The Bias Dress Code

We have been told many times that what we wear define us, that our clothes have the ability to change our productivity and mood. We use fashion as an art form, expressing our personality through colors and fabrics.

Over the years we have seen woman targeted through strict dress codes paced in schools and corporations. It’s almost as if our society decided that showing shoulders and knees were too sexual, that wearing certain jewelry or bold makeup would lower productivity. It’s a cultural conclusion that woman are too distracting.

I love to dress in color yoga pants and long blouses, accessorizing with malas and silver jewelry. I call my fashion sense “classy yogi.” I want to express myself with patters, colors, and spirituality. I know that what I wear makes me stand out as individual and shows my boldness.

I think it’s very important to be comfortable because it gives me the ability to focus on my work. I’m also a commuter and I want to wear something that is light and movable as I traction from one CTA train line to the other.

I was recently told that my yoga pants were not professional. I had think, do my yoga pants define my work?

I began to do some research online and I came across an article from the New York Times.

  • 2010 UBS scandal- “the Swiss bank had issued a 44-page booklet of guidelines for employee dress that included instructions on shoulder width and underwear shade.”
  • December 2015- New York City commission on Human Rights, “announced new guidelines for the human rights law that prohibits, “enforcing dress codes, uniforms, and grooming standards that impose different requirements based on sex or gender.”
  • 2016- Kansas State Senator, Mitch Holmes, “was forced to publically apologize due to his guidelines for the Senate Ethics and Electronic committee for reading, conferees should be dressed in professional attire. For ladies, low-cut necklines and miniskirts are inappropriate. No such specific guidelines were issues for men.”

We are moving into an era where personal expression is going to trump the desire to create a corporate identity.” – Susan Scafidi (Professor at Fordham University & Founder of Fashion Law Institute.

From CEO’s and startup employees wearing sweatshirts and jeans, inspired by Facebook with the “hoodie-wearing billionaires.” Fashion has become a statement and conversion about “gender equality and fluidity.”

When you get dressed in the morning you are expression not only your personality but a political statement. I don’t think that what we wear at work should be conformed into this idea of “professional,” our actions and work should reflect our professionalism. Corporations and schools should not create rules that apply to certain genders. It’s unethical to segregate us based on what society claims appropriate for a “female” and “male”.

The dress code is a dying breed that is being overshadowed by freedom of style. I choose to wear what makes me feel conformable and able to focus on crafting amazing work.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. divinit says:

    The tattoo has come a long way – society is much more acceptable. But colored hair seems to be an issue in some professions or age groups as well. A 22 year old who graduated magna cum laude is being told “Is your purple hair really professional” by stodgy 50 somethings is another notch on the professionalism level. Doesn’t matter that their work is social work with LGBTQ youth, they’re ruled by an old way of thinking.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EcoFitYogi says:

      I agreee!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I think that we need to have freedom in expressing ourselves through hair, skin, and clothes.

      Liked by 1 person

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