Dress codes have been around since the Middle Ages and not much has changed since then. Since you were a tiny, bald blob of humanity you’ve been expected to dress a certain way. Boy/Girl, pink/blue – you probably ended up forced into some ugly gender themed ‘appropriate’ wear at one point. I, fortunately had the pleasure of being dressed like the below, I’m not 100% sure what my parents were going for here – maybe they weren’t sure what I was? Safe to say, neither of them have gone into the fashion industry.
You go through school years growing accustomed to the idea that you will never be allowed to wear what you want during certain hours of the day. There was probably some form of protest with everyone screaming at the underpaid and underappreciated teacher about how their choice of garments will not affect their work ethic whilst he/she fought back tears writing your name on the blackboard.
A school uniform, looking in hindsight is probably a good idea. Mainly because it sets you up to be used to work dress codes or so that older generations can identify the prats on the back of the bus as not knowing any better. Besides, it made ‘own clothes day’ all the more exciting after you’d brought in a bottle of the cheapest fizzy drink you could find for the schools 6 monthly fair. You had the power to show the classmate that you fancied your new Nike Airs or cool ripped jeans…wait, they weren’t cool? That explains a lot.
You hit your college/university years – you have finally got the opportunity to reflect your personality onto what you wear.. A lot of girls (not all girls, mind) will spend hours upon hours deciding how to outdress a rival or even their close friends. Throw that in with make up and fake tan and it seems to take some of my friends almost the whole day to get themselves prepared for something as simple as a quiet drink at a local pub. Guys on the other hand (again not all of us, but I certainly fall into this) spend a good 20 minutes getting ready. Once showered and cleaned we pick a top off the floor that doesn’t look too dirty, give it the sniff test and throw it on. Push your hair up with some wax and you go out feeling like Clooney.
Sure this can vary from with both genders however, the stereotype is quite accurate for a good portion of us.
You’ve reached your working years yet the nightmare has only just begun for a lot of us. Some workers entire life must fall apart before their eyes when their boss tells them they are to dress as a signpost advertising slightly cheaper pizzas that day. Others, mainly in retail may have a uniform with some awful slogan on it or be forced to wear a bagpack with a bear clinging to it just to prove that they love teddy bears.
Now this may be slightly biased coming from someone working in an office but the above seem necessary, if you’re working face to face with the public they need to know who you are/that you’re someone that can help them (minus the pizza signpost, surely it’d be cheaper to put the sign on the ground?)
Office dress codes can vary but for the most part it’s a choice of smart or smart casual. Once more you feel that urge to mention to a senior member of staff how you dress doesn’t affect your work ethic, yet you resist. This is it now, you’ve lost. Get used to it. It doesnt matter that it’s extremely uncomfortable to wear sometimes, what would your co-workers think seeing you wear something that wouldn’t be deemed as smart?! Probably nothing to be honest, they all may have the same feeling towards dress codes. It has and always will be a representation of status. At least a lot of us get that same feeling as we did at school with the exciting ‘dress down Friday’! That is until Linda comes in and ruins everything by wearing a meat dress..