Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Skirts or Pants??

I hope you don't mind Kisstophers Mama, but when I read your comment I thouhgt it would make a great post for discussion. Let's see what other's opinions are.. please post your opinion, so that said.. Kisstophers Mama said...

"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."


  1. I dont think its about being right or wrong..its just about learning to pick your battles.

    I thought that Mary Kay corp. had relaxed that dress code thing. this argument has been going on way too long. But with that said, I have never understood why some women get so angry about the skirt.

    Is it because someone told you that you HAD to wear it? Its just a skirt, no biggie. Help me understand why wearing a skirt to the meeting one day a week, translates into some womens minds that they have to go out a buy a whole new wardrobe?

    I am a big girl too. I have ONE skirt that I wear to meetings. Its the only one I wear, its black and lengthy and I wear flats or low heels with it. I did not go out and buy a new wardrobe in order to satisfy the dress code for the meetings.

    Get one skirt and stick to it and I am sure you have a nice blouse or shirt you can wear already in your closet.

    Wear what you want to wear for your appoitments, do what is comfortable. But Mary Kay had always asked that we follow company dress code at the meetings and Mary Kay sponsored company events. This is nothing new and should have been told to you by your recruiter.

    Its not a cult just because someone asked you to wear a skirt one day a week. Honestly it will probably be less than one day a week, more like twice a month for some consultants like me, who cant get to the meeting every week.

    It would be unfair for a director to allow one consultant to relax the dress code, while the others follow it. Think of other places that require some type of vest or uniform to be worn to represent the company. Would you call them a cult?

    It just gets under my skin when folks call Mary Kay a cult. You have to do a lot more than require a certain dress code to qualify as a cult.

    Bottom line is, are you good at your sales, do your customers like you..do you like doing this business? Then why let a little thing like a skirt keep you from finding out how far you can go with Mary Kay?

    Thanks for allowing me to vent as well.

  2. I see absolutely no reason why a woman should not be able to wear pants in 2009. I also see no reason she should have to wear hose, which for many are uncomfy and lead to yeast infections.

    The only way that change happens is when people protest things that they feel are wrong, and act against them. If IBCs start wearing pants en masse, MK will just have to deal with it.

    Especially in cold climates, skirts do not always make sense. There are many very professional pants outfits out there. If you are an INDEPENDENT beauty consultant, I see no reason why there should be such a restrictive dress code. I can see reasons for not wearing shorts, a hawaiian top and flip flops to meetings. I cannot see prohibiting nice pants. It's ludicrous!

  3. IMO.. once a week is not "restrictive" I can see if you had to wear one everyday and to your appotintments. Please someone tell me why "once a week" is so bothersome?

  4. Here's what InTouch defined as the dress code for the broadcasted SEE event coming up:

    The dress code for the May 18 “SEE” Guest Night is professional Mary Kay business attire which includes the following:

    * Independent Sales Directors: Sales Director suit; closed- or opened-toed shoes appropriate for a business setting, including dressy, heeled sandals (no flip-flops or similarly casual footwear); hosiery optional.
    * Independent Sales Director-In-Qualification: Black blouse, black skirt and red jacket; closed- or opened-toed shoes appropriate for a business setting, including dressy, heeled sandals (no flip-flops or similarly casual footwear); hosiery optional.
    * Star Recruiters, Team Leaders, and Future Independent Sales Directors: White blouse, black skirt and red jacket. Future Independent Sales Directors may also choose to wear their Future Independent Sales Director scarf. Closed- or opened-toe shoes appropriate for a business setting, including dressy, heeled sandals (no flip-flops or similarly casual footwear); hosiery optional.
    * Independent Beauty Consultants: Business dress or skirted suit; closed- or opened-toed shoes appropriate for a business setting, including dressy, heeled sandals (no flip-flops or similarly casual footwear); hosiery optional.

    So, as far as I understand, a skirt is in the dress code. Pantyhose are not. They are optional.

    Basically, I just find it interesting what people get hung up on. Nothing is a big deal until you make it so. I think that the image of being professional and feminine at the same time is a wonderful thing. And at the same time, there are a lot of feminine looking pants-suits that women wear. I don't have an answer, just a thought: When representing Mary Kay as an INDEPENDENT Beauty Consultant, go above and beyond your normal comforts to put forth the best face (literally and figuratively) possible.

