[[quoteright:270:[[http://www.brianteutsch.org/pictures/misc/HowNotToDress.jpg http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/work_dress_tips.jpg]]]]

->'''Judge Chamberlain Haller:''' Mr. Gambini, didn't I tell you that the next time you appear in my court that you dress appropriately?\\
'''Vinny Gambini:''' You were serious about that?
-->-- ''Film/MyCousinVinny''

You ever see a sign outside a business that reads "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service"? That's a Dress Code.

Anytime a place has rules for what people should and shouldn't wear. This can include uniforms, but in that case the code is simply to wear the appropriate uniform. Actual dress codes allow more freedom, especially depending on the situation.

This trope applies just as much in RealLife as in fiction.

Two of the most common places for dress codes are schools and workplaces, particularly {{office}}s. And the latter often have "Casual Fridays", where the code is loosened. (There are still limits, of course, although on many shows the characters will take their sartorial freedom to [[HilarityEnsues hilarious extremes]]).

And this can also be in other formal situations like black tie dinners or {{Standard Royal Court}}s.

In fiction, two of the most common reasons for stating dress codes are:
# To add flavor to the place, such as a DeadlyDecadentCourt.
# To show that a character is going to violate the code, and get in some form of trouble over it.

Occasionally a part of DressCodedForYourConvenience (when at least one side actually had a dress code).

Contrast UnderdressedForTheOccasion and NoDressCode.

Not to be confused with HollywoodDressCode.
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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]

* In ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', girls from Tokiwadai Middle School are required to wear their uniform at all times, even outside of school. Mikoto wears ModestyShorts under her skirt since it's too short for her.

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[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/MrHollandsOpus'', there is a scene where the principal sees that two girls are wearing skirts that are too short, so he sends them home.
* In ''Film/MyCousinVinny'', Vinny gets in trouble with the judge because his clothes don't match what the judge feels is appropriate for the court.
* ''Film/WinterKills'' has a scene where Nick meets with his girlfriend Yvette at a swank NYC hotel restaurant. When the maître d' refuses to seat them, because Yvette is wearing a pantsuit and the restaurant has a strict policy prohibiting this, she complies by taking her pants off on the spot (a RefugeInAudacity move that was supposedly inspired by a real-life incident involving '60s socialite Nan Kempner).

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[[folder: Literature ]]

* In Marianne Curley's ''Literature/GuardiansOfTime'' series, one of the signs that chaos is overtaking the world is either that the dress code at the protagonists' high school gets abolished.
* In ''Literature/TheSwordOfTruth'' series, length of hair on women designates social standing. The most important woman in the Midlands--the Mother Confessor--has the longest hair, and it's socially (and in some places, legally) unacceptable to have hair any longer than hers.
* In the ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' series the standard court costume imposed by tradition on the Manticoran nobility during formal events, having been created by a society with essentially ''de facto'' gender equality, is unisex and includes such things as tight brightly striped pants which look unfortunate on people without the physique to pull it off and mildly ridiculous otherwise. Duchess Harrington herself, choosing to exploit her title from the planet Grayson as an excuse, decides on wearing a much more comfortable and fashionable looking dress (Grayson having a more "traditional" view of women and fashion), this causing a minor social uproar when Queen Elizabeth III decides that's a damn fine idea.
* In ''Literature/ThePrincessDiaries'', Mia mentions her school dress code here and there, such as complaining when the AlphaBitch blatantly violates it by wearing her boyfriend's shorts under her skirt, or complaining about how they can't tie their uniform shirts into midriff tops like BritneySpears.
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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie'': The Season 7 episode "Goodbye, Mrs. Wilder," sees temporary {{Schoolmarm}} Mrs. Oleson demand – not suggest or request, '''''demand''''' – a dress code for the students – a white button-down shirt, ties, slacks and dress shoes. All to assert her snobbish authority and – uncaring that most families are from farming backgrounds could not afford expensive uniforms, and poo-pooing the notion that Walnut Grove School was not a large private or boarding school – hoping to draw more business to the Mercantile (since it was the only dry good store in town and it would be the point of delivery for the uniforms). The school did not have a dress code specifically written, although it was expected they'd dress appropriately.
* ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver'': Beaver learns why it is inappropriate to wear a sweatshirt with a large, grotesque monster printed on the front – and as a result, why the (unstated) dress code had the expectation that students would dress appropriately – in Season 4's "Sweatshirt Monsters."
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' has [[TheLabRat Lab Rat]]/{{Perky Goth}} Abby wearing clothing that ranges from stereotypical Goth to {{Stripperiffic}}. When called out on it and forced to wear normal office attire, she ends up in a great deal of emotional distress and loses some of her brilliance. Naturally, PapaWolf Gibbs stands up for her and she is allowed to revert to her...less than business casual wardrobe.
* An ''Series/AllyMcBeal'' episode has a judge ordering Ally to stop donning her trademark miniskirts in court. When she refuses, he has her jailed for contempt.
* One ''Series/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit'' episode has a (male) judge chewing ADA Casey Novak out for wearing pants in court and ordering her to wear a skirt in the future. She then proceeds to [[Awesome/LawAndOrderSpecialVictimsUnit kick his ass]]. [[FieryRedhead Casey Novak, everybody.]]
** The whole point of the episode is said judge's "traditional" (i.e. sexist) views on women in society, and how Novak is able to reveal the ways he lets those views affect his judgment in court. For example, a married housewife is automatically assumed to be a good person, despite the evidence that she tends to shake her baby; on the other hand, he convicts a single mother of killing her baby mostly because he sees her as little more than a slut.
* ''Series/TheGoodWife'' has an episode where a male judge takes Alica to task for wearing pants in the courtroom. In a later scene, she encounters him again - now wearing a skirt - and sarcastically asks if it's short enough.
* The late-'60s high school drama ''Series/{{Room 222}}'' had an episode centering around a student challenging the school dress code.
* In ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'', Will would occasionally find loopholes in his high school's dress code, such as wearing his school blazer inside-out, or tying his necktie on his forehead.
* The U.S. version of ''Series/{{The Office|US}}'' had a casual Friday episode.
** In "New Boss", [[TyrantTakesTheHelm Charles Miner]] clashes with Jim and Dwight over their attire.
* In season 10 of ''Series/{{Degrassi}}'' the school introduces uniforms ''[[SuddenSchoolUniform in the middle of the school year]]'', in response to a number of incidents. A far cry from ''Series/DegrassiJuniorHigh'' where they didn't even have a ''wardrobe'' and the characters' clothes were the actors' own.
* Spoofed in the opening segment of ''Film/TheDeadlyMantis'' episode of ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'', where Servo announces it's "Business Casual Day" on the SOL and cites Mike for alleged violations of the dress code, despite Mike's protestations that they aren't a business.
* On ''Series/SexAndTheCity'', Miranda and her coworker dressed in such a way as to kill the newly-implemented casual Friday.

