Dress Codes

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The following compilation of dress and grooming rules is based on employee handbooks from two different companies, both of which are non-unionized.

Female employees are required to wear clothes appropriate for a business environment. Dresses and pant outfits should be conservative in cut and styling, tailored and businesslike.

Male employees are required to wear business attire. Ties and dress shirts should be worn by all men. Suits, slacks, ties and all clothing should be conservative in cut and styling.

Dress or street shoes are to be worn by office and nonuniformed employees. No sneakers or athletic shoes are allowed, unless specifically approved by department manager.

Hoisery or socks, as appropriate, must be worn at all times.

The following are considered unacceptable for office wear:

  • T-shirts, tank tops, bare midriffs, halters, backless, transparent tops or tube tops unless covered by a louse or jacket

  • See-through garments

  • Bare-shoulder or sleeveless garments (cap sleeves are acceptable)

  • Ankle length, floor length, mid-thigh length and mid-thigh slit skirts and dresses

  • Skirts with hemline in excess of 3" above the knee

  • Leggings, stirrup or stretch pants

  • Iridescent or neon-colored clothes

  • Warm-up suits

  • Bicycle pants

  • Shirt styles: T-shirts, sweatshirts, plaid or check flannel shirts, shirts with no collar, shirts with insignia or printing, Hawaiian shirts

  • Clothing made of clinging fabrics which are more suitable for casual, lounge or evening wear

  • Shorts and beachwear

  • Sandals or thongs which reveal bare feet

  • Beach sandals and/or open shoes

  • Fishnet stockings

  • Hats

  • Low necklines

  • Tennis or running shoes and warm-up stockings as are worn for active sports

  • Clothing made from jean or denim type materials, except for tailored denim suits

  • Bib overalls, laborer type or fashion design

  • Soiled or torn clothing

Clothing must be clean, neatly pressed, and in good repair. Slacks for women in nonmanagement positions are acceptable provided they are of a professional design/fabric, loose fitting, and are dark in color (black, navy, brown, burgundy, or forest green) and worn with a tailored jacket.

All employees must be neat and well groomed. Hair should be clean, combed and neatly trimmed. Extremes in hair styles or color are unacceptable for both men and women. Personal grooming and hygine practices are to be maintained at all times. Hair styles may not serve as a distraction to others.

Male hair styles may be long enough to just cover the shirt collar. Mustaches, beards and side burns must be neatly trimmed and appropriate for business appearance.

Female hair styling and make-up must be appropriate for a business atmosphere.

Heavy or theatrical make-up and extreme hair styles are not acceptable. Cosmetics in moderation are acceptable; however, heavily scented colognes, perfumes, and deodarants are to be avoided.

Fingernails are to be kept neat and clean.

Professional association pins or emblems and service award pins may be worn. Other unauthorized insignia may not be worn.


Each supervisor will be responsible for monitoring the dress and grooming standards for their individual work groups. Employees faililng to abide by the established dress and grooming standards may be subject to disciplinary action.

A. The first offense should be handled by a warning that policy has been broken and by situational counselling.

B. If, after the first offense and counselling, the employee still does not comply, they are to be sent home to change. The employee may also be sent home to change or clean up if they have a sloppy, dirty or generally unkempt appearance. Employees who are inappropriately dressed will be sent home without pay and directed to return to work in proper attire.

C. If all else fails, employees not complying may be terminated for cause. In all cases, the disciplinary process must be documented from the first warning to situational counselling to termination.

The rationale for the above is that the dress and grooming of an employee reflects on the image of the company. The truth may well be that the articulation of these "standards," including the patronizing tone they contain, is really a way for Management to make an employee feel child-like and powerless. Docile employees, of course, are great for business, easy to manage and control. Also, perhaps forcing adherence to such conservative rules, Management hopes to mold employees into becomng conservative in other areas, too, such as their political views.


Graphics by Linda (nee Designer Originals) formerly http://www.subdesigns.com
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