code, I just wondered how you all feel school dress codes/uniforms have influenced your clothing choices later in life?

 

I'm 28 now, but at our (boarding) school we had a very strict dress code for boys. A suit was obligatory throughout the week, on Saturday morning (all day if you were playing in/watching a sports match) and all day Sunday. Saturday evening was the only time really you could be casual - but even then if you were being taken out by parents etc you had to be "smart". I remember once getting in trouble with a teacher for being in a nearby pub on a Saturday evening without a tie on! 

 

They were really strict about the details too, you could get into real trouble for not having polished your shoes, for loosening your tie, or going around without a jacket on. 

 

We grumbled about it at the time but I was just thinking now all my contemporaries from that era are now really stylish dressers. Always in nice sharp suits, well tailored jackets - and know when it's appropriate to stick on a tie and/or wear a decent pair of shoes. Other guys my age sometimes just don't have a clue!

 

Anyone else have the same experiences? Did your school's dress regime influence your clothing choices now?

post #2 of 12
Minor elements such a polishing shoes will remain impressed but school and life are very different and thus, whilst wearing a suit at school from age 8, the one did not influence me in later life.

Each situation in which one finds one's self requires its own treatment from evening dress down to t shirts and cut offs etc when appropriate
post #3 of 12
It could do. Certainly in the UK, any school that has formal tailored suits as daily uniform, and a fanatical attention to detail like how well student's shoes are polished, is highly likely to be an expensive and exclusive fee paying school, e.g. Eton. Students and parents are likely to be well monied and maybe towards middle class. As opposed to the average chav filled UK comprehensive school. Probably for quite a few of them, the only time they're likely to be wearing a suit, is for appearences before the Magistrates.

Students that graduate from exclusive fee paying schools like Eton, are far more likely to land the good well paid jobs, like bankers and stockbrokers. And so can afford the nice sharp suits and well tailored jackets

The school I went to was a comprehensive. Uniform was a crappy black polyester blazer and pants, collared dress shirt and a hideous school tie, that everyone hated. Ever seen old episodes of Grange Hill on BBC? It was just like that. I sometimes like wearing tailored jackets, but never suits and never ties though.

My current middle school, the uniform is a yellow tracksuit, I'm sure the students hate wearing it, but they generally seem to respect it.
Edited by MikeDT - 3/16/13 at 5:06am
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

We were required to polish our shoes every Sunday morning before breakfast. You had to dress and then appear at the housemaster's study where you'd be inspected - if your shoes were not sufficiently shined, or your tie knot was too loose, or your hair not brushed, you'd be sent back to sort out your appearance. You'd then go to the back of the queue and miss breakfast - so we all made sure we were immaculately before inspection. 

post #5 of 12

I am currently still a student, but I will graduate in two weeks.

My school has no dress code, with the exception of final year project presentations and oral graduation exams where appropriate dress (usually suit and tie, though at least a jacket) is requested.

The lack of dress code allows students to mostly wear whatever they want, including muscle shirts and gym shorts.

This school year, I always wore chinos, moleskins or corduroys with a tucked-in shirt and maybe a jumper, except for one time when I wore a turtleneck instead of a shirt. I also usually dress this way in my spare time. If my school had forced me to wear such clothes, I would probably never have enjoyed it and my leisure wear would probably be much more casual.


Edited by irgendwas - 6/2/13 at 2:42am
post #6 of 12

I haven't had a school uniform since I was in elementary school, and nothing that I've worn since violated any dress codes, so I'm going to have to give you a big, fat "No."

post #7 of 12

I wore some "interesting" uniforms in terms of the details over the years, but most of them conformed to the typical grey trousers & blazer combination. In pre-prep, it was grey shorts with french blue blazer with blue/white piping/embroidery, blue shirts and a blue striped tie. Prep school was grey trousers, b&w piped/embroidered blazers, white shirts and b&w striped ties. Oh yeah, and we had crested caps! Kind of dorky, but also kind of fun, and they always got lost! In my final school we wore grey suits on chapel days, and a normal blue blazer with grey trousers the rest of the week. My house tie had a rather lurid green stripe on black background. I was just looking at some of my old school photos over the weekend, so the details are fresh in my mind. Looking back, they were all very smart in their own way, though I could have worn them more smartly at times. The pre-prep blazer was actually a 3-2 roll with patch pockets; very SF-approved!

 

In terms of its influence on me today, I think it's limited to just two things: 1) it got me used to wearing tailored clothes from a very young age, such that I feel most natural when wearing such items; 2) wearing it everyday for years put me off gold-button SB blue blazers for life, esp. with grey trousers. Oh, and once you've worn a piped/embroidered blazer plus matching cap on a daily basis, any sense of limits in terms of what you feel you can wear in public without feeling self-conscious fades away. biggrin.gif

post #8 of 12
I went to a really good private high school with a dress code but I don't think it affected my sense of style in the least.

Most of us detested having a dress code back then because you had to bring a change of clothes any day you felt like playing sports after school or going out after school so you didn't look like a massive tool sitting down in a Wendy's or sub shop with your school outfit while everyone else was dressed like a normal 16 year old.

In fact, I had a good business casual (the correct way to do business casual, not the stereotype we all imagine) mindset at work through most of my 20's and it was really only when I approached 30 that I refined my look even more. That was more a direct result of being promoted several times than anything to do with what school I went to.
post #9 of 12

I wore my preppy cousin's BB hand-me-downs as a kid. It didn't shape my desire to dress nicely (that probably owes more to movies), but that style did become what I thought of as the default for dressing well -- so my inclination towards soft-shouldered coats, BD collar shirts and loafers is an indirect side effect of Catholic school dress codes.

post #10 of 12
The dress code of my old school was very similar to OP, but without the requirement of wearing suit even for non formal weekend events.

I must say this has influenced my dressing. Now, I have no problem wearing causal suits for social events or walking around the town of HK and UK.
post #11 of 12
I attended a private boys' school that mandated jackets and ties on a daily basis. It wasnt a uniform so you could wear a jacket and pants or a suit as you preferred. There is no question it had an effect on how I dress now.

I have to admit as a young boy I relied on my mother to pick out jackets, etc. in the stores, but by the time I was in my final year I had a pretty good sense of what to buy. Above all, the experience made me comfortable in a suit. It always surprises me to hear men claim that they hate the uncomfortable feeling, etc. of suits. For me, a suit is as comfortable as a t-shirt and pair of sweatpants.
post #12 of 12

My school had a dress code - as long as you had no organs hanging out you were fine.

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