A Whiter Shade of Pale

I came across an article (link below) about an employee that worked at a large London department store for four years and then was fired for not following their dress code policy. The store's female employees are required to wear makeup and the employee in question failed to do that.

I can see how a department store would want its employees to "model" what it's selling, but perhaps specifying not just that the female employees have to wear makeup but how much and what types of makeup is carrying it a bit too far.

How strict are your dress code policies? Is your policy generic enough to apply to both men and women? Do you have stricter rules for either gender?




  • 10 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • I agree that specifying that not only must female employees wear makeup, but exactly what types of makeup they must wear, is going too far. I wear makeup every day myself, and while there are women who I personally think might benefit from a touch of makeup I would certainly never think it was appropriate to dictate in a dress code policy that they MUST wear it, what kinds, and how much.

    Quite honestly, I would rather see an employee wearing no makeup than some I know who wear way too much makeup and come to work in a bank looking more like they should be onstage in a Vegas show!
  • I can't believe I'm saying this, but to some extent I see department store's point. If you've ever walked through the make-up section of a department store, the employees are all made up with the make-up of the brand they are trying to sell, much like employees at Gap are expected to wear Gap brand clothing, so that they can better sell the product. If a Gap employee refused to wear the brand, then I'd say Gap would be justified in letting them go.

    If the fired employee was working as a regular sales associate (the article doesn't specify which department she worked in), then yes, I think her firing was unfair. But if she worked in make-up sales, then, well, that's different, at least to me.
  • Our handbook simply states that makeup should "look natural and not draw attention". We have an abiding priniciple througout our dress code that anything that is "distracting or offensive" would be innappropriate. So extremely gaudy makeup would be distracting and thus innappropriate for our setting.

    Our dress code is generally uniform (sorry) and non-specific when it comes to gender EXCEPT when it seems sensible to have different guidelines for the different genders.

    For example, our piercing policy has always been slightly different for men and women. Earrings for women have been socially acceptable much longer and so women have typically been allowed greater leeway. We only began allowing men to wear earrings at work five years ago.

    I dont believe in the concept that one company's dress code would always be appropriate for another company. I think it varies by industry. If we were a funky coffee shop in downtown Portland I would have a completely different dress code.
  • Coffee is right. Sales is all about presentation. If you are selling makeup, you should be made-up.
  • [quote=sonny;722631]GREAT song[/quote]

    Glad someone caught on to that! Can you name the band, too?
  • Procol Harum. I loved hearing it again in the mini-series the 10th Kingdom. What a great song!
  • I was just going into junior high and starting to listen to more popular music when that song came out, and I've always loved it. It's also used in the movie Pirate Radio, which, besides being a good movie, has the greatest 60's soundtrack. I don't listen to a lot of 60's or 70's music any more but every once in a while it's fun to take a trip down memory lane and remember what was happening in my life at the time a certain song was being played on the radio a lot.
  • Sticking with the theme...

    I understand the store may have reasons for not wanting "A Whiter Shade of Pale" working the makeup counter. I just wish they would be as strict with "Rocky Raccoon".
  • The Beatles - white album. Wonderful!
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