A school's reminder for female students to cover up yoga pants and leggings is sparking debate about what clothing is appropriate for school.

Students at Ottawa's St. Joseph's High School were reminded that the school's dress code says wearing stretch pants without a shirt that covers the bottom would result in students being sent home to change.

Wednesday, the Ottawa Catholic School Board defended the move after students protested, saying they were just enforcing a long-standing dress code.

"Guys at our school can wear their pants around their ankles and they don't get in trouble," said one student at Pierre-Savard French Catholic High School, where a similar ban is in effect. "Girls wear something a little too tight or a little too revealing and the whole world comes crashing down."

"My daughter has some lululemons but I don't find them too revealing," said one parent.

"I think some people are looking for attention, so that's why they're wearing them," said another.

Clothing company lululemon issued a statement saying their pants aren't meant to be provocative.

"Our apparel and products are designed for active women and men," it said. "We cannot comment on the policies and codes of other organizations."

Etiquette consultant Suzanne Nourse said students should think about how they're presenting themselves.

"Our attire is speaking volumes, and what message are we sending?" she said. "When we get into the workplace there will be guidelines and I think it's much better to be aware, not have somebody come up to you after the fact."

With a report from CTV Otawa's Catherine Lathem