  5. P.S. I wore slacks to my first couple unit meetings and to my first guest event. :)

  6. The world is not going to come crashing down on anyone because she wore pants to her weekly meeting. I've done it. There are time when it is just too cold to go all day at work in a skirt just for my MK meeting that night and I don't have time to change. My director doesn't scold me.
    Here's the thing, though. This is one of those things where MK parallels my dance life. If you want to dance in some schools, you can't wear anything you want. You HAVE to wear a black leotard and pink tights. Feeling uncomfortable about your body? NO COVER UPS ALLOWED! If you do wear them anyway, they kick you out. If you wear a blue leotard instead of black they kick you out. If your tights are black and not pink they kick you out. If you want to dance the dance you comply. So, a little thing like wearing a skirt to the meeting once a week is no issue IMO. Wearing a uniform doesn't change who you are. It makes a statement about the level of professionalism you possess.
    If you earn recognition at a corporate event and want to be seen on stage you wear the required uniform. Just like if you want the lead role and hate your costume; too bad. It's just part of the territory.
    It's a respect thing. Yes, we are independent contractors, but we represent a product. When you represent a product you didn't invent, you have to comply with what the maker of that product wants as far as presentation. When you go to a department store, they have some freedom with the displays, but Estee Lauder and Clinique ultimately dictate how their products are presented. Mary Kay is no different. They just deal with a sales force that works from home.

  7. Why it's restrictive is not the frequency. It's restricting, on that one day, the IBC's clothing options far beyond what a normal business setting in 2009 would dictate. Even if it's infrequent, I still consider it thoroughly unreasonable.

    One of these days, MKC is gonna wake up to this.

  8. eep, wait, I forgot something. It *is* different. Clinique and Estee Lauder have *employees* working for them. MKC has employees in Dallas, but the IBC is not a company employee. (or a ballet dancer, for that matter.) If you don't get a regular paycheck from the company, how do they still get to be that specifically demanding about what you wear?

    Questioning authority is not a bad thing.

  9. It is something the Company requests, because that is what Mary Kay felt was appropriate. I have a feeling it won't be long before we see dress pants allowed. I think many of the older Nationals are hanging on to the tradition,

    my opinion is Mary Kay was a woman "ahead of her time" and I feel she would see were things have gone with fashion and not object to fashion forward dress pants/pant suits.

    As far as the Company requesting it, I guess it is just the idea you are representing the Company name and how you represent it does reflect back on the Company - similiar I guess to anyone who owns a franchise - you aren't getting a paycheck from them but to use their name, you will follow their rules.

    L'il mkm4e has to remove her nose piercing and all her earrings just to work at Wendy's (and her nose stud is so tiny, you can barely see it) -

    As far as an ibc - I don't think it is a major deal to have to do it at a Company event but where what you want to your own appointments. But like I said, at my meetings, I allow dress pants because I feel one can be just as professional in dress pants. And personally with a foot of snow driving around in 10 degree weather, you look ridiculous in a skirt/dress and heels. Plus it is stinking cold... give me dress pants and nice boots any day! :)

    As far as Conpany events and meeting with other units, I don't even have to worry or think about it, just grab my directors suit and I am good to go, I love it.

  10. its about compromise, give and take. Nothing wrong with challenging authority, I have done it many times. But I also dont see anything wrong with compromising. If you have a skirt in your closet anyway, which most women do, why not wear it?

    I understand about protesting things that are wrong..but asking someone to wear a skirt does not fit into the catogory of something thats "wrong" IMO. It might be an inconvience, but not so sure about it being "wrong" and worthy of a full blown protest. But is is worthly of a compromise.

    When most women complain about this, the first thing they say is "I dont want to buy a whole new wardrobe!" I have heard that complaint from antimkers for so long, and I just dont get it. How is one skirt a "whole new wardrobe"?

    It just seems to me that some folks will try to make things harder than they have to be. There is give and take in everything and rules. We may be independent but it still comes with rules that the company can set if we want to use their name.

    The fact that the company has relaxed the panty hose rule is a good thing and says that they are listening to the changing times. I cant remember the last time I saw a woman wearing panty hose, most styles of shoes look best without them nowadays anyways.
    I dont even have a pair anymore, and have stopped buying them.

    But one day for maybe 2 hours is not that much to compromise to wear a skirt, compared to the rest of the month where you can wear what you want.

    I totally agree with the director setting the tone for the dress code in the meetings. If your director has been kind, helpful and done her best to be there for you, why not compromise and help her keep that rule in her unit if thats what she has asked of you?
    Besides wearing the skirt puts you in the habit of wearing it with the red jacket. Once the red jacket is earned, it must accompany a black skirt and white blouse. All directors have to wear the directors suit to meetings, they cant just say "I dont want to wear that suit to my meeting today..I'll just wear these slacks", what kind of example would that set?

    The fact that they have let the director set the tone for the dress code, says that Mary Kay corp has listened and they do recognize that pants can be worn and have relaxed that rule a bit as MK4me shows us. So its up to the director, it seems, to recognize what the women in that area respond to.

    If my director all of a sudden says we can wear pant suits OR skirts to the meeting, that will be fine with me. But if she doesnt, I wont get all bent out of shape about having to wear a skirt for 2 hours a week (maybe 2 hours a month, because I dont get to go to meetings as often as I would like).
    Why should I let a skirt or any article of clothing keep me from working this business?

  11. Right. My point was exactly that. I didn't invent Mary Kay cosmetics. If the company responsible says no pants, then I don't wear them to corporate events. Respect. If they do change to pants, great! I would welcome it. Until then, I will wear a skirt as requested. I do wear what's comfortable for my appointments.

