Christmas time with your partner's family can be nerve-wracking - choosing what presents to buy them, making sure you look your best, and somehow making a pav for dessert that doesn't collapse and belong on the #bakingforbeginners Instagram feed.
Chances are though, when you've thought about your Christmas dinner outfit, you haven’t been pondering which dress will maximise your “marriage material” appeal or fretted over your potential in-laws checking out your cleavage at the dinner table.
But that’s exactly what UK clothing brand JOY has suggested women should be worried about, with the company sending out a newsletter with advice on what to wear… if we were back in the 1950s.
“Show your boyfriend’s mum you’re the girl to take care of her little prince in beautiful dresses that screams marriage material” the company advised in their email.
Instructing women that “knee length skirts exude class”, there was also special mention on the importance on keeping yourself covered to avoid unwanted male attention.
“Respectable necklines mean father-in-law won’t have a heart attack when you lean across the table for a second helping of roast potatoes,” they added.
No surprises here, but customers soon hit back.
“Since when did you think this kind of crass everyday sexism was a legit way to market yourself to women?” wrote one user. “This isn’t the 1950s and women wear your clothing to look smart at work, not bag a man and get married. Grow up,” blasted one user.
The store was forced to issue an apology, insisting they took inspiration from a customer who came into their store asking for help on what to wear to Christmas with her new in-laws.
“We used weirdly-crafted satire and it seemed to backfire on what was an enthusiastic and well-meaning email to give customers some inspiration ahead of the Big Day,” the company wrote on their website.
“In retrospect, and thanks to some of our more forthcoming and expressive customers, we now see that a poor choice of phrasing was used; this was our seemingly miscalculated idea of satire.”