The world has gotten a little bigger when it comes to gender equality in the workplace but it is far, far from perfect. It's absurd the biases that woman still face on the job. Sure, the facts show that women make less, but what is equally disturbing is how little respect women are often faced with at work. Workplace dress codes are notorious for being degrading and sexiest. These women share the time they got in trouble for wearing a completely normal outfit. Good luck not getting worked up by this infuriating stories! Content has been edited for clarity.
What at hypocrite!
“I got sent home from work by my female boss for my dress making one of the male executives ‘uncomfortable’ (ew). I’m always cautious of dressing for work and thought this dress was fine, it was below my fingertips and not overly tight (I am on the curvy side). I drove 30 minutes home to change and 30 minutes back for this, only to return to a meeting with members of another department and what do you know-
one of the women there was wearing the SAME. EXACT. DRESS.”
This woman got coded at high school, but luckily her teacher had some common sense.
“I went to private school for high school, and we wore uniforms. The skirts were supposed to be not too short, ‘fingertip length’ when standing up. I’m very tall, and as a teenager I was especially lanky with long legs, so even though my skirts were similar in length they looked shorter on me.
Once we had a homeroom session where everyone met in the gym, and the Dean of Discipline (she was v scary) asked our homeroom advisors to check how long our skirts were, saying they shouldn’t be shorter than an index card above the knee. My advisor refused to do it (he said it felt creepy and I loved him for this), said we were all fine, and emailed the dean afterwards saying that he checked and everyone in our advisement group had skirts that were the appropriate length. Apparently the dean followed up with an email asking about my skirt specifically, and my advisor stood his ground and said mine was long enough just like the other girls in our advisement group. There was really nothing she could do at that point, and I never got in trouble for my skirt length after that.”
So what do the men have to wear?
“I am a teacher, and was given PE classes one semester. I wore PE gear to teach in on that day, and went out my usual teaching. I teach Drama anyway, so it worked fine. A member of the executive told me that I should change after teaching PE, I told them that no other male teacher is expected, or asked to change when they’ve finished teaching PE for the day.
That was the end of that.”
Playing the game
“I was required to wear a skirt to work, but I commuted via motorcycle, so sometimes it was just too cumbersome. Instead, I wore pants with really wide legs, so it looked like a skirt.
Never got caught.”
Not one but TWO legging incidents
(1) “I wore patterned tights with one of my outfits. My female boss told me that I couldn’t wear leggings or yoga pants according to dress code. Except they weren’t. They were tights, like colored pantyhose but with a floral pattern.
Same boss used to insinuate I was high whenever my allergies were bothering me. She was annoying.”
(2) “I got told off by an old boss for wearing leggings to work…despite the fact that she had worn them herself and loads of the women in other teams wore them.”
At least some places get it.
“I wore fuzzy slippers to work for months because I was sick and carrying a portable IV. My boss, who loved me, made me keep a pair of ‘corporate shoes’ under my desk just in case corporate showed up but otherwise didn’t care.
I always loved Spencers, where I had also worked, because their dress code was one sentence, ‘Wear clothes.'”
Bad situation all around
“It was a really hot summer day and we spontaneously decided to go swimming in the nearest quarry pond. While being there I totally forgot my Interview date and the moment I realized I was just getting in the car grabbing my stuff and driving quickly to the interview. It was then I realized I had nothing on me to wear over my bikini top. So I went with skirt and bikini top to an interview with a university prof. (As a Journalist).
I wasn’t sure if I should tell him I was late and nearly missing the date or that this was the clothes I choose to wear for the interview. I mean neither sounded professional. He didn’t ask I said nothing about it. He probably thought It was because of the hot temperatures that I decided to wear it.”
Why is there a dress code if she works alone?
“Apparently my normal clothes were underwhelming for my ex-boss. It’s not that I wasn’t nicely dress, I just dressed more comfortable. I did try because I love looking professional, but since we didn’t receive any clients in person and I was mostly there alone not seeing one single person all day, I would rather be comfortable than to look nice.”
What about that was inappropriate?
“I wore a skort (a hybrid of a skirt and shorts in one) while I was working at Harrods in London and was sent home by my manager because it was too short apparently even though I was wearing thick black tights! And they encourage us to dress up and look hot all the time!”
What’s her problem?
“I wore a skirt to work one day where my female boss actually saw me walking around twice that morning and didn’t say anything but later had to send me home because another FEMALE coworker felt uncomfortable. Weird stuff.”
So who’s really at fault here?
“Got told to get more looser fitting skinny jeans because my butt was distracting my male coworkers. It was by a female manager and it was for McDonald’s.
Yet when I worked in an office job doing call work, it wasn’t a problem.”
She tried to be reasonable…
“Where I used to work, I had an issue in that my work trousers were too long, I had to fold them over at the bottom or they dragged along the floor.
My manager at that workplace was a nightmare. She was, unfortunately, going blind…I felt bad for her, I think we all did, but let me tell you, this lady was mean. She was so bitter, short tempered and unhelpful, and she took out her frustrations on all her employees on the regular.
Anyway, one day she called me over to discuss the length of my trousers. The assistant manager had told her about it because, well, she couldn’t see me well enough to tell me. We discussed it and I agreed that I needed to get them tailored, I thought that was reasonable and we left it at that.
Then later in the day she called me over and went off at me, in the middle of the shop floor with customers and staff within earshot, about my dress code. She told me I always look, and I quote ‘a mess’ and that ‘someone of my size needs to wear properly fitting clothes.’ I’m a big girl, and when I asked her to clarify, she essentially told me I need to wear larger clothes because fitted clothes looked bad on a fat girl…even though my work uniform fitted me just fine. She compared me to a couple of other female staff members, who were both slim and very girly, always came to work made up to the nines, hair perfectly coiffed, nails done, etc, and suggested I needed to come in looking more like them. I worked in an opticians…I didn’t understand why I needed to look like them unless I wanted to, they dressed that way because they wanted to, and that was fine, but it wasn’t me. I stuck to the dress code, I showered every day, I always washed and ironed my uniform, as far as I was aware…I was presentable.
I was so embarrassed and upset I literally just stood there silently and then walked away. Still to this day I don’t know why she did that, especially considering we had discussed the issue with my uniform and come to an agreement earlier.”
“Feminine” Dress Code
“At two different retail jobs, the female bosses complained about my shoes/boots being too masculine looking, when I stood behind a counter for most of the time, so rarely did customers even see my feet! Meanwhile, I usually wore a dress or skirt with tights, so except for my shoes, I dressed more ‘typically feminine’ than most of female staff.
One boss said she was okay with Doc Martens, but not Army boots, so I just started wearing my bright blue Doc Martens boots to work more often.”