The first few days of school are always the best: reconnecting with old friends, meeting new teachers, and beginning the chaos of a new school year. And traditionally, with beginnings also come change.
This year one of the main changes was the vigor in which the dress code was enforced, as demonstrated by the first Mass of the year. For the first time I’d ever seen, the administration was singling out students who were not complying with the dress code before they entered the Great Hall.
Now, everything has its limit and place. My parish’s former priest always instructed us to dress for Mass as if we were attending the funeral of our mother. That’s a bit extreme, I’ll admit, but it definitely touches on the same etiquette that BSM strives to enforce on Mass days—respect for the Liturgy, others, and oneself. Even though it’s fun to see everyone dressed up, we must remember that we’re dressing up for Mass and should do so in a respectable and not distracting fashion.
I’m always giddy when I see people dressed up, for Mass, sports, Speech, it doesn’t matter. And I’m going to bet I’m not the only one. I just love to see people show their passion, dedication, and respect for the activity or the event that’s taking place. But I think it’s also important that the dress code is acknowledged as well as the event of the day. BSM’s dress code has created plenty of room for individual style; it’s not like we’re wearing uniforms.
People judge other people, and they also judge larger organizations, like a school or business, depending on how its members present themselves. It was Shakespeare who said, “Apparel oft proclaims the man,” and rightly so. The dress code is not there to impinge on one’s expression through fashion, but to make sure that the student body is being represented as the intelligent, professional, and cultured group that we are. If I may be so bold to alter Shakespeare’s line—Apparel oft proclaims the student body, as well.