A dress code is a set of guidelines to make it easy for employees to know what is appropriate to wear to work. It can also help companies to be sure employees are presenting themselves well in meetings and interactions with clients and customers.
Read our dress code policy sample below to see what it looks like.
Download a Dress Code Policy Template:
Download this free dress code policy template and quickly create a policy that clarifies your guidelines for employees.
Dress Code Policy Template:
The [company name] dress code policy is designed to help us all provide a consistent professional appearance to our customers and colleagues. Our appearance reflects on ourselves and the company. The goal is to be sure that we maintain a positive appearance and not to offend customers, clients, or colleagues.
Who does this policy apply to?
The [company name] dress code policy applies to [which positions this applies to].
[Company Name] Dress Code Policy:
- Employees are expected to dress in [casual, business casual, smart casual, business] attire unless the day’s tasks require otherwise.
- Employees must always present a clean, professional appearance. Everyone is expected to be well-groomed and wear clean clothing, free of holes, tears, or other signs of wear.
- Clothing with offensive or inappropriate designs or stamps are not allowed.
- Clothing should not be too revealing.
- Clothing and grooming styles dictated by religion or ethnicity are exempt.
Dress Code Violations:
Managers or supervisor are expected to inform employees when they are violating the dress code. Employees in violation are expected to immediately correct the issue. This may include having to leave work to change clothes.
Repeated violations or violations that have major repercussions may result in disciplinary action being taken up to and including termination.
What is an appropriate dress code for the workplace?
This often varies from company to company and depends on your business environment and organizational culture. While many companies do not require their staff to wear formal business attire, employees are expected to look presentable at all times.
View our dress code policy template.
Can you get fired for breaking the dress code?
Yes. Breaking a company's dress code can lead to termination.
Find an example of how to structure a dress code policy here.
Can an employer change the dress code?
Yes. The employer typically sets out the dress code, and can, therefore, make reasonable changes as needed.
Read our example of how to structure a dress code policy here.
What are the four types of dress codes for the workplace?
- Business formal
- Business professional
- Business casual
What should you not wear to the office?
Different companies have varying dress codes that allow or ban certain items of clothing. Generally speaking, these items are considered inappropriate:
- Flip flops
- Non-natural hair colors
- Facial piercings
- Backless tops
- Short skirts or dresses
- Short shorts
- Yoga pants
Why do employers have dress codes?
Dress code policies reinforce a positive and professional image of the company, especially when employees interact with clients, prospects, or business partners on a regular basis. A company's employee handbook will typically contain the rules of the dress code.
Can an employer force you to cover tattoos?
Yes. Some employers require employees to cover visible tattoos when working with customers.
Can employers make you shave?
Yes. If the company's dress code calls for having no facial hair, an employer can request that an employee shaves.
Can you be fired for not wearing a bra?
This depends on the company's dress code and what they deem appropriate attire for the workplace.
Can your employer force you to wear makeup?
Yes. If the company's dress code requires that employees wear make-up, not doing so would be a breach of contract.
Are leggings appropriate for work?
Some companies may allow leggings, and others may not. Generally, leggings are not considered appropriate office attire.
Are jeans okay for business casual dress?
Dark jeans may be acceptable in some cases, but this may depend on the employer. Casual jeans or acid-washed colors are never acceptable.
What are examples of business casual attire?
This may include khaki or cotton pants shorts or skirts with a hem past the knee. Long-sleeved button-down shirts, collared polo/knit shirts, sweaters, and cardigans. Pants and shirts should be neatly pressed. Shoes should be relaxed but nice, no tennis shoes or sandals.
What is casual dress code?
Relaxed, but tasteful. Jeans and T-shirts are acceptable but should be in a clean and neat condition, without holes, stains, etc.
What is smart casual dress code?
An example of smart casual would be a pair of slacks or a nice pair of jeans with a button up shirt and leather shoes. This dress code typically excludes shorts, worn jeans, sandals, and T-shirts.
What is business dress code?
For men, this typically means a shirt, tie, jacket and dress shoes. For women, a skirt or pants suit with closed-toe heels. All clothing should be clean and pressed.
Are dress codes legal?
Dress codes are legal as long as they do not cause employees to dress in demeaning or provocative ways. If an employer has a dress code, it must be applied fairly to all employees.
What is a dress code policy memo?
Read and download our free dress code policy template above.