Woman Gets Reprimanded For Wearing The Office Attire Her Boss Bought For Her Because It Accentuates Her Curves

The more clarifications she asked for, the more it became clear she was being harassed.

woman being reprimanded for her office attire MachineHeadz / Getty Images Signature / Canva Pro

Sometimes, it can be tough to decipher exactly what is and is not appropriate in an office setting, especially when everyone around you neglects to follow the rules to the letter. 

For one woman on Reddit in such a situation, things became even more nebulous when she went above and beyond to adhere to her workplace's dress code and still ran afoul of it.

But the more questions she asked, the more it turned out it wasn't the clothes that were the problem. It was the hostile work environment she found herself in.


She was reprimanded for her office attire despite dressing more formally than everyone else in the office.

Nowadays, most offices tend to be more casual, and this woman's workplace is even more lax than most, with a dress code labeled "jeans casual" defined in employment contracts as "jeans [and] a nice top" for women.

RELATED: Employee Is Told The Clothes She Wears To Work Aren't 'Business Casual' Despite Claiming She's One Of The Better Dressed People


This woman decided to shoot for a higher standard as a precaution, choosing trousers and blouses, skirts, dresses, and button-ups to compensate for the fact that she's a self-described "alt girly" and "business wear is not my style whatsoever."

That quickly seemed like an overcorrection because all her co-workers dress "extremely casual" in "ripped jeans, leggings, slides, graphic-t's, baseball caps, hoodies." So she began dressing down a bit in jeans and button-downs instead. 

That quickly turned out to be a mistake.

The CEO complained about her wardrobe so much that her boss even bought her new clothes, but they still weren't good enough.

After the CEO complained, she bought a whole new business-casual wardrobe and went back to dressing in a more elevated way. It didn't work — even her preference for silver over gold jewelry was a problem.


"Something is always wrong with how I dress, but they always beat around the bush and don't tell me what they don't like," she writes. Finally, her boss offered to buy her a bunch of clothes, which did not sit well with her at all. "I felt pressured and in a sort of uncomfortable position, so I just agreed."

@yourtango Dress codes, even in the workplace, tend to unfairly target and are disproportionately harmful to women. #dresscode #worktok #workingwoman #businessattire #workoutfit ♬ original sound - YourTango

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The clothes were not her style, but she wore them anyway — and it STILL wasn't good enough. Her boss told her she was "getting comments about my jeans from one of the male higher-ups… saying that I needed to wear a top that covered my butt if I was going to wear [jeans]."


She stood up for herself, saying that this was all making her feel "uncomfortable," and then THAT became a problem. She was forced to meet with her boss and the CEO to discuss it. That conversation rapidly went off the rails.

embarassed woman AndreyPopov / Getty Images Canva Pro

After asking for more clarification, it quickly became clear she was being blamed for her body being sexualized by other staff.

First, she was scolded for "repeated violations" of the dress code. When she showed them the employee handbook explicitly describing "jeans casual," the story abruptly changed. 


They said her outfits were "distracting." When she asked for clarification on what that meant, they blamed it on prints and color choices.

But then they said a turtleneck — a simple turtleneck — was too "form-fitting." They had similar things to say about the pants and tops THEY purchased for her. They also told her a pair of pants "were highly inappropriate because they accentuated my behind." 

It then became clear what the real problem was.

@discriminationlawyer Thank you @Isha Mason for sharing your story. No one should be treated unfairly or disrespectfully due to the body type. #bodyshape #bodyshaming #dresscodesaremisogynistic #genderdiscrimination #employmentlawyer ♬ original sound - Mahir S. Nisar, Esq.

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"It's not really about the items of clothing," she wrote, "it's about how my body looks in the clothes, and my body is the thing that is distracting everyone at work. Not the clothes." They immediately began stammering and backpedaling, but the truth was clear.

"I am very uncomfortable and am feeling sexualized and harassed at this point," she told them, adding that "my compensation is not high enough for me to afford to buy any more clothing for this job."

angry woman in meeting kali9 / Getty Images Signature / Canva Pro


In response, they had the temerity to offer her more work hours so that she'd have more money to buy clothes. She was so frustrated and astonished she simply "smiled and nodded" and ended the meeting.

People urged her to immediately lawyer up and report the company for creating a hostile work environment.

"I really feel like you need to get a lawyer involved in this," one commenter wrote. "Nothing that they are doing is appropriate," especially one of the moves they made in the meeting — suggesting a separate dress code manual specifically addressing her body.

Several others agreed, especially since, with her bosses' consent, she'd recorded the meeting, which avoids what lawyers say is often the biggest roadblock in cases like these — the lack of solid proof of the allegations. 

@attorneyryan Harassment at work is scary, especially because we all know what might happen when you report it. But you don’t have to be afraid! Here are some tips on how to handle it. #civilrights #knowyourworth #workersrights #careeradviceontiktok ♬ original sound - Attorney Ryan

"Outline everything that you detailed here and put the recording of the meeting on a flash drive to play during your consult [with attorneys]," another commenter urged. "I believe you may have a case for a hostile workplace and the comments about how your body looked in certain clothes may meet the threshold for a workplace harassment claim."

According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, harassment is "unwelcome conduct" based on status as a protected class—including, in this case, sex. It is unlawful when it becomes  "a condition of employment" or so "severe or pervasive" that it creates an environment "a reasonable person would consider intimidating, hostile, or abusive."

Her experience definitely seems like it fits the bill, especially given the recording she has, which many on Reddit couldn't believe they even agreed to. "They dug their own grave," one person wrote. 


Hopefully, it will help this woman obtain the justice she so richly deserves because it is never a woman's responsibility to manage men's bad behavior.

RELATED: Man Tells Attractive Female Coworker Everyone Avoids Her At Work Because They're 'Intimidated' By Her Looks

John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.