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Woman's response after being 'dress-coded' at Milan's famous church sparks fierce debate

While the woman casually shared a video of the outfit that was condemned at the Italian church, it sparked a huge debate online.

Woman's response after being 'dress-coded' at Milan's famous church sparks fierce debate
Cover Image Source: TikTok | @aoliviab

Being a tourist is not just about having fun. It's also about understanding and embracing the culture and norms of the place we are traveling to. While some cities are quite open to the dressing and lifestyle choices of their tourists, some places expect them to adhere to certain rules of conduct. Especially, religious places insist on keeping up the decorum. Ariana Olivia Bolanos, a Michigan-based fashion designer, was dress-coded at a Milan church on her trip to Italy in 2021. Posting on her TikTok page, @aoliviab shared a clip of the outfit she was wearing while visiting the church where she was criticized and people have different views on it.

Image Source: TikTok | @aoliviab
Image Source: TikTok | @aoliviab

Captioning her video, "Hopefully, this doesn't offend someone," the high fashion designer revealed her experience. "When I got dress-coded at the Milan Duomo because my knees were showing," wrote Bolanos. The 6-second video showed the designer wearing a black t-shirt with mid-length blue denim shorts and white tennis shoes. She wore a white semi-transparent kaftan-type top over her entire outfit out of respect for the religious site, Duomo di Milano. Her white topcoat came up to her knee and she twirled around showing off her fashion choice, which barely covered her, in front of the church.

Image Source: TikTok | @notmephisto
Image Source: TikTok | @notmephisto

With over 195.2K views, her video caught the internet's attention. While some validated the church's reproval over her outfit and made some humble suggestions, others clearly expressed they weren't happy with her fashion choice. "Yeah, this happens at every famous church in Italy. You should do your research before going," mentioned @shannono00.

Image Source: TikTok | @deactivatedaccount001122
Image Source: TikTok | @deactivatedaccount001122
Image Source: TikTok | @asappkatiee
Image Source: TikTok | @asappkatiee

"I remember I studied abroad in Rome and I couldn't go inside one church with everyone else because I was wearing a tank top," wrote @chas3331. "Wear a sleeveless longer sundress and carry a pashmina to cover shoulders inside which you can toss in a bag," suggested @patriciaco9. When @kyliecathleen told Bolanos, "I mean if you’re going to a holy place of worship you should respect their modesty rules," Bolanos defended her act and replied, "That’s why I’m wearing the white cover-up that I bought for 2.50€." 


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Catherine Pearlman (@catherinepearlman)


 

Another instance where a 13-year-old was dress-coded by her middle school principal and her mom came to her rescue caught traction online. When Catherine Pearlman, a licensed social worker and author, came to know that her teen daughter was dress-coded twice a week because her 'fingertips hit below her shorts,' she decided to retaliate. In her comeback letter that she shared on her website, The Family Coach, she wrote, "Dear Middle School Principal, Thank you for sending a note home for the second day in a row to say my daughter was dressed inappropriately for school. I’d like to offer an additional thank you for forcing her to change into large mesh shorts that have been worn by only god knows who and potentially never washed. To reward you for treating my daughter with such concern, I am cordially inviting you to take my daughter shopping."

Pearlman's daughter was 5'7" tall with unusually long legs, arms and fingers which makes every clothing for her age look a bit shorter. The mom added sarcastically in the letter, "I forgot to thank you for making it clear to my daughter that her body is somehow a distraction, either to herself or to the boys. I thought she might have missed the message earlier in the year when the gym teacher told her she couldn’t wear yoga pants because the boys weren’t able to control themselves. I appreciate how hard you are working to drive the point home." Her Instagram post about this went viral and the school district rectified the dress code. She also shared that "it's no longer acceptable to say girls are a distraction."

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