Friday, September 2, 2011

Dress Code Challenge

One of the great things about being a teacher (of the many great things) is that there is no dress code at my work. I can wear jeans, flip-flops, heck pajamas if I wanted to. But, I try to maintain a professional appearance, and most days I do pretty well. But, there are those days where my flip-flops look inviting and my comfy jeans call to me.

Every year I think "I'm gonna be better about dressing professionally." And I'm good for a few weeks, and then I cave in. So, this year I've decided to make a list of rules for myself about my work appearance. A dress code of sorts.

Reading this list is going to make you think I go to work looking like a homeless person. I don't, but I want to push myself to step it up, so I am going to outlaw even things that I only wear once a year.

Jessica's Dress Code

1. Jeans may be worn only on Fridays.
2. No flip-flops. At all. Ever.
3. Toms and Converse may be worn only on Fridays.
4. Wear at least one accessory every day.
5. No sweatshirts
6. Blow dry and style hair at least once a week (I am the ponytail/air dry queen. Because I like to hit snooze).
7. Wear red every Tuesday (for Union support), while maintaining the rest of these rules (no Union t-shirts).

Exception: Spirit Days which require a "costume" of sorts may violate these rules.

I know for many people you have a dress code that requires this, so it seems easy. But with no one enforcing the rules but me, it can be a challenge to keep to the rules. So, I plan to keep track of this, and for each month I follow all the rules, I am allowed to spend $25 on new clothes. If I break the rules, no new clothes that month, and the $25 goes into my E-fund. I know that's a small amount, but it's enough for a new shirt or some other item if I shop carefully. That way my reward can also help keep me excited about wearing nice clothes to work.

Do you have a dress code at your work? Do you find it difficult to maintain a professional appearance?


  1. How fun...and at the thrift store, that $25 could go a long way. I have no dress code because I stay at home with my kids and do some freelance work online but I always...every single day take a shower and get dressed even when my kids were babies. I needed to feel good about myself and I didn't want to be a frumpy mommy. Jeans would be okay in my book if they are stylish and worn with flats rather than chuck taylors.
    xo Jana

  2. Does your school really not have a dress code at all? Or people just don't follow it?

    We do have a dress code at my school, although I suppose it is not really enforced, so you could break it if you wanted to. Also, the science department has some unwritten dress code that requires everyone to wear 90s Hawaiian shirts =)

    The rest of us follow something similar to what you laid out...jeans on Fridays only and no flip flops ever. I dig your rewards system - that sounds fun =)

  3. Wow, this is so organized. You're a grid, I'm a hurricane.

    Not really. I'm just impressed.

  4. Yes, we have a dress code at work, but Fridays are casual days.

  5. Wow. Our district has a dress code in all schools. On the school level a principal can decide about whether jeans are acceptable at any point. Most schools do jeans on Friday if staff get involved in giving (United Way, Relay for Life, etc.). They also always go back to reminding everyone that we need to maintain a respectable appearance because we ARE professionals and we want students, parents and the community to see that.

  6. Glory: Really no dress code. And hahahaha about 90's Hawaiian shirts.

    Caffeinated: I agree, that's why I'm making the rule. Most people dress pretty well, some people don't. I go back and forth, thus the rules. :)

  7. My dress code is business casual (black or gray slacks/skirt with a nice shirt). But when we meet clients, it's a business professional (nice pants/skirt with a button up and maybe a blazer.

  8. OMG I can't believe you have no dress code! That is crazy awesome! We have a dress code, but most of my co-workers still end up looking pretty frumpty dumpty most of the time, especially the women. Harsh but true :/

    I definitely bend the rules sometimes (like I wore flip flops on feet were just too tired from their first week back in heels) but for the most part I think I do a decent job with professional dress. I think the key is buying professional pieces you actually LIKE, then you won't be tempted to revert to the more casual stuff.

    Good luck! Wish we could go shopping together - too bad we're 3000 miles apart...