Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

Woman faces backlash for leaving work dinner after being dress-coded by restaurant

‘You’d seriously wear Crocs to a work function?’

Amber Raiken
New York
Wednesday 21 February 2024 20:35 GMT
Related: Sarasota commission discusses bars, restaurants

A woman has been hit with backlash after she left her work dinner because she refused to abide by the restaurant’s dress code.

In a recent post shared to the popular “Am I The A**hole” Reddit forum, the woman asked if she was in the wrong for deciding not to “go home” and change her shoes for her company’s dinner, after being dress-coded by a restaurant worker. She specified that the incident happened during a dinner for her colleague, who’s retiring from the company.

She then described where the event was and what the rules were. “It was being held at a little barbecue restaurant in town. I was told that the dress code was ‘smart casual,’” she wrote.

The woman went on to describe her outfit, noting that she wore a “nice skirt and button-up” with a pair of Crocs. She also claimed that she lives in a city with “a hot climate,” so people everywhere are wearing shoes like, “sandals, Crocs, and flip flops”.

The Reddit user then shared that once she got to the restaurant, there was an issue with her outfit, specifically her shoes. She then described her candid feelings about the restaurant worker calling out shoes, given the fact that the dinner was a work event.

“It turned out they had a dress code, and the hostess loudly told me I couldn’t come in wearing Crocs,” she wrote. “It was extremely embarrassing in front of my coworkers. I don’t really understand the problem because there were people wearing sneakers, Converse, etc, and that’s fine but Crocs aren’t? It wasn’t even a fancy restaurant so I really wasn’t expecting this.”

She specified that while a co-worker encouraged her to “go home and change [her] shoes,” before coming back to the restaurant, she decided to leave the dinner entirely. She further confessed how upset she was about the situation.

“I was so distraught I ended up just going home and not coming back. I suffer with anxiety and the whole experience just made me meltdown,” she wrote.

The woman concluded by noting that her colleagues aren’t happy with her, adding: “My coworkers are now collectively angry at me for leaving and not coming back. My boss told me the event wasn’t about me and I should’ve sucked it up.”

The Reddit post has quickly gone viral, with more than 3,900 upvotes, as of 21 February. In the comments, multiple people went on to criticise the woman, with many claiming that Crocs aren’t the right shoes for a “smart casual” dress code.

“In what way are Crocs considered smart casual?” one wrote. “They are very casual shoes and unlike sneakers cannot pass at a glance for business casual shoes. No matter that Crocs are your standard footwear, this was an occasion with a specified dress code that does not include Crocs. Would you wear them to a wedding?”

“Smart casual and you wear Crocs? Dress code or not…. You’d seriously wear Crocs to a work function???!” another wrote.

In addition, multiple people sctutinised the woman for leaving the event, as opposed to going home to change her shoes and then returning. They also defended the restaurant for not letting her in, since she didn’t follow dress code.

“You put yourself in this situation. Crocs to a restaurant when you were told it’s smart casual just doesn’t make any sense at all. Also, you could’ve ‘saved’ the situation by simply going home, changing shoes, come back and be like, ‘haha my bad, let’s have a great night,’ but you didn’t,” one wrote.

“A dress code is a dress code. Businesses have a right to refuse service and if they have a dress code, they tend to hold that in high regard since it impacts the visuals. If they deem Chucks appropriate but Crocs are a no-go, that’s their prerogative (whether it makes sense to patrons or not),” another added. “And you’re within your right not to patronise said establishment for any reason.”

The reader then acknowledged that while “anxiety is rough to deal with,” the woman’s coworkers were still “correct” about their feelings towards her. The Reddit user also alleged that the situation could have been avoided if she “acquiesced to the dress code stated beforehand,” before encouraging the woman “to take some accountability”.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in