Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Let's talk about the dress code.

Hopefully I won't be sent to some sort of Mary Kay Purgatory for this post. If so, I'll repent later. (Maybe.)

I am not dressing to the hilt when I go out and work my MK business. Period. (My makeup will be done and I will present a neat appearance.) I don't usually wear jeans, so that's not an issue. However, I am not dressing up in heels and a skirt every time I go to Bi-Lo. It's not gonna happen. I am not wearing a skirt when I do a facial. I am going to wear something that looks good on me and that I am comfortable in.

Pantyhose? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I'm not saying I never wear it, but here in Mosquito Heaven and Humidity Central, wearing pantyhose is like wearing longjohns - ick. Still, I can wear a long skirt or pants and no one will notice. :D

I have changed since I joined MK. I make sure my makeup and hair are fixed nicely. I love it!

But I am NOT going to go to Target with a 3-year-old in a skirt. Not going to happen.

And you know what? I still get leads. I still get a warm reception. I still make sales.

What do you think? Do you follow/did you follow the dress code? Love it? Hate it?

Share your thoughts.


  1. First of all...what's "Bi-Lo"? lol

    I personally follow the dress code when I go to MK events such as seminar and career conference. When I go to facials I sometimes wear a skirt...but thats because I like skirts, and I definitely don't wear pantyhose (unless its a special occasion).

    When we're out and about I also think its important that we look approachable. I think an average woman will be slightly intimidated if you approach her dressed in an impeccable suit and coiffed hair. Maybe if you're trying to attract women in a corporate setting (does that make sense?), then its a little more important to look "professional".

    I also don't want to make a hostess feel bad because I show up in a skirt suit and she's in jeans and a tee-shirt as well as her guests. My first priority is to make them feel comfortable with me.

    That's my opinion, but I'm always open to other ideas...

  2. I make sure my face and hair are done and I am not wearing any ratty looking jeans when I go out and about. If I feel unattractive, I don't want to talk to people. Plain and simple. I only wear a suit when I attend my meetings and corporate events. Actually, for meetings, I wear any nice skirt ensemble--not necessarily a suit.

    Pantyhose are no longer a requirement, but personally, I won't wear a skirt without them unless it's summer and I have a tan and I'm wearing sandals. If I'm still too pale, I won't go hoseless. lol I'm simply too stark white.

    When I do my appointments, I wear something professional. I basically wear stuff that I would wear to work at the office. Dressy pants, a nice top, a cute skirt ensemble. I stopped wearing suits to appointments because it felt too forced or something. I like wearing a beauty coat to appointments.

    Going out and about, I am a jeans girl through and through. I only wear heels and hose to a store if I happen to be stopping on my way to some formal event (MK or otherwise). Other than that, I'm in jeans or courds or whatever's comfy.

    Be presentable, but be yourself. That's my philosophy.

  3. i think I can count on one hand the times that i have completely followed the dress code at my own appts. Most of the time I try to be presentable and comfortable at the same time. Having kids will dictate your dress code. At Mary Kay events however I always try to adhere to the dress code. I think it is not too much to ask to wear the "uniform" one day out of the week. The rest of the week, I do whatever makes me comfortable and what makes my clients comfortable.

    My hair and makeup are usually what I get compliments on most of the time anyway. Like Gloria Mayfield Banks says, "your hair and makeup must be slammin!" If people think your makeup looks nice, they will want to know what brand it is and that opens the door to sales. That is my main concern when I am out working my business.

  4. Sabrina -

    Bi-Lo is a grocery store we have here. Guess they aren't nationwide. ;)

  5. I will follow the dress code (for the most part) for MK events, but when doing my appointments, I am not wearing a skirt or dress.

  6. I only follow the dress code for MK events (weekly meeting, conferences, etc.). I realized pretty early that when I showed up to an appointment dressed to the nines, whether that be in a skirt and jacket or pants and jacket, that it made my customers a bit uncomfortable. I even had one say, "Oh, I didn't know I had to dress up!"

    I have been know to do an appointment in jeans and even, gasp, a bandana on my head . . . it was Superbowl Sunday.

    I always, always, always, have my face on, as I love doing makeup and I feel better in it, but as for dressing . . . I actually seem to match my customers rather than out dress them. If they are stay at home mom's who wear workout gear and are more casual, I go casual.

    If they are professional, I go professional.

    That's just my way . . . although I DO enjoy dressing up for meetings. I love our meetings and take them very seriously (we have terrific training and I've got the BEST adopted Director), so I do take "pride" in getting all "Mary Kay'd Up" for my meetings.

