DressCodeHQ is your one-stop resource for helpful information on what to wear based on dress code requirements. Whether it’s at your job, or you’re attending court or a formal function, we have the answers on what the dress code is.
What does “Dress Code” Mean?
We easily define “dress code” as a specific set of rules that determines the type of clothing to be worn by a group of people or type of clothing for specific occasions or circumstances. Many work and school environments will determine their own dress code while other situations may have societal implications of dress, such as a wedding or a funeral.
Dress Code Policy
Many businesses, schools, and employers have dress code policies that are based on unifying groups, safety of patrons, and acknowledging societal views of some situations. Restaurants cannot serve you if you are shirtless and/or shoeless. It’s considered a dress code for all patrons but it’s also a safety measure put in place by government agencies. Black pants and white shirts are a traditional uniform worn by waitstaff and many fine dining establishments incorporate that into their dress codes. Some churches and religious organizations still adhere to the idea of “wearing your Sunday best” for religious services and observances. If you have not been given clear information on appropriate attire based on a dress code, read on to learn more.
Dress Code for Women
Social Function Dress Code
- Cocktail dress code –Respectable necklines and hemlines should be considered. A deep plunging neckline or a micro mini-skirt would not be appropriate for this setting. Do avoid wearing a floor length dress as that is seen as too formal for this event. If you don’t care to wear dresses or skirts, a neat trouser and blazer is a perfect outfit for the cocktail dress code. Do carry a small clutch and avoid the oversized purse. Heels or flats are a must!
- Casual dress code –Casual dress implies a level of professionalism without embarking on loungewear for home. Khaki pants, neat denim jeans, simple blouses or tops, and flats are often acceptable options. Do avoid workout clothes, ripped jeans, graphic tee shirts, and anything you would lay around the house in.
- Smart casual dress code – this dress code is a step up from the casual dress code but without going business formal. All the same rules apply but wearing a simple dress, throwing on a blazer, or opting for a dress shirt as opposed to a simple top, will bring your dress up to the correct level. You will most often see this type of dress at business conferences, academia, or workplaces with customers that don’t rely on uniforms to set their employees apart.
- Black tie dress code – this code is most often seen for weddings, galas, or another type of special event. You can often wear a cocktail dress or opt for the floor length dress. Floor length dresses are more popular for this sort of event but do consider your environment before making that choice in length. You can get away with any color you would like, unless you are at a wedding! Wedding rules dictate that you should never wear black or white to a wedding and you should adhere to that rule.
- Formal dress code – You can certainly wear a full-length dress but you will want to tone down the glamour just a little bit during the day or keep it middle ground at night. You can opt for the cocktail dress as well and it would be a perfect fit. In many formal dress code settings, a nice black or dark suit on a woman is a fantastic outfit to wear.
- Semi-formal dress code – you can follow the cocktail dress code for this type of event. If it’s a day event, keep the glitz at a low level and sparkle with bright colors and tones. For the evening, dress up your cocktail dress with a little bit of shine with dazzling earrings or a bracelet. Heels should be worn for an evening event and flats or pumps for a daytime event.
Dress Code for Court
Before going to court, always check the court website to obtain their rules for appropriate dress or consult with your legal team. Always dress as if you are going to a business interview. Men should opt for dress pants and a collared shirt. Blazer, suit jacket, and tie are all optional unless you are advised by your lawyer to include those items. Women should wear a business suit with skirt or slacks. Never wear jeans, tee shirts, flip flops, or shorts..
Dress Code for a Wedding
Women should never wear black or white to a wedding. Men should always opt for a suit or tuxedo. Some weddings are more casual than others. Afternoon weddings call for your Sunday best. Evening semi-formal will call for men to wear a suit and women to opt for a nice pants suit or cocktail dress. Black-tie events call for formal floor length gowns and men in tuxedos. If your invitation does not indicate the style of dress, don’t hesitate to ask the bride or groom!
Dress Code in the Workplace
- Business Professional Dress Code –Women should wear business suits with a skirt of dress pants and heels. Men should wear suit and tie with dress shoes.
- Business casual dress code – Tone your attire down by opting for khakis and an open collar dress shirt or blouse. Ladies can switch out the khakis or trouser for a knee-length skirt. Both should wear dress shoes with women opting for a low pump or flat that covers most of the foot.
- Target dress code – Target employees are required to wear an all red polo style shirt with khakis. The shirt must be of solid color and no graphics. Shoes should be a black casual shoe that will not hurt the feet.
- Starbucks dress code – Starbucks gives employees freedom to wear casual clothing to work. They do want you to wear subdued colors in your shirts and tops; black, greys, dark blues, etc. Pants are free to be everything from jeans to khakis to trousers as long as they stay in the subdued color spectrum.
- Walmart dress code – You are required to wear a blue or white collared shirt with black or khaki colored trousers. Shoes should be casual and easy for long wear.
- Planet fitness dress code – A staff tee shirt is provided (at a cost) and must be paired with Khakis. Sneakers and casual footwear is appropriate
- Autozone dress code – Employees must wear an all red shirt (no graphics), black trousers (no jeans), and black shoes. Clothing should be clean and wrinkle-free
- Home Depot dress code – Casual clothing is acceptable with closed toe shoes. Each location may have its own requirements but this is the overall standard for the chain.
Dress Codes in Schools
Teacher dress code – Some schools have stricter dress codes than others. Overall, most schools find casual to business casual dress appropriate. Avoiding graphic tees, ripped jeans, and anything that is dirty or wrinkled is recommended. Close toed shoes should be chosen over open toed shoes.
Student dress code – these dress codes will vary across the country. If your school has a uniform, pay close attention to their requirements and dress accordingly. Otherwise, casual clothing is acceptable for students. A few things should be avoided, such as graphic tees depicting violence or with questionable language, low plunging necklines, tiny tank tops, and low pants that