We understand the need to look professional but some businesses take it to another level. For women, having to come into work looking like a model on a catwalk isn’t nice. As well as the stares and inevitable gossip about showing off, there is a comfort issue. God, what most of us would give to dress comfortably like a man for once!
Thankfully, there are ways around the outdated and sometimes sexist rules regarding women’s clothes in the workplace. Here are four you can incorporate into your everyday life right now to feel more relaxed and less stigmatized at work.
Drop The Heels
Nowhere in any company rulebook does it say you need to wear high heels to work. If it does, your employer might be in big trouble because it’s illegal. There is nothing wrong with wearing flats, so you should buy a comfy pair and use them as your go-to footwear. As long as they hit the main features of the dress code, for example, they’re black, nobody can complain. Some might, yet all you have to say is “I’m not breaking any rules” and they can’t do anything.
Get A Badge
The best option is to drop the uniform altogether, and you can do with a badge. This enamel badge guide points out plenty of pros, but the main one is visibility. With a tag on your shirt, everybody will know that you work for the company. Whether it’s a security thing or a customer-relations thing, the badge covers all the bases. Of course, you can’t stop wearing the uniform if it’s company policy, but you can relax it a little bit. Instead of the branded tops and dresses, you can swap it for a badge or name tag and limit the layers.
Make Them Aware
You can talk about how you and other women feel marginalized, yet the higher-ups won’t listen. All they care about is their bottom line; that’s what grabs their attention. So, you should show them why their uniforms are costing them money and how getting rid of the practice will make them more money. They might not know productivity levels skyrocket by 61% when the dress code policy is relaxed. Considering output is one of the significant factors of success, it makes sense to let employees dress casually and loosen the grip on how women look in the office.
Understand The Dos And Don’ts
Once you understand where the line is, you can bend the rules a bit and get away with more. This guide to what is appropriate and what isn’t is an excellent place to start as it outlines why you need to avoid certain looks. Plus, it has advice on everything from the shortness of your dress to how many buttons you should leave undone. If the dress code is relaxed, don’t be afraid to mix different elements to find the perfect balance.
Finally, the nuclear option is to tell your boss the rule is discriminatory. Obviously, you only need to use it when you feel you’re unfairly treated.
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