    BTW, I've not posted any response to yesterdays thread . . . which was great. Listen, this business works for some and not for others. I'm just tired of the "not for others" ripping on it entirely.

    I couldn't hold any appointments last week . . . just too busy. So, what did I do? I held a St. Patrick's Day sale (15% off) last Friday from midnight to midnight. The first 10 people to call, email, or place an internet order got a free gift. At the end of the day (literally) my husband drew one sales ticket from the "pot of gold". That person got their entire order free.

    All I did was sent out emails for this. Sales total for the day, with discounts? $370.

    Not bad for doing nothing.

    So, seriously, ok, Mary Kay is wonderful for many, but isn't for everyone. There are plenty of other businesses that are great for some and not for others.


  7. Sabrina - good point on making a hostess/guests feel uncomfortable if you're in a suit while their in jeans!

    I follow the dress code for meetings, but not for facials/SCC. For those I wear dress pants and a nice shirt/sweater. One of the first things I want to get when more profits start rolling in is the beauty coat. They look very flattering.

  8. Company events are one thing, but...when in Roman, do as the Romans do!

    Rule that I live by, is do a "Check Up" from the neck up.

    As always, I think some have taken the intent of the dress code to an extreme.

  9. LookingforAnswersMarch 19, 2008 at 3:35 PM

    OMG!!! I so want to put my two cents in here!!

    This is something that MKC really needs to revisit. We are not in the 60’s anymore. Women do not need to wear a skirt or dress or panty hose to be feminine. It’s absolutely ridiculous. It makes me think of Leave it to Beaver where June Cleaver is in a dress and heals with pearls on…what is that?

    Working in many corporations over the years, women don’t wear skirts/dresses/hose every day. Many higher up executives or ones who were customer facing would dress up but in a business pant suit.

    Every guest that I ever brought to a weekly meeting instantly felt uncomfortable in what they wore. And heaven forbid you ever wore pants to a meeting if you were a consultant….you would be singled out. Not as bad as the chicken/skunk thing over on PT but you still were made to feel less than.

    There are some beautiful pant suits out there that look professional. If it fits properly anything looks good.

    My customers don’t care what I look like. I have delivered orders with wet hair, no makeup and have even dropped product off to neighbours, who are friends, in my pyjamas. In the winter I’m in my big Sorel boots – we get lots of snow – and my heavy winter coat. In the summer, I’m in sandals…bare feet is my preference with pretty toes.

    When I am booked to do a class/facial/event, yes I do my hair, face and am very well groomed. I never wear jeans but yes I do wear dress pants.

    I think Career Conference and Seminar should also change. No jeans and sweats but professional business attire.

  10. I agree, Looking. I think dress pants are fine. I've never been singled out or humiliated for wearing pants to meeting. I've told my director that sometimes I just can't wear a skirt for comfort reasons. She said she'd rather have me in attendance than skip because I didn't feel dressed appropriately. I do hope that MKC reconsiders the decision to keep pants suits out.

  11. Amen to All!

    We have a WOMAN running for President of the United States who is campaigning in pantsuits -- that HAS to be considered "professional"!

    I work in a professional office & NEVER wear skirts / dresses. When I am busy, I don't have time to watch my hem line when pulling files & running around the office!

    For our meetings, our DIQ wants us to be there, regardless of dress - when we have guests we wear 'professional office' -- but pants are fine!

    We are required to wear skirts only at company sponsered events and with the career conference stories I have heard about running around to get a seat, etc., I'm NOT looking forward to it!

    Mrs. Cleaver has LEFT the building and Mrs. Clinton is trying to get in! I wish corporate would figure this out!

  12. LookingforAnswersMarch 20, 2008 at 4:28 AM

    Here, Here Rural!! I second that!You are bang on...being Canadian, I didn't think about Mrs. Clinton. But you're so right. "The times are a changin'"


  13. I wear skirts, suits or dresses to all Mary Kay functions and to my skin care classes.

    I often wear skirts when I go out to. I just kind of like it. I feel better, and honestly I have three VERY small children and people are much more likely to notice me, or at least be impressed if I am in a skirt.

    At the very least though, I am always MK from the neck up. What if I met someone sharp?

  14. Looking for answers--

    I just read your comment and I want to put MY two cents in.

    I don't think it is an antiquated notion for women to wear skirts. My personal feeling on why they will never (and probably shouldn't) change the dress code is this:

    If they were to allow pants, where would it stop? If my director were in suit pants, inevitably someone would say, 'Oh, pants. I can wear pants." Then she comes in khakis. Someone else sees her, then they say "oh, pants. I can wear pants." Then she comes in jeans.

