by MR Magazine Staff
Matt and Bob White of Hubert White
Matt and Bob White of Hubert White

Do sales associates wearing suits and ties look professional, inspiring, intimidating, or just plain dated? It depends on who you ask.

Jeff Farbstein, Harry Rosen Our dress code for sales associates is very simple. A jacket at all times, a clean jean or cotton pant, a shirt and tie, a patterned shirt (sport or dress) with no tie, clean running shoes done up, loafers or dress shoes. Some sellers wear a suit as expected. It’s up to management to balance staff wardrobes so we don’t look all one way or the other. We must maintain an up to date clothing wardrobe featuring our merchandise only. Image is important to us and to our customers. Ripped, wrinkled, too short, no jacket, is part of our assortments but not the image our clients expect. Sales people who work on their days off would dress exactly the same.

Bob White, Hubert White We have no formal dress code but our staff knows how to dress. Most wear a tie every day but this is not required.

Tom Ott, Saks Fifth Avenue Currently, our associates wear dress apparel; however, we are in the beginning stages of relaxing the dress code. We want our associates’ style to echo what our customers are looking for. We are investing in educating our associates so they can continue to provide our customers with the best style expertise and services. Pulling together a casual look takes a deeper understanding of style than simply pulling together a navy suit, white shirt, and red tie combo.

Kent Gushner, Boyds Philadelphia Dress code depends on which department they are working in: tailored salespeople dress in a tailored way, sportswear sellers in a more relaxed way but with some type of jacket, even if a casual one. Women must dress in a fashionable yet professional manner regardless of what department they are working in.

Nate Machanis and Derek Brown from STAG Austin
Nate Machanis and Derek Brown from STAG Austin

Steve Shuck and Don Weir, STAG – Austin
We don’t have a dress code in our stores. We hire folks who embody their own personal style, and really like the clothes we sell. Our customers appreciate that our sales associates don’t look cookie-cutter, and our teams like that they can be themselves.

Ken Giddon, Rothmans Our dress code is simply to wear better versions of the various dress codes in the neighborhood. Wear a suit, wear it better. Wear a black t shirt: wear it better and cooler.

Russ Patrick, Neiman Marcus At Neiman Marcus we have relaxed the dress code for our sales associates in The Man’s Store. While always remaining professional we now allow more options, including sportswear, while working with clients on the selling floor. While certainly a change from the old rules of dressing, both our associates and clients appreciate the change. We will continue to monitor how we present ourselves to stay current with our customer’s changing needs.

Caleb Lin, American Rag We have typical requirements for dress code in terms of decency, but generally allow our staff to dress independently – they all just wear a denim apron so that people on the floor know who to grab when they have a question. Allowing them to dress uniquely adds to the individuality that is part of our store’s ethos.

Tim Pait Oak Hall
Tim Pait of Oak Hall

Tim Pait, Oak Hall – Memphis As times change, so should the attire of our sales associates. A classic sartorial look (suit and tie) is always appropriate but what makes it modern is a slimmer model and accessories that reflect the personal style of the wearer. Gaining popularity is the modern workday casual look. This is a great jacket, shirt, tie (or not) , pocket square, cotton trousers, denim & sneakers or even a great boot. This look appeals to a diverse demographic and as we have more of these items on the sales floor, I t is important that we represent what we are selling. The luxury market has been on the forefront of doing workday casual correctly. Neckwear may be appropriate in some instance but an open collar shirt is okay too. Trousers may range from a classic five-pocket cotton or wool, or even modern take on a cargo/utility type pant. The jacket leans more towards soft construction either in patterns or a solid blazer. Shirts may be anything from classic solid, pattern or even modern takes on unique prints. As experts in our field, it remains our job to keep our clients in tune with what is current, while relating it to their careers, lifestyles and personalities. Not everyone can wear everything: our responsibility is to steer them in the right direction.

Tom Nystrom, Belk Stores The dress code for anyone selling in men’s is supposed to be a shirt and a tie with a suit or sportcoat. Most stores relax on the coat due to air conditioning issues. I think wearing a coat & tie still makes sense, but I also think there are ways to make the associates outfits more fun (and Belk brand-right) but it should still be dresswear appropriate. Taking a more casual approach (e.g. cool sportswear) is a slippery slope, especially since not all sellers have the fashion sense to make it work. (#whengoodintentionsgowrong) I also believe we need to support the concept of dressing business-right vs. continuing the casualization of the workplace and America.

David Kositchek, Kositcheks We require our sales associates to wear a suit and tie or a sportcoat and tie each day. The exception is on Saturdays when we ask a few sales people to dress casual but always wearing a coat. The typical Saturday dress code is a soft constructed coat, a sport shirt and a five pocket trouser or jean.

The new Mitchells Team
The new Mitchells Team

Dan Farrington, Mitchells Stores Our male sales associates are asked to always wear a jacket. Even if they are wearing jeans on a Friday, they must have a jacket, dress-casual shoes, a dressier shirt, and accessories.

Ben Silver, The Ben Silver Collection All of our staff are required to wear -and enjoy wearing – Ben Silver clothing, necktie required. The women wear clothing from our women’s department – all classic and reserved. Our total environment is built upon the concept of classic style and dress.

Jey Perie, Kinfolk At Kinfolk we want to promote self-expression and we ask our sales associates to keep it true to their own style and aesthetic. That being said, we ask them to do so using Kinfolk products, selected brands from the store as well as unbranded items.


  1. Dress codes are so interesting…. You can put a guy in a $10,000.00 suit and it doesn’t do a thing for him, and yet you can put a guy in ripped vintage jeans, tee shirt and cool footwear and he looks incredibly confident and cool looking..
    Clothing and Sportswear without attitude and confidence behind it is never happening… The hottest most saught after female model back in the 80’s was actually a guy…. No women walked the runway better then him… Her… ;-)

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