Amanda Pendolino
June 18, 2013

Restaurant Under Fire for Requiring Female Patrons to Wear High Heels

A new California restaurant/club caused a stir when it announced an unusual dress code: women must wear high heels.

ProAbition, a new 1920s-themed restaurant in Riverside, California, drew ire when it released a flyer announcing its dress code: “Ladies: No flat shoes or sandals. Must have heels. Exception will be made if injured.”

The company’s Facebook page was quickly inundated with negative comments.

“Does this really say ladies must wear heels unless injured? This is just ignorant,” wrote one woman. Another criticized ProAbition for being the “fashion police.”

On the other hand, another commenter pointed out private establishments are allowed to impose whatever dress codes they want — and patrons can boycott by simply not going.

As a result of the controversy, ProAbition has changed its policy. Under the new rules, women are only prohibited from wearing flip flops or sandals.

The “intention was never to offend anyone,” the club posted. “As a business, we pay very close attention to our guests’ feedback. We had been receiving feedback on all fronts. That’s when we decided maybe we need to re-adjust this and not be so strict about this one particular item.”

Do you think a high heel policy is offensive? Lots of clubs have dress codes; even One Direction was turned away from a London club for being too casually dressed. But since high heels are specifically uncomfortable, this one is a bit different than asking men not to wear jerseys or baseball caps.

I think naming your place “ProAbition” is the most odious thing about this story.