Seven Decidedly Normal Fashions That Could Get You in Big Trouble
Looking around at the working and school world, it seems to me there are an awful lot of rules about what one should and shouldn't wear, and some of them, honestly, are downright ridiculous.
In this world of third-wave feminism, where individual choice is at the forefront of the women rights debates, we're still having debates about appropriate woman fashion.
Many are having trouble distinguishing personal style from work-wear, and it's the women that are suffering on all counts. Some are getting fired, some are losing out on promotions, and some aren't even getting hired in the first place, all thanks to their "look".
While private employers and other bastions of authority can set their dress codes as they see fit, there are some losses in the battle. Here are some of the total banal rejects. Is it stuffy in here?
1) Peep-toed Shoes
Like it or not, toes can be the subject of intense debate, even in (or especially in) a court of law. That's right. If you're a lawyer and you're arguing your heart out for a decision on the floor, other people are probably arguing about what you're putting on the floor. The debate in 2008 took off in several legal blogs, including Above the Law, and The American Bar Association Journal, spurring hundreds of comments about lawyers and their footwear.
The blogs found that women professionals may risk losing their credibility by showing their toes in the office.
Former Cahill Gordon associate Kat Griffin, the founder of the Corporette fashion blog for lawyers, said peep-toe shoes may be inappropriate. "Peep toes are marginally better than flat-out open-toe shoes, but even then a closed-toe shoe is the preference.”
That's right, women, you tell your little piggies to stay the hell home because they're not wanted in the workplace.
Judge Kim McClane Wardlaw had this to say to Above the Law:
"My view is that if you have a question about the appropriateness of your attire, don’t risk it. Women appearing in court should never wear anything that draws attention to their anatomy over the merits of their case. You just never know how your audience — judges, jurors, clients or senior partners — will react. It’s better to play it safe in formal settings and save the peep-toes for after hours."
Now, this may have to do entirely with location. In California, apparently lawyers just go nuts, letting their toes hang out all over the place...as long as their nails are painted.
Or maybe it's just seniority-based. Even on the East Coast, perhaps it's okay to show your lower-most regions, so long as everybody else is doing it. (This is a huge boost for women's self-esteems, don't you think?)
Former Cahill Gordon associate Kat Griffin, the founder of the Corporette fashion blog for lawyers says on the American Bar Association's website,
"Don't wear open-toe shoes unless you've seen a much more senior lawyer do it."
Alas, it's probably all for the best. It must be easier to climb that corporate ladder in running shoes, right?
2) Yoga Pants
You don't have to be a career-minded woman to get into sexy, sexy trouble with clothing. Even teenage girls are suspect, but not for the mini-skirts we used to see in the early nineties. Oh, no. Now it's yoga pants in the hot-seat (see what I did there?)
Yes, yoga pants. Long the bane of the stay-at-home-mom's existence, apparently when put on a teenager's body, they become so incredibly attractive that teachers can no longer teach and students can no longer learn.
In Loveland, Ohio, for example, one high school instituted a ban on the stretching, distracting pants which look more at home with spaghetti sauce stains on them than on a teenager anyway.
Loveland's student handbook prohibits "revealing clothing" and does not permit clothing that is "distracting."
Fifty students wore those racy-as-hell sweatpants the next day to make a point. When told to change, 17 of them didn't.
On the students' side of the stretchy-pants debate, Olivia Legg (no, I didn't make that one up) had this to say.
"We ended up in 'in-school' suspension for most of the day and weren't allowed to go to any of our classes."
3) The Maxi Dress
What could be more conservative than covering your entire body in a loose garment, head to toe? While maxi dresses don't show off a woman's curves, it appears people find them "too bohemian for the workplace."
Forbes Magazine lists the maxi dress as one of the worst women's fashion faux pas in the office. They go so far as to indicate that a woman's reputation may be irreparably damage by the offending material.
If you are going to go the trail-blazing route, Dianna Baros writing for The Grindstone has some advice:
"Nothing too revealing, too clingy or too loud – Hawaiian prints and hippy tie-dyes are a no-no."
But, really, that's just good advice for anyone, at any time, isn't it?
4) Anything that's not a bathrobe
Seriously, sometimes your body is just so sexy that regular clothing cannot even handle it.
Laura Odes claims she was fired from her job due to her curves within her first week.