COVID’s Impact on Dressing at SEM: From skirts to sweats

By Katherine R.

Coronavirus has impacted far more than how we socialize and how often we use hand sanitizer. In fact, it has even affected the way that much of the student body dresses. In these unpredictable days, comfort takes priority over style. Brooke Hogle `21 and Grace Harvey `21 knew just that. They developed a proposal for the School Government association (SGA) to change the dress code at Buffalo Seminary that was passed during the first week of January.

 “We wanted to be more comfortable and … we wanted more mobility,” Brooke said.

That sentiment was echoed in a recent poll conducted by The Monocle that students filled out regarding the dress code. When asked about what the most common clothing items seen around campus are, the answers were almost unanimous in saying sweatshirts, leggings and jeans. Many students also stated that they find themselves less worried about aesthetics nowadays and more concerned with being cozy. 

Due to all of these circumstances, Harvey and Brooke made a persuasive case for reforming the dress code at an SGA meeting. Afterwards SGA members voted on the issue via Google Forms. The president of the School Government Association, Dagny Rebhan `21 said “I think 100% of the people who filled out the form said yes.” 

Since they had been met with such enthusiasm, the next step was to meet with Assistant Head of school Natalie Stothart and Head of School Helen Marlette after revising the proposal with Mr. Hopkins. This meeting was intimidating to those involved at first but Harvey revealed that “they were really open to the idea and very kind.” 

In fact, Mrs. Marlette and Mrs. Stothart ended up approving the revisions to the dress code. They permitted jeans every day along with sweatshirts with words on them. In addition, graphic tee-shirts and sweatpants are now allowed on Fridays. The only aspect of the proposal that wasn’t approved was giving students the ability to wear sweatpants and graphic tee-shirts every day of the week. 

Of the 42 students polled, 90% were happy with these changes. Ava Rosputni `23 said “I love how we can be comfortable during this crazy time. I feel a lot better going to my classes and to school.” 

However, not everyone was quite so happy with it. Aubrey Schmidt `22 said “The thing that I dislike about the recent changes would have to include how casual everything is now. High school, especially SEM, should be a place where you learn to wear clothes that you would in a workplace. Many office jobs or ‘professional’ jobs don’t allow you to wear sweatpants, sweatshirts or even jeans.”

Whatever your opinion may be, one may be sure that this is just one more element of our lives that coronavirus has changed. Perhaps students will return to the more formal norm in the years to come, but for now one thing is certain; as long as students are wearing masks and social distancing, one may be sure that they will be wearing jeans, sweatshirts and leggings as well.

Old dress code:

New dress code:

Katherine R.
Katherine R.

Katherine R. is a freshman at Buffalo Seminary. She is interested in journalism and fashion. Her favorite part about SEM is the comradery of the student body and all of the traditions.

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