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Environmental Demands

Work Attire

Most companies require their employees to follow a certain dress code.  In some work environments, you might be required to wear a uniform.  In other work environments, you might be required to wear business clothing.  And in other work environments, you might be able to wear casual clothing.  It depends on where you work, and it depends on what type of work you do. 

Some companies do not have an “official” dress code or you may not be told directly what to wear to work.  However, you are still expected to dress in a way that fits in with that work environment.

As you read the boxes below, keep this in mind:  The dress code may vary from place to place within one single job type.  For example, one bus driver may be required to wear a uniform, while another bus driver at a different company can wear casual clothing.  Therefore, the job types listed in each box below are provided to give you an example of one possibility.

Before starting a job, you should make sure that you clearly understand the company’s dress code. 

Some jobs require you to wear a uniform.    

You might be required to wear a uniform for health and safety reasons, you might wear a uniform because your job involves getting dirty, or you might have to wear a uniform because the company wants all of their employees to be dressed the same. 

Examples of uniform attire:

  • aprons
  • hair nets
  • hats
  • t-shirt with the company logo on it
  • overalls
  • scrubs
  • gloves
  • hard hats
  • steel-toed boots
  • waiter / waitress uniform
  • coveralls

Jobs that may require you to wear a uniform:

  • pharmacy technician
  • medical technician
  • home health care aide
  • restaurant waiter / waitress
  • cashier
  • bus driver
  • house painter
  • tour guide
  • cook
  • mechanic
  • baggage handler
  • construction worker

Some workplaces allow you to wear casual clothing

Even though you can wear casual clothing in these jobs, your clothing must be neat, clean, and appropriate for the work environment. 

Examples of casual clothing:

  • jeans (no rips or holes)
  • khaki pants
  • t-shirts (no explicit /offensive images or words)
  • shorts
  • cotton shirts
  • casual dresses, skirts
  • corduroy pants
  • boots
  • tennis shoes
  • flats

Jobs that may allow you to wear casual clothing:

  • plant nursery worker
  • shelf stocker
  • restaurant kitchen helper
  • plumber
  • carpenter
  • farm worker
  • electrician
  • school bus driver
  • video game designer
  • artist / illustrator

Some workplaces may require you to wear business-casual clothing.  

Your clothing should be clean, wrinkle-free, and appropriate for the work environment.

Examples of business-casualclothing:

  • khaki pants
  • slacks
  • polo shirts
  • button-down shirts
  • blouses
  • sweaters, cardigans, and sweater vests
  • nice skirts
  • nice dresses
  • heels or nice flats
  • dress shoes
  • dress boots

Jobs that may require you to wear business-casual clothing:

  • office clerk
  • accountant
  • bank teller
  • photographer
  • tour guide
  • graphic designer
  • teacher
  • professor
  • engineer
  • architect
  • computer programmer


Some workplaces may require you to wear formal business clothing. 

You might not have to wear a suit every single day in these jobs; but you will need to wear one on many days.  You might have to wear this attire when you attend conferences, lectures, important meetings, travel for work, or provide a specialized face-to-face service to customers. 

Examples of formal business clothing:

  • Suits
  • Blazers
  • A tie (if you are a man)
  • Dress suits
  • Skirt suits
  • Dress shoes
  • Heels or nice flats

Jobs that may require you to wear formal business clothing:

  • Accountant
  • lawyer
  • professor
  • school administrator
  • business executive
  • federal law enforcement agent


Sometimes, your job may require you to tolerate certain environmental demands that you do not like.  No work environment is perfect all the time.  Everyone has to cope with certain job-related environmental demands.

How can you cope with clothing demands? 

  • Wear a soft shirt underneath required clothing.
  • Wear a seamless shirt underneath required clothing.
  • Remove tags from clothing.
  • Buy tag-less clothing.
  • Buy clothes with flat seaming.
  • Wear seamless socks.
  • Use pants with encased elastic bands.
  • Try on several sizes to find the most comfortable for you.

It is important to learn coping strategies and techniques so you will keep the job you want. Go to our Coping Section for help