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Dress code double standards?

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by jimny33, May 23, 2011.

  1. Ok being a guy working in a school I generally am meant to wear a suit, or a jacket and tie.
    I haven't got a problem with that...


    many of the female teachers are allowed to come in looking much more relaxed. T shirts etc being the order of the day - not very proffessional or fair!

    I'm no angel (far from it!) but I do think it is a bit unfair that I am moaned at for not having my tie on at all times while other members of staff get away with T shirts and stuff.

    Anyone else feel the same?

  2. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I fully agree
  3. most men at my school where a shirt, often open collared and smart trousers. Management wear suits and the PGCEs- lol.
    Also, I wear smart fitted t-shirts over trousers to work and I look professional and I think you will find in many professions now as styles change fitted tops/tshirts are quite often replacing blouses under suits.
    Also-while we as teachers are professionals part of that is having the professional judgement to wear the correct attire to fullfil your role- if Im in 4inch heels and a tight skirt suit I wont be able to bend down to the floor or sit on it to work with the children. I wouldnt be able to move quickly if needed in an incident.
    Its a pity you feel hard done by at your school but in general dresscodes need to be sensible as well as smart
  4. I'm commenting now as a parent!
    I recently attended a parent interview evening for my son. I spoke to smartly dressed male teachers (shirt and tie) and one (female) teacher in a washed out tee-shirt top with some kind of slogan on it and a floral skirt.
    I'll leave it to you to decide the impression created.
  5. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    I think that is exactly the problem.
    For men it is clear cut....shirt and tie
    for women "top" is quite easily misinterpreted as "tshirt" and while I personally wouldn't dream of wearing a washed out tshirt, I have to be honest and say that I wear a top with a suit. Something a bloke simply couldn't do!
    I also think it's the same with sandals in the summer

  6. DaisysLot

    DaisysLot Senior commenter

    I am a size 10, with a 32E bust... I can rarely find shirts with button fronts that will do up without gaping. I tend to wear long sleeved t-shirts and woolen tank tops... I have to be careful else I look like a wannabe page 3 girl!
  7. langteacher

    langteacher Occasional commenter

    don't think there's a dress code that covers that one!!!
  8. No, it's not fair. You can't choose to wear a nice floaty skirt either when the mood takes, unless you are keen to become unemployable.
    Not fair at all. Did anyone ever tell you life was?
  9. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    But then again, I couldn't turn up in a suit and tie without looking daft.

    Life isn't fair, get over it.
  10. I always pity men for this inequality in what is meant by 'dress code'. Many schools' dress codes are 'smart office wear' and that means suit, shirt and tie for men and skirt/ trouser suit for women with a blouse, shirt or 'top'. As it is quite acceptable for women to wear a plain coloured top or T shirt in an office situation the same should apply at school.
    Women can look smart in T shirts in a way a man can't; men always look 'casual' in T shirts. If men want to change the idea of shirt & tie, they need to get designers on side to make smart tops that can be worn sucessfully with a suit.
    As ties and long sleeved shirts are no longer worn by consultants etc in hospitals, perhaps trend will cascade down and the traditional smart wear for men eventually fade out.
  11. johnblack

    johnblack New commenter

    Your right life isnt fair ,so lets not bother trying to make it fair!
    We could take away maternity leave and the right to return to your post after giving birth.
  12. flyingcircusfreak

    flyingcircusfreak New commenter

    I work in a boys' school where a common complaint is that female staff are not treated with the same respect as male staff.

