Dress Code & Appearances

Berkshire students are expected to dress appropriately and be well groomed for every occasion while on campus or while representing the School elsewhere. Accordingly, they are expected to understand and abide by not only the letter, but also the spirit of the dress code, and to exercise good taste and judgment. Any questions about what is appropriate should be referred to the Dean of Students.

Individual appearance is seldom a purely personal matter. Respect for the sensitivities of others and a sense of appropriate dress for a variety of school activities are important considerations underlying our dress code. Clothing, hairstyles, jewelry, body decorations and other matters of appearance that are excessive or extreme, and therefore distracting, are not permitted. Bare feet, beach or bath sandals, flip-flops, slippers (or slipper-like shoes) and athletic shoes are not acceptable during the academic day.

Provocative or revealing attire is inappropriate at all times and is not permitted. Examples of clothes that are too revealing for the classroom and dining hall include anything strapless or with a halter or spaghetti straps. Tops that expose cleavage or the midriff and clothes that are excessively tight fall into this category.

Students will be told to change when they are wearing articles of clothing or a style of dress that fits the letter but not the spirit of the dress code. Students asked by a faculty or staff member to change should do so immediately. Students are responsible for any commitments missed while changing, including being marked late to or absent from class.

The dress code is in effect from 8:30 a.m. to the end of the class day except Wednesday. On Wednesday, dress code is in effect through advisory lunch. Students are expected to be in proper dress code during their lunch and free periods throughout campus until the end of the academic day. The following standards apply while the dress code is in effect:

Classroom Dress:

  • Required during the entire class day (including lunch) in all academic buildings and Benson Commons/Rovensky Student Center
  • Button-down collared shirts; blouses. No t-shirts, no flannels, no turtlenecks. Shirts must be tucked in when wearing pants.
  •  A required second layer can include the following: blazer, cardigan, scarf, sportscoat, sweater, or tie. No fleece, no vests, no sweatshirts, no athletic jackets or pullovers.
  • Tailored pants, khakis, skirts, and kilts. No jeans. A belt is required when wearing pants with belt loops. Both skirts and kilts must be no shorter than fingertip length.
  • Dresses, with appropriate length (fingertip length) and suitable cut, shall be considered one “layer” and must be accompanied by a second layer.
  • No leggings unless they are under a dress or skirt. No denim.
  • All clothing must be free of tears and patches.
  • Dress shoes, boat shoes, dress sandals, solid color lace-up shoes, loafers, boots. No athletic shoes.

Formal Dress:

  • Required at select Community Dinners, Prize Night, Commencement, other formal presentations and events as determined by the School
  • Collared shirts with blazers and ties; blouses; dress shirts
  • Dress pants, khakis, skirts, and dresses

Bear Wear:

  • Worn at times determined by the School
  • Collared shirts and blouses
  • Tailored pants, khakis, Bermuda shorts, skirts, dresses
  • Dress shoes, boat shoes, dress sandals, solid color lace up shoes, loafers, boots. No athletic shoes.

General Expectations:

  • Shoes must be worn in all academic buildings and Benson Commons/Rovensky Student Center
  • No sweatshirts during the academic day
  • No headwear in any academic buildings or Benson Commons/Rovensky Student Center, except when required by religious custom
  • Hair must be well-groomed, and students must be clean-shaven.
  • Undergarments may not be visible at any time.
  • Winter boots may be worn only during the winter term.
  • Informal dress may be worn after the class day.  All clothing must be neat and in good taste.