Help me create a company dress code

I need to create a dress code for the company I work for. Here’s a little background:

The company is small, but growing. I’ve worked here for 7.5 years and in that time we’ve nearly doubled in size. As long as I’ve been here, it was small enough and casual enough that pretty much anything (within reason) went. Sure, there were a handful of times that people had to be told that their skirt was too short, their shirt was too revealing, etc.

We are a publishing company that deals with a specific subject. I’m not sure how to state what we do without appearing to try to promote my workplace here on the boards. I guess the best way to put it is that we are constantly in the public eye.

As I stated we are growing. We’ve brought quite a few new people on board recently and if all goes as expected there will be several more before the end of the year. With each new employee I do a small orientation, part of which is explaining in general terms what appropriate attire at the office is. But it’s not working. I’ve seen people show up to work in pajamas. (Not kidding) Yesterday I had to speak to one woman who was wearing a skirt so short that her rear end was peeking out of the bottom.

Anyway, I’ve done some internet searches and can’t quite find what I’m looking for. I need some suggestions for a business casual office.

I can email a copy of the one my office uses if you like.

How abour this? Forget writing, go with pictures. Find some of acceptable and unacceptable dress, and overlay the unacceptable with a red circle with diagonal slash.

I know you’re a publishing company, but we ARE intering into the post-literate world. :stuck_out_tongue: Say it with pictograms.

annanate, I also work for a publishing company that has a casual dress policy. If my company didn’t have a dress code in place already, I’d think we were working for the same employer. :slight_smile:

You should probably start by identifying the types of clothes that are unacceptable. Can employees wear jeans? Shorts? Sneakers? Sandals? Specify which types of clothing are not permitted. For example, employees at my office can wear T-shirts, but nothing with silkscreening (I’m guessing that’s to prevent people from wearing shirts that could be considered offensive). Certian types of clothing, like sweats or pajamas, can probably be banned outright without confusion.

You might also want to state that clothes should fit properly, and should not be dirty, ripped or excessively worn. I know that should go without saying in a professional environment, but as you’ve already seen, some employees have a peculiar fashion sense.

Hope this helps. Welcome to the SDMB!

Tell the female employees that they can wear anything they like but that the company reserves the right to post photos of them on the Internet. :wink:

For skirts, you might use the school rule: skirts must reach to the end of your fingertips with your arms hanging straight down. That’s about mid-thigh on most people. Or simply state that skirt reach to the knee if you would rather rule out all mini-skirts.

If you allow shorts, I’d put in something about those also reaching the knee to prevent short-shorts. Women could still wear the newer dress shorts tho’ and most guys tend to wear long enough shorts.

For guys, I personally like the collared shirt rule which is a sneaky way of disallowing t-shirts. That doesn’t work for women as many dressier womens’ blouses don’t have collars.

I don’t think I’d even go into specifics about how short or how low-cut or whatever. Just say that you are promoting a conservative or mainstream or whatever type of dress code you’re looking for. Tell them that people who don’t dress to reflect that policy will be sent home. Three send homes will require discipline up to and including termination. Don’t treat them like children. They know what they’re doing.

All nekkid, all the time! :smiley:

At our place of work it’s business casual Monday through Thursday with casual (read: jeans) Friday. For men that’s collared or tee shirts without offensive messages on them and casual khaki or dress slacks or khaki shorts to the knee. For women it’s skirts or dresses that are no higher above the knee than our employee badges are long (3 inches), all blouses and shirts must either have sleeves or be recognizably a sleeveless blouse, no halters or tank tops, and see through is frowned upon unless there’s another shirt underneath. Khakis, dress slacks and Capri pants are okay as well as khaki shorts to the knee. Footwear is pretty much no flipflops but we aren’t too aggressive about shoes since many of us have to stand for long periods of time and comfy shoes are a must.

On the weekends, when there are no representatives of upper management hanging about we’re pretty much happy as long as everyone is wearing SOMETHING. We did have one chick who kept coming in wearing latex and leather bondage style gear with straps and buckles all over it, but we figured she just hadn’t gotten home in time to change before work. :rolleyes: The day she came in wearing the assless chaps was a painful object lesson in the fact that the only people you’re likely to see wearing incredibly revealing clothes are the ones you least want to see in such getup… :eek:

We do have dress up days as well with themes–I’m quite fond of Pajama Day in the winter when I wear my plaid flannel jammie pants and a gigantic cotton sweater and sockasins. This week was Pirate Day and one guy had the full kit & regalia on–everything but the bottle of rum and shoulder parrot. This keeps us amused and in good spirits–always a bonus in customer service!

