DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is there any dress etiquette for a college classroom? How-much-skin-is-too-much-skin is a frequent subject of debate, of course, but what about pajamas?
I graduated about two years ago. During my entire time at school, there seemed to be at least one of these offenders in almost every one of my classes, yet professors, other students, and even special speakers never seemed to notice.
Doesn’t it give the impression that the class is unimportant, and that the most the student could do was show up for class on time (if that)? What happened to dress as a reflection of respect for others (let alone oneself)?!
GENTLE READER: Even Miss Manners is not so foolhardy as to propose a dress code for college students.
It is not that she disagrees with you. Indeed, clean, neat and nonprovocative (politically or otherwise) clothes would be respectful not only of the occasion, but of others in their community.
But most people discount the fact that clothing is symbolic, and she feels that heated arguments with teenagers about self-expression and comfort are futile, and hardly worthwhile in such a relatively secluded environment. She suspects that the adults who seem to be ignoring the issue feel the same way.