Dress-Code for the 2021 School Year

Riya Kapoor

     Photo courtesy of Riya Kapoor and Avery Martin 

There have been many changes in the Lake Forest Academy environment this year with the pandemic, but one stands out in particular-the dress-code. Due to the pandemic, many of us have faced hardship, and getting up early to put on a tie is not exactly our first priority. Luckily, our administration has been more than sympathetic to what we are facing. As opposed to previous years, LFA decided on relaxed dress-code this year meaning ties were not required and themed day Fridays were weekly. While we had the luxury of wearing t-shirts, jeans, and hoodies at least once a week, the question still remains: will we go back to formal dress-code for the 2021-2022 school year? 

In an interview with Associate Head of School and Dean of Students, Chris Tennyson, the issue of ties was brought up in which Tennyson mentioned, “There is a degree of comfort needed; it truly depends if masks have to stay on.” Ties and masks together certainly make for an uncomfortable duo, especially at eight in the morning, and therefore the administration has moved away from the tie mandate this year. Another topic Tennyson discussed was the themed dress days on Friday and if they will continue into the 2021-2022 school year. Wearing jeans and leggings on themed dress Fridays has been a huge hit in the community, and it would be a shame to see them stop. In theory, Tennyson agreed saying, “While they might not be every Friday, I do not want to see them go away entirely because I think they are a good way for us to come together as a community during hard times.” 

In another interview with Ava Trandel ‘23, when asked if she thinks the dress code is balanced, Trandel replied, “I don’t think so because the girls get to wear a lot of different things, and there aren’t many restrictions, and the restrictions that are in place are flexible. I don’t find it fair that girls have to wear casual jeans while guys essentially wear suits everyday”. Trandel also believed the boys’ dress code goes beyond the burden of wearing a tie, but being an issue of self expression, a vital part of teen life, as she explained, “The dress code defeats the purpose of preparing us for the outside world by limiting our self expression, less so for girls, however, since they have a wider range of clothing options that fit the dress code.” 

Similarly, Justinian Alexos ‘23, claimed, “I think the dress code is not fair at all; we have to wear ties, collared shirts and shorts whereas the girls dress code is much more flexible.” It is a widely popular opinion that the girls have much more freedom in what they wear whereas the boys are confined to a stricter policy. Alexos also discussed his concerns for next year by saying, “I hope that the dress code stays relaxed next year. Even if it’s not fully relaxed, I hope that we can still wear shorts and have themed Fridays.” 

On that note, it’s also important to mention an upcoming webinar for LFA families, the date yet to be released, that Tennyson explained would focus around dress code regulations for next year as well as the mask mandate at LFA, and whether it will continue into the fall of 2021. The LFA dress code, specifically for boys, remains a prominent issue at LFA, and needs to be both updated and made fair in coordination with the girl’s dress code.