Friday, June 17, 2005

Summer Dress - the policy, the abusers, the uselessness

Let me just say right now that I love the business casual dress policy. I am glad that they turn it into to the summer dress policy for three months. I love being able to wear clothes that are more in tune with the weather. But, I have to say some people push it too far. The policy was driven primarily legend has it by the woman who was second in charge of the department. She was stickler for the rules.

The Policy
Basically to summarize, it is:

  • No denim pants
  • no capris
  • no sweatpants
  • no shorts
  • no t-shirts
  • no tank tops
  • no tube or halter tops
  • no mini skirts
  • no spaghetti-strap/sundress (unless covered by a sweater/jacket)
  • no sneakers
  • no flip-flops
  • no beach-type sandals

So, what's the problem?

Let's start at the top...

Capris -- what is that about? I love capri pants. So how does one define capri pants? If they come to mid-calf are they capris or just cropped pants? If they come to just below the knee or shorter, then they are capris? Below are what the magazine called cropped pants, not capris. I thought they were capris -- so legal or not?
Posted by Hello

Sandals So, sandals are allowed, but not flip-flops or beach type sandals. Pretty clear? Not really...

These ones are a no. They look beachy and have rubber soles

Posted by Hello

And these are probably a no. Just too bare and thick soled for work. Maybe not...
Posted by Hello

These are a maybe. They are thongs, but I wouldn't call them flip-flops. And they are adorned. One of my co-workers wore a pair similar to these, but with a bit more sparkle and two people said they thought they were too beachy. I didn't think so. I thought they were pretty.
Posted by Hello

Sundresses Now for sundresses, it is still a bit tricky. Define sundress. And is the rule no sundresses or none with spaghetti straps -- not clearly written.

This is an obvious no...spaghetti straps...
Posted by Hello

This is a yes... nice fabric, professional and pretty. However, the catalog called it a sundress.

Posted by Hello

And probably another yes... It is not spaghetti-strapped, a good length, but it does look like something for a picnic. I would wear it to work.

We have one woman in admin who always breaks the rules. And it wouldn't matter so much if it didn't make her look even worse. The other day, she wore a razorback tank top with a regular bra, so the straps showed. Now, I know that is popular with teenagers, but she's about 40 years old. She has worn capris at least once.

However, even when she basically meets dress code, she can be a bit of a disaster sometimes. She has some great clothes, but sometimes they just don't fit right. The other day, she wore a white t-shirt (border-line appropriate), but all you really saw were her nipples staring at you. Very distracting.

Now, in my last office, I had a woman who always met dress code, but dear lord, she almost always looks terrible. She's in her early 50s and really nice. But, somehow she thinks wearing pastel lime green corduroy pants with a pink and lime green top is good. Plus, she has the pastel lime shoes. (It might work okay if they were exactly the same shade. But, that it next to impossible.) Anyway she was like a walking disaster zone in pastels. Whenever she wore anything that was flattering at all, I tried to tell her. Most things were too tight or too ugly to tell you the truth.

The honest truth is that I really don't care too much what anyone else wears (after all, not my business). I am bothered by the nipple shirt. However, the problem is in part of the department they don't enforce the dress code at all. When I first joined the office years ago, I took my cue from other women in the office who had been there longer. They didn't provide copies of nor recite the exact rules of summer dress. So, I wore capris and the next thing I knew I was in the supervisor's office being reprimanded. Yet, the other older employee just kept wearing them. I was angry. The supervisor in this office did say something to the admin woman, so I feel like enforcement is somewhat even.

So, it's with annoyance (and a bit of envy) I watch others stride by in their cropped pants in the rest of the department.

I don't think the dress code makes people dress professionally. Either they will or they won't. Even if they technically don't meet dress code, they can still look very unprofessional. By trying to be specific, they have only made things worse.

Anyway, that's my current rant.


At 4:19 AM EDT, Blogger Jay said...

No capri pants? That seems like a rule just to have another rule. Aint nothing in the world wrong with capris.

At 8:21 AM EDT, Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

We've got a dress code here at work too but I never have to worry about it. I DO NOT wear dresses anymore and my legs are too short and stumpy for capri pants so it's a pants suit for me almost every single day (unless it's causal Friday...then it's jeans!) :)

Someone here ALWAYS wants to push the envelope on the dress code though....I know several people who've been sent home to change more than once.


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