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Before you read this, make sure your collarbone is not showing. • Just kidding. tb-two* will not dress-code you. But we will share with you some of the dress code drama that went down at the start of this school year, as many schools — Pinellas County gets the prize — cracked down on the enforcement of rules (some new and more strict) for what is acceptable attire at school. • Here are some interesting gleanings from our reporters' notebooks:

A new verb? Lakewood High junior Jahnique Brown was dress-coded for wearing a sleeveless shirt. Administrators gave out free Lakewood T-shirts during the first week of school to anyone who was out of dress code.

"I think they're not sure what they want to be strict on," said Brown, who is a junior. They're really just confused about the whole process.

"The dress code is all about power, because students took advantage of the dress code last year . . . I wish I was on the committee because this would've never happened."

Administrators, however, were full of praise for student compliance.

Principal Bob Vicari said students were much better behaved this year during the first week of school and he thinks the stricter dress code is a factor. "Professional dress leads to professional conduct," he said.

— Zoe Blair-Andrews and Quindon Nolton, staff writers for Lakewood Spartan News Network

Heated up about the dress code: It was very hard for me to find someone wearing shorts today, because basically anyone who has worn them this week has been dress-coded. Administration has been on their A game.

What everyone is now wearing at school: skirts, jeans and capris. No popular stores sell shorts that are mid-thigh length or longer, which are the requirements, so people find themselves sweating buckets wearing jeans when the heat index is 100+.

For giggles, check out the SPHS video Click here. about what not to wear at

— Chloe Beaver, St. Petersburg High sophomore

Keep your quarter handy: At Boca Ciega High, the new dress code includes these specifics: Bottoms must be worn at the waist and fall below the knee, shirts cannot have any writing or images on them (unless the writing is regarding a college, university, or Boca Ciega), V-necks are not allowed and logos on shirts must be smaller than a quarter.

— Elizabeth Brown-Worthington, Boca Ciega High sophomore

Layer it up: At a fundamental high school, it seems even harder to find appropriate clothes, because so many of today's trends go against school policy. If your shirt is made with any mesh material, even the yoke or sleeves, it must be worn over a short-sleeve shirt (no tank tops or camisoles even under something). More from the Osceola Fundamental High dress code: Form fitting leotard/spandex type articles of clothing (including sports bras) are not allowed without proper outer garments. No yoga pants or jeggings. No bandannas or sweatbands, because of the possibility they could contain gang symbols. If the material has a bandanna design it must not be recognizable.

— Brea Hollingsworth, Osceola Fundamental High senior

Oh, yeah. The cheerleaders: Even though many high schools have allowed cheerleaders to wear their uniforms to school on game day in violation of existing dress codes, the broader code crackdown this year snared some spirit squads. At Countryside High, cheerleaders were told their uniforms could come on only after the final bell, and parents protested. The girls balked at the suggestion of adding Velcro extensions to their skirts. The compromise? The school dug out a set of older uniforms with longer skirts.

— Lisa Gartner, Tampa Bay Times

Not as hot a button: Dress codes at Hillsborough County schools have not been as much of an issue this year, unless you're a freshman. Some new to high school seemed really surprised at the rules, such as leggings being dress-coded if they're not covered properly, and sagging pants a definite violation. I thought the contrast was hilarious: Freshmen live in fear of the high school dress code, while upperclassmen are completely oblivious to — or just blatantly defiant of — the policy.

— Maya Patel, Freedom High senior

FASHION POLICE ON PATROL 09/10/13 [Last modified: Thursday, September 12, 2013 9:00am]
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