TDCAA Community
Matters of Importance

This topic can be found at:

August 11, 2007, 21:47
Matters of Importance
DA updates dress code for women employees

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

A long-awaited verdict is in at the Harris County District Attorney's Office, a decision that tosses years of precedent and could alter the fabric of the department.

Out with the hose and in with the toes � but only well-pedicured ones.

With the dog days of summer in full swing and a written opinion from the Emily Post Institute in hand, District Attorney Chuck Rosenthal is relaxing dress code standards. For the first time, women who work there will be able to show ankles and toes.

After summers upon summers of complaint about the heat, the department's dress code committee has relented. Women at the office and in court no longer have to wear hose under their pants, said Assistant District Attorney Kathy Braddock, a committee member.

According to a change in policy approved by Thursday, pants may be worn without hose with appropriate shoes. "If bare feet are showing in open-toed shoes, the feet should be nicely pedicured."

And yes, "appropriate shoes" are also defined in the policy. Flip-flops are still a no-no.

Rosenthal, and most of the DA's attorneys, were at a legislative training session and unavailable for comment on the change Friday.

The change began with several complaints from female staffers and was forwarded to the DA's dress code committee with an opinion from etiquette gurus at the Emily Post Institute.

"We had to have a precedent," Braddock, always the attorney, quipped.
August 12, 2007, 00:38
Doran Williams
Presenting an empirical example of what this forum really is for.
August 12, 2007, 03:40
...And then there is up and coming musical star Garrison Starr...

and historic outlaw Belle Starr...
FULL NAME: Myra Belle Shirley

BIRTH DATE: Feb. 5, 1848.

BIRTHPLACE: Carthage, Mo.

EDUCATION: Attended the Carthage Female Academy, where she excelled in reading, spelling, grammar, arithmetic, deportment, Greek, Latin, Hebrew, and music-learning to play the piano.

FAMILY BACKGROUND: Father John Shirley was a wealthy Carthage innkeeper, mother Elizabeth "Eliza" Hatfield Shirley was descended from the Hatfield end of the infamous Hatfield and McCoy family feud in the West Virginia-Kentucky region. Belle moved with her family to Sycene, Texas shortly before Carthage was burned to the ground by Confederate guerillas during the Civil War in 1864. That same year her older brother John "Bud" Shirley, who fought for the Confederacy with William C. Quantrill's guerillas, was killed by Union troops in Sarcoxie, Mo.

DESCRIPTION OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS: In the legendary period of American history known as the Old West, the law of the whole nation had yet to tame that frontier which was spottily settled. This resulted in lawlessness seen in the personage of those known as outlaws-lawbreakers whose notorious reputations often exceeded their very person to mythical proportions. Belle Starr was one such outlaw. From her association with outlaws such as Jesse James and the Younger brothers, she reached a level of fantastic notoriety that today leaves the facts of her life not always distinguishable from the fiction.

And of course, good ole' Blaze Starr (born 1932) was an American stripper and burlesque star. Her vivacious presence and inventive use of stage props earned her the nickname "The Hottest Blaze in Burlesque". She was also notorious for her affair with Louisiana governor Earl Long.

And of course, the ever-changing Star{r} Jones, lawyer and commentator.

To no surprise, we have a Starr County here in Texas, county seat is Rio Grande City. SALUTE!

And Jason Starr, Author of the noir crime thrillers Cold Caller, Nothing Personal, Fake ID, Hard Feelings, Tough Luck, Twisted City, Bust, and Lights Out.

There is the Eric Starr group, a contemporary jazz group HQ'd in NYC.

And last, at least for now, we have Kay Starr, who is proclaimed on her website to be one of the greatest female vocalist of all time.
August 12, 2007, 11:17
Stacey L. Brownlee
Well Doran if you don't think its that important, feel free to continue to wear your panty hose under your pants.
August 12, 2007, 11:28
Originally posted by Stacey L. Brownlee:
Well Doran if you don't think its that important, feel free to continue to wear your panty hose under your pants.

