Everywhere we go, wherever we live our lives, there’s a dress code. Work, school, grocery shopping…there’s what you can/can’t wear, what’s appropriate, and what’s borderline. For most, including myself, how I look and dress is a personal expression – that being said, I’ve always made it a point to be appropriate. My style is fairly casual, but also classic. I don’t subscribe to fashion trends (TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS) – I prefer what’s comfortable, flattering, and timeless.
That being said, I’m short, I have a fairly decent figure, and I like to wear sky-high heels (see point #1). It’s come to my attention that normal shirts seem to be a lot more revealing based on the fact that people are literally looking down at me while speaking, and if I want something to fit appropriately on 90% of my body, I’m going to look like I am wearing a Wonderbra on steroids. None of this matters, however, because I dress very professionally at work – even if I have a bit of Jenna flair in my shoes or the colors: Note two typical outfits, one summer, one winter.
This is why, yesterday, when my boss added my coworker to our 1:1, and took us outside and we were just going to hang out and chat for a while, I knew something had to be up. And I was right. Sitting around a table, laughing and smiling, she revealed that the COO had told the department director to tell our boss to speak to us about how we “dress too sexy.” She said she thought this was unfounded, a horrible conversation, and motivated by jealous, crotchety old people at work. There were no examples of “too sexy,” but nonetheless, we’d been reported and were being asked to change our clothes.
After that, my coworker and I were dumbfounded. We racked our brains, analyzed every article of clothing, and tried to speculate who in the world would have reported us. We made ourselves sick with worry – and I gave myself anxiety trying to figure out how to afford a new wardrobe.
Is it body shaming? Is it jealousy? Should I start dressing like a frumpy old woman in oversized, mismatched clothing? Has anyone ever told me anything other than, “You look so nice!” or “Wear those heels now, you won’t be able to at my age!”? Is it my fault I am young, eat healthily, and regularly work out?
It came to light that the complaints did come from a crotchety, bitchy, old hag. Someone that decided sleeveless (at lunch, outside, in 95* heat) is inappropriate for the workplace. Someone I will not miss when I leave here.