From Pajamas to Collars

Alexandra Dorrego, Staff Writer

This year, Morristown Beard School administration reinstated the dress code. The gender neutral dress code was developed for the 2019-2020 school year by the administration along with members of the Student Government Association (SGA). Members of the current junior and senior classes are the only students in the Upper School who have experienced this pre-pandemic dress code. New students and the Classes of 2024 and 2025 are learning to adapt to this change in clothing expectations at MBS.

With the spike of COVID-19 and MBS having to make adjustments for the health and safety of the school community last year, the dress code was relaxed. This ensured that student-athletes could wear proper practice attire without the risk of grouping together in a small, indoor area, such as a locker room (which were closed). “I’d rather have the locker room back and have a dress code than not have a dress code and have no locker room” said Dani Gates ‘22. With the return of the locker room space, student athletes must re-adapt to getting changed from their dress-code clothes to practice gear each day. Kathleen Degnan ‘23 said, “it’s a tough transition, because I was so used to dressing in sports clothes.”

“School uniforms are a splendid thing.”

— Darren Lovelock

Not all students are happy about these new guidelines. William L’estrange ‘25 said he did not feel good about complying with the dress code as he believes it is restricting. L’estrange takes particular issue with what is allowable as pants citing that he feels like he can only wear khaki pants while some of his peers can wear leggings which some would classify as activewear. Micah Leibowitz ‘24 agreed. He said, “[getting dressed is] just not as convenient as throwing on shorts and a t-shirt.”

Contrary to some of the opinions of the student-body, faculty tend to enjoy the reinstatement of the dress code. For instance, Mr. Darren Lovelock, English teacher, said he believed that the dress code should be stricter, “If I had my way I would design the uniform that everyone would wear. It would be unisexual. A jumpsuit with a large zip up down the front. The color would be brown. School uniforms are a splendid thing. I think a brown zip up would stop everyone from being so vain.” Lovelock is not alone in his view. In an article published in 2016 in The International Journal of Educational Management, researchers studied students in schools that required uniforms and students in schools that did not. They found that students who wear uniforms listen better in the classroom leading to better learning outcomes.

In an all school meeting on October 22, Head of School Liz Morrison addressed the issue of students struggling to follow the dress code. She challenged the student body to hold themselves to a higher standard and said that we should “do what you say and say what you do” with regards to following the dress code as outlined in the Family Handbook. 

While not everyone is a fan of the dress code, it’s back and better than ever. There has been a new addition to the dress code from the pre-pandemic days. Morrison said that sweatshirts are allowed as long as it is one sporting an MBS sports team or logo showing off our school spirit. 

How do you feel about the current dress code?


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