Uniforms like none other

Button up. Fasten. Zip. Fix the tie. Every morning Catholic High students clothe themselves in a contributing essence of the school.

Walking down Kavanaugh or driving down Cantrell, parents and friends see these distinct uniforms and immediately recognize a Catholic High student. Whether people scoff at these uniforms or approve them, it doesn’t make a difference to the school.

The uniform consists of khaki pants, a button down shirt of one’s choice, long white socks, and any tie. Junior Harry Cummins said, “I think our school’s dress code is special because it is unlike any other high school’s uniform in the state.”

Junior Spencer Day said, “We are very sharp-looking and when somebody sees a young teenage boy wearing a collared shirt and tie, they immediately think of Catholic [High].

“When the whole student body is dressed nice with a tie it represents the brotherhood by showing how every young man here is clean and looking good.”

Cummins said, “I like our uniforms because people outside of our school spot us and they think of us as more professional and mature.”

The history of the uniform is a blur of change and evolution. In his memoir Proudly We Speak Your Name, Mr. Mike Moran writes, “The sweater that seniors now wear was a direct result of Father Tribou’s seeing a photo in the New York Times of some Catholic high school students of an area who were so dressed. He told me, ‘I want our boys to look like that.’”

Mr. Steve Straessle said, “Ties started in the late 60’s when students attended a funeral for a classmate. Ever since, the tie has been customary while the rest of the outfit has changed over time. When I was a sophomore, we could always wear shorts in the hot months and seniors all wore sports coats [during the regular school year].” The evolution has led to what a student’s appearance looks like today.

“I saw it fitting to enforce new class ties this year for each individual class,” said Mr. Straessle. Regarding the uniform, mostly positive feedback is received about them. Day said, “I like to dress nice and not look like a slob. I enjoy the uniforms, except when it’s hot.” The uniforms are often common in real world white-collar jobs.

Mr. Straessle said, “The uniforms create a business-like approach to education. It also gives students the freedom of creativity in these parameters.”

Mr. Moran wrote, “When Father Tribou spoke of the CHS dress code, he always said essentially the same thing: ‘The way you dress says something about the seriousness of the activity in which you are engaged. We think school is serious business, so you should dress accordingly.’”

The essence of the school is much more than just the uniform, but the role they play is not minor. Mr. Straessle said, “They are an outward sign of importance into what we do here.”

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