    As the boys and men wear suits and ties, it may be up to the female staff to find a smart alternative. Jeans and t-shirts simply won't give the right impression.
  13. A very good work chum of mine went through a phase of wearing a tweed jacket, shirt, tie and trousers to school. She looked lovely. Seriously.
    Now that's how unfair it is, as a bloke deciding to wear a nice knee-length skirt suit would be out the door.
  14. Oh dear god September, you triggered a post-traumatic attack......
    the stilettoes, the skimpy tight dress, the tight thong, the wizened perma-tan, the eyeliner.......
    It was no way for a headteacher to dress.
    Man, you hadda be there.........you hadda be there.....
  15. I would suggest that you wear a smart T-shirt and suit - if the women are wearing the same there isn't a thing they can do about it without risking a sexual discrimination case. I bet they change their sloppy policy then! Better still go in a skirt while we have this hot weather - nice & short & cool. I agree it is unfair that women can buy a crappy T-shirt from Primark (and that's where most look like they have come from) while men have to wear a suit - but weak bosses are always going to let this go for fear of sexual harassment charges from these cheap women...
  16. And even this, supposedly making it fair suggestion, has an unfair
    caveat. Immediately you say skirt/dress for ladies, you are making it
    unfair. Why shouldn't a man wear a skirt if he so chooses? If we want
    total fairness then everyone should have the exact same requirements,

    Hi Minnie! I wasn't suggesting that men shouldn't be allowed to wear skirts and dresses. However, unless it's a kilt, no shop appears to make dresses for men, so again, we have the tie problem. Unless, we all buy clothes designed for the opposite sex. Again, I personally have no probs with that, but there is a practical problem in terms of getting the right sizes and fit. ;-)
    And wearing the same suit that was bought cheaply as an NQT in 1974, in
    2011 does not look smart or professional. Sticking on a shirt and witty
    tie underneath also does not create a professional image. However plenty
    of men wear precisely this and so fit the dress code
    I totally agree and cringe at colleagues who wear this stuff and look horrible in it!
    No way on earth would I wear a shirt unless I knew I wasn't going to take off my jacket all day.
    I feel very sorry for you if it's 30 degrees outside and your classroom is like a sauna like mine.
    Why should I look ridiculous in traditional men's clothing in order for
    them to feel it is 'fair'? I look smart. I look professional. I also
    wear clothes that suit me and my shape.

    I agree which is part of the point that I was trying to make in my earlier post.
    Life isn't fair...we can fight to change the things that matter and that
    should (of course) be changed. But the things that are just unimportant
    can be left as unfair.
    Well said!

  17. If you think women have it easier, remember that they have periods. :)
    This aside, as someone previously said a man can wear the same suit and the same 3 shirts for decades, while women are expected to wear different outfits every day.
    As for me, I'm a woman and I wear loose linen trousers and tops or shirts about 2 sizes too big (just to fend off allegations that they are too tight). And I wear black Crocks or Birkenstocks with socks. Comfy all day, I can even sit on the floor without being indecent and, well, no one can comment if I wear a black pair of trousers and a white shirt, can they? :)
  18. marniott

    marniott New commenter

    Let people wear what they want to school!

    I know one school wear one lady dresses as - I believe the style is Gothic - what can only be described as a vampire...she is all black (clothing!), has purple highlights throughout her hair, black make-up, long black boots, long black coat, etc, etc. I personally would not consider this 'professional' dress but then again if she feels comfortable and is "decent" then what the h*ll right do I have to judge her!
  19. LimboBimbo

    LimboBimbo New commenter

    As a teacher in a reception class, I have given myself the challenge of looking smart in clothes that I don't mind sitting on the floor in, romping about outside on bug hunts in or getting paint/glue/chalk/pastels/sick on. With a limited budget this proves pretty hard, but our school have ordered black or other tasteful colours (no really, they actually are nice colours) polo shirts with our school's shield embroidered on. Perfect for me to pair with dark trousers when I know a particularly messy day is coming up.
    On days where we meet new parents/have open evenings/parents in to school days etc, I might wear a skirt or a smock dress with leggings and nice shoes. Being in my 20's I'm quite paranoid about not being taken seriously or treated differently to my 35year old plus colleagues by parents, so I feel the need to make an effort everyday, as first, second, third etc impressions count.
    However, we do have a female colleague who is overweight and wears tight trousers and t-shirts/tops which upon sitting down, rise up to reveal her overhanging stomach. Although in theory the clothes themselves are professional, the way she wears them certainly isn't. Some people just don't/can't get it, I guess.
    LB x
  20. You don't really. That's a joke right.


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