Put it in the dress code if you don’t want to see it. Eventualy some body will wear the dumbest things to work. Address clothing that may be a liability. No open toed shoes in warehouse. Clip clops require immediate termination, not a firing either. Can you tell how much I hate those noise makers? Add in the employees will wear underwear. I’ve been at two places where it had to be added in, after employees got peeks of uncovered privites. Pants get holes and other acicdents happen. Give the men a break and don’t require ties. They restrict blood flow and are a health hazard. Add in something about oder too.

At my last office job, these were the rules:

No denim.
No shorts or capris.
Men must wear a collared shirt, or a knit shirt with no advertising/messages. (Lightweight sweaters in the winter, or a v-neck shirt like this.)
Shirts must be tucked in and worn with a belt.
Men must wear closed-toe shoes.
Skirts and dresses must come to the knee.
No sleeveless tops.
Women’s shoes can be open-toe but must have a strap across the back.
No visible rips, holes, tears, etc.

This was a pretty conservative office - it was a Japanese company. So they never had to specifiy “no sweats or pajamas” - it was understood. They had actually relaxed the rules considerably. It used to be shirt and tie every day for the men and skirt/dress, hose, and heels every day for the women.

Grr. I even previewed!

Men’s shirts must be tucked in and worn with a belt.

Clean underwear will be worn at all times, and periodically inspected.

Employee attire suggesting that the workspace is “too hot” or “too cold” will result in disciplinary action. Grow up and quit bellyaching or we’ll find somebody who will.

Female employees with hair too short to wear at least one elastic band in it will be terminated with extreme prejudice.

Male employees shall refrain from wearing those sissified square-end knit ties. I don’t give a crap if they’re fine Italian silk from Barneys and look like a million bucks. You represent this outfit, you wear a tie like a man wears. Is that understood?

Female employees not wearing hose, including with pants suits, will be shown the street, where they should be working anyway.

Anyone too obviously well tailored will submit expense reports weekly instead of monthly. You must also requisition all office supplies through the office manager. We don’t trust you.

Brown shoes are grounds for immediate dismissal, including office lockout and security escort.

Thanks for all the suggestions. I’ll be putting everything together today and handing it out.

And thanks for the welcome! I’ll be paying my dues in a few short days and will no longer be a dreaded guest.

:eek: I knew I had a long torso but I just got up and tried this; suffice it to say that I am not “most people” Little gigi would be making an appearance if I were anything but standing straight up. :o

Please, let’s not. Write out the “newer dress shorts”, please. For me.

Oh, and gauchos. No gauchos.

Shrug I can put an elastic band in, but since my hair is only three inches long, it’d look pretty damn stupid. By the way, does it hurt to have your knuckles dragging on the floor like that?

IME, dress codes should be general when possible and specific when required. First and foremost should be the general expectations, something like “We are a professional office and the appearance we present reflects on the company and the product we sell. In line with our reputation for professionalism and quality, it is our expectation that all employees will at all times present a neat and clean appearance. . . .” Then you put in the general stuff that falls under that: No ripped or torn clothing, nothing dirty or stained. No excessively worn clothing. Nothing revealing. Then you put in the prohibitions: No open-toed shoes. No sneakers. All shirts must have collars. No logo wear or advertising wear. No jeans, or jeans only on Friday. Whatever. Don’t go into any more detail than you feel you have to, for two reasons: First, this isn’t high school, it’s work, and your employees should know that you trust them and expect them to make appropriate decisions on dress. Second, if you set yourself up as the Dress Code Police, then people will treat you that way, which is a drag. (“What about this shirt? Is this shirt okay?”)

There are lots of good dress codes on the Internet. Google away! :slight_smile:

All employees will wear jeans, t-shirt, a belt, and sneakers. Underwear will be inside and fully covered up by outerwear. Visible skin will be restricted to head, arms & hands, and upper neck.

During heat waves >80° Fahrenheit, denim shorts or denim skirts will be allowed, provided that they come down to within 4 inches of the knee when employee is standing.

When switching from business dress to business casual, there were a lot of questions along those lines. Adults, my ass. It was like they were back in junior high always trying to push the envelope of dress. I adopted a one-size fit all answer to that question (which was put to me as a supervisor, not as the dress policy cop), “If you have to ask, the answer is ‘No’.” Adults, my ass. It was like they were back in junior high always trying to push the envelope of dress.

All clothing must be purchased from International Male, and custom festooned with jingle bells and iron on Journey patches.