Workplace dress code

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Why do organisations have a dress code?

Employers often have a dress code that employees need to follow when at the workplace.

At work, you often work alongside customers and clients, so what you wear at work can affect the company reputation

How you dress is important because you are representing the company you work for.

Dressing in attire that meets an employer’s dress code sends a visual message that you are professional and take your role seriously.

Work clothing

  • All employees must be clean and well-groomed. All clothes should project professionalism.
  • Clothes that are too revealing, see-through or tight are not appropriate for work.
  • Avoid loose clothing such as scarves/ties around machinery as they may poses work, health and safety issues
  • All clothes should be clean (not smelly) and in good shape.
  • Rips, tears and holes in work clothing are not appropriate.
  • Employees should never wear clothes with offensive, inappropriate or profane language statements. Clothing should not promote causes that include politics, religion, sexuality, age, gender or ethnicity.

If unsure what is appropriate for your workplace you could ask your manager as each workplace has different rules.

Interview and office dress code

Some good things to wear:

  • Long or short sleeve button up collared shirts (tucked in) •Business trousers  
  • Dress or business shoes   
  • Appropriately fitted tops and blouses – not tight or revealing
  • Dress pants
  • Professional business tie
  • Business skirts
  • Appropriate comfortable footwear

What NOT to do or wear:

  • Dirty, ripped and unironed clothes
  • Messy or dirty hair
  • Unconventional haircut or colour may not be suitable in some workplaces
  • T-shirts
  • Revealing clothes  
  • Jeans
  • Shorts
  • Singlets
  • Thongs
  • Runners (some workplaces will allow runners so its always best to check)
  • Body piercings and tattoos may need to be covered in some jobs (again just check with your manager)

Ways to gain appropriate clothes for work

If finances are an issue, there are other ways you can gain appropriate clothing for your workplace:

  • Your DES provider may be able to connect you with organisations who can help with work clothes
  • Your DES provider may be able to fund specific items, such as interview clothes or work boots
  • Go op shopping There may be charities for interview and work clothes in your state (for example Dress for Success, Fitted for Work, Working Wonders).

End of Module Questions

  • Why is it important to dress appropriately at work?
  • How can you find out the dress code in your workplace?
  • If finances are an issue, what other ways can you gain appropriate clothing for your workplace?

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