How to style with the dress code

The dress code of Mountain View Highschool has been revised after student-led groups brought awareness to sexism and the out-dated shameful culture that surrounds it. The dress code was reintroduced in January 2022 after extensive discussion and reform from the Dress Code Committee.
The new dress code is described as “More equitable for all students, more gender neutral, and one that creates a positive learning environment.”
To secure this positive learning environment, negative and ostracizing language like ‘unacceptable’, ‘extreme’, and ‘distracting’ have been removed from the dress code description. The dress code now has more gender neutral terms and bodily awareness. It also gets rid of old-fashioned values and allows for alternative dressing by not mentioning anything about hair-styles or piercings. Students are not allowed to wear any symbols or illustrations of things that aren’t appropriate at school.
Actions like measuring, touching, or having a student pose are no longer needed because the dress code clearly states what is and isn’t appropriate with requirements that are body inclusive. For example, the requirement ‘skirts and shorts should be closer to the knee than to the hip’ erases the need to define what a ‘mini-skirt’ is because ‘mini-skirts’ look different on everybody. On some bodies, a mini-skirt is a regular length, on others it’s really really small.
Stating that ‘shirts must come to the top of the naval’ and ‘sleeves must come to the point of the shoulder’ makes it easier for students to choose an outfit without having to measure or pose. It’s also easier for teachers to identify a student breaking the dress code without having to touch, measure, or harass them by staring and asking them to pose.
Knowing the rules of the dresscode is the first step to avoid breaking them, no one likes having to change an outfit that makes them feel like themselves. For an outfit to be good, it does not matter what the body under-neath looks like. However, because the dress code still has modesty-in-mind, try to be aware of what your clothes do and do not show.
Finding alternatives to your favorite outfits is easy and effective if you keep in mind what makes a good outfit; Layers, color, and silhouette.
If you are intimidated by the subjectiveness of modesty, focus on silhouettes! For example, if you have a crop-top you want to wear but it doesn’t meet the dress code requirements, think about why you want to wear the crop top. What effect does it have on your outfit? Usually skin can draw attention as an accessory, or it can blend into the background and act as a blank canvas to let a garment of clothing really ‘pop’.
If the reason for the crop top is to bring attention to your naval, perhaps because of a piercing or you just think it’s stylish, find a shirt that does the same thing while also meeting other dress code requirements. A really cute trend that is resurfacing is to wear low rise jeans and a tightly fitted button-up-sweater with the last few buttons un-fastened to show off only a portion of the midriff. The tightness of the sweater will give the silhouette the crop top does, and still show a part of skin while covering other areas.
Layering outfits with items like jackets or tights is a good way to add texture, color, and accenting patterns. Learning to use layers is a good way to stay stylish and allude to silhouettes while staying within the dress code.
Expression is how you experiment with finding your values, personality, and place in the world. Expression is the declaration of your existence and spectrum of complex perceptions and emotions. Fashion is one of the most valuable forms of expression because it’s unavoidable. Fashion takes up space, creates illusions of the physical body, it’s an unspoken statement that affects everyone. Understanding the dress code and finding new ways to express yourself through fashion protects your ability to communicate and interact with the world around you. Ask your teacher questions when you are unsure of specific rules and do not be afraid to experiment.