Tattoos/Piercings and alt fashion

Hey guys!

Has anyone noticed discrimination based off of the way they dress and or tattoos/piercings?

I have colorful hair, many piercings and tats The previous company that I worked for hired me on the spot. I did not hide anything. However, the third day on the job HR called me up to the office and told me I need to “tone down” my look. My boss called me in his office too and told me the same thing. It happened two other times during that same week.

It’s fashion for crying out loud. Individuals are creative and different. This wasn’t even a company in the “community”.

Anyone know of any companies who are lax on this?

I think the opposite is true in LA. You might get called into HR for not being alt enough. :slight_smile:


@grandpoobah Guess I need to move!

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Not in NY, its anything goes, as far as I’ve seen. I’ve seen high level designers at Nike and Limited Brands with soooo much ink, (lady at Nike had it come up to her face).

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Yes definitely noticed it pretty much everywhere I’ve worked in LA. I once got this opportunity to work at a high profile company and I had fuschia hair at the time. The person who recommended me for the job advised me to remove the fuschia before my interview. All designers there looked similar (natural/very minimal makeup look) and we were encouraged to wear their clothes as much as possible to always be representing the brand. Some brands are just like that and it’s fine- I’m sure there are many places that are lax about it, but I don’t know any specifics.

I’m C-suite level marketing/branding/Ops and my entire forearm is tattooed, but! I still hide this when I got to major meetings for the first time and interview… I know it stinks and I am such a peace, love, hippie, never judge the book by its cover kinda-girl, but others do. So I guess it’s like a first date? I want the person to like me, respect me, value me for my brains and what I can bring to the table - before I’m judged as someone “less than” (as tattoos typically don’t come with cardigans and a house on the Vineyard) but that’s the best part… I probably make more than the average person I’m walking in to that meeting with and have more respect, class, love for art, fine wine, high fashion, etc. then the next guy, but I’ll be judged derogatory for me tattoos. I live just outside NYC in NJ and there’s a surgeon who lives on one of the most expensive streets in the town, and he’s fully sleeved! $20M dollar home, incredible intellect, nicest coolest guy and full sleeve and back tattoo. Amen!

There is so much diversity in Los Angeles, but cultural fitness is EXTREMELY important. They want employees to embody their brand message, and fashion companies communicate thru visuals. This tolerance varies by company, but it’s always a factor.

The best advice I can give you is to emulate the looks in their recent marketing campaigns for a first interview and go from there. A giveaway to “lax” company dress codes are the models they choose but it’s not always a definite. In reality, unless you know someone who has worked there, it’s a toss up.

There are always exceptions to the rule, but from my experience, you must match the brand aesthetic in sales, design and marketing.

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Never. But I also started in the industry with a boss who wore anything and everything so it seemed like an open invite to experiment. I work for a more conservative company now, so I have scaled it back a bit but I honestly don’t think they would care… As long as I get my job done.

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I work in middle America and I have full sleeves and face piercings. I am a senior level middle management employee and nobody cares and has never cared. But - it’s design, which is a world in its own.

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