UBS Gives Employees 43-Page Manual On How To Dress

Are you dress-SOX compliant? Swiss bank UBS has passed out a 43-page book to employees at 5 of its branches telling them what to wear and what not to wear.


  • Wear a stylish haircut as studies have shown them to increase your popularity
  • Wear dark grey, black, or navy blue suits, as they “symbolize competence, formalism and sobriety.”
  • Wear black knee-high socks if you’re a man, as you want to avoid showing any skin when you cross your legs.
  • Wear a watch as they suggest “reliability and great care for punctuality.”


  • Eat garlic and onions
  • Wear black nail polish or nail art
  • Wear short skirts
  • Have visible underwear

If successful, the style guide could be implemented bank-wide.

Have you ever gotten in trouble at work for breaking a dress code? How did you deal with it?

Dress to Impress, UBS Tells Staff [WSJ]


Edit Your Comment

  1. Mercurialish says:

    At one Convergys call-center site, if you came to work out of dress code during the training period, they would send you home as soon as you walked in. Then, of course, they decided to go casual… appealed to more people, the casual dress code did. Blah.

    • cynical_reincarnation says:

      I never really understood having to dress up in a call center…

      • lucky13 says:

        Never made sense to me either…my call center was casual most of the time but we often had to dress up if they were showing off to clients or potential clients. We did have a dress code even for casual dress.

        • lucky13 says:

          And everyone dressed up during training because you weren’t officially hired until you completed training and passed the test. Getting sent home to change was a regular occurence for some during initial training and designated dress-up days.

      • fieldy920 says:

        I’m pretty sure the dress code is there solely to give call centers something to leverage as a “perk” for doing things correctly (like getting high quality, meeting quotas, etc…).

        Obviously there needs to be a dress code to keep people from coming in wearing pajama pants and spaghetti strap tops, but making jeans be something people have to earn is just not AMERICAN!

        • JennQPublic says:

          We had a dress code when I worked at a call center, but had casual Fridays, which I liked. I think we did have more self-respect and feel more satisfied in our jobs because we LOOKED respectable and professional.

          We took pride in our appearance and the quality of the job we did, and that translated to an excellent department. If it were my decision, I would do it the same way.

      • Gulliver says:

        Actually, studies show that the way you dress effects your demeanor and professionalism. In fact, most call centers tell people to smile when they are talking on the phone. It is all about the level pf professionalism you have in a job. If you ate getting paid, then dress appropriately.

        • Griking says:

          Studies can be made to show anything you want them to.

          I’ve NEVER been called, emailed or asked while in a store what I though of their corporate dress code. I work for a large company and their “studies” are generally nothing more then a group of executives sitting in a room together brainstorming ways to make more money. Of course saying that their decisions came from studies is supposed to sound a lot more professional.

        • Me - now with more humidity says:

          I get really surly if my employer makes me dress up.

        • pot_roast says:

          Actual real world experience has shown that such surveys are complete trash. Sounds like something written by a suit wearing HR droid anyway.
          I worked in call centers for many years, including one by a company that has rated highest in customer satisfaction for many years now, and the dress code was casual.

          Dress codes in call centers are ridiculous.

    • tbax929 says:

      I spent a couple of years working for Convergys one month. What a hell-hole that place was.

    • vioviovioletta says:

      I work in the scheduling department for a hospital and we get to wear scrub pants and a t-shirt every day of the week. On our “casual” Fridays we can wear jeans, but I usually opt for the scrubs…they’re just much more comfortable.

  2. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    These are the ‘fashion tips’ I get at practically every job I’ve ever worked. I haven’t clicked past the jump though, so maybe I missed something…

  3. bendee says:

    I haven’t heard about these “dark great” suits, I’ll have to check them out.

  4. Thyme for an edit button says:

    Makeup enhances women’s personalities?

    • jessjj347 says:

      That’s why I dislike most of these societal standards (which I think many are reflected in these policies). Apparently, if a woman wants to be a business professional, she has to wear makeup, high heels that will ruin her feet, a skirt, and other such meaningless things.

