Dress Code Discrimination?

Hi there, I was wondering if anyone would share their thoughts on the below:-

I work in an office where every Friday it is ‘dress down’ day where you pay £1.00 to wear your own clothes and the money goes to charity.

I have today been told that it is unacceptable that I have worn denim shorts to work and that if I wear them again I will be sent home. What annoys me about this is women are allowed to wear skirts so why are my legs more offensive?

Men are also not allowed to wear vest tops, yet women can wear them as well as shoulderless dresses.

Am I wrong or is this not a form of discrimination?

Do they have the issue with denim? Or with shorts?

This question was raised at my workplace earlier in the week, Although we don’t have an official dress code everyone presumes it’s Smart / Smart Causal. We couldn’t see the issue with wearing shorts if it fit into that category :man_shrugging:

I tend to go for smart causal on a day to day basis unless I have a meeting that day where I’ll dress a bit smarter.

Just shorts as I could wear jeans but in this weather, I would be sweating like a piggy :pig:

Not sure it’s discrimination but it certainly isn’t fair. You could always wear a skirt and see what they say… :wink:


I wore shorts in to work this morning but changed in to jeans when I arrived.

Just turn up in a skirt…


I have put that question forward :rofl:

As someone who lives in shorts - I’d be there in a kilt if they banned shorts!


I’ll have to order a little black number off ASOS :joy::rofl:


And say it’s for religious reasons :smile:

Then fan yourself with a letter from your union


Probably better than fanning my kilt if I go “traditional”…


Does your company’s dress code/policy describe it’s reasons for setting its standards?
Often it’s about establishing a culture. Dress standards can used to avoid the “the thin end of the wedge” ie, “if we allow shorts - what next?”.

It obviously can be informed by the job sector / role.

I think this might be the weakest part of your argument. It won’t be about mens bare legs being offensive - it’ll be about them being inappropriate in that particular environment.

Again, irritating though this may be, women naturally have dress options men don’t routinely have.

It’s amazing how inflammatory the subject can be, but you kinda want common sense to prevail, particularly right now.

1 Like

I’m not a legal expert (or any other sort of expert for that matter) but I was a union rep many years ago.

On the facts you’ve presented, this is gender discrimination. Clearly, the may be other facts I’m not aware of and I’m referring back in memory many years.

Good luck!

1 Like

I have requested a written copy of the dress code so will see what that says. From what I remember it just says no inappropriate or offensive clothing :thinking:

I don’t think it is, since he theoretically could wear a skirt. If he wasn’t allowed THEN it could be seen as gender discrimination.

At this moment, nobody can wear shorts (male or female). A skirt and shorts are different items of clothing - they just show the same part of the body off is all.

1 Like

Fair enough.

As I said there may be many more factors we’re not aware of. Can female employees wear shorts? Was it something about the shorts (too short, too tight?).

The comment about women wearing vest tops suggests that it may be a discriminatory policy in general.

This is what the dress code says regarding Fridays:

As a special concession, relaxation of the business casual dress code is permitted on Fridays in support of the Company’s nominated charity. Individuals who do not come into contact with business visitors can take up this option in exchange for the payment of £1 to charity. However, common sense should also apply to this ‘dress down’ day. An individual member of staff’s dress on that day should not cause embarrassment of offence to visitors or other employees.

Maybe you just have particularly horrid legs :stuck_out_tongue:


So your manager thinks that your shorts are embarrassing or offensive?

We’ll need a photo to decide this for you :wink:

1 Like