    Some people know how to dress professional, and some have no clue. If you just say skirt-- it makes it very hard to mess it up. Very black and white. Much higher probability of everyone being and staying professional looking.

    Just my take.

    And I like wearing dresses.

  15. I would love to see dress pants allowed. As for what Stephanie said - it is true that some people don't know when to draw the line, but let me tell you, I have seen a few woman in skirts that they never should have been seen in (in public) anyway. And yet they were in a skirt, (I think, I still swear and Seminar once, I swear it was a tube top that slipped down. And... she wasn't a size 2.

    For me there is a big difference between dress pants and capris, jeans, etc...

  16. LookingforAnswersMarch 26, 2008 at 6:25 AM

    Please don’t get me wrong. I like dresses, skirts, dress suits and glamour dresses and have lots in my closet. But when I’m working at my JOB, I can wear pants, dresses, skirts and jeans on Fridays and in the summers I can wear capris and shorts.

    The difference is I have a choice. C-H-O-I-C-E = V-O-I-C-E

    As mk4me said, I have seen many a woman in a dress/skirt that was completely inappropriate. Back when I was younger, thinner, I wore skimpy skirts/dresses that left not much to the imagination but I felt good in them.

    Why not have training on how to dress appropriately? Professionally. Bring in to Career Conference and Seminar people who are stylists and image consultants who are professionals at this.

    We are all different sizes and what’s “slammin’” on one, isn’t going to be appropriate for another.

    We’re in the image business – it would be nice to see some image training (other than just skin).


  17. I've seen image training at CC and other events. Kathy Helou has a cd on MK image. They all say about the same things. They say skirsts shouldn't be too tight or too short. We work with women. Women don't want to see our bodies. We are businesswomen not cheerleaders. Heard it all...and yet at CC I always see at least a few people looking a bit like prostitutes and cheerleaders. (too short, too tight).
    There will always be people who just aren't going to get fashion. ;)
    I do think choices are a great idea, but it doesn't mean that the people in micromini skirts are going to opt for slacks.

  18. I am a new MK consultant, and was told for yesterday's meeting that I was required to wear panty hose and a skirt. I told them, that I would wear slacks because that is what I was comfortable with and they told me not to come to the meeting like that.
    Furious I caled Head Quarters and was told that whoever is running the meeting has the authority to dictate what the dress code is, and can require that everyone wear skirts. They said they would "elevate my complaint" and have someone call me back. I somehow really doubt that they are going to call me back.
    The dress code hasn't been updated in 50-60 years and that is boloney! I have an 18 month old boy. I agree with the person who said that they wouldn't be going to the super market with their child while wearing a skirt. I don't have the money to go get new clothes for these meetings, nor the extra time to do more laundry because I am going to be wearing 2 different outfits day.
    I'm starting to wonder if I joined a cult. Right now I'm set in my ways, and 3 different consultants from my unit have told me that I need to be "attractive" and not "attacking" (I didn't attack anyone, I defended my opinion and refused to wear a skirt and pantyhose)
    I do my parties/classes in slacks and a blouse, because that is what I am comfortable in. I'm not going to sit through any meeting, for whatever reason it is for in a skirt when I'm uncomfortable in it. I'm a big girl, I don't look good in skirts. I'm not going to set an example of conforming to a dress code when I think its wrong. (The consultant that signed me asked me what sort of example I was setting for my children by refusing to wear a skirt. That I needed to think about that. . . )
    Mary Kay products are for EVERY woman. Not just the ones that look rich. I don't sell to rich women, I'm not a rich women myself, and I HAVE been told that they appreciate that I look just like everyone else. I don't go up in sweat pants and spaghetti stained shirts and hand people my business card, I wear slacks and a blouse. I LOOK professional enough to sell cosmetics.
    Thanks for letting me vent.

  19. I have the same feelings as you about the skirts! lol. Like I don't mind wearing them once in a while ... but when it's negative DOUBLE DIGITS in the winter, nuh-uh.

    I think trouser jeans, when pair right, are just fine. And some trousers are more casual now. I just think MK wants us to be more girly. I'll give you girly, but that doesn't mean I have to freeze my vah-jay-jay off wearing a skirt in a Canadian winter! *snicker*

  20. I've just started selling Mary Kay, and what I fail to understand is, if You are an Independent Beauty Connsultant(Business Owner)...infices on Independent, why should you have a dress code in the first place. I'm a full-time college student and I live an hour away from my school and where the weekly Mary Kay meetings are held. Unfortunately the meetings are held at 6:30pm right after I finish my last class from 9am-5:30pm. I do not want to have to wear a skirt or dress up for that matter for that long period of time. I live in Southern California where the temperature is 115 degrees everyday in the summer.It would be very unsanitary, and unlady like to show up at a meeting sweaty because I walk around outside between 5 classes Mon.-Thurs. I live too far to go home and take a shower and change clothes. As long as one's attire is presentable, it should not matter what she is wearing. We are all adult females, hopefully we all know what to wear, what not to wear, and how to wear it.