      • JennQPublic says:

        They may be ‘meaningless’, but they ARE societal standards. If you don’t want to meet those standards, that’s your choice. But don’t expect anyone else to take you seriously.

        You can argue it’s not right until you’re blue in the face, but it is what it is. If you show up to work in grubby, wrinkled clothes, unshaven and unkempt, people WILL judge you based on that choice. Refusing to accept that is just immature.

        • Anri says:

          “grubby wrinkled clothes” is not the same as “not wearing a short skirt, high heels, or make-up.”

        • sprybuzzard says:

          It sounds like you’re comparing being unkempt and wearing grubby clothes to not wearing makeup, which is ridiculous.

        • jesusofcool says:

          What a completely idiotic comment.
          Women can wear flats and limited make-up at work and still be taken seriously. I have seen it. In fact, I would argue the exact opposite – the women with blue eyeshadow up to her eyebrows, stilettos and a mini skirt unfortunately tends to be taken less seriously.
          Frankly, I’m a professional and my company has two female executives from opposite sides of the fashion spectrum – one is very schoolmarm and one is a fashionista. Both are respected and taken seriously.

        • Verdant Pine Trees says:

          I have severe foot problems that make it impossible for me to wear high heels; to expect me to do so might start to infringe on ADA issues. If I ever think it’s going to be an issue at a workplace I explain it during the job interview: I need to wear my handmade leather shoes so I can fit in special orthotics, blah blah, hope that isn’t a problem.

          Also… High heels are all about making ourselves attractive to the opposite sex. They’re not more professional than a good pair of flats. Same with a good pair of pants versus a skirt.

          I think some workplaces really want to emphasize that women are women, and that’s why they have a problem with women wearing pants instead. It’s just ludicrous, as clothing trends have changed dramatically since the 1970s. Many women wear pants constantly.

    • lucky13 says:

      So the ladies with excessive or multiple layers of makeup have multiple personalities?

    • Skittl1321 says:

      I refuse to wear makeup to work. If a company required it of me, I would throw a huge fit, and possibly a lawsuit (wonder if that would go anywhere? And if a job where that was necessary would be worth taking) unless they required men wear it too.

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        Same. I live in the DC area and my friend was joking that I should try looking for a job in the government, but then went, “But nevermind, because then you’d have to wear make-up.” He is always jabbing me about my apparent lack of concern for my appearance; I only wear make-up for special occasions. Work is not a special occasion! I spend every weekday there. XD

        • Galium says:

          If you are required to wear makeup at work, then all your makeup is tax deductable.

          • obits3 says:

            I don’t think so. I’m not sure about makeup but here are the rules for work clothing:

            “You can deduct the cost and upkeep of work clothes if the following two requirements are met.

            1.You must wear them as a condition of your employment.

            2.The clothes are not suitable for everyday wear.

            It is not enough that you wear distinctive clothing. The clothing must be specifically required by your employer. Nor is it enough that you do not, in fact, wear your work clothes away from work. The clothing must not be suitable for taking the place of your regular clothing.”


      • timmar68 says:

        I hope that’s sarcasm. If you don’t want to work at a job that requires make-up then don’t apply there! If you throw a hissy-fit that will get you nowhere. And a lawsuit? Seriously?
        It irks me to NO END when people don’t want to follow rules and think it’s their god-given right to not have to follow them. Don’t try to make a company change their rules just for you.
        Dressing professionally is a good thing and I wish people had more pride in their appearance. No more of this “I don’t wanna and you can’t make me” mind set.

    • obits3 says:

      I think that cleavage enhances women’s personalities. Maybe the banks should make women show a little more. Anything to satisfy the customer.

  5. FatLynn says:

    I don’t see why this is an issue. Is the length what people find so offensive? Better that they have a clear policy than reward or penalize employees at a manager’s discretion.

    • dulcinea47 says:

      Noo…. what’s offensive is someone telling me that I need a “stylish haircut” to “Increase popularity.” First of all I wasn’t aware that people’s jobs were some sort of popularity contest. Second of all who the hell decides what is “stylish”? More rules just makes things more complicated. If they really want to be so stringent they should just have people wear uniforms.

