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September , 2017
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Da Vincible code01

“How long is long?” “Why should my sleeveless dress qualify me as a criminal?” “Why do my torn jeans invite so many stares?” “Why should I wear formals to college?” “Why can’t I dress the way I want to?” Mix these frequently asked rhetorical questions with some disgust filled, high pitched profanities and what you get is a concoction of frustration from all the college goers, who are fastened by the rope of dress code.

With majority of engineering and degree colleges having the dress code rule, it wouldn’t be very difficult to spot some whining, complaining and frustrated souls in colleges. Be it formals for first years, salwar kameez and long kurtis only, the rules are never ending.

The situation in St.Francis College is no different either. Although the instruction “Please follow the dress code” echoes through the interactive voice systems at least once a week, students dress according to their moods and that may not necessarily coincide with the rule. However, there are three categories of students in the college, the Rule breakers, the ardent followers and the we-will-make-salwar-kameez-look-glamorous crowd. The percentage of students in the first category are relatively lesser than the next two.

The P.G Block Credit: Miss tick

The P.G Block Credit: Miss tick

The rule breakers, as the term suggests, are the rebellious, defiant ones who give a damn about dress code and always manage to dodge the potentially dangerous staff. “I have always been lucky but I don’t take chances. I always enter from the P.G block to avoid getting caught”, says Namrata with a sly smile. There are number of ways students have figured to avoid the monitoring eyes. Some of them include wearing long stoles, entering through different blocks and for some jackets always come handy. But above everything else, lady luck has always been kind to these students.

There are also some, who have not been very lucky and have had bad experiences of breaking rules and learnt their lessons from them. “On one of the Saturdays I wore a casual top to college, which was supposedly ‘short’ according to the usual norms and as luck would have it the vice principal spotted me and I got a really harsh warning from her. It was extremely humiliating, especially in my friends’ presence and I swore not to wear something, which would land me in trouble”, recollects Seema, a Microbiology student. A classical example of a rule breaker turned ardent follower.

"Thank god for her dupatta!" Credit:Miss Tick

"Thank god for her dupatta!" Credit:Miss Tick

Some ardent followers are  the miss-goody-two-shoes who ‘come to college to study’ and never land themselves in any trouble. According to a cliché in the college this group mostly comprises of the science students. On the contrary , the ones falling in the third category experiment. They bend the rules and are instrumental in turning the campus into a small fashion hub. “Dress code rarely comes in the way. Girls keep track of the color that’s in, new patterns and accessories. Keeping up with trends is never a problem with francisians”, claims Alice, a student of psychology. Taking it one step ahead Nitya, a life science student boastfully says, “We are the trend setters. What we wear becomes fashion”.

On a couple of occasions rules take a back seat and those being the Inter college fests in the college. A time when no one follows any rules (dressing or otherwise) and that’s when francisians unleash their inner sirens within and make sure they put their best foot (read outfit) forward. The reasons are needless to mention.

But the focus still remains on why we need a dress code? “The dress code is required because it maintains discipline. There will always be a few, who will take advantage of the freedom so in the broader sense its good”, adds Alice. Surely, an educational institution demands a code of conduct, which includes the dressing part as well and thus the college management has always been very particular about students following the dress code. It is not entirely punishing though. A pair of jeans with a ‘long’ kurti is allowed and students take the liberty to decide the length.

The bottom line is, everyone is happy if fashion and rules go hand in hand and stylish people will never fail to get noticed, dress code or the absence of it.

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