    Honestly I own 3 skirts, why should I have to purchase more for a business that I'm suppose to be in charge of? I love to wear business suits, but pants because that's what I feel comfortable in. My clients do not have any problems with what I wear at my facials, so why is it such a big deal any other time? God said come as you are, so why can we not just live by this rule, it's in the "WORD"

  21. I went to a MK meeting tonight join. I don't own a dress. I wear slacks or nice jeans and blazers or cardigans. Can they really legally tell me what to wear? Mel

  22. Legally, probably not. I allow dress pants at my meeting but I know many directors don't.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.

  24. I am going to my first training meeting tonight straight from work and do not own a skirt or closed toe shoes, which on reading my manual I am required to wear. My biggest problem is that apparently Mary Kay was created to empower women in the world so why do we have to conform to sexist stereotypes. Bit like a dictatorship to me. Also there does exist some very hideous skirts out there which would not make a good impression at all so insisting on wearing a skirt doesn't make sense that way either.

  25. Morven, welcome to Balanced.

    Closed-toed shoes are no longer required. Many units do ask you to wear a skirt because they are dressier than pants and tend to make a good impression. You are right about there being some unflattering skirts out there, but I'm assuming if you're pointing that out, then you aren't one that would buy or wear one.

    Also, many units are pretty relaxed about dress pants - but I guess that depends on your director. I'm sure your director would prefer you come to the meeting wearing dress pants than not coming at all. That's something you'll want to speak with her about.

    I hope your meeting was very informative and not just a rah-rah recruiting session! I don't go to mine for that very specific reason.

    Good luck in your Mary Kay endeavor!

  26. It all depends on the director, I have learned, I can't help consultants if they are not at the meeting. As long as they look professional and then dress accordingly at "official" Mary Kay functions, we are all alot better off.

  27. I stopped going to our unit meetings because I hated having to wear a skirt and the guilt of knowing I was not dressing appropriately according to the company guidelines. Silly reason? Maybe. But changing clothes and rushing to a meeting was the last thing I wanted to do.

  28. After reading all of these responses, I can agree with most of them!! Our unit's adopted director allows nice slacks during the winter, but I just joined and I'm not sure about pants or pantyhose in the summer. She is a fabulously dressed woman, and she's fun looking instead of too prim and proper. My Recruiter, who is also DIQ, has hot pink in her hair and has a fabulous business!! They stay fun, let us know when we can relax, let us know when it's important to mind our P's & q's.

    As for those of y'all that don't like your Director's weekly meeting style, try a different meeting with a different director! MKC would rather you go to someone's meeting than no one's :)

    I like all kinds of clothes, so I guess this helps. Although I am, right now, trying to think if I own any pantyhose than don't have a run in them :)

  29. My director insists on skirts at her meetings, and when I'm with her OR at official MK events, I wear the skirt. I also tend to wear a skirt at skin care parties. BUT... not to my drop-offs, and not to my on-the-go appointments, and that's in part for some of the reasons mentioned above. When I wear nice slacks to my running-around appointments, it just makes more sense! I also think it makes me more approachable to the mom who is in her yoga pants when she comes to the door. And for sure, I'm wearing my jeans when I'm simply out and about! I don't mind the skirts for the most part, and I've gotten used to the skirts... but I feel I'm just as professional in dress slacks! I'm meeting a potential recruit who is in her 20s on Friday for a facial, and for SURE I'm not wearing a skirt! By the same token, I'm dressing well and sharp. I've seen skirts that look DREADFUL on some women. And I'll admit... I'm a little tired of the "we dress in respect to Mary Kay's wishes." Mary Kay has been dead for about 10 years now. And her dress style is out-dated.

  30. And may I add... the argument I usually hear back from my director is "where do you draw the line"? You know, you draw the line at meetings and MK events. It's that simple. What they do on their own time is their business. I think a lot of directors forget that it IS their business! Check the MK legal-ease... The company "ASKS" this and "ASKS" that. That is the key word. They are not mandating the things they "ask" us to do. They are requesting it. We CAN say no.


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