Should Miniskirts Be Banned from the Office?
Choosing acceptable business attire for the office has always been a grey area. But according to a recent survey, male office colleagues want women to stop wearing revealing outfits. Why? Because they’re too distracting.
According to a study by the British Heart Foundation, at least one-third of men want women to stop wearing revealing outfits at work. Miniskirts, low cut or see-through tops, leopard-print patterns and believe it or not – hot pants – were deemed distracting and unprofessional for the workplace.
Meanwhile, 67% of women say colleagues shouldn’t wear shorts and 52% believe that miniskirts are unprofessional.
The research has been carried out by BHF ahead of their campaign to encourage workers to wear red to the office on 1st February, dubbed Rock up in Red day. The campaign is designed to raise awareness of heart disease, and workers are urged to wear anything red on the day, be it a red shirt, socks, red lipstick or even red nails.
But it seems that current dress trends in the office have got hearts pounding for all the wrong reasons.
As well as distracting male counterparts from their work, women who choose to bare a little too much flesh could be creating the wrong impression and damaging their career prospects in the process, claims Laura Sinberg from Forbes. She refers to research conducted by Peter Glick, a professor of psychology at Lawrence University in Wisconsin, which suggests that sexy attire can have a psychological effect on peers and create a negative impression of female workers.
The study claims that: “Women in high-level positions who dress in what is seen as sexy attire are viewed as less competent – regardless of their skill sets. These women are passed over for promotions more often than their more modestly dressed female colleagues.”
Sinberg suggests that women who want to get ahead in the workplace should “rethink that low-cut top”.
So exactly what is acceptable work attire? Every organisation differs, and while some casual environments may allow jeans and open-toed sandals, they might draw the line at shorts and miniskirts. A human resources guide claims that clothing that reveals too much flesh such as cleavage, back, chest, feet and stomach is inappropriate for business – even in a business casual setting.
Your best bet is to check your contract and if in doubt, ask your boss. After all it’s nothing personal – just business.
What are your opinions on work wear? Do you support the right to dress as you choose or do you agree that some garments are best left to the world outside of work?