Thursday, August 31, 2006


How to Dress Like an Individual at a School With a Dress Code

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Plaid school uniforms

More and more schools all over the world are imposing stricter dress codes or uniform requirements on students. While administrators claim these measures encourage equality and proper behavior and discourage gangs and offensive clothing, many students feel that dress codes restrict their ability to express themselves. If your high school has a stringent dress code and you're worried you might look like "a nerd" or like "everybody else," here's how you can distinguish yourself from the crowd.


  1. Get a copy of your school’s dress code and read it carefully. If you are going to get new clothes, you want to make sure they are completely within the dress code. Make sure you fully understand the dress code, and ask an administrator for clarification if necessary.
  2. Go through the clothes you have now and see what you have that fits within the guidelines of the dress code and that you will actually wear.
  3. Pay attention to little things in the dress code that aren't restricted. For example, you may have to wear shirts that have collars and sleeves, and which are solid black, white, or navy blue. While that certainly limits you, it doesn’t say anything about pockets vs. no pockets or button fronts vs. polo shirts. Find something you are comfortable in that fits within the dress code. In this example, if you don't like polo shirts, get button fronts. Sleeves can be any length as long as they’re there. No matter how restrictive your dress code, you’ll likely have some choices.
  4. Shop at your favorite stores or designers. Just because your clothes have to be conservative doesn’t mean you can’t still buy the brands you like to wear. In fact many designers now make clothes specifically to meet the growing dress-code and uniform markets.
  5. Choose shoes that make news. Shoes are often hard to define in dress codes, so you may be able to get away with some extra creativity on your feet. For example, some dress codes say that shoes have to be closed toed. This doesn't mean sneakers or loafers only. If your school doesn't have any real strict regulations on shoes, get something fashionable that stands out. If your school is strict or brown/black shoes are a must, then slowly add little things. Try a colorful shoelace, or try gluing little rhinestones on and see if you can get away with it.
  6. Accessorize. Dress code or no dress code, you can use accessories to express your individuality and style, but the stricter your dress code the more important accessories may be.
    • Belts: Often belts have to be leather and the buckle size is restricted, but there may not be color guidelines or belt buckle type guidelines. Get bright colors, or patterns that attract attention. Did your mom already buy you a drab brown belt? Glue glitter on the buckle or otherwise embellish it.
    • Jewelry: If there aren't any jewelry restrictions, wear bracelets, necklaces, earrings, or rings that stand out and make you feel special.
    • Hair: Many dress codes provide few restrictions on hair. While you probably can’t dye your hair crazy colors, you can put bows of different bright colors, pigtails, braids, or anything colorful or unique that the dress code can't restrict.
  7. Push the envelope. Maybe your dress code has some “grey areas,” or maybe parts of it aren’t enforced. See what you can get away with. What’s the worst that could happen? Just don’t do it too often or too obviously, or teachers and administrators might start cracking down.


  • For the girls, wear underwear that makes you feel pretty. No one is going to see it but you. Just knowing that you have it on will make you more confident in what you are wearing on the outside.
  • Try wearing pins and buttons, but don't overdo it.
  • Nails can be painted pretty colors. Do anything too wild and you may get in trouble, but there are tons of lovely pale and pastel shades, and a French manicure is always a classic.
  • Keep your make-up clean and conservative, if you’re allowed to wear makeup at all. A little bit of light shadow with the regular stuff is fine, but you should probably avoid the electric green eyeliner!
  • Add jewelry. Adding funky and bold jewelry will make you stand out without pushing the clothes.
  • Remember attitude. Go to the bathroom with a blank look on your face and look in the mirror. Leave and then go back with a sincere smile on your face. You’ll probably notice that you look and feel different, maybe even better. Clothes don’t make the man (or woman), so project an attitude that is uniquely you, and you’ll still be an individual, even in the plainest uniform.
  • Many dress codes do not specify gender. A boy probably could not get away with a skirt and knee-socks, but no one will mind if a girl goes to school in chinos.
  • Put a wire in your tie - bend it into shapes.


