Maggie Rants [and Raves]

What Should I Wear?

by Maggie Franklin | September 5, 2012

My salon overlooks one of the local cosmetology schools, located two blocks away. If I happen to be out and about around lunch time, the street will be awash with cosmetology students.


The school in question also happens to be the school where I finished my own state required program, some 20 years ago now.


The dress code hasn't changed.


I actually attended two different schools in two different towns for my manicuring course. The first school, in Woodland Hills, Calif., had a black and white dress code. Basically they didn't really care what was black or white or if it was all black or all white, as long as you only had on black and white.


Estes, the school I now overlook, is black on the bottom (pants or skirt) and black or white on top.


I never understood why? Why have a uniform for a vocational school? At least, for a program that will introduce graduating students into a career field where most of those new professionals will not be wearing a uniform at work?


I always thought it was a better idea to have a dress code, as opposed to a uniform code. This would allow students to learn about appropriate dress for the work place.


Students show up in sweat pants? Send ’em home to change. Yep, means you gotta clock out and lose time for the day.


Blouse too low cut? T-shirt with inappropriate words or graphics on it? Send 'em home to change.


The salon industry is kinda of an odd field to work in. You can't really say "no jeans," or "no high heels," or "no tank tops" because there are all sorts of salons with all sorts of themes and attitudes — if you work in a rock ’n’ roll sort of trendy place, I expect the people working there to be wearing jeans, high heels, tank tops, etc. If you work in a quiet day spa environment, I expect to see people wearing scrubs or uniforms. It's hard to dictate what is and isn't "appropriate" for the work place when the work place is a salon.


But if Tabitha Coffey can walk into a salon and know the difference between a trashy looking T-shirt and a trendy T-shirt, then we should be able to reasonably tell the difference for ourselves as well.


I just think maybe those lessons should begin with our schooling. And I think uniforms prevent those lessons from being taught and learned. It just seems like a better idea to learn personal presentation as part of the training phase of our careers rather than getting tossed into the fray with yet one more thing to learn the hard way.

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