This thread contains comments to article "Weekly dilemma: Dress codes": http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2011/04/26/57600/weekly-dilemma-dress-codes.html.
A new female recruit recently asked our Managing Director what the dress code for the office was and was told "you can wear what you want". This came as something of a surprise to the males in the office who have to wear suits and are for ever being pulled up for wearing brown shoes or even just a colourful shirt. In the heat of last summer, we managed to persuade him to drop his insistence that the men wear a tie but even that victory seemed small as we watched the girls arrive for work in their t-shirts and flip-flops! Not sure what we can do about it though.
Why dont you be a bit proactive about the situation?
If you have a staff rep system of a staff group why not approach the HR team (or the MD if yours is a small organisation) and suggest that as a collective you would like to draft some guidance on dress codes and standards ?
If you get the go ahead you can attempt to redress some of the imbalance you talk about and as the ideas will come from the employees themselves are likely to strike a happy medium. As long as you make it business like enough most bosses would accept it
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