      • dangermike says:

        “First of all I wasn’t aware that people’s jobs were some sort of popularity contest. Second of all who the hell decides what is “stylish”?”

        1. It is. Both in terms of the socioploitical nature of interpersonal relationships in the office and with the interaction with customers.

        2. The customer. Or at least, management’s perception of the customer’s interests.

      • ryder02191 says:

        First of all I wasn’t aware that people’s jobs were some sort of popularity contest.

        That’s exactly what any job that deals with the public is. Apparently, you never learned about those newfangled sales and service careers where people generally regard well-groomed business-people higher than a bunch of stained t-shirt slobs.

  6. SkokieGuy says:

    “Light makeup consisting of foundation, mascara and discreet lipstick … will enhance your personality,”

    Personality through cosmetics, who knew?

    • guroth says:

      Personality is in the eye of the beholder. Anything you can do to improve others’ perception of you will improve your personality to them.

  7. Darrone says:

    My Blue polyester suit is definitely Dark Great.

  8. twritersf says:

    The most excellent book “Peopleware” discredits this approach, which will result in nothing but poorer morale and higher turnover, costing the company more money.

    • jesusofcool says:

      I totally agree. I think some nanny-state companies and HR people get really out-of-control (particularly with regards to women’s dress) when coming up with dress codes. In a lot of jobs with limited in-person public interaction, it doesn’t matter what you wear.
      One of the things I love the most about my current org is that we have no dress code in our personnel manual beyond “wear what you feel is appropriate for your job.” It seems to work really well – everyone feels comfortable letting their personality shine and they dress day-to-day dependent on their title/role and their level of interaction with the public. And I’ve always appreciated that they assume their employees have common sense.

  9. JulesNoctambule says:

    The ‘Don’ts’ as listed above sound pretty good to me. My husband used to work with a young woman who didn’t really understand the concept of professional dress; my favourite outfit that I saw was when she paired sheer, tight white pants with black thong underwear. Guess how that looked from behind? Yeah. Before she worked there, they had a very limited official dress code, but now it’s much more specific.

    • RxDude says:

      That might be my favorite, too, dependent on who is wearing it.

      • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:


        Day to day I see many people wearing clothes that I wouldn’t mind seeing someone wear at a up bar if they are looking for a casual hookup, but I need eye bleach for after seeing the 250lb 5’4″ receptionist wearing.

        Nothing against a 250lb 5’4″ receptionist, but even without a formal dress code, there are some things that are over the line in a business environment and I do not need to know that you like to wear thongs. Just because the boss doesn’t say anything doe not mean it is appropriate for work. The boss may be afraid of a sexism charge. “Well, the men can wear open collar shirts, why not me?” But the men have one button open and the above receptionist has 4 buttons open.

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        One word: Skidmarks.

        Looked for all the world like she’d forgotten to wash for a few weeks. I don’t think that’s really a good look for anyone.

    • guroth says:

      “Guess how that looked from behind?”

      Fantastic, I assume.

    • dolemite says:

      In my department at work, we don’t really have a dress code. Basically, wear whatever you want. I remember a guy that would come in with a beard, messed up hair and sweatpants and sweatshirt with sneakers. He did his job as well as anyone else, and no one respected him less. Personally I wear loafers, jeans and t-shirt to work most days, and I’m glad I don’t have to waste $ and time wearing dress pants, dress shirt, tie, etc to work every day like my last job. Spend an extra 10 minutes getting dressed every morning…pay for expensive dress clothes…pay for dry cleaning, and I was making like $8 an hour.

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      I find it amazing how many (young) women need to be told how to dress. I thought common sense and being observant with how others dress would clue that person in but apparently not. We had a problem with flip-flops, pj-looking pants, and just plain sloppy wear by women that made them look as though they crawled out of bed and got into their car and drove to work. A few years ago we had base-wide guidance sent out telling managers to get their employee’s to improve their standards or else.

  10. Jane_Gage says:

    I both suggest khakis for my employees and wear them myself when teaching or working in the store. I don’t nanny state anyone, especially because I can’t afford to pay a lavish salary. If someone’s going to have the bad judgement to come to work in bondage gear and purple eye shadow I’d rather know that up front anyway.

