Post # 1
I have a lot of after work events to go. Work-life balance is a totally separate post but I want to see what the bees think about a recent conversation I had with my boss.
Boss: are you comfortable going to this event?
Me: sure, it’s no problem.
Boss: it is really important you wear a dress. Maybe some higher heels too.
(Please note I do not have much of a fashion sense. I’m always dressed appropriately though, I wear suits every day).
Boss: it is a client event, very high profile. I’d like to see you in a dress and heels.
(Please note I wear flat shoes to work as I have a bad back and have had many surgeries).
Me: I’m really not sure what difference it makes as long as I’m –
Boss: if it’s a problem, you don’t have to go.
Me: it’s fine, I will go.
(Please note I am not usually a wimp but I just started this job).
I feel weird about this. Do I normally look terrible? Why do I have to go out and buy dresses and heels for work? I have dresses for my personal life but they are not work appropriate. I’m feeling bad 🙁
Post # 3
@MrsPanda99: What is your job? I would not go out and buy a dress and heels for this. Are you taking people to dinner? I would think your normal suit attire would be just fine because that is business attire.
(However, I love dresses and heels so that would be my go to.)
Post # 4
@sienna76: I’m in marketing communication. I will be behind the scenes, no one important will even notice me! I just don’t understand this dress focus. It’s not like I show up in scrubs. I like dresses and higher shoes on weekends but not for my 2.5 hour each way commute. Plus I don’t like dresses at work anymore. I wish I didn’t have to go!
Post # 5
Really depends who the client is. Many in the luxury brand business absolutely judge how you dress, and you don’t want to come across as the frumpy lady from X company.
Post # 6
@MrsPanda99: I think it’s a little weird that your boss was specific about what to wear. Giving you a certain level of attire (such as business casual, formal, etc) would be more normal to me. I love wearing heels but I don’t see why you would need to wear heels instead of dressy flats. But I’m in HR so I’m sure I’m reading into it too much. Either way, I’d be a little put off!
Post # 7
Can you just change before the event? I commute in flip flops and put my heels on at work. If I had to drive 2.5 hours each way, no way in hell would I be doing it in suits/dresses.
But I do think it’s a bit strange for him to request certain clothes.
Post # 8
That’s kind of bad he asked you to wear heels when you have a bad back. Maybe you can compromise and wear kitten heels or more flashy flats.
What do people wear to these meetings? I can’t see a suit not being appropriate…you could dress it up with some fine pieces of jewelery. Are your suits tailored to fit your body?
Without more context its hard to tell why your boss would say something like that.
Post # 9
- Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL
@MrsPanda99: Apparently your boss prefers you be eye candy at the event or not attend. I can understand wanting marketing employees to dress up and look professional but professional for women does not equal 4″ heels and a dress. Unless we are talking about a formal or black tie event, a nice suit and dress shoes should be appropriate. It might be a good idea to ask why he wants you to wear a dress and heels; maybe there have been complaints from clients.
Otherwise, I would probably categorize this under sexual harassment and make sure to document it and maybe even send an email asking your boss to confirm the request so you have documentation of it on his end.
Post # 10
@SoupyCat: I just don’t see what’s wrong with the expensive suits I already own. It’s not like I shop at Walmart; my suits are all designer. Oh well, I guess I have no choice and I will be a dress up doll.
@abbie017: Yeah, I can and I thought of that, it is just so much to carry. I drive my dog to daycare, drive to the train, then walk to work. Oh well, who said work had to be convenient 😛
@EllEmm005: I am very put off! I feel offended and I probably shouldn’t. I’m also reading more into it because a man is telling me what to wear. Maybe I just need to suck it up and go shopping.
Post # 11
@MrsPanda99: that’s bizarre he asked you to wear those specific things? I could understand him saying “business casual” or “black tie” or whatever, but heels?? I used to work in government and had big functions, but my boss never specified what I should wear! Don’t feel bad- it is a strange request imho!
Post # 12
@beachbride1216: I have not met any clients yet. This will be my first event. Maybe that’s why? It is weird because almost everyone on the marketing team wears suit. The only exception is our juniors. It isn’t like everyone is running around in little dresses and heels, lol. I don’t stand out. I should have pushed more but I was really shocked and couldn’t think 🙁
Oddly, I asked the girl I’m attending the event with what she will be wearing because I am a fashion dummy. She said a suit! Wtf.
Post # 13
Like I said, I don’t know who the client is so it’s hard to say, but if they project a certain kind of image, they will be more apt to work with someone who fits into that image, or thinks would respect that image. You’re marketing your company as much as you are marketing for your client.
Post # 14
@MrsPanda99: I’d be offended too. For some reason saying to wear a dress is one thing (it might just be a dressy not suit type event) but to wear heels? That would really bother me.
Post # 15
@MrsPanda99: Eh….I don’t think it is appropriate to specifically designate a dress and heels, but I wouldn’t see a problem if your boss said, “I expect you to wear formal attire, as in a dress or suit.”
Then again, my previous employer did dictate what we had to wear for certain events/gatherings. It was just part of the company’s culture and I typically would adhere to it. At one point, they even required women to wear tights with dresses/skirts (like 10 years ago), luckily that changed.
Post # 16
IDK But to me that seems really inappropriate… and pretty sexist.