City lawyer's fashion blog warning 'no red bra' at work removed by her boss
Published 10/10/2013 | 12:38
A London City lawyer's fashion blog warning new female recruits not to wear red bras has been removed after bosses decided it was too racy.
In the suggested 'dress code' for Berwin Leighton Paisner, women trainees were told to invest in "neutral T-shirt bras and non-VPL knickers".
Their dresses should be no more than "one Bic biro's length" above the knee and show "no more than a half inch of cleavage".
The blog instructed women at the leading international law firm: "Nothing ruins an outfit like bumpy lace showing through your top or bulges on your bottom."
Men, meanwhile, were told that black suits are only for funeral mourners and bouncers while skinny ties are for cool bars, not the office.
The blog counselled: "You are not an estate agent from Chelmsford."
But Berwin bosses failed to see the funny side of the blog and had it taken down from the firm's intranet.
A firm spokesman said that the blog had been removed because it contained "inappropriate" language.
The banned blog was leaked to legal website RollOnFriday.
Its advice is proving a talking point on with some lawyers hailing it as informative and calling for it to be reinstated.
The blog began: "You have one day, or at the very most two weeks, to make an impression and you don't want that impression to be 'Does he understand how to use an iron?' or 'Nice to know she likes red bras'
"You don't have to be completely devoid of personality but, as with all things in life, you have to know what the rules are before you break them. So, the basics..."
Male trainees were advised to shop for a dark blue, charcoal or grey suit at Marks & Spencer - "the material can be fine pinstripe, twill or herringbone".
Shirts should be "fitted white, light blue or pink (for Fridays)"; shoes black, patent and not too pointy; and watches "the best you can afford".
Women must apparently avoid wearing a suit jacket as a blazer, which "fools no-one and looks sloppy" and choosing anything from Topshop's suit range.
The blog suggested expensive, black three-pieces - "jacket, pencil skirt, trousers in a shape that suits you".
Jungle-print shirt suits should not be seen outside fashion magazines, it warned.
Neutral or bright blouses can show off personality through "zips, trims, buttons, asymmetry, pussy bows" but patterns, satin and stretchy fabrics are out.
And overly formal "collared, cuffed and buttoned shirts" will mark the wearer out as a "newbie".
Jewellery should be "classic and discreet" such as gold, short drop earrings, a fine bracelet or good watch and no more than two, small rings.
Nude patent courts shoes are ideal for making the wearer's legs look "miles long".
But crazy heels are "trashy" at work and should be saved for wild nights out.
And the unknown author was scathing about trainers: "Unless you are currently recovering from knee surgery, there is no excuse for wearing running shoes on your walk to work. None. Ever."
Haircuts should be kept simple so that women can style themselves in ten minutes.
Nails should be short, neat and neutrally polished and make-up "understated".
After their torrent of tips, the fashion guru concluded: "Now you're all-set to let your awesome-ness speak for itself. Good luck!"
The Berwin spokesman said: "The blog was created by one of our trainees.
"We do encourage our trainees to blog and they still can.
"But we did take this one down because we thought some of the language was a little bit inappropriate."
But some lawyers reading the blog on industry website RollOnFriday called for it to be reinstated.
One wrote: "It's pretty good advice, actually. Seems to me they should put it back up!"
The advice on shunning trainers on the way to work, however, annoyed some. One reader wrote: "The high heels most women wear in the office kill your feet and back. But I guess that's not important as long as your legs look nice. God forbid women should choose comfort over appearance."
And another added: "Classic inherent elitist snobbery we've come to expect from these types of firms. If the trainees are good enough to get in, they're smart enough to know what to wear. How patronising."