    • LadyTL says:

      I don’t understand the appeal of khakis in a non office workplace. They aren’t durable, they stain if you look at them wrong and usually are the ugliest thing unless you have no hips, thighs or butt.

  11. tea84 says:

    If anything I overdress for work. I need to stop doing that. However…

    I *wish* some of the people at my previous workplace had gotten in trouble for violating dress code. We had a Friday Casual code but people would come to work in $2 flip flops, worn-out socks worn underneath the $2 flip flops, jeans with holes worn through at the thigh, see-through t-shirts…and this was a place where we had to interact with the public for hours every day.

  12. SecretShopper: pours out a lil' liquor for the homies Wasp & Otter says:

    about a year and a half ago my company went casual because the incoming CEO liked wearing jeans, I work at a division thats pretty removed from the other offices so we get away with wearing sweatpants and t-shirts if we want as long as there aren’t any clients around

  13. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Wear a Mickey Mouse watch if you would like people to think you are an international expert on religious iconology and symbology.

    • brownhb says:

      God, I think that was my favorite part of that book. Respectable internationally famous 40-something scholar wears Mickey Mouse watch. Yup.

      • annexw says:

        A reasonably famous (in his field) 45 something scholar who wrote some of the best histories of Alexander spoke at a conference at my unni.

        He wore one red sock, one green sock and bowling shoes (with a suit of course).

        Academics are weird sometimes.

    • Gandalf the Grey says:

      Mr Humphries approves.

    • dohtem says:

      And when it’s 6 o’clock, Mickey has a hard on!

  14. dolemite says:

    Well I hope they pay their employees enough that they can afford the newest and best hairstyles, suits, etc.

  15. spamtasticus says:

    No visible underwear? I’ll never bank there again!

  16. MeOhMy says:

    I tried that navy blue suit = sobriety thing last weekend. The cop didn’t buy it.

  17. swarrior216 says:

    I guess wearing my brown plaid suit with pastel yellow shirt wont work.

  18. somegraphx says:

    shame that actually practice ethical banking rules wouldn’t be something that, “symbolize competence, formalism and sobriety.”

    I’d rather have an honest bank that something that just appears to be honest. Oh, wait, too late…

  19. cynical_reincarnation says:

    I cant wait til unreliability and drunkenness comes into style.

    CEO here I come!

  20. 12345678nine says:

    I am currently sitting here in the office with my patterned fishnet stocking and high heels. I’ve gotten compliments and some stares, and I am comfortable in it, but I AM glad my manager is out today.

  21. captadam says:

    Showing skin while crossing your legs! NOOOOOOOO!!!

  22. ARP says:

    Acting professional is more important than dressing professional to me. But given that’s its UBS, I doubt they can do the acting professional bit.

  23. brownhb says:

    Those male ankles sure are scandalous!

  24. brownhb says:

    This article and examples leave out the ridiculousness of it all. . .according to Gawker it’s a 43+ page document and includes these gems as well:

    * “Men should don footgear with a shoehorn; women should not wear new shoes.”
    * Button your dress coat when you stand, ALWAYS. I don’t care if you’re tired of it.
    * “Women may wear no more than seven jewels, men three.”
    * “Scarves are compulsory, and to be tied with ‘authorized knots.'”
    * “The hair-care section notes studies have shown that properly cared-for hair and a stylish haircut ‘increase an individual’s popularity.'”
    * “UBS’s advice for men even extends to underwear, which should be of good quality and easily washable, but still remain undetectable.”
    * Lingerie should be “skin-colored,” and ladies’ skirts should not be “too tight behind.”
    * Ties must match the “morphology of the face.”

  25. sirwired says:

    The don’ts seem fairly reasonable for customer-facing employees, but the do’s seem kind of silly.

    That being said, you’ll pry my garlic and onions out of my cold, dead, hands, after you’ve fought me off while I wield my garlic-and-onion slicing razor-sharp knife.

  26. KyBash says:

    I nearly went to work for a company that has a ‘suit allowance.’ I found that meant they had an account with several local men’s shops and tailors to charge the company directly for your office clothes. What was discrete (nearly hidden in the employee manual) was that you could only wear what they provided. It was part of the shops’ agreement with the company that they sold employees only very conservative suits.

