LOUD WHISPERS: Dress Codes Versus Morality Police

Over the past couple of weeks, there has been a debate in Nigeria about Dress Codes and the implications for civil liberties. There was an order from the leadership of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) that a dress code would be enforced on all employees. They listed a number of dress items which would henceforth be considered inappropriate. These ‘banned’ items include spaghetti tops, tight jeans, navel exposing tops, rough hairstyles, scuffed shoes and so on. Around the time this happened, a woman who was visiting the Immigration Service was turned back for wearing a ‘high low hem’ dress which covered her upper body, but  revealed her knees. Her outfit was smart casual enough for an office visit, but she was turned away. Nigerians, especially women, were up in arms about these developments and rightfully so.

In my own opinion, and from my experience as an employer, dress codes are important. Through a dress code, you express a corporate culture of value, respect and professionalism. If your employees can show up in anything they like, as a boss you should not be upset if your place of work is mistaken for the local bar. Serious customers who have come in to see their lawyer, accountant or banker will simply take their business elsewhere, rather than take the risk of leaving their money in the hands of a manager dressed like a local gangster. It is just plain common sense to dress appropriately for the work place. Dress codes, according to global best practice, are not meant to discriminate against anyone, but to encourage a projection of the workplace in the best possible light.

Full article in Loud Whispers cover final

Bisi Adeleye-Fayemi is a Gender Specialist, Social Entrepreneur and Writer. She is the Founder of Abovewhispers.com, an online community for women. She can be reached at BAF@abovewhispers.com



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21 Responses to LOUD WHISPERS: Dress Codes Versus Morality Police

  1. maveedah September 12, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Like the popular saying….#the way you dress is the way you will be addressed#….I think everything balls down to the fact that we should be moderate

  2. onozare September 12, 2016 at 8:28 am

    Freedom to dress….
    It can be negative and positive because some people dont even know what to wear and what not to…Even in churches today,you go to the place of worship looking like you are going to a club house…hmmm…CIVILIZATION…

  3. opeyemi September 12, 2016 at 8:36 am

    People need to read this and i hope they learn also from it and most times its the women that is fully affected

  4. D'apoet September 12, 2016 at 8:51 am

    I have thought all the dress policing in Nigeria is to police women and control them, until I was in Uniabuja and I was told I couldn’t enter because I was wearing a short trouser. Now as a man visiting a university, I was dumbfounded. I think when it’s not work or church, people should be free to dress the way they are comfortable with.

  5. precious September 12, 2016 at 9:04 am

    nice article I like this topic this should be read by everybody even the youths. like a popular saying. The way you dress so shall you be addressed. we need to understand and learn more about the important of responsibility in dressing. This is one of the problems faced by youths in the society.

  6. henry September 12, 2016 at 9:07 am

    the rate of bad dressings should be looked into. The religions leaders and social media have the must important role to play.

  7. Femi Diipo September 12, 2016 at 9:08 am

    You really can’t judge people by how they dress, I think everyone realizes this at a certain point in their life. Men who cannot control themselves when they see a woman in short skirt or cleavage revealing dresses are simply not fit for the modern society and they shouldn’t blame their personal problems on women and girls.

  8. Timmie_K September 12, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    This article is so on point – projects what I’ve been ruminating on lately. We live in a age where dress-sense is lost totally, half-nakedness has become the order of the day. I feel one should know what’s right to do – even talks about letting our moderation known unto all men.

  9. Fiarad September 12, 2016 at 1:10 pm

    Well, well, well…. I think there are certain things that may influence the way we dress – Weather and Culture. Then, we are not CRAZY, We should not be MAD(literal) – and then turn what’s meant to be our PRIVATE PARTS to a PUBLIC FILM SHOW…..

  10. Mercy September 12, 2016 at 1:42 pm

    The way we dress really goes a long way in the way we’ll be approached and treated. Even when trying to pick up some things from other races’ culture, it does not imply WE LOSE OUR SANITY, everything has to be moderate.

  11. DSEED September 12, 2016 at 8:01 pm

    Truely speaking, the way we dressed says a lot about us. Indecence dressing should be address thoroughly.

  12. Olowolafe Olanrewaju September 12, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    Having a sense of decent dressing can spare us from public disgrace. Every occasion have is own dressing standard.

  13. olaluv September 12, 2016 at 8:12 pm

    This dressing of a thing is not only limit to woman, men of nowadays sense of dressing too is nothing to write about. We just need to represent ourselves, family and nation very well through our dressings.

  14. lanfem. September 12, 2016 at 8:15 pm

    The way we dressed the same way we will be addressed. Let us be conscious in our dressing. To me dressing well gives me more confidence anywhere I go.

  15. kitan September 12, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    There is what we call modracy and decency. Applying this in our dressing can go a long way. Let’s represent ourselves well.

  16. DSEED September 12, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    This article have to go viral. We all need to know the truth concerning the well we dress. Some people don’t dress naked but there problem is that they don’t know how to combine colors, some there cloths doesn’t look smart on them and so on. Perfect dressing is all about been intelligent.

  17. Ebonychyqui2 September 12, 2016 at 9:20 pm

    I have been waiting for this kind of message for quite some time now and thank God here it is. Some people actually need to be compelled to wear descent and non provocative clothings. Clothes like rags are too common in this our generation and rape is the order of the day for such people who wear them.

  18. Olakunle Olajide September 12, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    I think morality is the key word in this topic. Policing or no policing, some dressing could really be so irritating. This happened recently when a lady walked along the road with her back fully exposed and you could see her cleavage as well. I personally don’t judge people, but it was somewhat irritating walking around the street giving people all sort of impressions. As for the dress policy in work places, i think that is very important or else it might become an issue later on at work and the policy must not be gender bias. Another beautiful write up.

  19. Princess September 12, 2016 at 9:25 pm

    This is my judgement, anyone found wearing clothing materials revealing any part of their private part should be taken to the rehab.

  20. Legzycool September 12, 2016 at 9:30 pm

    I think the problem we do encounter is that people put on dresses for the wrong occasion. All mode of dressing have their specific time and places to be worn. I choose my dressing carefully depending on where i am heading to,because i hate being embarrassed. And appearance speaks a lot

  21. Harryrrah September 12, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Waaoooooh this is sweet, and should go viral so that the whole world can know what it takes to be descently dressed. But I won’t accede to that of trouser wearing, its not supposed to be included in their so called list. To me its nothing but bunkum. Even if its possible in Nigeria it can never be in some other countries!


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