'What's a top stitched trouser?' - Nick Ferrari examines work dress codes

13 November 2020, 12:25

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

Nick Ferrari examines employment law and dress codes which leaves him asking "what's a topstitched trouser?"

The conversation comes after lawyers at one of the country’s most exclusive divorce firms gagged a former employee who leaked a memo revealing that they barred their staff from wearing cardigans.

In the memo from London firm Vardags, which Nick Ferrari read out on air, the business owner told staff that she would accept cravats and formal waistcoats, but woolly jumpers or singlets — which she defined as woolly vests— and top-stitched trousers."

This led to Nick questioning "what's a topstitched trouser?"

"Male staff were banned from wearing super-tight trousers,” which Nick said he agreed with the firm also ruled out "shoes with pointed toes."

Speaking to LBC's Daniel Barnett, who hosts our legal hour from 9pm on Saturday evening, Nick asked how much he could tell his production staff what they should be wearing.

Daniel said that Nick could give "reasonable instructions" to his staff over their dress, but that he could not have a "dress code that's sexist."

He said he felt the dress code in question was "on the cusp of appropriate and inappropriate."

The employment law expert explained the dress code was "careful not to say that women have to wear high heels, which is not acceptable, and it does say that both men and women have to look professional."

Daniel quipped with Nick that "if you have to be attractive and dress well to be a good lawyer then I'd be out of a job."

The Legal Hour with Daniel Barnett is on every Saturday from 9pm, only on LBC.