BBC presenters are apparently not allowed to wear these clothes

We’re not sure how we feel about this

presenter dress code

We’re not sure how we feel about this

Just when you thought it didn’t get weirder than United Airlines banning leggings, and this high school’s sexist dress rules, a leaked email has now revealed what BBC presenters are and aren’t allowed to wear and it’s pretty surprising to be honest.

The email, sent by BBC editor Samantha Smith, lists the dos and don’ts of what to wear and how to look when presenting the news, right down to which brands you can wear.

Because it turns out, Marks and Spencer’s Per Una range is best avoided, even if you snag something gorgeous in the M&S Black Friday sale. Apparently, their cardigans aren’t on point: ‘No cardies. Even the very nicest ones in real life look too casual on TV. Avoid Per Una.’

Other big don’ts include leather, PVC, elaborate make-up, long hair and short skirts.

According to The Mirror, Sam wrote, ‘skirts should reach to somewhere around your knees – controversial, maybe – but I honestly believe anywhere else is distracting.’

Presenters should also avoid jeans, wellies and raincoats, unless the story is about the countryside, flip flops, unless you’re on the beach, and trainers are only allowed if the story involves running.

But to be fair, it’s not all ridiculous demands, some requirements are purely made so your outfit works on camera. For example, boldly coloured or patterned clothes would be too distracting.

The email also said a smart jacket was also a winner, as was sombre clothing for reporting serious stories.

A spokesperson for the BBC told The Mirror, ‘This informal advice was shared with a small number of staff who appear onscreen about what does and doesn't work on camera or under TV lighting.’

Sam explained, ‘The below is my view based on long experiences of getting it wrong and very occasionally right both reporting and presenting… this is a starting point for a conversation so pitch in with your own thoughts. This is a minefield of PC pitfalls.’

Penny Goldstone

Penny Goldstone is the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire, covering everything from catwalk trends to royal fashion and the latest high street and Instagram must-haves.

Penny grew up in France and studied languages and law at the Sorbonne Nouvelle University in Paris before moving to the UK for her MA in multimedia journalism at Bournemouth University. She moved to the UK permanently and has never looked back (though she does go back regularly to stock up on cheese and wine).

Although she's always loved fashion - she used to create scrapbooks of her favourite trends and looks, including Sienna Miller and Kate Moss' boho phase - her first job was at, sourcing the best deals for everything from restaurants to designer sales.

However she quit after two years to follow her true passion, fashion journalism, and after many years of internships and freelance stints at magazines including Red, Cosmopolitan, Stylist and Good Housekeeping, landed her dream job as the Digital Fashion Editor at Marie Claire UK.

Her favourite part of the job is discovering new brands and meeting designers, and travelling the world to attend events and fashion shows. Seeing her first Chanel runway IRL at Paris Fashion Week was a true pinch-me moment.