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Does Dress Affect our Behavior?

1 ¼ min

The Brits traditionally have a reputation for being prim and proper in any occasion. But apparently, that reputation has gone by the wayside – so much so, that British parents are regularly showing up to their children’s school events looking like they just rolled out of bed.

Such actions, however, went too far for teacher Kate Chisholm and she firmly asked parents not to drop their children off at school before they made themselves presentable and put on something more respectable than pajamas:

"It just got to the point when I thought: 'enough's enough'," she said.

“I'm not trying to tell people what to do with their lives, but I just think having a really good role model first thing in the morning, getting yourself up, getting yourself dressed, ready for business, out to school is a really good example to set.

“I'm afraid wearing pyjamas, going to school, maybe doesn't reinforce that somehow.”

In her letter, Ms Chisholm wrote: "If we're to raise standards it's not too much to ask parents to have a wash and get dressed."

Because we live in an age where individualism and personal expression are celebrated, Ms. Chisholm’s directives could easily be received with hostility. Instead, many have expressed appreciation for her standards, likely recognizing that how we dress can positively or negatively affect our behavior, attitudes, and respect toward others and ourselves. 

In recent months, American schools have experienced a rising trend in misbehavior and lack of respect. While likely instigated by any number of factors, is it possible that our extremely casual approach to clothes and appearance may be one issue contributing to the problem?

Image Credit: Public Slippers Blog

Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist is editor of Intellectual Takeout, an online magazine and sister publication of Chronicles.

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