Edit: I am wearing business casual anyways, but was alarmed that I was told I was being insubordinate over my mention of comfort.
TL;DR: Company encourages casual and comfortable wear, I get hot easily and wear (khaki) shorts to work. New boss wants her new team to dress business casual, for presentation reasons. I sit in a corner and develop all day in a call center, and my peers dress casually. I only make $31k/y doing this work, less than many of the floor supervisors who wear whatever makes them happy. My comment on my unwillingness was cited as insubordination.
To start, I work as a Data Analyst/Web Developer in a callcenter. I sit in the corner of the building, on the call center floor. Company culture and policy describes a very lax dress code, where wearing casual and comfortable clothes is actively encouraged over more formal wear.
My superiors and coworkers often wear street clothes to work, a few of them regularly wear shorts as the building can get a bit hot sometimes due to a lack of thermostat control.
My new boss, a lady late in her career, who has been very motivational and helpful. Told our new team that she expects us to properly present ourselves. Which means no casual clothing, we need to wear pants and a collared shirt. The reason is that we will periodically be in meetings with company executives and other high-level leadership, that she expects her team to stand out and be presentable.
During this meeting, I said that I would be more than willing to wear business casual clothing when in the executive offices or when attending scheduled meetings with executives. But that I get hot easily in the company buildings, and would much rather work while comfortable than not. She effectively shot me down and the meeting ended.
Today, we had a 1x1, and she said that she considered my comment on her clothing policy insubordination, that I was being selfish, and need to stop thinking about just my own wants. Along with how I'm being selfish to ask for a double-wide desk because I can't fit my work equipment on the 2.5ft wide cubicle I currently am at... I was unable to eloquently describe why I don't want to wear business casual clothing while sitting in a back corner programming all day, she was very effective at turning what I was saying back around at me. In the end I almost felt like a petulant child with how I was being treated.
Is this a battle I shouldn't even try fighting? If not, what should I do to deal with this?
Should I go out and buy business-casual wear, be hot and uncomfortable, just to sit where no one sees me and program? I would rather be comfortable and focus on my work, than be uncomfortable and focus on when I can get home and become comfortable.
I don't have the social elegance or manipulation skills that my boss has, and am unable to effectively communicate with her on points she is set on. How can I effectively communicate the reasoning of why I should be able to wear whatever I find comfortable within company clothing policy?