Yesterday The College Fix — a site located on the conservative side of the political circus tent — put up an essay called “Dress for success: Why college students should junk the gym shorts and sneakers.” It was written by a female student at the University Of The South, otherwise known as Sewanee, located in southeastern Tennessee.
Chloe Stevenson writes:
Dress codes may seem like an extension of boarding school or a private high school experience, but the expectations at Sewanee stand for something more.
Better described as a way of life, rather than a mandate or formal demand, this unspoken dress code is viewed by many students as a sign of respect and honoring tradition, they told The College Fix.
It “kind of sets us apart from the rest of the pack,” one Sewanee senior said. “We know how to present ourselves. It actually eases my fears of graduating and getting a job since I know how to behave or how to dress.”
“When it came down to it, I chose Sewanee because of the idea of a dress code,” said a freshman just arriving on campus. “It makes everyone look like they have it all together and I like that a lot.”
The idea of choosing your school based on the student body’s clothing choices was just too amazingly cool for this here menswear site not to post about. But of course we know that clothes and dress codes — whether enforced or merely encouraged — are about a lot more than just covering ourselves, as I’m sure that freshman understands. You can head over here for the full essay, though I wouldn’t expect other schools to start dressing for success before they have to.
In the meantime, here are some shots taken from the school’s flickr photostream. They include images of the honor code pledge and freshman class photo, which occurred a couple of weeks ago. And for a broader sense of the school and its traditions, there are a few shots of last spring’s commencement ceremony. — CC