The Indianapolis Public Schools’ dress code is about how students look, how students behave, and achieve. Proper attire is the first step in creating a classroom environment that provides a laser focus on instruction. As such, students and their parents/guardians hold the primary responsibility in determining a student’s personal attire, hairstyle, jewelry, and personal items (e.g. backpacks, book bags) according to the IPS dress code. Schools are responsible for ensuring that student attire, hairstyle, jewelry, and personal items do not interfere with the health or safety of any student and do not contribute to a hostile or intimidating environment for any student. Students, parents and staff continue to share stories of the benefits of the dress code – from spending less money on clothing to enjoying stress-free mornings when preparing for school. Students are to be dressed in appropriate attire beginning the first day of the school year.

Standard Attire

Tops

  • Permitted Tops
  1. Shirts, Blouses, Sweatshirts, Jackets, Sweaters, and Vests
  • Style
  1. Solid Color
  2. Long or Short Sleeved
  • Standard Wear Guidance
  1. Must be tucked into pants/shorts at all times

Bottoms

Permitted Bottoms

  1. Pants, Shorts, Skirts, Skorts, Capri Pants, and Jumpers 
  • Style:
  1. Solid colors: khaki, black or navy blue (no denim/blue jeans allowed)
  2. Pleated or fat-front
  • Standard wearing guidance:
  1. Fastened at the waist
  2. Must be worn with a belt and set above the hip (grade 3 and above)
  3. Must be free of rips or tears
  4. Undergarments may not be visible
  5. “Walking”length shorts limited to 2” above the knee

Shoes 

  • Permitted footwear:
  1. Shoes and Boots (no restrictions)
  • Style:
  1. Any color acceptable
  • Standard wearing guidance:
  1. Closed toes 
  2. Closed heel or strap heel

Accessories

  • Permitted accessories:
  1. Socks (no restrictions), Tights/Leggings (no restrictions), and Belts
  • Style:
  1. Any color
  2. Belts made of fabric or leather
  • Standard wearing guidance:
  1. No logos
  2. Belts are required for all pants/shorts made with belt loops 

K-12 Acceptable Dress-Up Attire 

Students will be allowed to dress up for special, limited days of the year (such as Honors Day and Picture Day) at the discretion of the principal. Students may wear any approved top or bottom; however, they must apply the following standard wearing guidelines to dress-up days:

  • Tops
  1. Tops must have sleeves, must not show cleavage and must not be tight
  2. No spandex, see-through or denim materials 
  3. Tops must be long enough to tuck 
  4. Tops may not extend below the jacket (if worn) 
  • Bottoms
  1. Skirts: 
    1. Must be no more than 2” (inches) above the knee and worn at the hip 
    2. No spandex, see-through or denim materials
    3. Must not be tight 
  2. Pants: 
    1. No athletic or denim 
    2. Must be worn above the hip
  • Shoes
  1. No athletic shoes
  • Accessories
  1. Ties are optional

Athletic Attire (Game Day and Practice)

  • Team sweatshirts and polo shirts are permissible 
  • Hooded items must bear the official school logo and are subject to district guidelines regarding headwear being worn inside the building 
  • Must meet minimum standards of appropriateness and modesty for Physical Education classes (including wearing a shirt at all times) 
  • Appropriate sweats or uniform apparel must be worn immediately before and after sports practice 
  • Coaches will determine dress code attire for home and away events 

Purpose of Dress Code Modification

The IPS student dress code has been modified to eliminate barriers of students attending school, while providing families with the most cost effective options to meet the district dress code policy. Our new standard dress code will ensure that students are dressed appropriately for school and that we provide a laser focus on instruction and not attire.

Exemptions to Dress Code Policy 5511

Any necessary modifications for individual students (e.g health concerns, religious, etc.) to the IPS Uniform Dress Code must be formally addressed and approved through the Board Waiver process

Modifications

Clothing ItemCurrent PolicyModificationRationale
Headphones and earbudsN/AHeadphones and earbuds may only be worn when directed by school staff.It’s important to alleviate distractions to the learning environment.
ShirtsShirts must be a solid color and must be collared and button up (e.g., a polo shirt)Straight, button-down collar, turtleneck or mock turtleneck.Permit any solid colored shirt, even if it is not collared and/or a button up or mock T-shirt.This allows for solid colored T-shirts which are available at low cost as an additional option.
Sweatshirts Hooded items must bear the official school logo and are subject to district guidelines regarding headwear being worn inside the building.Sweatshirts or jackets that do not bear the school logo are permitted. They are permitted to be any solid color.Logos on jackets or sweatshirts may not exceed 1.5 inches.Hoods are still subject to district guidelines regarding headwear being worn inside the building. Hoods must be down at all times on school property. Purchasing sweatshirts with the school logo can create an additional cost burden on families. We have removed this burden for the 21-22 school year while still requiring solid colored hoodies and/or sweatshirts. 
Pants, ShortsSkirts, Capri Pants,Walking-Length Shorts Solid colors: khaki, black or navy blue (no denim/blue jeans allowed) Pleated or flat-frontFastened at the waistMust be worn with a belt and set above the hip (grade 3 and above) “Walking”-length shorts limited to 2 inches above the knee.Solid navy blue or black shorts may be worn under skirts, provided they do not show.Any solid-colored pant is acceptable (no denim/jeans allowed) Pants still must be:Pleated or flat-frontFastened at the waistWorn above the hip with shirts tucked in.Belts are not required at any grade.Pants must be worn so that no undergarments are showing. Leggings and yoga pants are still not permitted.Ripped or torn pants are not permitted.Skirt/Skort/Jumper is permissible except for jean skirts/skorts/overalls/ jumpers. Items must come to the fingertips when arms are down by the side.Adding any solid color bottoms in addition to khaki, black and navy blue will offer families more flexibility.
ShoesShoes must be closed toe. Shoes must have a closed heel or strap heel.No change. Shoes still must be closed toe and have a closed heel or strap heel.No change.