Do you know something we don't know, Stacey Mae? Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin Big Grin
August 12, 2007, 12:24
Doran Williams
Originally posted by Stacey L. Brownlee:
Well Doran if you don't think its that important, feel free to continue to wear your panty hose under your pants.

Please tell me if you are male or female.
August 12, 2007, 12:44
Stacey L. Brownlee
Don't you remember ?
August 12, 2007, 12:46
SB, you make me laugh laugh laugh on a lazy Sunday!
August 12, 2007, 17:07
Doran Williams
Originally posted by Stacey L. Brownlee:
Don't you remember ?

August 12, 2007, 21:14
Shannon Edmonds
This policy change makes the news? Boy, these really are the dog days of summer.
August 14, 2007, 07:22
Hot-weather fashion: the right to bare legs
It's a fine line between dress codes and staying cool

Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle

When it comes to dressing, Houston is a conservative town � professionally speaking. It's so traditional that until last week, female employees in the Harris County District Attorney's Office had to wear pantyhose � even under their slacks.

Some other professions are just as strict. The only time hotel employee Davonna Arceneaux takes off her blazer is "in the office with the door closed." Hosiery is part of her everyday work ensemble, no matter the temperature.

"It's corporate America � 24 hours a day, 365 days a year," she said while sweltering on the streets of downtown Houston Monday afternoon.

Yet the wilting heat seems to have a silver lining: It's slowly shaking up the rules of appropriate fashion. If you want to update your office dress code, there's not a better time to make your feelings known than now.

In any season, it's a fashion minefield out there. But summer offers more pitfalls. Bare legs are accepted in many workplaces, but what about bare arms? Pants are usually OK, but are capri pants a little too out there, even if they're cooler? When are dress sandals too casual? When are dresses not dressy enough?

"Summer wreaks havoc on all dress codes, and women have the most room to err," noted Houston image consultant Helen Perry.

Case in point: The recent contretemps that ensued after Washington Post fashion writer Robin Givhan noted Hillary Clinton's V-neck top, which revealed a hint of cleavage. (Clinton hasn't worn it since.)

Every work situation is different � many lawyers keep a suit jacket on hand, while most computer specialists get by in a polo shirt � but there are some rules to stay cool while looking appropriate to the situation.

"There's a way to be dressed up and look professional and still be comfortable," said marketing consultant Cherri Carbonara. "It isn't easy. You have to do some planning and make sure you have the right pieces in your wardrobe."

During the heat wave, Carbonara prefers to wear an embroidered white linen blouse with dark slacks to the office. "It's very lightweight, but I can still visit a client in a law firm and look professional," she said.

Wearing white is a winner, said retail consultant Roz Pactor, who gives lectures to professional businesswomen's groups on "How to Look Good When It's Hot Outside."

"While many women think they have to wear a suit, a crisp white shirt with a skirt is very professional-looking and a lot cooler than layering up with a jacket," Pactor said.

Another advantage this summer: Stores are filled with dresses made of lightweight fabrics that are more bearable in the heat but also look good when worn with a jacket in an overly chilled office.

"I wouldn't wear anything with a plunging neckline, but even a sundress with a short jacket or sweater over it can take care of you in the office right out to dinner or a party," Pactor said.

Pactor also favors stylish cropped pants or Bermuda shorts with a short jacket. "I don't know if you could wear it in a law office, but you could wear it if you work for a retailer or someone like that," she said.

A more acceptable alternative in more conservative offices: blouses with three-quarter sleeves or skirts that don't fall below midknee. "When your limbs are cool, your body is cool," Pactor said.

Sleeveless blouses are fine, she said, as long as they don't resemble a tank top or plunge too low at the chest. "It still needs to have a tailored look."

Most women find that bare legs look nicer with a little maintenance, with regular application of moisturizing lotion or tanning cream, Perry said.

