Melanie Stark knew exactly what she was getting into when she was hired to work in the music department at Harrods. The famed British department store has a notoriously staunch dress code, and is very specific about wearing makeup. Still, when she was fired for not following it, she claimed that she was “driven out,” and filed a complaint. And now the press seems to be more fired up about the whole thing than she is.
All British shoppers know that they’re so strict at Harrods that there’s even a dress code for customers, listed under “Visitor Guidelines.” It states: “We would kindly ask all visitors to ensure all clothing is clean and presentable and that the appropriate footwear is worn whilst in the store. We would also ask that visitors refrain from wearing clothing which may reveal intimate parts of the body, or which portrays offensive pictures or writing, as well as refraining from wearing crash helmets in the store. In particular the code does not permit any person entering the store who is wearing high cut, sports or beach shorts, swimwear, bare midriffs, athletic singlets, cycling shorts or general sporting attire, bare feet or any extremes of personal presentation.”
So it should come as no surprise to anyone that the guidelines for employees are even more detailed. According to Salon.com, there are two full pages of them for women, and they say that women must wear: “Full makeup at all time: base, blusher, full eyes (not too heavy), lipstick, lip liner and gloss are worn at all time and maintained discreetly (please take into account the store display lighting which has a ‘washing out’ effect).”