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On Dress Codes and Decorum

“It’s the little details that are vital,” said Coach John Wooden. “Little things make big things happen.” Among the little details of school, which at times may feel more mundane than meaningful, is the dress code. 

To discuss the why behind our dress code, we welcome to the podcast Assistant Headmaster Tom Royals. As parents and teachers, we work together to help our boys look sharp: buttons buttoned, ties up, shoes—yes, leather shoes—laced and tied. Our Assistant Headmaster reminds us that this work is worth the effort despite the repetitive and thankless nature of our stylistic exhortations. 

Listen in to learn more about what motivates us to keep the lads looking sharp.


  • 2:45 What motivates the school’s attention to detail in dress? 
  • 4:30 Why a professional dress code? 
  • 8:35 Order both inward and outward
  • 12:12 Decorum and charity
  • 14:40 Preserving decorum and modesty 
  • 16:25 Modes of encouragement in the hallways
  • 20:45 Teacher as the anchor point for students
  • 22:40 Effects of COVID
  • 25:00 The home front

Also on the Forum

Dressing Like a Gentleman by George Messenger 

Teaching Magnanimous Dress with Joel Sellier

Material Order and the Middle School Boy with Kyle Blackmer

Self-Mastery: On Fostering Interior Freedom in Schools with Alvaro de Vicente

About the Guest

Tom Royals

Assistant Headmaster, Theology
Learn More

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