Casual Dress Code for Manufacturing and Industrial Settings

Introduction: Casual Dress Code

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Your Company's objective in establishing a casual dress code is to allow your employees to work comfortably. Yet, employees still need to project a professional image for customers and clients.

Because all casual clothing is not suitable for the workplace, these guidelines will help you determine what is appropriate workplace attire. 

Clothing that works well for yard work, dance clubs, and exercise workouts is not appropriate at work. Sundresses, casual capris, and midriff-bearing tops are examples of clothing that's inappropriate in a manufacturing work setting or office.

Clothing that reveals excessive cleavage, back, chest, feet, stomach or undergarments is also not appropriate in a business setting.

Even in a casual manufacturing work environment, clothing should be pressed—never wrinkled. Torn, dirty, or frayed clothing is, likewise, unacceptable. Any clothing that has words, terms, or pictures that may be offensive to other employees is unacceptable. This includes images that are political or religious in nature, sexually provocative, or insulting to other employees.

On the other hand, clothing that has the Company logo is encouraged. Sports team, university, and fashion brand names on clothing are generally acceptable. The rule is: use common sense when wearing clothing that has words on it—people are easily offended by words.

Dress Down Day

Fridays have been formally designated as a dress down day. Certain other days may occasionally be declared as dress down days—such as half-days before a major holiday. On these days, jeans, sneakers and a more casual approach to dressing are allowed. 

Conclusion About the Casual Dress Code: Manufacturing

This is a general overview of acceptable work attire. Items that are not appropriate for work are listed, as well. Neither list is all-inclusive and both lists are open to change. The lists tell you what is generally accepted as work attire and what is generally not acceptable as work attire.

No dress code can cover all contingencies so employees must exercise a certain amount of judgment when considering what to wear to work. If you experience uncertainty about acceptable, professional casual attire for work, please ask your supervisor or your Human Resources staff.

Dress Code Details

The following are the specific expectations of the casual dress code for work. This dress code differentiates between manufacturing areas and office areas in the dress code.

Slacks, Pants, and Suit Pants

Manufacturing Areas:

  • Slacks or pants that are similar to Dockers and other makers of cotton or synthetic material pants, wool pants, flannel pants, jeans, bib overalls, and attractive athletic pants are acceptable. Gauchos and capris are acceptable. Pants that are below the knee with finished edges are allowed.
  • Inappropriate slacks or pants in the plant include sweatpants, exercise pants, Bermuda shorts, short shorts, shorts, leggings, and any spandex or other form-fitting pants that people wear for biking. As a general rule, shorts or pants that are above knee length are not allowed.

    Office Areas:

    • Slacks that are similar to Dockers and other makers of cotton or synthetic material pants, wool pants, flannel pants, and nice looking dress synthetic pants are acceptable. Dressier gauchos and capris are acceptable in the office. Pants that are below the knee with finished edges are allowed.
    • Inappropriate slacks or pants include jeans (except on dress down days), sweatpants, exercise pants, Bermuda shorts, short shorts, shorts, bib overalls, leggings, and any spandex or other form-fitting pants that people wear for biking. As a general rule, shorts or pants that are above knee length are not allowed.

      Skirts, Dresses, and Skirted Suits

      • Casual dresses and skirts—and skirts that are split at or below the knee—are acceptable. Skirts at a length that allows you to sit comfortably in public are acceptable.
      • As a general rule, dresses and skirts that are above knee length and that do not allow bending are not appropriate. Short, tight skirts that ride halfway up the thigh are inappropriate for work. Mini-skirts, skorts, sun dresses, beach dresses, bathing suit cover-ups, and spaghetti-strap dresses are inappropriate.

      Shirts, Tops, Blouses, and Jackets

      Manufacturing Areas:

      • Casual shirts, dress shirts, sweaters, tops, golf-type shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, attractive athletic tops, and turtlenecks are acceptable attire for work.
      • Inappropriate attire for work includes tank tops, halter-tops, and tops with bare shoulders. Also inappropriate are midriff-baring tops and shirts with potentially offensive words, terms, logos, pictures, cartoons, or slogans.

      Office Areas:

      • Casual shirts, dress shirts, sweaters, tops, golf-type shirts, t-shirts, sweatshirts, attractive athletic tops, and turtlenecks are acceptable attire for work.
      • Inappropriate attire for work includes tank tops, halter-tops, and tops with bare shoulders. Also inappropriate are midriff-baring tops and shirts with potentially offensive words, terms, logos, pictures, cartoons, or slogans.

      Shoes and Footwear

      Manufacturing Areas:

      • Loafers, boots, dress heels below 2 inches high, athletic shoes, and leather deck shoes are acceptable. Thongs, flip-flops, clogs, slippers, sandals, and any shoes with an open toe or open heel are not acceptable in the plant.

      Office Areas:

      • Conservative athletic or walking shoes, loafers, clogs, sneakers, boots, flats, dress heels, and leather deck-type shoes are acceptable for work. Wearing no stockings is acceptable in warm weather. Flashy athletic shoes, thongs, flip-flops, slippers, and any shoe with an open toe are not acceptable in the office. Closed toe and closed heel shoes are required in the manufacturing operation area.

      General Guideline

      • Closed toe and closed heel shoes are required for safety reasons in the manufacturing facility.
      • Shoes that enclose only part of the heel or toe are not acceptable in the manufacturing facility.
      • For safety reasons, heels over two inches high are not acceptable in the manufacturing facility.
      • Shoes with a closed toe are required in the office.

      Hats and Head Covering

      Hats are not appropriate at work. Head covers that are required for religious purposes or to honor cultural tradition are allowed.

      Conclusion

      If clothing fails to meet these standards, as determined by the employee’s supervisor and Human Resources staff, the employee will be asked not to wear the inappropriate item to work again. If the problem persists, the employee may be sent home to change their clothes and will receive a verbal warning for the first offense. Progressive disciplinary action will be applied if dress code violations continue.

      Clothing and accessories that project a professional image of you and the company for both visitors and coworkers should be worn at all times. Ground rules include the following:

      • Attire should be clean, safe, and in good repair.
      • Do not wear clothes that sexually provocative.
      • Clothing should not draw undue attention to one’s self or create a distraction for other employees.
      • Clothing should not be offensive to other employees.

      If you're unsure what constitutes an appropriate Casual Dress Code or  A Formal, Professional Dress Code, take the time to bone up on the subject