Starbucks is a great place to work at, especially if you’re looking for an entry-level job fresh out of high school. Moreover, Starbucks has recently increased its minimum wage to $15 per hour.
Good ambiance, helpful colleagues, relaxed dress code… the giant coffee chain is a perfect blend of great working experience and decent pay.
You’ve probably frequented one of Starbucks stores to grab a coffee, and noticed that its baristas don’t follow a stringent attire policy. It seems that all partners, even those in management roles such as shift managers, are free to express their personal tastes in fashion.
The truth is, Starbucks does have a dress code policy for its workers which may not seem obvious at first glance. They have meticulously crafted the Starbucks experience for optimum customer experience, which includes how its employees should dress.
Starbucks Dress Code
Generally, Starbucks requires its employees to dress smart casual and in muted colors. Starbucks does give some leeway for personal expression, as long as the overall outfit is tidy, appropriate, and allows freedom of movement. Starbucks employees are also required to wear and keep their aprons looking sharp at all times.
Initially, the coffee chain provided a comprehensive, 15-page guidebook in regards to dress code. But in 2019, Starbucks summarize their entire dress code into a single-page handbook available here. An overview of the dress code update is as follows.
Since all Starbucks employees, be it baristas and shift supervisors, represent the brand of a multibillion-dollar company, they must present a clean and neat appearance while working. All clothing should be wrinkle-free, spotless, without holes, and tidy.
There are some exceptions to Starbucks’ dress code (religious exemptions, disabilities, etc.), so the store manager ultimately decides what is considered appropriate and not appropriate for work.
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Naturally, Starbucks employees must wear clothing that highlights the brand’s main color — green. To that end, they should wear clothes that are muted or neutral colors, including:
- – Black
- – Navy blue
- – Gray
- – Brown
- – Charcoal
- – Khaki
- – White
You can wear accent colors on scarves, ties, and socks as long as they don’t overshine the Starbucks apron. That is, avoid loud patterns, distracting graphics, neon, white, or other colors that may grab attention.
Solid colors with simple patterns are your best friend! For socks, simple prints or patterns are fine too.
The coffee giant welcomes its employees to express their personal style through hair color. That’s why you often see an occasional barista with expressive hair colors such as neon, purple, or shining blue.
However, for food safety reasons, the hair dye must be permanent or semi-permanent. You must also keep your hair tidy and brushed back to avoid any strands from falling into customers’ drinks.
Should you encounter a bad hair day, you may choose to cover your head. Starbucks employees can wear:
- – Solid-colored baseball caps
- – The company’s logo hat
- – Fedoras
- – Bowlers
- – Panama hats
However, Starbucks also has an extensive list of head coverings on the no list:
- – Baseball caps with sports logos
- – Cowboy hats
- – Bucket hats
- – Fedoras with loud patterns
- – Dirty caps
- – Beanies with additional embellishments
- – Caps with the bill facing backward
Facial hair should be well-trimmed and neat — the last thing you want is a customer finding a strand of hair in their drinks or worse, choking on one.
One facial piercing is allowed but it must not be bigger than a dime. That is, you can now wear a small nose stud and septum piercings.
Earrings and ear gauges are allowed too, but they must be smaller than a quarter.
Tattoos are kosher but they cannot depict anything obscene, profane, racist, or sexual. However, tattoos are not permitted on the face or neck.
Employees can wear dark jeans, pants, shorts, skirts, and dresses. The only policy is that they must be in darker hues — black, navy, gray, brown, and khaki. Starbucks’ workers cannot wear clothing with patches or tears either, so no ripped jeans or worn-out pants with embarrassing holes.
If you choose to wear shorts, skirts, and dresses, they must not be shorter than four inches above your knees.
We recommend wearing dark denim because it is comfortable and the color matches well with the green apron.
All shirts must cover the midsection (tummy) and armpits. Other aspects such as colors and patterns follow the same stance: muted, subtle, or subdued to keep up a professional appearance.
Button-downs are a popular choice among Starbucks employees since they are both professional, comfortable, and good-looking. The temperature can get cold too, so they’ll also keep you warm and on top of your game serving drinks for long queues.
T-shirts aren’t allowed, but interestingly Starbucks promotional t-shirts may be worn.
Looking to learn more about Starbucks’ business operations? You may be interested in these articles about the coffee giant.
All in all, Starbucks has a relaxed employee dress code that gives room for personal expression. Generally, Starbucks workers must wear smart casual clothing in neutral or muted colors, mostly to look professional and to highlight their signature green apron.
A casual dress code is fairly common in the coffee industry, but Starbucks emphasizes its partners to look professional to align with their company vision — “to establish Starbucks as the premier purveyor of the finest coffee in the world while maintaining our uncompromising principles while we grow.”
It’s fair to say that sloppy, untidied clothing does not match their company vision.