Use this letter or a customized version that suits your organization to provide the introduction to a new dress code. You will be happy that you took the time and made the effort to communicate effectively with your employees. You will experience less push back and more willing compliance.
Sample Letter to Introduce a Dress Code
This is a sample letter to introduce a dress code. Download the letter template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online) or read the example below.
Sample Letter to Introduce a Dress Code (Text Version)
Your City, State Zip Code
Your Phone Number
Dear Managers and Supervisors,
It is always difficult to institute policies that are new, especially those that will affect the eighteen inches of space that surround each of us at work. For this reason, what we wear to work, where we sit at work, our work equipment, and so forth, are very important to each of us.
We are introducing a dress code at Your Company for a number of reasons.
- As our professionalism and sales continue to grow, staff members need to exhibit the look that confirms our professionalism for our customers, our partners, and our coworkers.
- Managers have requested specific guidance on what is appropriate for their staff to wear to work.
- Different managers, in different departments, have different standards for what is appropriate work attire. Employees, sometimes rightly, ask why certain clothing is acceptable in one department and not in another. Employees have stated that they sometimes feel we are discriminating against their mode of dressing.
- Employees complain to their supervisors and HR when they feel other employees are dressed inappropriately. We currently have no standard to assess whether this is true.
- Employees and team members have complained about the professional appearance of team members and managers to managers and to HR. They have expressed concern about the appearance of some employees who interact with customers and partners.
- Employees complain when they believe that other employees are wearing too little clothing or showing too much skin for a professional work environment.
A dress code gives us a standard for our professional appearance. It establishes a standard that the average employee is comfortable with and can, with a few changes, understand and implement.
You have had three opportunities to look the policy over and give us feedback. Your employees have had almost a year to know that a policy is coming. We have received lots of feedback over the year. The feedback we have received has had an impact on every draft of this policy.
Notice that the headgear has not been disallowed. Notice that for jewelry in body piercings, only good taste and moderation have been requested. Jeans and bib overalls are permitted for manufacturing wear. Athletic shoes are allowed.
The elimination of each of these had been requested by managers who do not believe we have been strict enough in this iteration of the policy. We are striving for a balance between our needs for professionalism and our desire to enable comfort and self-expression.
As a reminder, with regard to footwear, closed-toe shoes have been required in the office areas for the past ten years and this requirement is stated in the handbook. The requirement for closed-toe and closed-heel shoes in the manufacturing areas was established by the Company Safety Committee. This policy has been published, at least annually, since then.
To make this policy effective, we need your commitment, support, and leadership. That is why we are asking you to communicate this policy to each person on your staff.
How you communicate the policy is crucial in its acceptance by Company staff. We thought that writing all of this out might help you have the facts and reasons at hand for why we are adopting a dress code when you do this communication.
Human Resources will print enough copies of the policy for each of your staff and we will distribute the forms to you for distribution to them.
Please wait until you receive the forms from Human Resources to have staff sign and return them to HR.
We really appreciate your help and support.
Additional Resources About Dress Codes
- Dress for Work Success: A Business Casual Dress Code
- Business Casual Dress Code for Work: Manufacturing
- Casual Dress Code
- A Formal, Professional Dress Code
- Dress Code for Customer Interaction and Trade Shows
- Sample Policy Receipt Acknowledgement Form.