    There were other reasons I didn’t go to work there, but that was a big minus.

    • Gulliver says:

      Why would that be a minus? Consider it your uniform to work there. As long as they pay for it, who cares. I would love somebody to pay for my work clothing and dry cleaning if possible.

      • HogwartsProfessor says:

        I would too, actually. I buy very cheap office-type clothes that are washable because I can’t afford good clothes, and I can’t afford the dry cleaning even if I got them on sale.

        My company provided a crap ton of oxford shirts with the logo on them and I wear them all the time. Easy to match and I don’t have to do anything but wash and run the iron over them really quick.

        I’m hoping, now that the tight-assed bosses have quit (YAY!) that NewBoss will let us wear polos and jeans. No one sees us and we always have warning when corporate bigwigs are coming.

      • KyBash says:

        I’d look ridiculous. I’m one of those people who just doesn’t look good in standard suit styles.

        Also, most of the people I’d be calling on with were jeans and t-shirt types — walking into their labs wearing a suit would have killed my cred.

  27. Necoras says:

    I wear jeans and Woot T-shirts every day.

  28. xxmichaelxx says:

    I’ve noticed that the more money I make, the less stringent the dress code. Now that I am a professional making a good living, I can wear whatever I want. But when I got $5 and hour, I had all sorts of dress requirements coming at me from all directions.

    It’s a child vs. adult thing, and UBS clearly thinks they’ve hired a bunch of children.

    • Gulliver says:

      Interesting, Alex Rodriguez has a job paying him over 20 million a year. He wears a uniform to his job.I guess it is related to what you get paid. In fact, if you want to get to a certain level in many companies you better dress the part. If you wear ill-fitting suits and strive to be he CEO or executive level you do not stand a chance in well-run companies. Even Silicon Valley people wear suits when they need to speak with important people to close big deals.

      • dangermike says:

        I think his point was that the more responsibility a job carries, generally the less stringent these types of requirements are. Or, in other words, as one advances to higher levels in their profession, the more it is expected that they will understand what is professional and appropriate without explicitly being told such, and that they will conduct themselves accordingly. (And yeah, I wouldn’t trust a ball player to dress himself, regardless of pay grade)

      • ccooney says:

        yes, Alex Rodriguez is representative, isn’t he?

  29. Aennan says:

    Here’s the key for why this was created “Swiss bank UBS.” I’ve worked for several companies that were tied to the culture of another county. Oddly enough, the Swiss and the Japanese had a LOT of stuff like this. My favorite from my Swiss company days: women couldn’t wear socks, only hose. I know this after once getting in trouble for wearing trouser socks with black slacks.

    • dulcinea47 says:

      How the heck did they *know* you were wearing trouser socks? Did they make you take off your pants so they could check?

      • Aennan says:

        I sat down, and the manager could see the sock between my pant leg and my shoe. She asked me if I was wearing socks, and I said yes. I was young (first “professional” job). The best part, I didn’t understand why socks were “bad” and she couldn’t tell me.

        • LadyTL says:

          I wish more people when making their dress code would pay attention to that. If you cannot reasonable explain why a outfit is better than another don’t try and shoehorn it into the dress code.

    • satoru says:

      Have you ever been to a Japanese job fair. It’s amusing. It’s a sea of conformity. Black jacket, white shirt, black tie, black slacks for men, black skirts for women. PERIOD. I came in with a grey suit and I looked like a martian. I was just trolling for freebies but it was weird.

    • SkreanAme says:

      I used to work for a Japanese multi-national here in the states as an IT professional and the only time we had to “dress” for work was when the executives from Japan came for a walk through once a year. I’m no slob, but hoodies and jeans are the norm for me (wait, I am a slob).

      I had a co-worker who would wear a sleeveless Harley Davidson t-shirt with shorts and sandals every day of the year it wasn’t raining.

  30. stevied says:

    The rules can be written better

    instead of no visible underwear etc etc

    the statement should read:

    No visible underwear etc etc when performing tasks required.

