“Strongly Encouraged” Dress Code Pressure

Discussion in 'General Education' started by willowsangel, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. willowsangel

    willowsangel Rookie

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    Aug 15, 2010

    Hello Fellow AtoZ’ers,

    I am starting my first year teaching at a boys’ high school where the written dress code puts general emphasis on looking “professional,” and is not all too specific. With the limited financial means that I have, I purchased a teaching wardrobe centered mostly on navy blue and black dress slacks with coordinated blouses. My goal is to look conservative because I am one of the few female employees in my school, and the student population is comprised of teenage boys. All of the administrators are men, and most of the teachers here are men too.

    Last Friday, the few females who work here, myself included, were separately spoken to by the principal and “strongly encouraged” to wear dress skirts Mondays through Thursdays, with the “option" of dress slacks on Fridays even though the preference remains on dress skirts. Our principal said the administration is working toward “tightening up the dress code” and “raising the general standards of appearance.” Adherence to the dress code is part of our review upon which we are judged. If that’s not enough, here’s the kicker – we also have to wear pantyhose with skirts even in this heat!

    The men will now be "encouraged" to wear jackets and ties so there is equal misery to go around, apparently.

    I left our meeting feeling pressured to change my wardrobe even though I would feel much more comfortable in the dress slacks I purchased. I don't mean for this to sound like I am whining - I really am not. I am grateful to have this job and am looking forward to giving it my all.

    Any advice would be helpful. Thanks.
     
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  3. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    Aug 15, 2010

    wow......going back to the old fashioned way of thinking in which females should wear skirts at all times aren't they?
    I would probably thank the principal for the suggestions but that your wardrobe has been already purchased but he should be pleased to see how professional it is.

    Right now, these suggestions are not written in your dress code correct? Until they are he really can't count it against you and if he does you could discuss that. What he should have done was amend the dress code by providing a written explanation about the new dress code to cover his butt lol
     
  4. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    What are the other females teachers doing? It seems rather expensive to have to go out and buy four more skirts.
     
  5. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    What the hell is this, 1954?
     
  6. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    If this is the requirment, I would think the best advice I could give you would be to do as required. I totally think it's archaic, but I'm not one to argue with those who sign my pay check.
     
  7. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Um, I would do as I was told, BUT, I would fight it as well.

    Do you have a union? I would start there.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Aug 15, 2010

    When I was a teenaged boy at an all boys school, I would have loved it if they made all the female teachers wear skirts. THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO COOL!!!;)
     
  9. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    If my boss "strongly encouraged" me to do something, I would esp if appearance is part of your review.

    Have you worn or washed the dress slacks you purchased? Is there any way you could return them to help you purchase skirts?
     
  10. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    Aug 15, 2010

    I'll never understand some of these dress codes. Every morning my daughter and I pass a Catholic school where the girls must wear school uniform skirts. Some of these girls look so scandalous in their outfits with their skirts hiked up and bare legs and they are getting out of their parents' cars looking like this. How is that more modest than wearing pants? Like Sarge said, he would have loved it if all the female teachers had worn skirts at his high school. My point exactly...skirts are sometimes more suggestive than pants. I think requiring you to wear skirts is definitely a step back in time to when women were objectified. I would not be happy having to wear a skirt. BTW...I do wear them as part of my wardrobe but it's my choice. No one is telling me I have to.
     
  11. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Aug 15, 2010

    We got our new dress code the day before school started, and we were expected to be in compliance the next day.

    It really was more of a mild annoyance for me, as I basically just had to put away things that I couldn't wear to work since I didn't want to accidentally wear the wrong things. (I've worked in the same district for 18 years, and this is the first time for a specific dress code.)

    I have a lot of dress clothes, but my "casual" consisted of only dark-washed trouser jeans and a couple of pairs of dark-washed jeans. I had to go shopping for some twill pants this weekend since I don't want to dress up every day.

    I found skirts at Old Navy that were $8 each. They are listed a pencil skirts, but they're actually a-line. I got them in black and khaki, but they had them in army green, brown, and white, too. I found a couple of skirts cheap from JCPenney and Land's End, too.
     
  12. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Hmmmm... odd that they didn't just change the dress code if that is how they want staff to dress. I guess its one of those "is this a mountain you want to die on" types of situations. Now if the men were not also told to wear something equally as ridiculous it probably would be a mountain worth dieing on for me but in this situation I would probably go out and buy a couple of long skirts and some of those sock pantyhose (because with a long skirt who will know if they are full pantyhose).
     
  13. willowsangel

    willowsangel Rookie

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    I appreciate everyone’s thoughts. I won’t make waves by going against what they want, but it does seem archaic to me. I don’t have many skirts since I don’t normally wear them; and although the ones I have look “corporate,” they are above the knee.

    I agree with WindyCityGal606 in that while I might wear a skirt every now-and-again, I don’t like being told to wear them. And I share Sarge’s point of view too. I purposely bought dress slacks because I’m teaching high school boys. I want my students’ eyes up on the board - not on my legs. :help:

    The thing that really irks me more than anything is being told to wear pantyhose in general, and especially by a man. I never wear pantyhose, and hate how they feel. I ruined a pair just trying them on earlier because I don’t normally wear them. Plus it is averaging 100 degrees outside here. If anyone knows of brands that “breathe” better than average and are durable, please let me know.
     
  14. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Wow....I wrote our new dress code and it doesn't require skirts. For men it requires dress pants or khakis, a collared shirt, and dress shoes. Ties are strongly encouraged. For women no bellies, boobs, or butt should be showing and they should not wear jeans of any kind. Skirts and dresses must go at least to the knee. Shoes must be professional looking, and to my dismay heels are strongly encouraged. sneakers are only allowed on Fridays and school spirit days.
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    :dizzy:

    Amen.

    I. Do. Not. Wear. Skirts. While I understand many would feel I would be acting dramatically, I would be absolutely outraged if I were forced to wear them as an adult. And I would feel duped.
     
  16. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Brendan, so if women are "encouraged" to wear heels, what sort of torture are the men expected to wear? :)

    I'd have a HUGE problem if I was expected to wear heels daily. I've never been able to wear them. I trip and fall and my feet hurt after 5 minutes.
     

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