Dress Code – Summer No No’s

flip-flops-Download-Free-Vector-File-EPS-907It’s approaching summertime, and many companies allow workers to dress more casually without a dress code.  This means it is time to re-visit your dress code policies.

The hot weather forces employees to wear inappropriate attire in the workplace.  Most employees simply don’t know what is or is not appropriate.  Let me shed some light on this topic to guide Business Owners.

Protect yourself from risk factors – The culture of your workplace sends a message to your customers.  What message do you want to send?

“63% of businesses don’t alter their dress code policies, while 9 percent indicated that employees are not require to wear professional clothing during the warmer months, as reported by Workplace Solutions LLC. poll.  In a study from (SHRM) Society of Human Resource Management found 235 of organizations allowed seasonal casual dress.

Employees will take advantage of the extremes.  Prevent the summer no no’s – forbid the following attire:

  • Halter
  • Tank top
  • Tube top
  • Mini-skirt
  • See-through fabric
  • Shorts
  • Overly casual pants
  • Torn jeans

Footwear should be appropriate to minimize risk.  I recommend barring the following:

  • Flip flops – which belong at the beach
  • No-open-toed shoe policy – companies limit the risk of having shoes that are more sandals than shoes
  • Having toes exposed – feet that are not clean or properly cared for

Handle all offenders equally.  Be consistent in singling out violators no matter their age or rank.

Typically the younger generations need more guidance so be specific.  Put a dress code in place before the summer arrives.  Explain what business casual means to your business. Spell our whether sundresses are allowed in the workplace

Don’t just assume that everyone knows!

Be sure to give everyone a copy of the rules and specify whether they will be written up and/or sent home without pay for infractions.

  • Maintain a level of professionalism.
  • Always be tactful when address employee dress code violation.
  • Don’t be the fashion police!  Explain the do’s and don’ts clearly.

Avoid sexual harassment issues by preventing employee retaliation.  Pay attention the the comments about body odor, sex, religion or race.

Be aware that some employee many be entitled to reasonable accommodation to the dress code under reasons of religion, disability or disparate impact.

Do not let Summer dress be a no, no for your business.  Consult an HR Professional for guidance.

2 thoughts on “Dress Code – Summer No No’s”

  1. Hi, although I don’t like strict dress codes, I admit some guidelines are definitely necessary than relying on anyone sense of style or lack thereof :), that more than employess necessarily taking advantage of extremes which I don’t see.
    But about sandals, I think they are not often the determining factor of appropriateness, for instance, in theory, slingbacks are sandals, but are close toe and appropriate in most cases, full open toe heels are shoes, but if the criteria is no open toes they are out despit not being sandals :). Although it’s true that this gives the first impression of a sandal much more than this
    so sometimes indeed a sandal is better than a shoe.
    On mini skirts it depends if we consider a mini anything above the knee or above mid thigh.

    • Regarding sandals – it may also vary due to occupation. Someone working in a shop environment may need steel toed boots.
      Regarding mini-skirts we typically say at least 3″ above the knee is safer for business apparel.


Leave a Comment