    The issue is not short skirts or flimsy shirts, but clothes that allow the undies etc etc to show when tasks are being performed.

    As the owner of a small business, I set my policies relative to the task performed. My secretary can wear shorter skirts than the check out girl, as the check out girl is required to lift boxes where as my secretary does no lifting. The check out girl must wear a company T-shirt OR a company vest OR a company apron while on the sales floor. My secretary does not as she is never on the sales floor and therefore there is no need to identify her as an employee to the public.

    Oh, and when I hit the sales floor I always where a company apron.

  31. tbax929 says:

    For the first time in my professional career, I’m working in an all-casual office. We only dress up if we’re seeing clients. I couldn’t be happier.

  32. SiliconPM says:

    Looking for the section where is says

    “Do sell principle protected notes, as a safe and secure investment, where Lehman is the underwriter and you know they are in financial trouble.”

    “Do not accept any responsibility to screwing people out of Billions in savings”

  33. TheGreySpectre says:

    Dress attire is kind of interesting here, there are people in dress slacks and button ups while others wear jeans and tshirts. Personally I wear casual slacks and a polo most of the time, but I having the freedom to dress how I want. Most engineering firms seem the same way, but then most engineers also look relatively similar with the same fairly basic haircuts that don’t require much in the way of styling or anything.

  34. AI says:

    Knee high black socks? Do I have to build a time machine and travel back to 18th century London to get those?

  35. llsee says:

    Hey, I worked for IBM back in the day of T J Watson’s (in)famous memo about appropriate dress for IBM employees that made Time Magazine. They used to say that the IBM uniform was: dark suit, white shirt, conservatively striped tie and 15 lb. black wingtips! I once wore a white shirt with blue pinstripes and was told never to do that again!

  36. Xin says:

    I’m curious about the makeup though….
    “Light makeup consisting of foundation, mascara and discreet lipstick … will enhance your personality,”

    What about women who have a difficult time wearing foundation? I wear glasses and no matter what quality foundation I use (cheap to quite expensive) I find that the makeup tends to cake around the nose pads. Contacts are out of the picture for now b/c of finances. Secondly what about women who are very sensitive to cosmetics like my mother, who will break out with acne (oh the horror for a prestige bank) due to the dyes.

    Does that mean you get punted to the back room to count the change or what?

    • ElizabethD says:

      Seriously. I have never worn foundation in all of my 59 years, and I’m not about to start now. To me it’s like sealing off your skin. Not in a good way.

      • Xin says:

        that’s the same reason I dont wear foundation anymore (that and the glasses thing)

        just a few basics for me when I need to look a little polished. blush, eyeshadow, and faint lipstick.

  37. u1itn0w2day says:

    JOB SECURITY and college degree justification for someone.

    Wonder if this bank and others wrote 43 page memoes on things like ,mortgage backed securities, appropiate fees & penalties, over leveraged, robo callers, foreclosures, liar loans etc. Well at least we know something does go on those corporate offices besides politics.

  38. Dave on bass says:

    You know that when I’m down to just my socks, it’s time for business; that’s why they’re called business socks.

  39. nutbastard says:

    bwahahaha, currently in my office with shoulder length hair, a 10 day beard, a sweater with ripped cuffs and paint on it, headphones around my neck, skate shoes, different colored socks, and a t-shirt that says “I sell crack for the CIA”

  40. JiminyChristmas says:

    Dress codes for a professional environment should be short and emphasize using good judgment. I would think that a 43-page policy has the unintended effect of absolving people of thinking.

    Imagine you are a manager with a 43-page dress code to police. An employee wears something inappropriate to work, but it isn’t addressed in the extremely detailed ‘do not wear’ part of the policy. Then what? Have an employee complain to HR because you reprimanded them for something not in the policy?

    Considering the infinite number of things someone could potentially wear, you could have a 100-page dress code and still have problems. You would be better off with a 2-page policy that made people responsible for exercising good judgment. Some people will make bad choices, in which case you have to ask managers to actually manage their staff and empower them to do so.

    • u1itn0w2day says:

      43 pages is plenty of fodder for a lawyer/lawsuit especially if the contradict themselves.

