Recently, I found it interesting that the undergraduate institution that I attended initiated a dress code. I happen to love my school and when I left college, Morehouse was the only school that I sent my application to. This was primarily because what I SAW or perceived on the campus of the school was professional, mature and well put together.
When most of us think of college, we think of freedom to say, do, and even WEAR what we want. But, my school has adopted about 15 rules of things they prohibit. I won’t bore you with all of them but I will reprint some of them here:
Examples of inappropriate attire and/or appearance include but are not limited to:
-Caps, do-rags or hoods in classrooms, the cafeteria, or other indoor venues. This policy item does not apply to headgear considered as a part of religious or cultural dress.
-Jeans at major programs such as, Opening Convocation, Commencement, Founder’s Day or other programs dictating professional, business casual attire, semi-formal or formal attire.
-Sagging – the wearing of one’s pants or shorts low enough to reveal undergarments or secondary layers of clothing.
-Pajamas, shall not be worn while in public or in common areas of the College.
-Wearing clothing associated with women’s garb (dresses, tops, tunics, purses, pumps, etc.) on the campus or at College-sponsored events.
-Additional dress regulations may be imposed upon students participating in certain extracurricular activities that are sponsored or organized by the College.
When I read these rules, I had to think about this for a minute. Most of this stuff SHOULD BE common sense to men. However, apparently they are not. I certainly would have never thought about leaving the house in my pajamas but that appears to be somewhat popular these days. For those that read my previous link on THE FLIP FLOP REVOLUTION (see link), I think this is what I was trying to get at. We’ve relaxed many societal rules. But is relaxing always good? Are men wearing DRESSES to convocation now? Shouldn’t budding college men know better?
Like it or not, perception matters. It’s been proven OVER and OVER again. The “beautiful” make more money, do more things, etc. By no means am I suggesting that we are not ALL beautiful but do we ALL take the time to enhance that beauty?
Ultimately, I think that when we want to do better, it is incumbent upon us to look at the man (or woman) in the mirror and determine if the way that we are dressed is the way that we want to be perceived by others. If the answer is NO, then I suggest we see the above list. Feel free to post this in your closet if necessary!
Until next time,
More about Kenneth:
Kenneth D. Pratt Esq. is a graduate of Morehouse College and the Florida State University College of Law. A native of Tallahassee, Florida, he began his career there, as a certified legal intern at the Office of the State Attorney and progressed to the Office of the Attorney General where he served for three years. Pratt has published several short stories, poems, and op eds in National as well as local publications. In his spare time he enjoys reading, travel, and sports.