Should Schools Be Allowed to Enforce Rules About Tight Pants?

How do you feel about school uniforms? How do you feel about school dress codes? Bans on hats? Rules about yoga pants?


One look at Twitter, Facebook, Reddit or even in the news on almost any given day can show you that parents have a lot to say about the dress codes at various schools across the country that are making headlines due to a reported ban on specific items of clothing being worn by children.

According to these schools’ codes of conduct and their dress codes, in addition to rules about bare midriffs, tube tops and spaghetti straps, it states in bold letters that leggings that are not covered by shorts or a skirt of “acceptable length” are not permitted (we can’t help but note that the rules say absolutely nothing about yoga pants specifically, but instead talk about form-fitting leggings).

These rules are not new, they are just becoming more strictly enforced.

They’re also stirring up a lot of emotions. The issue has sparked some very interesting conversations in the parent community online about who gets to decide what is inappropriate to wear to school, about whether responsibility lies with the school or with the parents, and whether dress code rules (that seem to only affect girls) actually create a better learning environment for students (boys).

According to the Calgary Herald last year one outspoken teen said: “We can’t really dress the way we want, even on a hot day, when it’s hot in the school. We can’t wear tank tops, we can’t wear crop tops and we can’t wear short shorts,” said Alex Fox, a Grade 12 student at Jack James. “Yet, the guys, they can wear what they want.”

Do you think the rule against students wearing tight-fitting pants is fair? Or should schools be more worried about academics, and less worried about banning balls, forcing French on the playground and busting kids for wearing leggings as pants?

7 responses to “Should Schools Be Allowed to Enforce Rules About Tight Pants?”

  1. Sandy says:

    I think that banning yoga pants is ridiculous, but I agree with not allowing a bare midriff. Walk into a clothing store and try to find a pair of pants — yoga or not — that isn’t tight. Good luck, even a pant with a wide leg is tight up top. All of this could be avoided by having kids wear school uniforms in both elementary and secondary schools. This way kids are less concerned about what they (and their peers) are wearing and can focus on their studies.

  2. Schools ARE focused on academics. Just because a simple reminder about dress code was made doesn’t mean they aren’t. This just seems like a desperate attempt to get people riled up, or at the very least a red herring argument. I can’t wear yoga pants to work, but that doesn’t mean my company isn’t focused on its business success.

  3. Alicia says:

    I live right down the road from this school and it should be noted that the school has not BANNED yoga pants, it is simply following dress code requirements that were put in place BY THE SCHOOL BOARD that form fitting pants and leggings also be worn with a skirt or a long shirt. Nobody has ever said the students cannot wear yoga pants, they simply must ensure that they are doing so in a way that is respectful and appropriate for a school environment. Dress codes are not new to these students as all schools have them and they have been obligated to follow them from moment they started Kindgarten.

  4. Alicia – Thank you for your voice of reason! I’m a local too :)

  5. Mimi says:

    Umm i agree with sandy, good luck finding pants yoga or not that’s not tight up top! my JEANS show off my butt and are just as tight as my yoga pants, not to mention kids are allowed to wear skinny jeans which in most cases are tighter then yoga pants. But also from a friends experience, uniforms are not the answer for some students. The lack of freedom makes kids want to push the limit which will end up creating more of a problem. And from a few people i know a dull “black and white” enviroment causes them loss of focus due to bordom and their grades/productivity levels slip.

  6. Lola says:

    Thank goodness. It infuriates me that yoga pants have become a regular part of peoples’ wardrobe. They are YOGA pants- workout/recreation attire. As regular dress, it looks trashy, and sloppy. Seriously, they are not appropriate. To those that claim comfort- it’s no excuse. Guess what? Being naked is SUPER comfortable, but people don’t go out in public that way. Honestly, yoga pants rank right up there with wearing pajamas and sweat pants in public. Lazy. Too bad society has gotten this way, gone are the days of taking pride in one’s appearance and making an effort to look presentable.

  7. Thoughts says:

    So, where are the bans on the male pants so low their underwear are showing? I presume they are acceptable then? Why is it “thank goodness” someone has done something to further limit female choice of attire, but the fact male students who come to class with their underwear hanging out has not aroused any real discussion here?