  • Make sure you are following your dress code when you go shopping or when you are altering your clothes.
  • Some schools require you to purchase your uniform outfits from a certain company. Buy whichever colors you feel most confident in, and make sure you wear well-fitting sizes.

How to Avoid a Speeding Ticket

Sure we all want to be able to bat our eyes at an officer to avoid being written a ticket. Unfortunately, not all of us are females, let alone attractive. So the alternative skill would be spotting the cops before they spot you.


  1. Take a defensive driving course. Aside from making you a safer driver it'll make you a more AWARE driver, which you'll need driving at high speeds. One such rule you'll learn is the 12 second rule. You've probably used the 5 second rule, which is looking 5 seconds on the road in front of you. But especially driving at higher speeds you'll find that looking 12 seconds into the future is much safer, and 12 seconds is alot closer to the limit on the distance police radar can reach. So you'll have enough time to tap the brakes if you spot them.
  2. Be aware of every car entering, exiting, and hiding behind other cars. The worst thing to do after narrowly avoiding the cop with a laser gun is to fly past the next cop driving on the same road as you. Be aware of every car in your vicinity. More and more cops today aren't driving Crown Victorias (see tip #3). So keep your eyes open and suspicious of every car you see.
  3. DO NOT search the road for Crown Victorias. This is by far the most foolish tactic one can use for identifying cops. Police use everything from Camero's to SUV's to Cadillacs and Mustangs. As you probably know some police don't even use marked cars anymore. So how do you identify a cop before you realize he's cruising next to you in a Camry?
    • Look for roof lighting. Your brain should pop up a red flag anytime it see's any sort of junk on top of a car. It could easily be police lighting.
    • Police AREN'T handicapped. If you see a Crown Victoria with a handicapped tag on it chances are its just a senior citizen. No use holding up traffic trying to smoothly slip by him.
    • By law officers are not allowed to endorse any ideology or group on their cars. The cars are owned by the city, so you'll be hard pressed to find a police car with a "Total Princess" sticker on the bumper.
    • Police license plates are made differently than every one elses. In some cases they'll actually say EXEMPT. However, in some cases they won't be different, so don't take my word for it.
  4. Look inside the officers car if you can. You might see a cage seperating the front seats and back seats. Or you might see the officers uniform.
  5. Safety in numbers. Try to join a speed train. By that I mean a train of 3 or more cars all speeding the same amount. The person in front is usually the one who takes the blame when these trains are caught. In addition, if the first person in the train doesn't see the cop, the second person will and they'll break accordingly to prevent you from being seen driving 90.
  6. Beware the boogey man. If 200 yards ahead of you a man driving 90 all of a sudden decides to hit his brakes with no one in front of him, you can bet money that a cop is in his line of sight that isn't in yours. He might have a police radar in his car. And since the limit of police detectors is the same limit as the radars themselves that added distance between you and the car in front of you will make the police detector that much more effective. Not to mention, you didn't have to pay for it.
  7. Last but not least, don't be a cocky driver. Cops are very smart, and if you've been busted just smile politely and accept your ticket. You'll see him in court.


  • Drive a car that was made to sustain excessive speeds. Blowing a tire or piston isn't a cool way to elude the cops.
  • DO NOT be a reckless driver. You should always signal properly and change lanes smoothly to avoid bringing attention to yourself.
  • DO NOT get road rage. You driving 2000 mph doesn't mean John Doe doing 25 mph in a school zone is an idiot. It means YOU are.


  • Driving at excessively high speeds decreases the amount of control and reaction time one has on their car.
  • Around hills, curves and opposing traffic it is next to impossible to know a cop is coming. So either slow down or accept the fact that you'll turn into a fugitive trying to out maneuver the officer turning around to apprehend you.
  • Slamming on your brakes after you see an officer will almost certainly cause a traffic jam either on or behind you. Be considerate for your fellow speeders.



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Many Thanks

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