Renowned motivational speaker and urban educator Baruti Kafele first sparked the idea within Principal Dan Remenap at a Lansing School Improvement meeting. Now, his suggestion to “Dress like education did something for you,” has swept through Allendale High school with the induction of Dress for Success days.
On December 3, the first day of the new trimester, Mr. Remenap encouraged kids to dress more business-like. Doing so, he said, would set the tone that when students are at school, they’re here to work. Dressing up has other benefits as well: looking nice on a scheduled day raises morale, instills a sense of unity, and ignites school spirit in kids while making it easier to avoid cliques centered around clothing.
“We want our appearance to reflect confidence and capability. Dressing up has a way of changing your mindset so that you want to perform up to your appearance. It really makes a difference,” said Mr. Remenap.
One student, senior Aaron Koetje (pictured above, far left) would love to have Dress for Success days every week!
“Dressing up today gives me a good feeling about myself and about Monday. It makes me think that this will make the week nicer. I’m even thinking about doing this every week! Even if others aren’t going to do it, I’m going to be dressing up!”
“Getting dressed up helped wake me up in the morning and made me more presentable. If you look better, you feel better,” remarked Meghan Lauritzen
“I’m finding that it’s easier to focus and that it’s actually cool to see people out of their flannel pants and yoga gear,” said Tiffani Eisen and Michelle Austin.
“Dressing up shows that we students have self-respect and that we care,” agreed Macie Visser.
Allendale High School’s first Dress for Success experience garnered a 65-70% participation rate. Mr. Remenap plans to offer more days like this throughout the year with the hopes that numbers will grow steadily and positive feedback will continue.
He also wishes to remind students that his number one goal is to be inclusive in this venture; if you do not have a dressy wardrobe at home, help is available in the office and will be kept confidential.
If you’re an AHS student who participated in Dress for Success day, what were your thoughts on the experience?