School uniforms are a daily reality for many students at countless institutions around the world. So are dutifully enforced dress codes, which dictate what is and isn't kosher to wear to class without prescribing specific items. Uniforms and dress codes certainly aren't new aspects of the scholarly experience, but the value of policing kids' and teens' wardrobe choices has come under fire a lot in the past year. Considering all this controversy over "appropriate" attire in academia, is it really necessary or worthwhile for schools to continue calling the shots fashion-wise in 2016?
Some schools have mandated longer skirts for female students, while others have even sent students home for having supposedly too-short skirts and overly snug pants. Then, there are students who've fought back against uniform mandates, whether by bending gender norms and creating petitions to affect change or wearing scarlet letters in protest.
Not all news about fashion's role in academia is bad news, though. Some institutions have progressively adopted gender-neutral uniform rules. Schools in traditionally conservative cultures are even are moving away from policies that rigidly adhere to the gender binary to ensure LGBT students are more comfortable in the classroom.
It's a really polarizing topic, to put it lightly. We scoured around for a range of perspectives about the joys and frustrations that result from having a uniform or dress code. Ahead, 15 people sound off on being told what you can and can't wear to class, whether they spent their formative years attired according to a uniform, grappled with adhering to a nebulous dress code — or, in some cases, actually wish they'd had guidelines for getting dressed each morning.