Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The great work wear debate

There's been a lot going on in the past week or so, and I could talk about President Trump's inauguration and what's happened next, the ongoing Brexit Article 50 debacle (why wasn't all this established pre-Referendum?), the shock news that toast, crisps and chips are potential carcinogens, and the 6' 7" bloke who was fined for driving a Ford Ka convertible with his head poking above the windscreen.

But instead, I'm going to discuss the debate about what people should wear for work.  Now this doesn't affect me much - being self-employed and working from home most of the time I could pretty much wear my PJs all day and the only people it would bother would be the delivery drivers bringing me other people's parcels!

However, I always get dressed because it's about personal pride - in much the same way as I would never dream of going to the supermarket in my nightwear, and won't even fetch the bin in wearing my slippers (see previous column), I like to ensure that even though few people see me I still look respectable.

Admittedly, I don't wear a full face of make up or high heels, but that's my choice; and that's precisely my point - people should have a choice, within reason, about what they wear for work.

Women, for example, should not be told they have to wear make-up and high heels - if you wouldn't ask a man to do it, you shouldn't ask a woman either.

Back in the mists of time (early 1990s) I started work for a high street bank.  I was told then that women weren't allowed to wear trousers.  Skirt length wasn't dictated, thankfully.

I was therefore considered something of a trailblazer when I wore culottes to work - seems ridiculous now doesn't it? - and it caused much consternation with the male office manager because they weren't a skirt, but they weren't trousers either.  However, I was allowed to wear them, and eventually trousers were allowed too.  I like to think I started a revolution, albeit a minor one!

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