Dress code at Friends Academy is a subject of controversy every year. Despite efforts to promote Quaker values through a seemingly simple dress code, students and faculty alike often agree it does the opposite. In this piece, I would like to highlight just one particluar issue with the dress code, which is a product of the environment. At a high cost prep-school like this one, many students come from wealthy backrounds and their dress reflects this. Perhaps the intention of having such a business-like dress code is to reflect this wealth. The truth about high school is most students try desperately to fit in, especially with how they look. The standard of dress code at Friends leaves those from other backrounds or financial situations, struggling to dress in a way which keeps up with their classmates. To investigate this further I have put together a typical outfit worn by the average female student, and a typical outfit worn by the average male student. I have purposely limited my search to this gender binary, because they are simply the only two identites the school validates as legitimate in their dress code.
1) Excursion Quilted Down Vest from J. Crew ($120.00)
2) Pleated Wool Skirt from Vinyard Vines ($148.00)
3) Oxford Stripe Button Down from Vinyard Vines ($88.00)
4) Ivyfish 3-Eye Boat Shoe from Sperry ($90.00)
5) Magic Alhambra Long Necklace, Van Cleef ($5,300.00)
6) Magic Alhambra Earrings, Van Cleef ($5,500.00)
Without including the price of the jewelry, the average outfit costs about $450.00. This is just for one day. Most girls rarely repeat outfits, indicating that to keep up with the norm one would need to have many outfits of this caliber. Including jewlery, which is not changed often, the price of the outfit is almost $11,000.00.
1) Vinyard Whale Tie from Vinyard Vines ($85.00)
2) Garment-Dyed Cord Shoulder Shep Shirt ($135.00)
3) End on End Cooper Shirt from Vinyard Vines ($128.00)
4) Garment-Died Slim-Fit Breaker Pants from Vinyard Vines ($98.50)
5) Authentic Original 2-Eye Boat Shoe from Vinyard Vines ($95.00)
In total, the average male's outfit costs at least $541.50. Boys are not held to the same standards for outfit repeating as girls, but they still do not usually wear the same thing in one week. It is also important to note this does not include the blazer that male students are recquired to wear on Thursdays.
Looking at how much the average student spends on the outfits (the outfits I have seen worn most commonly), shows the exclusivity of expectation for dress-code norms. Although this is a hardship of only the minority of Friends students, it does not line up with the Quaker principles of simplicity and equality. A more lenient dress code would recquire articles of clothing which simply cost less than dress clothes do. In an effort to equalize the habits of dress, the school has isolated those unable to keep up financially.