Dress Code: Where Does Oxford Stand?


Dress code survey

Nandita Bussa and Mikaela Woo

On July 28, 2022, previous dress code regulations were reinstated for the new school year. This decision was announced on the Oxford Academy Instagram, @oa_patriots, marking the end of the dress-code grace period admin provided last year. 

After the post received 374 disappointed comments from Oxford students, alumni, and students from other schools, a dress code forum was set up by senior Joseph Reyes, ASB’s student district ambassador, to open a discussion about the dress code between students and Principal Houston. 

The main issues voiced at the forum were the inconsistencies in the communication of the dress code standards. Students were left with numerous questions including whether or not black outerwear was permitted, what were appropriate skirt lengths, and which days students were allowed to wear college apparel. 

In response, Houston said that the return from the pandemic allowed for laxer policies to let families adjust, allowing these gray areas to arise. While Houston understood some of the inconveniences brought by the sudden changes, she established that the dress code policy would largely remain the same.

Houston also discussed the significance of having uniforms to embody “the Oxford spirit”, touching upon the importance of conveying student professionalism. According to Houston, Oxford is a college preparatory school, and students should feel pride in representing that. 

In response to questions regarding logos, Houston stated that the reason for the ban on brand named clothing is to eliminate the prevalence of student economic standings at school.

“Wiping away logos kind of equals the materialistic playing field,” said Houston. “This would help benefit Oxford students who might not have brand-name clothing items at home.”  

The economic effect of the reinstated pre-pandemic dress code on OA families was another topic discussed. The ban on black outerwear, specifically, caused many families to buy plain navy, red, and gray outerwear for their students. 

Students at the forum also critiqued the OA website’s listing of Dennis Uniforms as the sole uniform vendor, elaborating that this limits families’ awareness of other affordable uniform outfitter options.

Houston promised that admin would address the issues with the website and work to promote more affordable alternatives. 

While the questions at the forum were answered, multiple students came with the intention to advocate for changes to the dress code and left disappointed. 

Senior Freddy Netto, who spoke in the forum, said “The questions were responded to by admin [but] the whole forum felt a bit redundant because, in the beginning, there was a set of non-negotiables which were basically everything everyone wanted to discuss. The only thing that I felt was actually addressed, that could be a possible change was the dress code regarding club merchandise.”

Club designs must be approved by advisors and Dr. Cho before filling out POs. The only colors allowed in designs are school colors unless it includes national trademarks and logos. 

Although formal discussion has ceased, students like Netto who still have questions and thoughts can voice their inquiries on The Gamut’s dress code survey, using the QR code below. The results will be published in the next issue, showcasing the student body’s thoughts.