A London law firm have faced severe criticism for their sexist and ageist dress code. Founder of the divorce law firm Vardags had sent an email round to staff, which was leaked late last week.
Ayesha Vardag’s 1000-word email warned female employees not to look like a “pretty young thing” by wearing long hair down. Instead, long hair should be “executive and …pinned up”. The women at Vardags were told that even though formal wear was appropriate they could also look “discreetly sexy and colourful and flamboyant at the same time” by adopting a “Chanel/Dior/Armani look”.
There was no matched enthusiasm for the men at Vardags to ensure they look sexy, or to don expensive designer wear to achieve the desired “sexy” look. However, Vardags made clear that men “should be classic and formal but still chic”. Super-tight trousers, brown or pointy shoes and woolly jumpers were therefore a no go. On the other hand, cravats and formal waistcoats seemed to do the trick!
We would warn employers not to adopt this approach. If you feel your dress code policy is outdated or discriminatory– please do not hesitate to get in contact with us for advice. Access our HR resource document Appearance and attire policy - the dress code