  12. OH! And I should add the employees at dept. Stores are not employees of Clinique or Estee Lauder, yet they have to follow the guidelines set by those companies to display/represent those products. ;) the Mary Kay counters are in homes. ;)

  13. You guys? Winter? in the North?

    Here in NC where I live, it may not be that big a deal. But...Winter in Wisconsin? Skirt?

    Heck no. To me, freezing off my legs is a very big deal!

  14. When you are talking about conditions like the weather etc..yes I can understand. the director in those areas should take advantage of the fact that MK has relaxed the skirt rule and let her unit dress for the weather.

    But not everyone complaining about this issue has the weather as an excuse. Some women act as if someone has asked them to cut off one of their fingers or something when they are told that they have to wear a skirt. Putting on a skirt is not the worst thing in the world that can happen to a woman. There are more important things to worry about, its just not worth all the drama some women give it IMO. Pick your battles.

  15. My opinion on the skirt/pants thing is this. I realize some of you are comfortable in both. You don't feel like it's a "big deal" to wear either one and the rest of us should suck it up. Well, for me - it's not a question of sucking it up. It's a question of what makes me perform at my best.

    My recruiter gave me some nonsense about there having been a "study" that women who sell in business skirts vs. business pant suits or pants and blouse were proven to have sold more. I would like to know what decade this study was done. It can't have been in the last 20 years. I personally feel completely uncomfortable and VERY self-conscious in a dress or skirt. To the point that I cannot be myself and this can come across sometimes in my classes.

    In my prior job, I used to give sales presentations, teach software classes and attend corporate director meetings in only pants. It never hurt my numbers and most of the time I was selling more than the men and doing much better than the women (who were wearing both pants and skirts). I am just more comfortable being me in pants. It should be acknowledged by Mary Kay that an IBC should be encouraged to wear whatever makes them the most effective - as long as it is nice business attire. Pants or skirts. no matter.

    If MK were to do a study in this decade, they would certainly understand how much times have changed and empower the MK women to choose for themselves, not feel coerced to wear a certain style. My Sales Director even had the gall to say that if I wore pants to a meeting I would probably feel out of place or uncomfortable. I can guarantee her that if I were to wear a skirt, I would be even moreso. I have not worn a skirt yet - and no one has told me I can't sell Mary Kay, nor have they complained about my sales numbers.

    Food for thought.

  16. nellyemh: I agree. We perform better when we feel confident. I don't think we need to be in uniform for our appointments. Just looking professional. I suspect the study showed just that and was not based on specifically who wore skirts and who wore pants. It's irrelevant. It's the level of confidence felt by the individual.
    I'm a weirdo, though. I feel more confident at my appointments dressed a little more casually (pants, beauty coat, capris, etc.) but if I am going to bump into a potential new customer, I feel better if I'm in a skirt. Sometimes I feel sloppy in pants. Maybe because for me personally, pants are what I through on when I don't feel like making an effort and most pants don't fit me right; they always seem too big. It's just me. At least I feel that way in my dressier office pants. I have some snazzy jeans that I feel more dressed up in than I do in my office pants. Weird, I know. They just give me more confidence. :P It's individual taste.
    At meetings and corporate events the preference is skirts, so I comply. I wear pants once in awhile to my meeting when it's freezing out and sometimes my director adjusts the meeting mood for casual attire depending on what we're doing and/or weather.

  17. My 2 cents on this? I respect the dress code even though I too detest wearing a SKIRT!! I have a wonderful director that would rather have us there in our "other work clothes" than not to cone at all and miss the trainig all together. I admit that I did have to hunt for a skirt to wear and I am not a small person either, but found a reall nice one at ROSS for
    only $8. Yes I wear it every time I go. At my classes I have also worn it, but I am sure that if I had worn slacks and a nice professional blouse that it would have been just fine too. Nobody would have cared. I have to say that I always get compliments from my customers when I do wear it (especially since they usually see me in scrubs or jeans on a regular basis) and it makes me feel even more attractive and my husband and kids (ages 7 and 4) notice how nice I look too. That is awewome! That in itself makes me smile. I signed with MK about 13 years ago under my cousin in another state and was adopted to a local unit. They told me the same thing about the skirt and dress and I tried at first but felt like a square peg in a round hole! Needless to say, it didn't last. Now I am older and am accepting it better.
    You don't HAVE to go to the meetings, but it is advisable for
    training. Perhaps you could be adopted to another local unit that isn't so rigid. Just a thought.

  18. The problem I had with the skirt issue was that it was only told to me after I had decided to join & paid my fees. If I had been aware of the dress code restrictions & religious affiliations prior to paying I would not have joined. After speaking to others with the same concerns it appears as if this is common place. I fully support a business being able to have their own dress code & religious views but I do think it's wrong to inform new recruits of these expectations after they have committed. If they are that important to your organization be up front & transparent about them.


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