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How Do I Create a Company Dress Code Policy?

Implementing a dress code is a good way for businesses to not only make sure their workforce projects a professional look to associates and customers, but also help prevent harassment and discrimination claims and avoid disciplinary problems.

In some ways, manufacturers and restaurants (or any other industry that requires uniforms for safety) have it easy. The only policy they must create is a section for “Allowable Alterations to Uniform.” However, if you don’t fall into this category, here’s the first question you need to answer:

Who should be involved in creating your dress code policy?

Try including:

  • Legal team
  • Culture team (if applicable)
  • Department heads
  • HR

Once you’ve built a solid team, work together to customize the dress code policy template below.


Dress Code Policy Template

[Your Company Name] Business Casual Dress Code

[Your Company Name]’s purpose for creating this dress code is to enable our employees to be comfortable at work while still maintaining a professional appearance. We’ve established these guidelines to follow so all our employees are clear on the meaning of the term “casual dress” and understand what types of clothing are acceptable and unacceptable.

Not all casual clothing is acceptable for a business environment. This policy will govern which items of clothing are proper to wear in our offices. Some overarching guidelines to adhere to:

  • Anything that you’d wear to the beach, working in the yard, to a club or the gym, are never appropriate for a business casual look.
  • Clothes that are too revealing are not appropriate. This includes:
    • Cleavage
    • Back
    • Chest
    • Stomach
    • Visible underwear
  • Torn or dirty clothing is unacceptable.

Clothing Recommendations

Employees should always dress comfortably and practically but must ensure that their clothing choices are appropriate when seen by clients or other employees. Clothing that displays words or images that can be viewed as offensive or harmful is unacceptable. Clothing that displays [Your Company’s Name], sports teams, universities, or fashion logos are acceptable.

Business casual dress includes:

  • Skirts, dresses, pants, jeans (shorts on Fridays from Memorial Day through Labor Day)
  • Button-down shirts, blouses, collared polos or collarless T-shirts (See “Don’t” regarding T-shirts below)
  • Loafers, flats, heels, mules, boots, sandals, conservative athletic or walking shoes

Cologne and Perfume

Some employees are allergic to the chemicals found in colognes and perfumes, so exercise restraint when wearing them. If you’re made aware of a co-worker with such an allergy, please refrain from wearing cologne or perfume at all.

Travel, Client Interaction, Trade Shows and Community Events

While our office setting is business casual, if you interact with customers, exhibit at or attend trade shows, or otherwise represent [Your Company’s Name] in the community, it’s important to appropriately represent the company. Business casual is the minimum attire standard that must be observed.

Before you visit a customer or prospect at their place of business, determine their dress code and be sure to match it. This dress rule is even more important when you represent the company overseas as customs and dress typically differ from that in the U.S.

Additionally, certain events where you represent the company, might require more formal attire. These events might include Chamber of Commerce and other civic meetings, lunches and dinners. Take your cue from other employees who have attended. And if you are a speaker, consider wearing more formal clothing.

Consequences

If an employee’s clothing does not meet the standards outlined above, they will be asked to refrain from wearing the unsuitable item to work in the future.

If dress code violations persist, the employee will be sent home to change clothes and they will receive a verbal warning. Progressive disciplinary action will be applied if dress code violations continue.


company dress code tip

Use Your Best Judgement

A dress code can never cover all circumstances, so we expect all employees to use their best judgment. If you’re unsure about acceptable clothing for our offices or other business situations, please ask your manager or HR business partner.

Paycor Can Help

With Paycor Onboarding, new hires can view important company documents like your employee handbook and policies and sign them before their official start date. See how Onboarding can help.

View Onboarding Software