After a recent ban on sweatpants at a school in Wermelskirchen near Remscheid, the debate about appropriate clothing at school has been rekindled. The German Etiquette Society advocates a ban. Fashion designer Thomas Rath advocates jogging pants in classrooms. An overview.
The management of a secondary school in Wermelskirchen had recently begun to implement the school's dress code, which had been in force for some time, and sent students home in jogging pants. "Despite criticism in the media," the school said it wanted to maintain the dress code on Wednesday. "We want to encourage our students to wear clothes that don't tempt them to chill." The school also said that it was important to move away from jogging pants in order to prepare for professional life. The school has now received approval for the jogging pants ban from the German Etiquette Society.
What would Knigge have said about sweatpants?
The German Knigge Society would like to spread the ideas of Adolph Freiherr Knigge, who died in 1796, and which are rooted in the Enlightenment and humanism. She advocates perfect style, reliable knowledge of current manners, moral self-responsibility, morally impeccable behavior and a situationally appropriate, tolerant and easy-going way of dealing with one another.
Sweatpants are functional garments that are worn for sports or relaxation, said Linda Kaiser, deputy chairwoman of the German Knigge Society, the German Press Agency. "Athletes wear their jerseys as a work uniform on the sports field and jogging pants in their free time after work. School days are working hours, so jogging pants have no place there."
Work clothes, uniforms and dress codes have grown socially. "The clothing expresses a certain task, authority or affiliation. Based on this wealth of experience, the sweatpants cannot be assigned to a valuable task in everyday life and meet with resistance." The fact that jogging pants are not socially accepted is already shown by the discussions about the item of clothing.
"The years of fashion dictates are, thank God, over"
Fashion designer Thomas Rath sees it very differently. The 56-year-old, who is "a big fan of sweatpants himself", sees the garment as much more socially acceptable: "The acceptance of sweatpants has increased significantly, but not only from the point of view of the home office but also due to the great influence of streetwear in our everyday life , which is important and keeps us young."
Rath, who was a juror on "Germany's Next Top Model", rejects a ban on jogging pants. "Thank God the years of fashion dictates are over and we can dress individually," Rath told the German Press Agency. Sweatpants can also look well-groomed. "Many celebrity ladies have even presented jogging pants in a stylish manner on the red carpet." However, this did not include “the nasty, comfortable Flodder trousers”. Finally, Rath advocates changes in fashion: "We all don't want to look like our grandparents."