dress codeDress code setting is important in an organization. Who would want to come to an office and see men wearing muscle shirts or low waist jeans with their boxers showing, or girls wearing super short skirts and skimpy dresses as if they have just come from a party the night before. If you are a manager or in a high position of authority in your company and you have the power to set a dress code, you should do so. It is not you being strict, it is setting grounds for professionalism and creating a positive image for your company.

Where dress code is needed

When is it too lax and when is it too much? The view actually differs with the different generations and even account for different values and personalities. It is up to you as the manager to set what you think is appropriate for your company values, for your industry, and what your employees will agree to.

For instance, churches who are known for conservatism have evolved to allow a dress code that includes shorts and jeans, as long as they still look acceptable. On the other hand, there are establishments that choose to become stricter. The Kentucky branch of a known burger chain has actually required its entire staff to take off all piercings whenever they enter the store.

Setting it is difficult, especially in defining it. For example, business casual is how business and how casual it is. A firm in Jacksonville Florida has solved this issue. What they did is they went through different magazines and cut out pictures of women’s styles, categorizing them as do’s and don’ts. Then the dress code becomes pretty much easier to grasp to the employees.

Running a dress code properly

It should not be cast in stone. They should also keep up with the times. Just as bodies or laws and regulations of government departments are constantly updated.

  • In the year 1996, the Marine Corps included in its uniform dress code the prohibition of tattoos in the neck and head parts.
  • In 2002, the Army included the authorization of pagers and cellphones but only for official use.
  • In 2003, the Air Force included in its rules the prohibition of mutilating one’s body such as that of splitting one’s tongue.
  • In 2004, the Navy announced the authorization of use of PDAs and cellphones for official use.

Samples of dress code evolutions

In 2000, the Walt Disney Company announced that it now allowed moustaches in their dress code. In 2003 they further they became lax by allowing hoop earrings on women if they are not bigger than the size of a dime. Only one earring though is allowed, and it is should be the one at the ear’s bottom. Open-heels and open-toe shoes are allowed but stockings are required. Men can wear braided hair but only up to the collar part. Shirts in oxford style though are prohibited.

Dress code differences for generations

Because of differences in ages and differences in mindset in behaviors, setting it is all the more significant. Generation X is known for not conforming to trends. Flannel and earthiness were popular during their time. This group may be wearing conservative wear and no makeup look. For them, the more natural the look, the better. Generation Y or the Millennials on the other hand tends to somewhat conform to trends, yet since they are so much bombarded with a lot of trends and begs, they do not know which one to follow and how to dress up the right way. Do not be surprised to see them wearing crop tops with their bellybuttons showing. They usually want to show their individuality through the way they dress.

By setting a dress code, no matter what generation they are in, all employees will be forced to follow it. Apart from enforcing your authority, it will allow others to know your stand as a company.

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