Dress Code

View graphical examples of appropriate and inappropriate dress code items for boys or for girls.

General Grooming

Recognizing that the vagaries of fashion can be unduly expensive and often fuel competition among students, we wish to avoid these distractions by promoting a dress code that reflects our desire for students to be neat, clean, and comfortable while attending school. The guidelines below outline our expectations for student dress and grooming. The dress code is in effect during the academic day (8:15 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.).

Everyday Dress Code - All Students

McDonogh School is pleased to announce Land’s End as an additional outfitter for our school uniforms this coming school year. As always, Arthur’s Uniforms, our long term supplier, will continue to carry the full required uniform apparel. If you choose to order uniforms from Land's End, please use our purchasing guide. We hope you find this additional source to be a convenient option as we strive to have our students dress neat and comfortable throughout the school year.

These are the clothing choices available:

Boys Pants in khaki, black, or stone

Shirts in white or light blue; both long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirts available
Girls Pants in khaki, black, or stone

Skort in khaki, black, or blue plaid

Shirts in white or light blue; both long-sleeve and short-sleeve shirts available

Note: In cooler weather, students may wear a solid, neutral colored sweater, a McDonogh athletic jacket, a black polar fleece, McDonogh sweatshirt (solid, non-striped, non-patterned, black, orange or gray), or an outerwear jacket.

Spring term seniors only are permitted to wear a sweatshirt from the college they will attend the following fall. No other sweaters or sweatshirts are permitted. Students may not wear hoods or hats in school buildings during the academic day.

General Guidelines

Shirts and ties

Girls: No more than the top two buttons may be unbuttoned; in cool weather, a plain white turtleneck may be worn under the oxford shirt.

Boys: Ties must be up during the academic day.

All: Any top or t-shirt that is worn under the oxford shirt must be plain white with sleeves no longer than the shirt’s sleeves. Shirts must be tucked in.

Other Items

Belts: A belt must be worn.

Shoes: Students must wear solid colored, brown-toned leather “Sperry-style” boat shoes

Socks and leggings: Girls who choose to wear socks or hose may wear only solid, neutral colors. Spandex and leggings must also follow these guidelines.

Jewelry: Girls may wear earrings; boys may not. No one may wear jewelry in pierced body parts other than the ears.

Hair: Hair is to be kept clean, neat, and well groomed, avoiding extremes of style. Hair dyed to a color other than those found in the natural spectrum of human hair is not permitted. Boys should keep hair cut so as not to hang below the collar; ponytails are not permitted.

Facial Hair: Boys are to be well-groomed and clean-shaven at all times. Boys who have a medical condition that precludes shaving are expected to present a letter to their class dean from their physician confirming the condition.

In general, extremes of fashion should be avoided.

Note: We reserve the right to revise the dress code at any time during the school year.

Casual Dress Days

Occasionally the Upper School will have a casual dress day to celebrate a holiday or as a prize in a school competition.

There are some guidelines for casual dress:

  • Bathing suits are not allowed.
  • T-shirts with messages about alcohol, drugs, or similar illegal substances are not allowed.
  • Girls may not wear halter tops, camisole tops, tube tops, or similar tops that leave the back and shoulder bare.

Costumes or Spirit Dress

On Halloween or special spirit-dress days, students must dress appropriately for school – fully clothed, nothing revealing, provocative, or too scary.

Weapons or other props may not be carried. Students are advised to bring a change of clothing with them in case their choice of costume is deemed inappropriate.

Special McDonogh Dress

The following attire shall be worn for Founder’s Day, Cum Laude, Headmaster’s Day, Memorial Day, Commencement, and other designated events:

Boys Navy blue blazer with McDonogh seal

White or light blue dress shirt with collar

McDonogh tie

Khaki dress slacks

Solid color sock

Girls Navy blue blazer with McDonogh seal

White or light blue blouse with collar

Khaki skirt (with a hemline that touches the knee), skort, or pants

No spandex or leggings may be worn on Special Dress days.

The McDonogh seal is sold in the school store. Please make sure that your name is in your blazer in such a way that it cannot be removed.


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McDonogh School | 410.363.0600 |
8600 McDonogh Road | Owings Mills | Maryland | 21117