Category Archives: Dress Codes

Stepping out…for work?

To tell the truth, as much as I can remember, I’ve never worked in a place where the dress code was exceptionally smart. Having said that, I must have worn a shirt, and trousers, back in the 70’s in an office, and I guess, jacket, and work quality shoes too, though hardly surprisingly, 40 years on, I cant really remember all the details of that.

What I do know, is that the last 3 roles, pretty much covering the last 12 years of my working life, the dress code has been smart casual, at most. I think Blue Square was respectable casual, but its over 10 years ago now, so again, dont quote me on that. Of course, the last 8 years or so, have tended generally between top and slacks, or blouse and slacks, generally. I did, a few times after transitioning, wear a skirt, but not all that often. And yes, the one internal interview I did, in the last few months before I left, was done in my best black dress.

Of course, in this round of job hunting, I’ve always worn smart dress, and suit jacket, for interviews. But yes, you’re right, the reason for this blog is nothing to do with the clothes I wear to work, its to do with the shoes!

Clearly, in the pre-transition days, I either wore shoes with a flat base, or very low heels. In truth, even post transition, I’ve tended to do the same, though maybe the heels are a little bit higher than they used to be. Fine, they are, but anyway…What I never wear, are stilettos, my knees simply are so beat up, I’d never be able to walk in them, due to balance issues. I do however, from time to time, wear what I would call medium height heels. As long as there is a decent base, I can do it, with surprising ease, nowadays, in fact. But yes, walking very far in them, or wearing them for more than a couple of hours, no thanks! They make my ankles ache, my knees certainly grumble, so thats about my limit. So yes, wearing them for a full working day, I dont think so.

Oh, that job interview at Hills? Yes, I wore them for that. How? Simple, I took them in a bag to work, put them on a few minutes before the interview was due to start, and they were off again, a few minutes after getting back to my desk! Mind, they were a bit higher than normal, so…

Yes, I know, in the ‘old days’, women were expected to come to work in high heels, pure and simple. I guess I would have got used to it, and coped, but glad I didnt have to. Nowadays, I assumed, as long as the shoes were smart, and respectable, flats were fine, as they should be.

That was, until last week, when I read the article about the temp secretary who was relieved of her duty in an office, because she refused to wear high heels. Yes, her shoes were smart, but they were flats! Anyway, as social media would have it nowadays, public outrage ensued, quite rightly, and a few days later, said company changed their shoes rule. Oh, and by the way, as you’ve worked out, the men didnt have to wear heels, just the women. In fact, she did say that if the men wore heels, she would, but no, it was one rule for her, and another for the guys. So good for her. I suspect, despite changing their rules, that firm are going to be unpopular with temp agencies for a while, somehow.

Would I wear high heels in an office, if ‘required’, I hear you ask? Well, I guess that if I have to wear them in the office, I could do it, as long as I didnt have to walk very far, wearing them. But hopefully, it wont ever be an issue for me, nowadays.

Of course, this did bring about that classic feminist facepalm moment, as one or two of the more radical types suggested that the men in that firm would soon be looking to have all women wearing dresses (probably with a corset underneath) in the office, which is taking the issue way too far, and hopefully a totally unrealistic claim. Its why I have as much to do with that type of feminist, as I do with that type of transgender activists! Ah well…

Right, the video. Yes, this 80’s number, is mentioned in the blog title.