How can I improve my dress code

Dress code in the office: how much can the boss decide?

In many industries it is common for the employer to stipulate how exactly the employee's clothes and hairstyle should look, which may even extend to underwear in some cases.

Especially with employees who have a lot of customer contact, certain requirements with regard to the dress code are usually still understandable, but often the company clothing should also simply be regarded as a typical identifier.

In the recent past, however, there have been more and more cases in which Employers wanted to dictate further details to their employees, be it the length and color of the fingernails or the color of the hair. As a result, many employees are unsettled, especially in numerous cases that too Personal rights of the same are violated So it's no wonder that many of these cases end up in court sooner or later.

Do the boss's legal dress requirements have to be followed?

Although the boss is no longer enthroned over the entire workforce as he did in early capitalist times, it is and remains an illusion that there is unrestricted democratization in working life. Because to a certain extent it is the good thing Employer's right to tell employees what to wear in the workplace - or not.

The reasons for this can be varied, for example for security reasons or for the purpose Considerate customers. In this regard, many employees rely on their personal rights, which, according to Article 2, Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law, states:

"Everyone has the right to the free development of his personality, as long as he does not violate the rights of others and does not violate the constitutional order or the moral law."

Accordingly, employees have the right to enjoy unrestricted freedom in the design of their appearance, but this right can be restricted by legal requirements.

The works council can have a say in the dress code in the office!

An employer can do what is due to him Right of direction and instruction use to Regulations on a dress code or agenda to introduce into his company. Please note the Provisions of the principle of proportionality, The employer must therefore weigh up the interests of the employees, taking into account the interests of the company. The planned provisions must therefore be suitable, necessary and appropriate in any case.

Interesting: If the company has a works council, this has a right of co-determination. Became the dress code issued without the consent of the works council, it is legally ineffective. Even if employees are ultimately in the right and therefore do not have to bend to certain regulations, excessively living out their own clothing style can still have negative effects.

Because anyone who incurs the disapproval of their superiors in this way will probably be able to climb the career ladder much more slowly - an exaggerated self-will has a rather negative effect in this area. But whoever jumps over his shadow and at least partially adheres to the wishes of the executive floor, is likely to encounter fewer problems and resistance.

The "office dress code" for women & men at a glance:

A certain ability to adapt is therefore not only desired in many companies, but also almost a prerequisite in order to have the best possible promotion opportunities. The following clothing regulations, for example, come from the business sector, are mostly classics and should be adhered to whenever possible.

1. What women should consider when it comes to stylish business clothing:

  • Coat: Coats should always be longer than the hem of the skirt - If that is not possible, a coat or jacket that is significantly shorter than the skirt is a good choice.
  • Jewellery: Costume jewelry and real jewelry should not be combined. On the other hand, a single, high-quality piece of jewelery that makes the serious look underlines.
  • Accessories: It is also better to save on accessories, especially playful or overly childlike designs have no place here. Silk scarves, on the other hand, look good that not only look classy, ​​but also cover the cleavage.
  • Colours:The cloakroom should best be in Tone-on-tone combinations come along and therefore forego great contrasts. This also has the advantage that strong body parts are less noticeable. Otherwise, the darker the colors, the more serious an outfit looks.
  • Shoes: As with men, so should women's shoes do not leave a cheap impression, because a beautiful couple can significantly upgrade the outfit. Because, depending on the industry, things can actually be very diverse here - depending on whether the look “business casual”, “casual” or “business attire” is preferred.
  • Overall impression: It often pays off to invest a little more time in the outfit so that make-up, hairstyle and clothing really go together perfectly. The overall impression is just better that way. It is also important to ensure that the color that underlines the type is found as close as possible to the face - through a cloth or blouse.

2. Men should consider the following for their outfit in the office:

  • Pattern and colors: The pattern of the tie should be thicker than that of the shirt. It can only be more unusual in the fashion industry. In general, when it comes to colors and patterns, "less is more".
  • Jacket: A shirt should be worn under the jacket, but not a T-shirt. Very few companies consider jeans to be “business casual”, but corduroy trousers fit better. The jacket should also be closed when standing. The sleeves should also not be longer than the shirt sleeves. By the way: The shirt pocket is pure ornament, Pens and co. Can only find a place in it in a craft business.
  • Shoes: An unsuitable or very cheap looking shoe can quickly ruin an outfit, for the business dress shoes should therefore be carefully selected in any case. The sole is also important, although a leather sole should always be used with the suit. Absolute "no-go": black and brown in combination. The better alternative is a dark blue, gray or beige suit to brown shoes.
  • Tie: Another important feature in business is the length of the tie, which should always be considered when tying. Ideally, it tied up to the belt buckle.
  • Beard: There is a lot of discussion in companies about wearing beards, but these days these are generally permitted, provided they are properly cared for. Employees should also keep in mind that they always have a certain Make an impression in business life, which is why the casual 3-day beard is not recommended for everyone.

Not all of the boss's demands can be enforced!

In addition to these basically comprehensible guidelines, however, are also repeatedly Discussed requirements that are intolerable for employees. A well-known example concerns the specifications of a security company, which, among other things, also takes over the controls at train stations. According to the requirements, fingernails should only be painted in one color in the future, the wearing of bras was made mandatory, men were banned from wearing a wig and much more.

While some of these regulations were also considered sensible by the judiciary, others could not withstand, including the requirements regarding wigs and fingernail color.

The decision made it clear that the details of such and similar provisions often have to be viewed as individual cases and the In this regard, the employer in no way has the right to uncompromisingly enforce all demands. A look at the free legal database shows exactly how the court decision at that time was made and what other points were discussed. is the knowledge portal for specialists and managers in medium-sized businesses, the self-employed, freelancers and start-ups.