      Is this part of the problem in corporate America today, more emphasis of dress and the appearance of professionalism? All the Armani wearing executives didn’t seem to be able to prevent an economic collapse.

  41. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I’ve never gotten in trouble with dress codes, but once we hired a temp to answer the phones while we were in a company meeting. Usually we got this very conservative grandma lady, but this time they sent a young girl who showed up in a jacket, slacks, nice heels and a handkerchief blouse cut down to THERE.

    It was a very pretty blouse but not really appropriate office attire. If she had put a camisole under it with the lace covering her cleavage, she might have gotten away with it. TightAssBossLady took one look at her and made the HR assistant send her home. The men in the office were all very disappointed.

  42. VisualizeWhirledPeas says:

    I’ve worked in the financial services sector since the Carter administration. At present, I have four facial piercings (two nose, two eyebrow) and six ear piercings, wear jewelry full time in all the piercings, and thankfully have not felt that my six-figure income was impeded by the hardware. Got the first facial piercing close to 15 years ago.

    Tally me up in the “met none, not any” column with respect to the UBS guidelines…and I’m unlikely to work or do business with any company demanding that level of conformity/formality of its staff.

  43. I just blue myself says:

    The dress code at my work is easy; no jeans, no sweatshirts and no tennis shoes. Luckily I work with people who know not to wear a halter top and short skirt to work even though it’s not specifically stated in the dress code.

  44. Pax says:

    Forty three pages …?!?!?


  45. brinks says:

    I didn’t read through all the comments, so someone probably already mentioned this, but my first thought was that it’s too bad the “sexy banker” didn’t have such a specific list. Would’ve saved everyone a lot of headaches.

  46. fnord23 says:

    I’m a vet tech. Today I have a Simpsons scrub top on, and my hair is dyed purple. Another gal I work with is covered in piercings and tattoos. The only dress code we have is color coded scrubs for the days of the week, and that really only applies to the pants. Scrubs are like wearing comfy pajamas. Some of the business mags for vets say that to be taken seriously, the techs, assistants and receptionists should wear polo shirts and khakis? Umm…why so we can look like we work at Best Buy or Target?? When I go to the doctor, the nurses and most of the doctors wear scrubs too. I’m glad that my clients base their opinion of me and my clinic on the level of medical care we deliver, and not whether me or my coworkers have non-natural hair color.

  47. humphrmi says:

    It should be noted that these are standards for customer-facing employees working in Switzerland, and even if the test is successful, it will only be rolled out to other employees in Switzerland. So everyone saying “ZOMG! I’d never work for them!” there’s an easy way to make sure that happens – don’t move to Switzerland.

    Also, as the article points out, they are given to new employees or contractors who are “new to working in a banking environment.”

  48. INsano says:

    “Wear dark grey, black, or navy blue suits, as they “symbolize competence, formalism and sobriety.””

    Pretty sure that what a suit stands for changed a lot since the fall of 2008.

  49. gman863 says:

    Dress codes often have double standards if the supervisor enjoys eye candy.

    When I worked at Fry’s (ugh!) male associates had (and still have to) wear a white dress shirt, tie and slacks. There were times when (due to having to climb ladders like a monkey in the stockroom to find a product a customer wanted), my shirt tail would occasionally come out. Although the supervisors realized I was doing my job by helping the customer, more than once I was chewed out by the department manager for looking “unprofessional” if I didn’t spruce myself up before leaving the stockroom – even if the customer had been waiting several minutes.

    Female associates in the same department never got this treatment. My guess is the manager enjoyed the daily peep show of butt crack, underwear and clevage.

  50. mmmsoap says:

    While I have no comments on the the content of the do’s and don’ts (I don’t really know what UBS does, so I dunno what they should wear) I do like the fact that the list is so specific.

    At my job, dress code is “business casual”. Unfortunately, there are quite a number of people who plainly don’t know what that means. Since I work in a (private) school, it’s pretty important that those on the younger end (20-somethings) are dressed professionally enough to convey authority to students and to not be mistaken for students by parents and other staff members.

