Skirt or pants, heels or flats? And other questions dealing with gender and dressing for the work place.

Did you know that employers have the right to create dress codes and grooming expectations based on the gender of the employee during their hours of work?

I know… I didn’t either. And I couldn’t help but think how archaic this rule is and how it’s still implemented today. So… where do we draw the line when it comes to our given/ or chosen gender and dressing for work, or should there be a line at all?

This means that while at work,  if you are a man you are expected to dress like a man and if you are a woman you are expected to dress like a woman. So why the stereotyping in this day and age? We are a socially advanced society that is welcoming to all genders, groups and sexualities yet the businesses we work for are putting us in separate categories based on our genders and expected “dress code”.

A petition that started in the UK about a receptionist who was sent home from work for wearing flats has gained global attention. The company dress codes that demanded women to wear heels to work are resulting in health issues, and is rightly deemed an act of discrimination. A retort to this petition was the results of a study that asked the opinions of both women and men to evaluate a woman wearing heels and a woman not wearing heels. Both parties agreed that heels on a woman appeared “more attractive”.

Does being attractive or wearing heels have anything to do with the work being done…? Do I even need to ask this question…?

There were mixed opinions by women on the issue, some were all for heels and some were against but what they did have in common was the ridiculousness of it being a part of a dress code and not a function or necessity to the job whatsoever.

And then there’s this guy who wore a dress to work after being sent home for wearing shorts in the midst of a heatwave in the UK.



There are two sides to every coin, and I’ve mentioned in my post 3 rules for dressing in the workplace to dress for the job you want not the job you have. However, that question is now being reversed for women in some tech circles, stating that “The perception in Silicon Valley is if you dress well, you couldn’t possibly be smart, or you may be in PR but couldn’t run a company.”

Woah woah woah…

Let’s take a step back. Are we now judging people for dressing too well to work?

If we don’t undermine our creative talents, intelligence, or skills that got us the job in the first place why would we should we do the same in how we choose to professionally represent ourselves. Does a not as polished or professional image mean you’re actually smartest guy/girl in the room…? I personally think this reverse psychology is getting out of hand.

In my opinion…

If you’re comfortable in what you’re wearing, and you are projecting a professional image of your unique self that is suitable to your work environment, you will feel more competent and successful at your work.


What is your opinion on gender roles and dressing in the workplace? What do you wear to work on a regular basis? 

Let me know in the comments section below. 

*Campaign, H. R. (n.d.). Workplace Dress Codes and Transgender Employees. Retrieved June 26, 2017, from

*Heels in the Workplace – Professional or Draconian? (2017, February 15). Retrieved June 26, 2017, from

*Sharkey, L. (2017, June 21). Guy Wears Dress to Work to Make a Point About Dress Codes. Retrieved June 26, 2017, from



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