Fast Fashion Needs To Slow Down: Finding school appropriate clothes is a pain


Lee Krebs, Opinion Editor

From the time we’re young, we’re taught that you need to dress a certain way to fit in. At the same time, though, we’re taught that you need to dress a certain way to be allowed into school. Sometimes this code is more lenient, and sometimes it’s stricter, requiring uniforms, but every dress code is similar in one way; it is impossible to find cute or trendy clothes that mesh with the annoying set of rules.
Walk into any Walmart or Target and the first thing you’ll see in the juniors and women’s sections are low-cut tops, shirts with no shoulders, dresses with no back. Skirts that would be considered too short, shorts that show your bottom and form-fitting long sleeves rather than loose ones. In these stores, the clothes that aren’t revealing are often athleisure wear or plain sweatshirts. It’s not even that Walmart and Target don’t have suitable options because they’re “cheap” or “all-purpose” stores, more high-end stores also have this problem. The shorts sold at American Eagle often come pre-ripped and rarely extend very far down the leg. Stores such as Altar’d State, which sell more feminine and flowy clothing, face this problem as well, the shorts and skirts having the same issue of being much too short for the school’s liking, and the shirts often revealing the stomach.
Think about some of the basic rules you see in most dress codes. Skirts and shorts should go down to your knees. Your shoulders and stomach need to be covered. Shorts can’t be ripped above your knees, and god forbid you wear spaghetti straps. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that the modern styles of fashion marketed to teens and young women don’t blend well with how schools expect us to dress.
I want to be perfectly clear in my position here; there’s nothing wrong with wearing more showy or form-fitting clothing. If that’s how you enjoy dressing, you have the right to dress that way. I’m not in favour of one style over the other; my point is that the school system can’t expect us to dress modestly when barely anything modest is being sold. Schools, ideally, want us to dress as conservatively as possible, and if I’ve learned anything over the past few years, there’s no place in Winston you can buy a skirt past your knees unless it’s women’s professional clothing. Dressing what would be considered passable by the dress code has gone out the window in favor of styles that accentuate the body of the wearer.
So how can we resolve this issue? Well, it’s pretty simple, actually; fashion companies need to provide more options that are stylish, and yet can mix with the dress code found in most schools. Obviously not everything being sold can fit within these guidelines, but it’s not hard to make these changes. The dress code at West is pretty lenient, so not many changes would really need to be made. Especially considering that the sort-of 90’s grunge trend has begun to return, meaning baggy clothing. This would open up a world of possibilities for fashion companies, and that kind of clothing would easily fit in with what schools expect of us. Florals and prairie dresses are returning as well, and longer skirts and sweaters being more in-style than ever. The options also don’t need to fit in with any particular style- you can make the same shirt, just make it a little longer. You can make pants, just don’t rip them at the thighs.
Making clothing more acceptable for dress codes wouldn’t be hard. There are millions of trends and styles that companies could cling onto, but instead they try to market these revealing clothes to young teen girls. The very idea of a dress code does have plenty of issues, but as long as we’re forced to live with one, we should be provided options that are fashionable, comfortable, and ones that won’t get us yelled at by teachers.