The sexist double standard of summer dress codes

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Unfortunately, what you wear has a significant impact on the way people perceive you. It doesn’t excuse the double standard (harassment and shaming are horrible regardless of manner of dress), but it does explain why the same shirtless man probably wouldn’t be able to come to work (or school) dressed that way.

Unfortunately, what you wear has a significant impact on the way people perceive you

So does what you write.


What I wouldn’t give to wear shorts and sandals in the workplace when it’s 30C+ this summer.

Or wear my pants with a sag and a muscle shirt in the classroom.


Would you care to elaborate or can I judge you on based on that one sentence?

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Yeah, I kinda thought this one was gonna be about the fact that I’m dressed like my grandfather (okay, hopefully a bit more stylishly) with a fan on my desk keeping me dry, while the girls get to run around in crotchless shorts and flimsy sandals, both of us ostensibly adhering to the same “business casual” standard.


My mom being a Southern Mama who grew up in the 50’s, I still have pretty conservative ideas about what is appropriate to wear, though I know it’s silly. I see a girl with a terry cloth short shorts with “Pink” across the butt and tsk tsk in my head.

This weekend I was at a music festival, and it was hot enough that everyone was dressing for comfort. You know, it’s kind of funny when everyone is in this environment of just having a good time how it just doesn’t matter that much. It was nice to see people wearing whatever pleased them - from pure comfort wear, to costumey hats, to skimpy bikini tops. I think the most important thing that made that possible was being in a place where everyone felt so safe. It takes a while over the course of the weekend to realize that everyone is so friendly and kind and to RELAX into that feeling of security.


Wot’s so wrong wiff being sexy?

Basically, if you are, it is A Wrong Thing for one group of critics, if you aren’t it’s A Wrong Thing for another.

Give up on trying to please others and do what you want.


So, the author invokes body shaming and rape culture. Caroline Seide labels the post “The sexist double standard of summer dress codes”.

The original outrage appears to have been some high schoolers being called into a principals office to discuss their attire. The posted code for the school Lakewood High seems almost identical for male and female students.

The original author’s anecdote about her history with sexist dress codes involves getting dressed down and asked to go home by a female vice principal because she was wearing a miniskirt that didn’t reach fingertip level…and her typically high school dramatic response. I hesitate to guess that one of her male high-school classmates roaming the halls with no shirt like the lawnmowing guy she mentions would have had a similar problem.

Where exactly is the extreme sexism? In this particular example, I simply don’t see it.

The larger picture of ZOMG I want to wear what I want and not have other people have opinions about it. There are puritans out there who want to talk about whatever the little heathen temptresses are wearing and what it says. There are boys and men who are going to ogle despite, because or regardless of what you are wearing. There are ad campaigns that are going to tell you what to wear and buy and want…

If you are wearing clothes because of “fashion”, you are making a statement and adding one more voice to that cacaphony. Great, go ahead; many people do. Unfortunately, it’s a post-modern world out there, with no universal text or truth. As with words, what other people see, hear and understand may not be what, if anything, you intended to communicate.


Here in the UK in the summer the women are able to wear ever more casual attire in the office while the men have to contnue wearing smart attire. Why is it ok to accept women in casual attire? Not a complaint just a question.


Frankly, I find the argument that girls are dressing for comfort and not to be provocative disingenuous. As is claiming “that’s what’s for sale” rather than “that’s what they demand”. Explain high heels in the “comfort” context if you can.

There’s times and places for dressing however you feel comfortable, and there others where conforming is required. My son attends a magnet high school with an explicit published dress code.

Male students are expected to wear shirt and tie with dress slacks, Dockers or khaki pants. Dress shirts including knit shirts with a collar can be worn with properly knotted and positioned ties. Ties are to be properly positioned at the neck at all times. Shirts that do not have a top collar button are not appropriate for ties. All dress shirts should be tucked in the dress pants not rolled under at all times and never hang loosely over the pants. No denim, or denim look-a-likes; balloon pants, fatigues, sweat pants, riveted pants, cargo pants, pants with studs, or jeans are permitted.

Suit jackets, sports jackets, v-neck sweaters, v-neck vest, or cardigan sweaters must be worn from October 1st to April 30th each school year. Your buttoned shirt and tie must be visible above the v-neck to be acceptable. Crew neck sweaters, turtle neck sweaters, sweatshirts with or without school logo, sweat shirts with a hood, sweaters with logos, i.e. NIKE, FUBU etc. are not permitted. Corporate symbols, i.e. Ralph Lauren polo player symbol, are permitted.

Female students are required to wear a dress, skirt, split skirts, or dress slacks and a blouse. Capri pants covering the calf are permitted. No jeans of any style or color, lycra, stirrup, spandex, Capri or sweat pants are permitted. Denim pants in any color are not acceptable. The hem of a dress or skirt must go beyond the length of your arm when standing. Girls may not wear halter tops, spaghetti straps, midriff tops or low cut shirts. Girls’ tops must substantially cover the waist.

In practice the boys are held strictly, and the girls push the boundaries of their far vaguer standard and are rarely reigned in. Short skirts and skinny jeans are common.

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I think that we can all agree that the patriarchal rules and discrimination are a universal when there is a mixed sex setting and sometimes even when not. Still my personal observation is that aside from the sadly expected man-creeping harassment on women most of the clothes and dress evaluation and discrimination is woman-on-woman. That might be an outgrowth of patriarchy on inter-female behavior.

Where the hell do you work?


A magnet high school and they don’t know the difference between “i.e.” and “e.g.?”

And what do they have against crew- and turtlenecks? Guess you live someplace warm.


To be fair, another name for “crotchless shorts” would be “skirt”.


And I am reminded how nice the Utilikilt felt to wear. Stupid middle aged metabolism bigger waistline and reluctance to go get myself a bigger one. Really anatomically for guys, a kilt is the way to go.


Read headline as: the sexiest double standard of summer dress codes. Confused, intrigued.