August 12, 2007
Nice shoes, Counselor

My congratulations to the women of the Harris County District Attorney's office for finally getting a concession on the dress code that should have been theirs a long time ago.

With the dog days of summer in full swing and a written opinion from the Emily Post Institute in hand, District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal is relaxing dress code standards. For the first time, women who work there will be able to show ankles and toes.

After summers upon summers of complaint about the heat, the department's dress code committee has relented. Women at the office and in court no longer have to wear hose under their pants, said Assistant District Attorney Kathy Braddock, a committee member.

According to a change in policy approved by Thursday, pants may be worn without hose with appropriate shoes. "If bare feet are showing in open-toed shoes, the feet should be nicely pedicured."

And yes, "appropriate shoes" are also defined in the policy. Flip-flops are still a no-no.

I must lead a sheltered life, because it never would have occurred to me that this would still be an issue anywhere. At least, not anywhere like here, where an enforced pants-and-hose combination in the summer must surely be in violation of the Geneva Convention. I just get caught off guard now and then by such relics of a less enlightened time, I guess.

Speaking of flipflops, there was an article about wearing flipflops at the office earlier this week. Tiffany always rolls her eyes at me when I say things like this, but I don't see what the big deal is about it. Either the office is sufficiently casual that such footwear can go with whatever else you'd normally don on a workday, or it's not. Maybe my perspective is warped from having a job where I seldom interact with anyone other than a small handful of coworkers - Tiffany would see more people in a day than I'd see in a week. I'm also notoriously unobservant about what other people are wearing in the first place, so I'm the wrong person to ask anyway. Be that as it may, my opinion on the subject is "Aren't there more important things to worry about?" Your mileage may vary.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 12, 2007 to Society and cultcha

I agree, I don't see the big deal about wearing flip flops as long as they are nice! I think any shoes should be acceptable to wear as long as they match what you are wearing and aren't grungy. I have seen some really cute summer, work acceptable shoes in More magazine, hopefully I can get some cute ones at an end of summer sale.

Posted by: Carol on August 12, 2007 11:36 AM

Hose under pants? You've got to be kidding. But I am not impressed at their sudden enlightenment in dropping that requirements, since they've managed to replace one ridiculous requirement with another ("nicely pedicured"??!!)

I personally find flip-flops to be too casual for a professional environment. Which is a bummer for guys, as women do have alot of warm weather footwear options that can be dressed up, whereas men's sandals just always come across as too casual (IMO). But I figure for people who don't interact with/aren't seen by alot of clients, customers, etc, dress code is not as big a deal.

Posted by: hope on August 12, 2007 1:25 PM

That is one of the most archaic and ridiculous things I have ever heard of. For a group of female attorneys to put up with having to wear hose under their pants for all this time is mind-boggling.

Posted by: Mary on August 21, 2007 11:23 PM