Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Is it Rude to Ignore a Dress Code?

Emma Thompson, Damehood, Prince William, Dress Codes, Are Dress Codes Dated, Royal Family,
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Recently actress Emma Thompson made headlines when visiting Buckingham Palace to receive a dame hood. Not only did she make Prince William blush by asking if it were appropriate to give him a kiss but she also turned up for the honour wearing trainers.

Articles that followed were split between praising the 59 year old for 'breaking royal protocol' and reprimanding her for disrespecting the occasion.

So what do you think? Was she right to wear what she wanted? Or should she have followed the dress code?

I love Emma Thompson and admire her as an actress, screenwriter and an ambassador and campaigner. She regularly makes headlines for voicing her opinions on topical matters so I strongly believe her decision to wear trainers to such a big occasion was done to make the headlines it did. It wouldn't surprise me either if her reasons for doing so were to raise awareness of the ridiculous dress codes women sometimes still have to adhere to even in 2018.

We have all been there haven't we ladies? Those formal events be it a work function or wedding where we are required to dress smart and we finish off our outfit with high heels which result in burning feet, blisters or even worse; feet cut to shreds all in the name of fashion or appearance. We know it's hell and still we opt for heels again and again, but at least it is our choice to wear them.

These days most places that require a smart or formal dress code allow women to opt for a suit over a dress or flat shoes over heels, but there are still many instances where by men and women are asked to follow a strict (even dated) dress code. It wasn't so long ago 'Coronation Street' actress Nicola Thorp shared her experience of being fired from a receptionist job for refusing to wear heels for example. Why this rule is still in existence in certain places I don't know. Women can look just as smart in a pair of flat shoes as much as high heels and if a woman prefers flats over heels, regardless of the reason, surely it is her human right to choose what's best for her. So long as she is smart as required what does it matter.

As I previously mentioned, high heels can be excruciatingly uncomfortable at times. I myself have on occasion had no choice but to attend formal events in smart flats because of issues with my back that would have been exacerbated by high heels. Whether or not anyone else thought the shoes didn't quite compliment my outfit was irrelevant; it was what was best for me at the time. I also have many female friends who deteste high heels and never wear them, two of whom wore flats on their wedding day.

However, I do believe in dress codes and that they should be adhered to. While I like to dress in a unique way and a way that reflects my personality I have always been one to  follow the rules when it comes to dress codes. I think they're there to be respected. I never really had an issue with wearing a school uniform (even though I hated how I looked in it) and have always followed dress codes in employment which of course has varied depending on where I have worked. In fact at jobs where they told me I could dress down I initially turned up in smart office attire because I didn't feel comfortable turning up so casual. I also didn't want to come across as disrespectful if I had gotten it wrong.

I totally respect the point Emma Thompson was making and I still think she rocks and I am guessing her point would not have been made so strongly had she worn a pair of brogues.

If I ever held an event that warranted a dress code though and people didn't adhere to it I think I would be quite miffed. So long as people aren't expected to wear items of clothing that could be uncomfortable or even a health hazard such as high heels then there isn't a problem.

I enjoy wearing different styles for different occasions; I love looking smart for work or glamorous for weddings. I also like looking trendy when going for a night out or being super casual in joggers on a casual day with the family.

But what do you think? Do you mind adhering to dress codes? Or do you prefer to wear what you want and not be dictated to?


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