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Author Topic: work clothes
Babbler # 195

posted 23 March 2004 09:45 PM      Profile for robbie_dee     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The primary social function of appearance law is to empower employers, school officials, judges, and other authority figures to enforce the dominant expectations about appearance and to discipline deviance from the approved social norms. Generally speaking, these official appearance standards denigrate cultural and religious diversity and enforce conformity to white, heterosexual, Christian images of beauty and proper grooming. The rules and standards both exploit and repress female sexuality and punish women who depart from (largely) male-created expectations about proper female behavior and roles. Perhaps the central social function of appearance regulation is to maintain the sexual subordination of women to men.

Karl E. Klare, Power/Dressing: Regulation of Employee Appearance, 26 N.Eng.L.Rev 1395, 1398 (1992).

I am taking a class in employment discrimination law and we discussed this passage the other day. I am wondering what people here think.

Do you have a dress code, or are you required to wear a uniform where you work? Are there underlying gender norms, or other power relationships reinforced by these requirements?

Any other thoughts?

[ 23 March 2004: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]

[ 23 March 2004: Message edited by: robbie_dee ]

From: Iron City | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 228

posted 23 March 2004 10:41 PM      Profile for Pimji   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
As a dental technician who works in a lab we are free to wear whatever we want. Occasionally the boss does lay down the law when the weather gets warm. No shorts above the knee or tank tops. However there are a few of us that don't care about social norms.

What I mean is that sometimes hygiene may be lacking in that the hours can be long sitting on the bench grinding out appliances and crowns. We are paid on the old style piecework system. This has a culture all by itself.

If I get in the groove and rhythm of heavy, fast paced work which is: wake up, get in the car, slave away all day, go home, eat, sleep and do it all again the next day. Next thing I know, a week has gone by and I'm still wearing the same set of cloths that I had on last Monday, and haven't taken the time to shower.

I know its barbaric but I'm not half as bad as one of the other workers, who gets a hair cut and shave once every spring.
Its like being a radio show host where we can talk to dentists on the phone but they have no idea what we look like.

The women in the lab dont wear make up or very little if they do, nor do they have nail polish. In the piecework system it makes little difference what people wear, as work is based purely on demand, production and a level of aggressive determination.

[ 23 March 2004: Message edited by: Pimji ]

From: South of Ottawa | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 2777

posted 24 March 2004 12:37 AM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I count myself lucky. No dress code and it saves me a small fortune on clothes.
From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 3645

posted 24 March 2004 01:31 AM      Profile for Kevin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Black shoes, socks, and a red shirt and nametag provided by the company.

Not bad,considering. At least it isn't McPukes - no hairnet!

From: Simon Fraser University | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 1962

posted 24 March 2004 04:53 AM      Profile for aRoused     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
No dress code for archaeologists.

The closest I got was a market research company that insisted on no ripped jeans. Even so, I usually dressed just short of a suit; my 'office' clothes. Was I oppressing myself?

Seriously though, I think before jumping straight to control and repression, consider the possibility it's just an attempt by a bureaucracy to avoid a slippery slope of sartorial extremes.

From: The King's Royal Burgh of Eoforwich | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 560

posted 24 March 2004 07:51 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have a dress code, but it's no more strenuous for the women at work than the men. And I'm pretty sure that if people wanted to dress in traditional clothing from other countries, that it would be allowed. Nobody does at our workplace, but I feel the atmosphere there is accepting enough that it wouldn't be a problem if someone wanted to.

We have "dress down Fridays" where you can wear jeans and other casual clothes. I don't think they'd like it if you wore clothes with big gaping holes in them, but other than that, you can wear whatever you like.

My big problem at work is footwear. I am a perfectly healthy person who has absolutely awful feet. Every shoe pains me, with the exception of birkenstocks (I know, I know, shut up!). I have one pair of winter shoes that I can manage to wear for a full work day without them crippling me. But nothing for the summer - and birks are not considered business apparel. So yeah, that kind of sucks.

I was at a legal office recently where the support staff were all wearing casual clothes. Far from thinking, "How unprofessional!" I was rather thinking, "That looks so comfortable and down-to-earth. I wish I could dress like that every day at work."

On the other hand, I kind of like some of my work clothes too, so I don't feel particularly oppressed by having to wear them.

From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Mr. Magoo
Babbler # 3469

posted 24 March 2004 10:25 AM      Profile for Mr. Magoo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In the office I'm pretty free to wear what I want. Usually jeans and a shirt or jeans and a sweater. I try to shave at least twice a week, and while I kick my shoes off under my desk, I try to put them back on again before fetching a coffee.

