(In fairness to the bot, it also said several times that work dress codes can vary, and that if I was unsure about mine, I should check with a supervisor or H.R. department.)
I started asking about other types of clothing that I’ve worn in the workplace. When I described the midthigh-length dress I wore a few years ago for my job interview at The Times, the chatbot was not impressed. “A midthigh dress may distract the interviewer’s attention and draw focus away from your skills and qualifications as a candidate,” the chatbot warned me. I guess I won’t be hired at its company anytime soon?
When I changed my age, the chatbot suggested different types of outfits. A 21-year-old woman should wear a statement dress, like a sequined mini, to her birthday party, it said. A 29-year-old woman celebrating her birthday, however, should try a “chic jumpsuit,” and a 58-year-old woman should wear a “knee-length shift dress in a classic print, like polka dots or stripes.”
The outfit for the 21-year-old, according to the chatbot, would let the wearer “be the center of attention on your special day,” while the older ages elicited outfits that would “help you feel confident and stylish on your special day.” (At least it was still a “special” day no matter how old you are turning — just not sequin-level special.)
I started asking questions about situations I’d been in where I wore something that went against the norm. Was it appropriate to wear a white dress to a wedding as part of the wedding party, something I did a few months ago?
“It’s best to avoid wearing white to a wedding as a guest or as part of the wedding party, as this color is traditionally reserved for the bride,” the chatbot said. It suggested that if I really wanted to wear white, I should check with the bride to see if it would be OK. Which, had I asked this question before the wedding, would have been tricky — there were no brides at this particular wedding, just grooms.