Dress code changes to business casual

Chase Bennett

Malvern dress code undergoes changes for the 2016-2017 school year.



After what he called a “successful” experiment last February, Dean of Students Tim Dougherty has implemented a new business casual dress code for the upcoming 2016-2017 School Year.

From November through March this year, Malvernians will have the opportunity to shed their coat and tie for a business casual open collar and quarter zip sweater.

According to Dougherty, this change is a direct result of the causal dress month during February 2016. “We felt that the experiment we held in February was extremely successful,” Dougherty said. “So we thought a change was in order.”

Dougherty estimated that 87% of students, 70% of teachers and 60% of parents voted for a change to casual dress from a survey after the experiment last February.

Despite the support for the change, there are some mixed feelings from parents and alumni.

“Ultimately, [the dress code] is an identity,” Director of Development Mr. Victor D’Ascenzo ’81 said. “I just think having it a little more formal is kind of what I’m used to at Malvern.”

At the same time, D’Ascenzo understands Malvern’s adaptation to 21st century learning, and how a dress code like this could help foster such a style.

“I can see the functionality of the new dress code because of the style of learning we have now – a lot of moving around, a lot of working in groups – so it makes it more easier and flexible.” D’Ascenzo said.

Track and Field Coach and parent Deborah Sutton has some concerns. “I have definitely seen a lot of dress code violations in my days at Malvern,” Sutton said. “I like it nice and neat and formal, like they used to have it.”

Many students feel the relaxed dress is more productive and a better fit for the school.

“The new dress code is a nice change,” Patrick Sayers ‘18 said. “It’s one less thing for me to stress about.”

Rhys Werny ‘18 thinks the new dress code is better because it allows the students to feel more relaxed while still wearing a uniform. “With a more laid back dress code,” Werny said, “I think students will be in attire more often.”

The new casual dress code does have some rules. Hawaiian shirts and flannels will not be allowed. There are designated “Formal Dress Up Days” on the school calendar for school masses and special occasions.

“I feel that students should wear a suit and tie at times,” Dougherty said. “You wouldn’t show up to your coach’s funeral in a hoodie,” Dougherty said. “You’d be mortified. The same respect needs to be shown for events like chapel.”

According to Dougherty, Malvern is an institution that embraces and accepts change.

“For example, only ten years ago, Malvern had a strict no phone and a short hair policy,” Dougherty said.

In the current dress code policy, hair must be “groomed and neat.” Cell phones may be used in transition and in common areas throughout the day, and with teacher permission during classes.

Dougherty said that the administration is always open to change and suggestions, but for now, “The new dress code is here to stay.”

He is looking forward to watching the students adapt to the new change.

“It’ll be interesting to watch the interpretative dance that goes on between the dress shirts and sports coats this year,” Dougherty said.

However, Sayers isn’t confident in how well the change will be handled.

“I think it will be easier for students to stick to the dress code,” Sayers said, “But that doesn’t mean any more students will bother doing so.”

Chase Bennett ’19, Pat Ferraiolo ’17

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Fashion/Uniform Review: Fall Edition
Everything that is acceptable to wear from September to November.

Now that school is in session and the student body is wearing a uniform every day, I’ve put together some thoughts and recommendations on certain fashion trends at Malvern.

A lot of stuff I’m about to cover is either relevant to Malvern’s student body or to the fall season. Fall is a good fashion season for a few reasons. One of those is that flannel is a timeless look that anybody can pull off. Another is that the color scheme for the whole season isn’t hard to work with.

One word, two syllables, and a whole lot of ugliness. It’s not that joggers are the worst pants ever made it’s just that they’re so noncommittal. If you want to be sweatpants and have a waistband, by all means, go ahead and be sweatpants, but whatever you do, do NOT try to say you’re dress pants.

Joggers are pretty much the only addition to the whole pants genre recently, it’s pretty sad. Meanwhile, shirts are booming.

The classic blue/white Malvern polo has reached an iconic status at this point. There are newer, more comfortable shirts you can wear to school but the original is where it’s at. That’s not to say dry-fits and the shirts you get for clubs are bad, they just can’t unseat the undisputed champ. Talk about legendary.

Personally, I’m a white polo guy. I like the look with darker pants and an undershirt. Undershirts are a must, I don’t care how hot it is or what season we’re in, they are one step below being required. And by the way, don’t you DARE wear a blue/white classic polo on a Friday. Fridays have to be kept for special Malvern polos, they just do.

Next is socks. White nikes or ankle socks. End of discussion. I don’t care if they do it in the middle school, neon socks are never, have never been, and will never be cool so just keep it simple and easy.

Sagging pants haven’t been cool for five years now. Wear a belt.

Finally we get to shoes. Shoes are interesting because you see the same shoes on a cycle in your four years here. Those shoes would obviously be Sperry boat shoes, Chuck Taylor’s, and your classic Van’s. You can’t go wrong with any of these but shoes are where you get to experiment the most. I’ve seen guys rock orange soles on the regular and it doesn’t look half bad. Personally, I stomp around in green, Oxford-style Timberlands and they have not led me wrong.

-Jack Magargee ’18