When teaching, I'm also free to dress as I wish, and in fact last night I noticed another instructor who's growing a mohawk. So suddenly my jeans and sneakers don't even get me honourable mention with regard to casual.

From: `,_,`,_,,_,, | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
Babbler # 4169

posted 24 March 2004 10:36 AM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
We also have no real form of dress code, except no shorts or sandals in the winter (ok when the temp gets around 30c, and those very restrictive full dress days when we have to wear our old 70's cloths or come up with a "Hawaiian" outfit.

When clients come to visit, we are asked not to sit on the floor holding cups, but that's about it!

From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 4722

posted 24 March 2004 11:59 AM      Profile for Bacchus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here I can pretty much wear what I want. One woman even came to work here wearing a teddy but that was in thr early days *grins*. Generally I find my self not shaving for a week or more and often wearing the same pair of black jeans for several days. My normal attire is black jeans, tshirt and running shows but there a full spectrum here. I usually have long discussions about fashion with the Customer service manager because she really likes my opinion in clothes for women
From: n/a | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 2999

posted 24 March 2004 12:36 PM      Profile for Pogo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Our dress code is 'office attire'. Shirt and tie, no jeans or cords, no open toed shoes. On Fridays we have the option of jeans if we wear a company jean shirt or golf shirt. We have the toughest dress code in the industry in North America we believe. There is however no real resentment of this (once we brought in our moderate version of a casual Friday). Some people do hate ties. I like them as they allow me to show a bit of 'character'.

Enforcement is minimal. Mostly it happens from peers ("Hey where's your tie"). For me the cost of clothing is perhaps even cheaper. It also promotes a more egalitarian workplace as everyone has the same standard of appearance.

From: Richmond BC | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 3934

posted 24 March 2004 04:10 PM      Profile for Mush     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I have a self-imposed dress code: no jeans.
Over the last couple of years I've taken on a completely irrational impatience with the things. Most people look like hell in them, they are more expensive than most regular pants, and they actually go out of style faster, dammit. Besides, everyone starts to look the same. I dont want to impose a clothing hierarchy at work, but surely there could be some difference? Same with "dockers". I can't wear them since I heard George Carlin call them "fat-ass docker pants".

I need help. Clearly.

From: Mrs. Fabro's Tiny Town | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 2836

posted 24 March 2004 04:14 PM      Profile for paxamillion   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Four days a week, it's dress shoes, dress pants, a collared shirt, a sweater and a tie. Fridays, I don't wear the tie.
From: the process of recovery | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
Babbler # 2

posted 24 March 2004 04:28 PM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I ususally work in my pyjamas. But I am amassing some "meeting" clothes, like funky shirts with collars, and black trousers or whatever. It's fun to get dressed up.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Loony Bin
Babbler # 4996

posted 24 March 2004 04:29 PM      Profile for Loony Bin   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The dress code in my office is pretty casual. I usually wear cordurouy or wool pants (in winter) or various cotton and denim skirts. I like to wear shirts with a collar, or a nice sweater or some such. I often wear jeans (like today)...

It's comfortable.

My mom was working in an admin office on the university campus, and started to sometimes wear a vest and tie, or sometimes a jacket and men's pants, because she doesn't really like the constraints or skin-exposure that comes with a lot of "feminine" styles of dress. She also wondered about power dynamics being swayed by appearances etc. What she found was that the women she worked with didn't like it at all. They pretty much shunned her, and talked about her and her ties behind her back. Her bosses (male) never made any comment.

From: solitary confinement | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Babbler # 1675

posted 24 March 2004 04:38 PM      Profile for redshift     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
hard hat, safety glasses, half-face respirator, coveralls, work gloves, steel toed boots.
tool belt with 35lb. of hand tools.
occasionally a five-point safety harness c/w steel lanyard fall arrest. in winter a cotton fire-proof parka. yellow neoprene rain-suit as required.

From: cranbrook,bc | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
The Hegemo
Babbler # 5176

posted 24 March 2004 11:35 PM      Profile for The Hegemo   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Where I work now it's "business casual," although that gets stretched pretty far towards the "casual" end.

I did have a temp job a number of years ago at a real estate agency where they called to complain to the temp agency that I needed to wear more makeup. I quit on the spot.

A friend of mine got fired from a temp job at a law firm around the same time, because she didn't wear pantyhose on a boiling hot summer day.

[ 24 March 2004: Message edited by: The Hegemo ]

From: The Persistent Vegetative States of America | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged

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