Business Casual Dress Code

The Arc’s objective in establishing a business casual dress code, is to allow our employees to work comfortably in the workplace yet still project a professional image for our donors, potential employees, and community visitors. Because all casual clothing is not suitable for the office, these guidelines shall help you determine what is appropriate to wear to work.

Clothing that works well for the beach, yard work, dance clubs, exercise sessions, and sports contests may not be appropriate for a professional appearance at work.

Clothing that reveals too much cleavage, your back, your chest, your legs, your stomach or your underwear is not appropriate for a place of business, even in a business casual setting.

Clothing shall be pressed and never wrinkled. Torn, dirty, or frayed clothing is unacceptable. All seams shall be finished. Any clothing that has words, terms, or pictures that may be offensive to other employees is unacceptable.

Fridays are dress-down days. On these days, neat jeans and other more casual clothing, although never clothing potentially offensive to others, are allowed.

Guide to Business Casual 

This is a general overview of appropriate business casual attire. Items that are not appropriate for the office are listed, too. Neither list is all-inclusive, both are open to change.

No dress code can cover all contingencies so employees shall exert a certain amount of judgment in their choice of clothing to wear to work. If you experience uncertainty about acceptable, professional business casual attire for work, please ask your supervisor.

Slacks, Pants, and Suit Pants

Slacks that are similar to Dockers and other makers of cotton or synthetic material pants, wool pants, flannel pants, dressy capris, and nice looking dress synthetic pants are acceptable. Inappropriate slacks or pants include jeans, sweatpants, exercise pants, Bermuda shorts, short shorts, shorts, bib overalls, and any spandex or other form-fitting pants such as people wear for biking. Leggings may be worn only with tunic length tops.

Skirts, Dresses, and Skirted Suits

Casual dresses and skirts, and skirts that are split at or below the knee are acceptable. Dress and skirt length shall be at a length at which you can sit comfortably in public. Short, tight skirts that ride halfway up the thigh are inappropriate for work. Mini-skirts, skorts, sun dresses, beach dresses, and spaghetti-strap dresses are inappropriate for the office.

Shirts, Tops, Blouses, and Jackets

Casual shirts, dress shirts, sweaters, tops, golf-type shirts, and turtlenecks are acceptable attire for work. Most suit jackets or sport jackets are also acceptable attire for the office, if they violate none of the listed guidelines. Inappropriate attire for work includes tank tops; midriff tops; shirts with potentially offensive words, terms, logos, pictures, cartoons, or slogans; halter-tops; tops with bare shoulders; sweatshirts, and t-shirts unless worn under another blouse, shirt, jacket, or dress.

Shoes and Footwear

Conservative athletic or walking shoes, loafers, clogs, sneakers, boots, flats, dress heels, and leather deck-type shoes are acceptable for work. Flashy athletic shoes, flip-flops, and slippers are not acceptable in the office.

Jewelry, Makeup, Perfume, and Cologne

Shall be in good taste, with limited visible body piercing. Remember, that some employees are allergic to the chemicals in perfumes and make-up, so wear these substances with restraint.

Hats and Head Covering

Hats are not appropriate in the office. Head Covers that are required for religious purposes or to honor cultural tradition are allowed.

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

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