Can Wearing a Tie Get You an A?

Bradley Loveless, Writer

Wake up, brush teeth, comb hair, get dressed. Each morning, Long Reach students engage in the same mindless routine to begin their day. But what if your morning routine could change the grade you earn in Social Studies class, or on that Math test 5th period?

Some people feel as though while a student’s ability to express themselves is a large portion of why they dress the way they do, it is more important to dress for success. School Counselor Mr. Repsher said, “Being comfortable while working helps; however, dressing for success, like in a suit and tie or a dress, may reflect [a] positive outlook on working and may even make [students] ask more questions.”

If this is true, students would spend more time on learning and working hard. Long Reach Chemistry teacher Ms. Herbers commented, “It can go both ways. Clothing and appearance can reflect a state of mind. Sometimes being overdressed can be a distraction, but so can being too lazily dressed.”

Indeed, many businesses across the nation participate in a “dress for success” day where employees will come to work extra dressed up to increase productivity. Businesses often do this on Mondays to promote a good start to the work week. This point brings up the option of uniforms to promote the idea of students dressing for success on a consistent basis in the school system.

On uniforms, Mr. Repsher said, “Uniforms eliminate teasing, insecurities, and it’s all plusses.” However, try not to start panicking just yet. He added, “While uniforms may help, we could not institute them immediately; otherwise, students may not react positively to [that decision].”

In the meantime, our current dress code aims to resolve issues associated with distracting attire so students can focus on what matters–their academics. Several students, including Junior James Bartolotta, feel that the current dress code is fairly reasonable: “I can express myself through the way I dress, and I feel my clothing reflects who I am.” Bartolotta added, “I feel like the rules are reasonable to an extent, but I feel like I should be allowed to wear my hats. Why are they a disruption? What’s so distracting about it?”

While hats are not allowed as a safety concern, the majority of the dress code is aimed to keep students focused on working.

From counselor, to teacher, to student, each has a separate opinion on the dispute of the dress code and the student body’s choice of apparel during the school day. Clothing ties us together as a culture, uniform or not. Clothing is often an icon of individuality and suddenly taking away that freedom of expression through the addition of uniforms may in fact cause more problems than a few dress code violations.

But what if wearing a tie or just a nice dress shirt can improve your grades? Clothing is a reflection of our mindset – when we are tired and relaxed, we put on sweats. When we are on the ball and need to be alert, we put on a suit, a dress, a nice pair of shoes even. It’s true that dressing up may make us feel a little more rigid, but that energy then transfers into focused work. If it has the power to increase your academic performance, isn’t it worth it?