Developing a Workplace Dress Code: An Overview

To protect your business’s reputation, you might consider placing specific appearance requirements on your team. Many companies create a dress code policy as a way to control what employees wear while they’re in the office or when they’re representing the company outside the office.

It is up to the company to define what is considered appropriate work attire. Employees or others representing the company should agree to that dress code policy prior to being hired or accepting a contract for work. For example, management professionals may be required to wear a suit and jacket for day-to-day work.

The dress code may include information about special occasions and events, as well as any opportunities to “dress down.” For example, some employers may offer a Casual Friday in which polo shirts and khakis are acceptable instead of suit jackets and ties. In other cases, a corporate policy may allow casual business attire for regular work days, and special attire reserved for client visits or company events. This policy should be clearly explained in writing in the company handbook.

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The components of a dress code may include clothing, shoes, personal accessories, and perfumes. In cases of religious beliefs, a case-by-case decision must be made by the employer to allow the display of religious jewelry or logos on clothing.

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This article is updated from its original publication date of August 3, 2012.

This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.

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