How to dress for Andover (is there such thing as being too causal)

Hello Andover parents! My son is starting Andover in the fall. He only wears workout clothes (like Nike Dri-FIT t-shirts and track pants) and hoodies to his public middle school. He absolutely hates collared/dress shirts and dress/khaki pants, partly due to skin sensitivity issues that require loose-fitting clothes. Now, his clothes are definitely “neat and clean,” as suggested by Andover’s handbook, but would they be considered “too causal?” I don’t want him to stand out when no one else wears track pants to class.

How often is formal wear required? And are there occasions for collared shirts + dress pants and occasions for suits and ties? If yes, how often each?

Thanks so much! I’m trying to make myself think about preparation instead of being sad about him leaving (my first kid at BS).

No. Sweats and tees are common.

Apart from convocation and graduation, and some dances, never.

Hi, My child started in 9th grade a few years ago. In normal (non-covid) times, there was a convocation the first week of school (kids were dressed up). I don’t know if convocation was only 9th grade or all students. Also, there were a few dances/social activities during the year (maybe 1 per term which are optional) where the kids would dress up. I think that they suggested sending only one nice outfit which could be worn on those occasions. Obviously covid may change things next year. Other than that, the kids are as casual as they like for class, meals and everything else so your son should be fine. Congrats and good luck!

Welcome! Your DS will be totally fine. Put a pair of khakis, shirt, belt and tie in a box just in case :wink:

With the full expectation that those, along with the extra sheets and dust rag, will never see the light of day. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:


Thanks for everyone’s reply! So kind of you! I assume there is a way to sign up for parent group/email list/FB etc once school starts?

There’s a PSPA - Parents of Students of PA - group you can join on Facebook straightaway. If you can’t find it just DM me and I’ll send you a link. They also have a website where you can sign up for their emails.

If you have any other questions, issues, whatever just DM me. Happy to help!

@skieurope and, if it’s all in a box, it can just be kept at home and fedexed if/as needed! BTW what is this “dust rag” of which you speak?

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It’s a curiosity as foreign as an iron. BTW: Anyone considering bringing an iron should first check with the school about heat-producing items in dorm rooms and then discover permanent press clothing. If you have a boy, don’t even consider an iron. It will only be used as a panini press or tattoo tool.

If my son’s clothes are ironed, he would ruffle them before putting them on. I doubt he knows what an iron is for, but will probably use it as doorstop (I read somewhere we should bring a doorstop?)

@ChoatieMom I just joined CC recently and LOVE your posts. Love your kindness, humor and humility. Hope your family is doing well!

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Doorstop is interesting. I guess most/all interior doors have auto-closers for fire safety, so that makes sense.