Simply trying too hard? The controversy of the new Starbucks dress code

Removing the former black and white colour scheme, Starbucks has radically changed its dress code

Starbucks has recently changed its policy on staff uniforms in a bid to let staff open their closets and have fun. However, the firm has released this policy change alongside a long list of guidelines, covering everything from colour palettes to skirt lengths and sock patterns.

Despite the fact that employees have been given freedom to express their individual personalities, there are some strict rules that they have to adhere to.

Express yourself

These latest changes have been said to relax the uniform rules that the coffee chain has, allowing staff to deviate from the usual black and white shirts and trousers, and even to dye their hair in bright colours.

However, expressing oneself may be difficult due to the strictly enforced rules that govern the patterns, lengths, colours and materials of their clothes. All of these rules and regulations have been detailed in Starbucks’ ‘Look Book’.

These new rules were introduced in July of this year, with the book released by Starbucks suggesting that the company was inviting staff to bring a ‘handcrafted style’ and ‘personal taste’ to work. The firm commented that when staff put on their green aprons, they should feel proud of how they look, as they are Starbucks brand ambassadors. Starbucks then finished by saying that it hoped this new dress code would leave staff feeling excited to open their closets and have fun.

Strict rules

Within the rules, staff are told that they should look professional, neat and clean, and that their clothing should be in good repair, crease-free, hemmed and clean. It also outlines the fact that staff will have to look after their aprons too, making sure they are free from stains, tears and holes and that they are laundered and crease-free.

Staff are also permitted to wear low-contrast patterns and shirt colours that are ‘subdued’, as well as dresses, skirts, shorts or trousers that are brown, khaki, navy, black or grey. Jeans are also acceptable, but only in darker colours. Selvedge denim, straw, wool, denim, polyester, canvas, leather and cotton are the materials listed.

‘Muted and subdued’ patterns on shirts are now acceptable, but sweatshirts and v-neck t-shirts are not acceptable. The rule book also states that all clothing must be free from distress, patches, tears or rips and must fit comfortably and be practical and durable. Any dresses, shorts or skirts shouldn’t come any higher than 4 inches above the knee.

Shoes need to be brown, black or grey, and hard-wearing designs are encouraged.

There’s a special section within the guidebook that goes into what is and isn’t allowed when it comes to hairstyles. Dyed hair is now welcomed by Starbucks but staff must make sure that it is tidy. Beards and moustaches should also be trimmed and neat.

The finishing touches have also been covered, with nose rings, septum piercings and nail polish being banned. A nose stud, small ear gauges, and two small to moderately sized earrings may be worn in each ear.

So, even though rules have been relaxed in certain areas, it appears even more rules have come in their place to keep Starbucks’ staff within their standards.

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