Thinking of getting a job at the Bank of England? You might want to consider stocking up on sensible heels, monochromatic outfits, and some lipstick. Oh, and a time machine to transport you to 1960.
A memo was sent around to female employees of the bank last week, as part of "Dress For Success" day, telling women just how to ensure their success at the company:
“Look professional, not fashionable; be careful with perfume; always wear a heel of some sort — maximum 2 inches; always wear some sort of makeup — even if it’s just lipstick.” Shoes and skirt must be the same color. No-no’s include ankle chains — “professional, but not the one you want to be associated with;” white high heels; overstuffed handbags; an overload of rings, and double-pierced ears.
Now look. There are certain rules of professional dressing that everyone knows: don't overdo it on perfume (that's just common courtesy), don't rock your Cannibal Corpse t-shirt when presenting an idea to the board, and try to avoid wearing anything you might see on Rock of Love Bus. But for any company to dictate to women that they MUST wear makeup, a certain type and color of shoe, and that they can't double-pierce their ears is backwards and insane. As New York Magazine points out: "A woman can dress almost exactly opposite to these rules — in black flats, with gray trousers, no makeup, and a giant handbag — and still look professional and chic."
No word yet on if there was a similar memo sent to male employees, though one suspects if there is such a memo, it's most likely nowhere near as ridiculous as this one. As for the bosses, here's a memo for you: it's really unprofessional to walk around with your head stuck up your ass. It's just bad form, really.