Charlotte Hannah
June 10, 2013

Male Train Drivers In Stockholm Wear Skirts to Protest Shorts Ban

If you ever find yourself trapped in an uncomfortable social situation and want to sneak away quickly, just say the words “mandatory dress code.” Everyone will be so busy heatedly arguing the merits and faults of a company or school dictating what its employees or students must wear that you’ll be able to slip out undetected.

The thing is, for all the arguments for and against mandatory dress codes, there’s one fact we can all agree on: if a dress code must exist, it should at least be practical.

Executives at the train company Arriva in Stockholm, Sweden didn’t get that memo. Last year, drivers of their trains were told shorts weren’t acceptable attire in the workplace – despite the fact that in the summer, temperatures in the trains can rise to a staggering 95 F. The company’s dress code restricts leg-covering options to either full-length pants or skirts.

So, in protest of the company’s unreasonable dress code, about a dozen dudes who drive the trains on the Roslagsbanan line have started wearing skirts to work – and looking pretty darn good while doing it.

“It’s very warm weather here so we would like to wear shorts, but if we can’t then we have skirts for comfort,” says driver Martin Akersten.

Unfortunately, these guys seem to have forgotten they’re in Sweden, paradise of gender equality. Arriva may have a hate-on for shorts, but it’s totally cool with its male train drivers wearing skirts.

“Our thinking is that one should look decent and proper when representing Arriva and the present uniforms do that. If the man only wants [to wear] a skirt then that is OK,” says Arriva communications officer Thomas Hedenius to local newspaper Mitti. “To say anything else would be discrimination.”