"Legs just don't naturally come off that great, unless you're under 29," she said.
August 14, 2007, 08:19
David Newell
two stories on this? isn't there a natural disaster or scandal someone can cover? where's gary condit when you need him?
August 14, 2007, 08:45
Rick Miller
Sorry to break up the train of thought, but I just couldn't let this go by without correction. It was Myra Maebelle Shirley, not Myra Belle, who later became Belle Starr. During and just after the Civil War, she lived with her family in Scyene which was in Dallas County (and now in the city itself). She married former Missouri guerilla Jim Redd, with whom she had two children. In 1874 Reed pulled a major stagecoach robbery between San Marcos and Austin, in the process abandoning a girl friend in Waco. Unfortunately, at least for Myra, that girl friend belonged to the prominent McCommas family of Dallas County. Reed was shot to death in Lamar County that same year, leaving his widow and family to fend for themselves. It was believed that she was taking in stolen horses from bandit acquaintances and old man Amos McCommas took umbrage. He formed a vigilante group and wrote the Governor for assistance. The Governor wrote back that the state had no money (my, how times have changed) and urged the group to follow the law. Out of desperation, four criminal charges were brought against Mrs. Reed and she was jailed. Friends wrote anonymous letters to the sheriff threatening him if he did not take good care of her. She was acquitted on a trumped-up arson charge and the others were dropped. Sensing that her welcome in the Dallas area was worn out, she moved to the Muskogee area in the Indian Nation, building a place at Youngers Bend on the Candian River. She married an Indian named Starr, hence Belle Starr. Later she served a nine-month term in a Detroit reformatory after being convicted of horse theft in Judge Isaac Parker's federal court at Fort Smith. Mrs. Starr was shot to death from ambush in 1887. Belle Starr has been depicted in a number of movies by glamorous stars...NOT EVEN CLOSE! The homely Mrs. Starr was never the "outlaw queen" as she has so often been portrayed, but she did live on the shadier side of the law. For the best book to date, read Glenn Shirley's opus on her, published by the University of Oklahoma.
Now that I've gotten that out of my system, resume your discussion. I don't think that Belle wore panty hose.
August 14, 2007, 10:35
A.P. Merillat
In an early tintype, you can just make out Belle wearing a T-shirt from an early barn dance/rock concert -- boldly procaliming "I shot the sheriff." And, Rick is right (of course) Belle was so ugly she had to sneak up on a glass of water; so ugly that a teardrop would go down the back of her neck, just to keep from crossing her face. In fact, Belle had to slap her feet just to make them go to bed with her.

Exit only (soon to be screenprinted on my Apache scarf and Nehru jacket)
August 14, 2007, 17:31
Kathy Holton
January 09, 2008, 16:02
David Newell
Judge threatens prosecutor for wearing ascot to court

Circuit Judge William Sosnay held up court for about three hours Tuesday after a prosecutor showed up wearing a red ascot to court despite a rule requiring lawyers to wear neckties.

Sosnay decided that Warren Zier's ascot � a silk scarf-like loop of cloth worn at the base of the neck � "borders on contemptuous."

"He has told me that if we're before a jury, he would appear with a tie," the judge said. "Well, why? I think we can draw an obvious implication from that."

Zier said he plans to continue with his practice of rotating his neck wear from a long tie to a bow tie to an ascot.

Zier said he'll just have to wait to find out what happens with the threat of a contempt citation. "I guess we'll deal with that if it gets to that point," Zier said.
January 09, 2008, 16:22
Andrea W
Aw, David, you beat me to it! I was just coming here to post that link. Smile

I love the judge's statement that it "borders on contemptuous". I would love the read the contempt proceedings on that one!
January 09, 2008, 16:42
Scott Brumley
For purposes of re-evaluating our own courtroom attire policy, was the ascot actually tied by Mr. Zier or was it a clip-on?
January 09, 2008, 17:30
I'd like to see someone post a picture of an ascot. Is that the same as what I think of as a string tie?
January 09, 2008, 18:01
No, no, no, JR. Aren't you from Texas? "String ties" are bolos. An ascot is like a neckerchief, all fluffy at the neck and stuff.

And since I'm still photo-posting challenged, here is a link: