Summer Dress Codes Aren’t Just for Women

Summer is in full swing, and with it comes heat and humidity—at least depending on what part of the country you’re from. In any case, when it’s hot and humid outside, your employees are looking to stay cool no matter what. However, depending on what your dress code policy is, you may be discriminating against a specific gender … and we’re not talking about the ladies.

Recently, a Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom (U.K.) man’s tweets went viral after he posted a photo of his navy-blue shorts with the caption, “If women can wear skirts/dresses at work can I wear smart shorts like so?”

If women can wear skirts/dresses at work can I wear smart shorts like so?

— joey (@jBarge_) June 19, 2017

Shortly after posting the image, the man followed up with another tweet saying he had been sent home from work. To put this all into perspective, the man works in a call center; it’s not like he’s facing customers or in an executive position—not to mention, the day he wore the shorts, the U.K. was suffering from a brutal heat wave, but I digress.

The next day, in an act of protest, the call center worker decided to wear a bright pink dress. He posted a picture of his outfit on Twitter saying, “See you soon twitter. I’ll be sent home soon.” However, the opposite happened. The company’s management team released an e-mail allowing “gentlemen in the office to wear three-quarter length shorts in black, navy or beige only.”

Instead of going home to change into shorts, the man decided to keep the dress on in an act of defiance. In a statement to the Daily Mail, he says, “I got sent home and told to change into appropriate clothing but it said females could wear dresses so hey ho! … They said it was a bit too colourful and asked if I wanted to go home and change because they were letting us wear shorts because of my ‘protest’—but I said I was happy to stay.”

This seems to be a trend across the U.K. Shortly after this man’s story was released, a school in Exeter faced a similar protest when all the male students showed up in uniform skirts after they were told they couldn’t wear shorts during the brutal heat wave last month. When it comes time to review your dress code policy, take the men into consideration—or they may end up coming in wearing dresses

Melissa BlazejakMelissa Blazejak is a Senior Web Content Editor at BLR. She has written articles for and the HR Daily Advisor websites and is responsible for the day-to-day management of and She has been at BLR since 2014. She graduated with a BA of Science, specializing in Communication, from Eastern Connecticut State University in 2008. Most recently, she graduated in 2014 with a MS of Educational Technology.

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Author: Melissa Blazejak