2017-2018 Upper School Dress Code

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 3:05 p.m.). All students are required to wear clothing from Dennis School Uniforms or Lands' End with the exception of navy blazers and boys' pants.

Upper School students are expected to respect the spirit of the dress code, not simply the letter of the code. Students whose dress is inappropriate for school may receive a disciplinary consequence and may be required to change clothing for the day. There are three types of dress days in the Upper School: regular dress, special dress, and casual dress. Regular dress applies to every school day unless told otherwise by teachers and the administration.

Regular Dress (most school days)


  • Dennis or Lands' End pants in khaki, black, or stone
  • Dennis or Lands' End skorts in khaki, black, or blue plaid no shorter than mid-thigh
  • Dennis or Lands' End shirts with the embroidered M; both long-sleeved and short-sleeved are permitted. No more than the top two buttons may be unbuttoned.


  • Pants from an vendor must be dress cotton twill in khaki, stone, tan, or black only. No jogger¬-style, stretch, denim, corduroy, or cargo style pants; no slits in hems, patch pockets, outside stitching, side zippers or studs allowed. Pants should fit appropriately; excessively loose or tight pants are unacceptable. Pants must be in good condition with no frayed hems. Pants must have belt loops.
  • Dennis or Lands’ End shirts in white or light blue with the embroidered M; both long¬sleeved and short-sleeved are permitted. .
  • Ties must be up during the academic day and collar buttons must be fastened.

Guidelines for All

  • Outerwear: Any solid color fleeces in pullover or zip-up styles; vest or long-sleeved. In cooler weather, students may wear crew or v-neck sweaters, a McDonogh athletic jacket, a McDonogh sweatshirt (solid single-colored black, orange, or gray), or an outerwear jacket. No other shirts or sweatshirts are permitted. Students may not wear hoods in school buildings during the academic day.
  • Shirts: 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 with the exception of the finished girls’ blouse.
  • Belts: If pants have belt loops, a belt must be worn.
  • Shoes: Students must wear brown or black leather/suede or leather-like dress shoes, excluding athletic shoes, work boots, and Uggs-style boots. All shoes must be closed toe and closed heel. In the event of inclement weather, the Upper School Head will declare a boot day.
  • Leggings: Spandex and leggings must be solid neutral colors.
  • 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.
  • Hats: Hats are not permitted in the building at any time.

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

Special McDonogh Dress

The following attire should be worn for Founder’s Day, the Cum Laude Ceremony, Headmaster’s Day, the Scholarship Luncheon, Memorial Day, and other designated events:


  • Navy blue blazer with McDonogh seal appropriately attached (no safety pins, staples etc.)
  • White or light blue blouse with collar and the embroidered M
  • Khaki skirt, skort, or pants
  • Dress shoes (no boots)
  • Leggings must be solid, neutral colors
  • Solid, neutral color socks
  • Solid navy sweater (no sweatshirts or other sweaters permitted)


  • Navy blue blazer with McDonogh seal appropriately attached (no safety pins, staples etc.)
  • White or light blue dress shirt with collar and the embroidered M
  • McDonogh tie
  • Khaki or stone dress slacks with belt
  • Solid, neutral color socks
  • Dress shoes (no boots)

Note: 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.

Casual Dress

Occasionally, the Upper School will have a casual dress day in place of regular dress. Students should dress appropriately for school. Below are guidelines for casual dress:

  • Bathing suits are not allowed.
  • Clothing with messages about alcohol, drugs, or similar illegal substances are not permitted.
  • Students may not wear halter tops, camisoles, tube tops, spaghetti straps, or similar items that leave the back and shoulders bare. Exceedingly tight shirts and low-cut or revealing necklines are not appropriate for school.
  • Exceedingly short shorts or skirts should not be worn.
  • 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.

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