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Waldorf Dress Code-

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

We're Waldorf/Reggio lovers looking into schools right now and I just read through the local Waldorf school's dress policy and was a little surprised to find that no patterns are allowed. I knew that no logos / characters and that stuff wouldn't be allowed [we don't own that stuff anyway], but I never imagined that a simple print would be discouraged as well. Does that include stripes? Plaid? 


They also have a no black / neon in their dress code as well. And all limbs covered for under 70* temperatures. 


What is your Waldorf school's dress code? Is it the same?

post #2 of 5

Here's the info from our newest family handbook. This is the everyday dress code, not including assemblies or upper grades.


General Guidelines

Clothing should be well fitted—not so large that it extends over hands or feet. Likewise, clothing should not be overly short, tight, backless or strapless. Wide, sagging, overlong, baggy or mesh shorts or pants are unacceptable. Boys may not wear sleeveless shirts. No writing on any garments except for Waldorf school t-shirts, or shirts commemorating Emerson Waldorf School cultural or athletic events.

Clothing may not have tears, stains, holes, or unfinished edges (such as cut-off jeans). Inside-out shirts or tops are not acceptable.

As the children go outside every day, please send along appropriate gear i.e., raincoat, hood, hat, boots, warm coat, mittens or gloves, and leg coverings. Shorts are not acceptable in winter.

Label clothing with your child’s name, especially outerwear.


Acceptable patterns, colors, and designs for K-8

Solid colors, overall patterns, stripes, and soft natural images are acceptable.

Small discreet outer brand labels and sports logos must fit within the circle of the teacher’s finger and thumb of one hand.

Not Acceptable patterns, colors, and designs: Advertising, team logos, words, numbers, cartoon drawings, camouflage, neon colors are not acceptable.


Acceptable length

Shirts should be long enough to cover the midriff area even when stretching. Shorts should come approximately to mid-thigh length or no shorter than where the tip of the index finger rests when the arm is alongside the body. Skirts and dress hems and side slits should be no more than 4" above the knee. Sleeveless shirts and dresses should have at least a 2" wide strap.



No underwear should be visible, including boxer shorts and bra straps, including sports bras

Shoes should have non-slip soles and should be sturdy enough for vigorous outside play.

Laces should be tied, not dragging.

Platform shoes, flip-flops, and jellies are not permitted. Crocs may only be worn inside.

Inside shoes should be provided if street shoes are removed in the classroom.

No bare feet on campus at any time.

No make-up or nail polish before 8th grade; discreet make-up and nail polish in 8th grade.

No hair coloring or extreme hair styles.

Jewelry should be tasteful and not distracting.

Watches are for 3rd grade and above, after telling time is introduced. Watches with dial faces rather than digital watches are recommended. No beeping watches.

Writing and drawing on clothing and skin is not permitted.

Body piercing other than ears is not permitted.

Sunglasses, hats and head coverings, except for religious purposes, should not be worn in the classroom.

post #3 of 5

Here's from our handbook. Didn't include the bit about 'please dress up for assembly days' section. Apparently our school is all liberal & stuff because we get both patterns *and* dress straps only have to be 1.5 inches wide.


Silly things, dress codes.



Dress Code

In Waldorf schools special attention is accorded to creating a visually pleasing environment,

recognizing that students are nourished by beauty in their surroundings. The dress code

policy therefore addresses aesthetics as well as comfort and safety.

Faculty finds that clothes made of natural fibers, such as cotton or wool, are warmer in

winter and cooler in summer than clothing made from synthetics such as nylon or polyester.

Parents/guardians may wish to consider the fiber content when choosing children’s clothing.

For more information, parents may speak with their child’s teacher.

The school acknowledges that clothing considered appropriate in other environments may

not be suitable or allowed at school.


Students who come to school wearing clothes not in

conformance with the dress code will be given other clothing to wear that day


or parents will

be called and asked to supply a change of clothes


• Clothing may not have holes.

