Is This the Most Sexist Restaurant Dress Code Ever?
A newly opened restaurant is under fire by potential guests for advertising what may be one of the most sexist dress codes of all time.
Beluga — a Surrey-based sushi bar that advertises its innovative cocktails on Instagram — went viral in the wrong way ahead of its grand opening earlier this month. Potential patrons took to the restaurant's social media accounts to respond to what has been deemed a sexist dress code.
According to the Mirror, the self-described "selective" and "strictly invite-only" spot has rules regarding what people can wear to its establishment. For starters, hoodies, flip flops, shorts and athletic wear are expressly forbidden. Par for the course for a fancy restaurant, to be fair.
The dress code, reportedly shared on Beluga's Facebook page, is apparently "smart casual," and men are expected to wear jackets.
But here's where it gets dodgy.
Beluga advises that women can wear "skinny jeans with sexy black ankle-strap heels and with a form-fitting top." Not feeling that vibe? No worries, there's another (equally sexist) recommendation: "midi or bodycon dresses."
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of a bodycon dress, think about the fitted bandage dresses that had a moment on red carpets in the early '10s. The Sun describes a bodycon dress as being slightly different and notes that it is often used to describe "flattering figure hugging dresses" in general.
Patrons took Beluga to task for its rules and attracted media attention with further coverage from the likes of the Daily Mail.
For what it's worth, the restaurant issued a formal apology for their dress code on Instagram. In it, they deemed the description "inappropriate, disrespectful and offensive" and added that it "does not reflect the image we're seeking to promote." They also claimed that the code was "mistakenly" published.
"We wish to clarify that our policy is a smart dress code for men and women," they added.
Check out the full apology below:
A reporter from the Daily Mail tested the seemingly relaxed dress code by bringing along a friend to try out the spot. Although the friend wore a sweater and left her "sexy black ankle-strap heels" at home, she was able to gain access to the restaurant.
Beluga's dress code attracted ire online, but it is not the only spot to deal with claims of sexist dress codes.
In 2021, a website called Cape Town Etc. noted that several restaurants in the area had "smart casual" dress codes that seemingly favored men's wardrobes and comfort.
Meanwhile, according to Refinery29 male employees at a restaurant in Canada wore uniforms such short skirts and heels to protest sexist dress codes that female employees were expected to adhere to at other restaurants. CBC reports that some overtly sexual dress codes for female staff in restaurants may even be discriminatory.
On the topic of sexist dress codes for employees, Hooters recently came under scrutiny after it was revealed that their female employees have to purchase their own sheer tights, which are required as part of their uniform.