3 Rules of The Social Dress Code

What you wear can be a great way to express your individuality. However, it can also be a source of anxiety since the way you dress will influence the way you’re treated by the other kids at school. You have to consider the social dress code.

While you should dress in a way that makes you comfortable and happy, there are still some things to keep in mind to keep from attracting any negative attention…

  1. You’ve got to consider your surroundings. Most schools are casual places. You’ve got to be able to easily navigate crowded hallways. You may get messy in art class, or knock over your drink at lunch. School is a place best suited for casual clothing. If your outfit is too formal, you’ll probably look and feel out of place.
  2. Your clothing shouldn’t be a distraction.  I once knew a girl who wore a little red riding hood cape to school. While it might have been a big hit at a costume party, it opened the door for a lot of teasing at school. When you’re getting dressed for class, it’s best to stick to the basics. You want your classmates to be focused on their studies-not your outfit! Save the crazy hats, and cool costumes for Halloween.
  3. You should dress for your age. Different clothing brands and stores cater to different age groups. Matching tops and bottoms, lots of glitter, and cartoon images are all common looks for stores geared toward younger children.  While it’s okay to hang on to your old favorite t-shirt, the clothing you wear to school should reflect your age. It should help you seem more approachable and relatable to your classmates. Dressing in a way that is much younger, or much older, might have the opposite effect.

While you shouldn’t have to put too much stress or worry into your clothing, it’s a good idea to put some thought into what you wear to school. A good rule to follow is this: keep it simple. Your clothing should complement your personality-not distract from it. If you do that, then you shouldn’t have to worry about violating the social dress code.

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Isa Marrs is the Founder and Executive Director of the Where I Can Be Me® social skills program. She is a board-certified speech-language pathologist who specializes in pragmatic language (social skills) disorders in children. Read More