Are Dress Codes Sexist to Men?


Recently we have seen some of the hottest weather our little island has to offer. Last week we saw temperatures hit 30 degrees centigrade and this week we’re due to see temperatures average 24 degrees! I pity you if you have no air conditioning in your office! Swing by ours and work here! Anyway, does your company have a general dress code and a summer dress code? What is it?

 

Most workplaces have rough dress codes and luckily for us they tend to be relatively relaxed in the media industry. However are dress codes more relaxed for women than they are for men? Are men’s dress codes more stringent and are women offered a greater degree of flexibility?  

 

Men are usually expected to wear formal shoes, socks, suit trousers / jeans, a shirt and in some cases a suit jacket and possibly a tie. I’ve worn this and when it’s 24 degrees and above I can guarantee you’ll be working around the streets of London and their office literally dripping with sweat! Running through a can of deodorant once a week just to mask it! Women are normally afforded a little more free reign, often wearing high heels, boots, sandals, pant suits, dresses, skirts. Blouses, shirts, strap / strapless tops, etc. All items of clothing I regularly see around the office. And all items of clothing which are apparently considered office appropriate if you’re a woman.

 

I think most would agree that female work attire tends to be more weather friendly. I’d happily wear a light floaty dress to work if it meant I wasn’t so boiling hot and could actually focus on my work! A group of school children recently did this after their school refused them to wear shorts in the hot weather - http://www.theladbible.com/funny/uk-young-lads-defy-teachers-by-wearing-skirts-to-school-20160722

 

In May this year we saw a temporary receptionist sent home for refusing to high heels in the office (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/may/11/receptionist-sent-home-pwc-not-wearing-high-heels-pwc-nicola-thorp). Her reason for refusing was because she wasn’t able to complete “a nine-hour shift on my feet escorting clients to meeting rooms.”. Personally I’ve never worn high heels but I’ve seen women sport them and they look tough, walking for nine minutes in them let alone nine hours would probably have me in agony. However if a man mentioned he wasn’t able to work because he was too hot in the office so wanted to wear a pair of shorts, or sandals, etc. he’d probably be laughed at. And probably wouldn’t have any support and not a (hot, sweaty) leg to stand on.

 

Maybe it’s time to change dress codes so they’re more inclusive of men. Maybe allowing linen suits or some sort of formal shorts and shirt situation? I’m not really sure what exactly. I’m no fashionista, just a hot and sweaty man dreaming of a better and cooler tomorrow – aka Tuesday!


Monday, July 25, 2016