    A lot of new hires come into the school with no understanding of professionalism, it both dress and general deportment. We have one or two people coming to work unkempt and making the school as a whole look bad.

  51. Angry JD says:

    I’m paid for my brain, not my attire. Fuck dress codes.

  52. Destra says:

    I’m always weary and angry with dress codes that have different standards for men and women. Bigotry is never fun from your employer.

  53. Verdant Pine Trees says:

    Funny, when I worked the same job as la jipiteca (scheduling for a hospital) about fifteen years ago, we could only wear scrubs or a suit. No T-shirts, no jeans. Didn’t matter that nurses would come in to pick up their schedule or paychecks in clothes stained by blood or poop… if we didn’t wear scrubs, we had to wear a suit. I got bawled out for wearing a sweater with knit pants, particularly because the edge of a T-shirt could be seen underneath the sweater.

    The nurse manager in charge was a walking invokation of Godwin’s Law, and people were terrified of her and her flunky. They would scream – literally scream – at employees at the drop of a a hat. We were forbidden to eat anything at our desk, we would have to go in another room and lock the door… we were forbidden to speak to one another outside of shifts – if you arrived a minute late, you were screamed at, if you arrived early, you were to sit in the lobby and wait until the precise moment your shift started, and then you were only to trade essential information and not make any conversation. We were forbidden to go to the bathroom between 4 pm and 7 pm during our shift, even though we carried pagers, because that was the critical time to staff the hospital floors.

    Anyway… We had a meeting for which we were all called in on pain of death. We were not paid if it was our day off. (I’m not sure the meeting was actually legal in another way; they were pressuring us to vote a certain way in the election, and also to write our public officials). Several people asked me whether I thought it was safe for them to wear jeans since technically it was their day off. When we all showed up, no one was wearing jeans – except the nurse manager and her flunky.

    When I quit, it was another six months before I found a steady job, but it was worth it!

  54. Miss Dev (The Beer Sherpa) says:

    I worked as a bar cart girl at a golf course for several months. I had to wear a little polo shirt and plaid mini skirt as part of the gig. Since it was autumn in Colorado, I was allowed to have a blanket to put over my knees while I drove. They never addressed footwear, however, so I wore my bright orange golf shoes. About a week later I was pulled into the office and told that I was dressing inappropriately (a mini skirt in October – I agree!), and that I needed to get black shoes. I ended up getting away with dark red shoes (I didn’t own black shoes and $3.13 an hour didn’t buy them for me), but it was still rather goofy.

  55. unchainedmuse says:

    Everyday, I’m more grateful that my company allows us to wear jeans on a daily basis. The only exception is that we have to dress better if a client is to be on site.

  56. Michael Bauser says:

    The only time I ever got in “dress code” trouble was when I worked as a stockperson in a drug store, and the manager said I had too many holes in my jeans. My defense was that the job (lots of heavy lifting, truck unloading, and kneeling) was destroying my clothing anyway, but she kept threatening to send me home.

    This drug store, by the way, had a goofy dress code that required all male employees to wear a dress shirt and tie, while women could wear t-shirts. Of course, wearing a shirt, tie, and blue smock in a drug store made little old ladies assume I was the pharmacist and ask me questions about their prescriptions. I ended up growing a goatee (not against the dress code) so that I’d look less trustworthy.

  57. satoru says:

    Typically dress codes work in this way. The closer you are to the money, the stricter the code. No one wants to lose a $10 million deal because the sales person looked like they just walked out of bed. The point is, if you’re asking someone to give you a lot of money, are you going to give it to a well, clean dressed person, or a downtrodden hobo. People ARE judging you and that’s just the reality. Dye your hair purple with more ear-rings than a you have fingers, and people are making assumptions about you, and that impacts their decision. You can whine about ‘individuality’ and whatever. But that’s the reality of it. If you want to dress however you want, go into the arts/marketing/design/etc. Banking is not the place for you.

  58. varro says:

    The CEO of UBS looks like a zombie, though…

  59. sweetgreenthing says:

    wow, now I feel silly for complaining that Starbucks couldn’t tolerate the tattoo on my wrist that says “patience” in plain English. Clearly it gets worse.