High Schools Set the Stage for Appropriate Dressing

Posted April 24, 2012 by Marcy Twete in Building Your Brand

If you’ve ever been a hiring manager, you’ve likely had the experience of reluctantly sitting across from an interviewee who is dressed inappropriately. The worst I’ve ever seen was a recent college graduate interviewing for an entry level position who came in wearing jeans, sneakers, a gold lame sweatshirt and set her gold sequined Coach purse on the table while we spoke. She also smelled terribly of smoke, clearly not a good candidate for the position.

But we’ve all been there – maybe it’s in an interview, or perhaps you’re on the street and a woman walks by you turning your head and making you think, “Who taught her how to dress?” Hopefully, young women will be lucky enough to have female role models in their young lives who encourage appropriate dress for both work and play. But for those who don’t, I’m delighted to see that high schools around the nation are stepping up to the plate and doing just that.

The Wall Street Journal recently reported that high schools nationwide are imposing (with some pretty elaborate PowerPoint presentations, might I add) dress codes on prom night! Encouraging young women to dress appropriately at prom – eliminating revealing dresses with cutouts, skirts too short, cleavage baring tops, etc. may be a bit annoying for 16 year old girls, but I want to give these high schools a huge round of applause. Their actions today are hopefully helping these young women to learn the ropes of appropriate dress not just at prom, but as they continue into the future and dress for job interviews, work, and social occasions for years to come.

Did your high school have a problem with revealing prom dresses? I can’t recall that mine did, but apparently it’s more of an issue now than ever. Tell me your “dress code horror stories.”

About the Author

Marcy Twete

Marcy Twete is a career fundraiser turned corporate responsibility executive, a career and networking expert and the author of the book "You Know Everybody! A Career Girl’s Guide to Building a Network That Works."