Are guys getting the short(s) end of the dress code?

As summer continues to pound the province, you might be stuck all day in an air-conditioned office and shivering the day away while the temperature outside continues to climb.  But in many workplaces, it seems like females are allowed more fashion freedom in summer months. At least that’s what I hear. The dress code in my home office is a little looser.

I got an email from Patrick who said there is a double standard at his office.

“Women are allowed to wear various kinds of short pants, practically shorts, but guys have to wear pants all day,” wrote Patrick. “How is a skirt any different than shorts? If it’s about showing legs, why is one gender allowed to and not the other?”

It was never a point of view I had ever considered. I guess it could be argued that shorts – casual or not – represent one time of look on someone, whereas a skirt or dress has traditionally been considered professional business attire. Though, the length of the skirt could probably be called into question.

So I decided to ask around. Sure enough, of the 10 people I questioned about office dress codes, every one of them said guys aren’t allowed to wear shorts no matter how dressy they might be. The rule about shorts applies to the gals but women can wear similar articles that, well, skirt the rule.

It does beg the question: why are females allowed to wear clothing that shows their legs and allows them cool comfort? Dare I post the query: is this gender discrimination?

Though it could be said that a guy would be allowed to wear a dress in a workplace, I don’t imagine that mainstream fashion trends in this country would allow for it.

Perhaps the biggest question is why the discrimination towards shorts?

“They are particular about sandals at work,” texted one friend. He said, “You can wear sandals but they have to have a strap or something. Wearing sandals with pants doesn’t always look good so I don’t even bother considering sandals at work. It seems like it’s a rule for women. I never really put much thought into it until you asked me.”

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