• Clothing may not have any unfinished edges (such as frayed cut-offs).

• Shirts should cover midriff area even when moving. As young children grow quickly,

parents should check periodically to make sure clothing still fits.

• Shirts or dresses may not have “spaghetti” straps (including athletic tops). Straps must be

1 ½” wide.

• Clothing may not be so large that it extends over hands or feet.

• Shorts and skirts must be fingertip length or longer, even if leggings or tights are worn


• Clothing may not be skin-tight.

• Clothing may not have low necklines. No part of the breast may be visible.

• Underwear must not be visible, including brassiere straps.

• Clothing should be free of all writing and images. (Images of nature, animals, and other

natural objects are permissible, as are geometric patterns.)

• Camouflage patterns may not be worn.

• Hats may not be worn in the classroom, except for knitted caps worn for warmth.

• Hair for Kindergarten through Grade Five may not be dyed, and the hairstyle must not be

extreme. Hair in Grade Six and above must be of a natural color and functional for activities

required in the school day. Writing and images may not be shaven into hair.

• Fingernails need to be a length that allows students to do all schoolwork.

• Jewelry must not be distracting or interfere with schoolwork.

• Shoes may not contain light-up elements.

• Writing and drawing on clothing and skin are not permitted, including permanent or

temporary tattoos.

• Make-up and nail polish may not be brought to school.

• Nail polish may not be worn to school in Kindergarten through Grade Four.

• Beeping watches are not permitted.

The dress code applies during all off-campus, teacher-supervised events, including field trips.


Students at The Waldorf School of Atlanta spend extensive time outdoors: running,

jumping, swinging, climbing trees, etc. Teachers find that high-quality, well-fitting, sturdy

shoes support and protect the child at school, enabling him or her to fully participate in this

very active education. For safety reasons, school shoes should tie, buckle or close with

Velcro tabs. (While shoes with Velcro closures may be suitable for the younger child,

kindergarten and elementary school children benefit from the challenge of a tie shoe.) In

general, sneakers and running shoes are the best shoes for school.

Loose or open-toed shoes such as flip-flops, jellies, crocs, clogs, cowboy boots or shoes with

a raised heel or wheels are not permitted because they impede active movement so

important in the Waldorf curriculum.

Middle school students may be allowed to wear open-toed sandals or clogs on particular

days during the year.

Footwear in the Kindergarten

Kindergarten children will need a pair of rain boots to stay at school. Boots will be worn in

the play yard on rainy days and when the play yard is wet. Kindergarten children may wear

sturdy, well fitting shoes from home (per WSA dress code) for playing in the play yard on

dry days.

post #4 of 5

goodness, my kids waldorf school didn't have any of that. Just a line about "please send them in clothes appropriate to the weather, and with waterproofs and spare clothes.".


Ours was always a bit of a renegade school though. Its cranked stuff up a bit in recent times (along with fees) to attract shinier parents (we left around then, non-conincidentally), so maybe its now got a three page sartorial code.

post #5 of 5

It doesn't bother me because its mostly how I like to dress my kids anyway. And honestly, if you really read the nitty-gritty of most dress codes for public schools are pretty strict. Clothes fitting guidelines, no rips, no cut offs, no midriffs showing, hair must be natural color and in a style not "distracting" from the learning environment, no hats, not open-toed shoes, etc. Though I think teachers and principles vary in how well its enforced. We've been in uniform schools and that is even stricter! At least at a Waldorf school a kid can wear jeans! Imagine keeping 3 active boys in khakis without holes all year. It was spendy! I am kind of a fan of school uniforms actually - it takes a lot of guess work out and IME really does help make for a nice learning environment. That is really all a Waldorf school is trying to do, using a Waldorf-style of a uniform policy to create a particular learning environment. Lots of autonomy there if you think about it that way. Our public uniform schools have 3 colors for shirts, 2 colors for pants and all shirts must have collars, no hoodies allowed, ect. 

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