"What Not To Wear"

With summer coming, I'm concerned about employees dressing well...not very businesslike. What are some of your "what not to wear" rules for the workplace? How do you deal with an employee who isn't dressing appropriately?


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  • I think the first thing you need to do is make sure you have a good dress code policy. At this time of year, we usually distribute ours to employees reminding them of what is and is not acceptable. It's a good refresher. Our workplace is fairly casual and employees can wear jeans or shorts to work so long as they are in good condition, clean, etc. So, our rules may be a little less strict than others.

    Basically, clothes must be clean and without holes. They must fit well. Employees should not show bear midriffs or backs, or wear clothes that are very low cut. While tank tops or sleeveless shirts are permitted, employees should not wear halter tops or tops with spaghetti straps. Shorts and skirts must not be any shorter than finger tip length when the person stands with his or her arms straight by his or her side. Gym wear is not permitted. While sandals are permitted, flip flops and other beach wear are not.

    The policy states that at the discretion of management an employee who is not dressed appropriately will be asked to go home and change. Repeated violations will result in disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. 

  • We have a relaxed summer dress code that prohibits cut off shorts, midriff bearing and spaghetti strap clothes, as well as any t-shirts with obscene or slanderous language. Emplyees in our warehouse are also prohibited from wearing open-toed shoes. Seems to work pretty well.
  • we have polo-style shirts with the company logo that we hand out to employees wearing an inappropriate top. it avoids the problem of having to send employees home.
  • We have a summer dress code as well, but our managers seem reluctant to enforce it, especially when it is hot out.

    At your companies, do managers send inappropriately dressed employees to HR?  For example, to get the logo T-shirts, or be cited for not following the dress code policy, or even sent home if the attire is extreme?

  • We banned flip-flops under safety, not the dress code.  I must say I don't miss seeing employees' bare feet!

    On Fridays in the summer, we are pretty loose about the dress code.  So far, we haven't had to discipline anyone for too much "exposure."

  • The clothes that some people consider acceptable attire for an office environment never ceases to amaze me. Is it really asking so much for men to wear a collared shirt and clean shorts or slacks? Or for men and women to leave the flip-flops at home? There's no beach here and no keg party that I've heard about....
  • I couldn't agree more with schleprock...honestly, why would you want to come to work dressed that way anyway!! There a line between casual and, well....inappropriate.
  • We have had some temps that have come dressed totally inappropriately.  We had one temp come in to replace our receptionist.  She came in a sundress and was obviously braless.  She plopped her sunbonnet on top of her computer to complete the ensemble.  What a way to make our customers feel welcome.  Another temp came in a leather mini skirt and high heels only to find out she was going to be standing behind a blueprint machine all day.  Another temp come in in her fuzzy slippers.  We had to pass a memo out last year to our employees giving the definition of a flip flop.  It stated, "you might be a flip flop if you are made of a rubber sole and the upper portion of your body is plastic.  You may be a flip flop if you are attached by a string or plastic cord at the factory where you wer made and the customer must cut you apart before wearing you."  We also had to define "denim" and how "short" is "short."  Who said HR was boring.  Challenging yes, boring no.
  • Thanks for all of these suggestions! It's never fun to have to be the "fashion police" but I guess that's what we have to be sometimes...sad as that is!
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