As reported in The Guardian Ms Stark, who worked not in the makeup department but in the HMV franchise, was told that she must wear “full makeup” including lipliner, lipstick and lipgloss, as well as “base and full eyes”. On two occasions Ms Stark, who said that she was “exhausted, stressed and upset” by the treatment she was subjected to, was required to go home, and on another was required to work in the stockroom.
In a letter to Harrods she stated “To be told that one’s face is inadequate is extremely degrading”. The “ladies” dress code states:
Full makeup at all time: base, blusher, full eyes (not too heavy), lipstick, lip liner and gloss are worn at all time and maintained discreetly (please take into account the store display lighting which has a ‘washing out’ effect).
The men’s code is ostensibly less restrictive but perhaps with its own challenges – “slick, sophisticated and debonair” – including requirements to use deodorant, trim fingernails, avoid visible tattoos and refrain from growing “mutton chops”!
But it doesn’t stop there. There is also a dress code for visitors to the store. A visit to the Harrods website reveals the following:
Does Harrods have a dress code?
The store does have a dress code. We would kindly ask all visitors to ensure all clothing is clean and presentable and that the appropriate footwear is worn whilst in the store. We would also ask that visitors refrain from wearing clothing which may reveal intimate parts of the body, or which portrays offensive pictures or writing, as well as refraining from wearing crash helmets in the store. In particular the code does not permit any person entering the store who is wearing high cut, sports or beach shorts, swimwear, bare midriffs, athletic singlets, cycling shorts or general sporting attire, bare feet or any extremes of personal presentation.
Ms Stark resigned from the store after working there for five years.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the heavily made up Liz Jones is less sympathetic in her article in the Daily Mail.