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[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' likes to mock these once in a while.
** In one strip, Wally and Dilbert show up on a Friday in [[strike:leisure suits]] bell bottoms. PointyHairedBoss sends them back for abusing the concept of casual Fridays.
** Here's [[http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1231/534552072_8a4c847a11.jpg?v=0 another one]].
** And the Dilbert book ''Casual Day has Gone Too Far''.
* ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' had a '70s storyline in which Peppermint Patty was suspended for violating the school dress code.
* In a ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' strip:
-->'''Calvin:''' I saw a sign on a restaurant door that said "No shirt, no shoes, no service." But it didn't say anything about pants! If I went in wearing shoes and a shirt by no pants, they'd have to serve me!
-->'''Hobbes:''' They'd probably serve you with a court summons.
-->'''Calvin:''' ''(taking off his pants)'' C'mon, let's see if Mom will take us out for dinner!
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[[folder: Professional Wrestling]]
* [[Wrestling/StevieRichards Right to]] [[Wrestling/{{Ivory}} Censor]] all wore [[LightIsNotGood white shirts]] despite being heels.
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[[folder: Video Games ]]

* One of the smaller "offenses" in Rockstar's ''VideoGame/{{Bully}}'' is to break the dress code. By itself, the ping on your WantedMeter won't even get the power-tripping prefects doing anything more than yelling at you, but if you commit other infractions, it can push it over a dangerous line.
* In ''ProfessorLaytonAndTheLastSpecter'''s ''London Life'' game, your character will not be allowed inside the classier establishments of Little London unless his or her outfit has a sufficient Formality score. The way the system works, you can get away with stuff like wearing a baseball cap and sunglasses in a fancy restaurant just so long as the rest of your outfit is nice enough to make up for it.

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[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* ''{{Webcomic/Bug|Martini}}'' shows us some [[http://www.bugcomic.com/comics/dress-code/ variations on casual Friday.]]
* ''UrbanJungle'' asks [[http://www.urbanjunglecomic.com/?p=314 how this applies in an office full of animals]].

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Bizarre dress codes are a staple of transgender fiction, as seen on sites like [[http://www.fictionmania.tv/ FictionMania]]. Usually, a male character finds himself in an all-female workplace with a dress code that doesn't account for two genders, and thus requires things like skirt, pantyhose, makeup, etc. After being DraggedIntoDrag, adopting a WholesomeCrossdresser lifestyle (and in more extreme cases, dragged into [[EasySexChange more than that]]), the protagonist often finds that many of the "women" in the office are, or were, also men.
* Parodied in "Magiconomy" by ShinyObjectsVideos. Even destructive forces of dark magic need to wear a tie in the office.
* Parodied in [[Website/CollegeHumor CollegeHumor]]'s [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FLZ8L6SZmaA Problem]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FC85vgHCmM With]] [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_QhF5HYdS4 Jeggings]] series.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Usually averted in ''[[WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants SpongeBob SquarePants]]'' (mostly because Patrick, who wears neither a shirt nor shoes is one of the Krusty Krab's regular customers, not to mention, most of the characters on the show don't wear shoes), but the episode, "The Algae's Always Greener" has Spongebob scream, "No shirt, no shoes, no service!" while firing a cannon armed with clothing at a naked Mr. Krabs.
* The 2013 ''WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse'' short, ''WesternAnimation/NoService'' has Goofy's Snack Shack, which has a No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service policy. Since Mickey doesn't wear a shirt, nor does Donald wear shoes, Mickey is forced to surrender his clothes to Donald and [[Main/NakedPeopleTrappedOutside stay outside naked]] while Donald orders the food.
* A classic Creator/CartoonNetwork bumper has [[WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones Fred Flintstone]], WesternAnimation/HuckleberryHound, WesternAnimation/QuickDrawMcGraw, and [[WesternAnimation/IAmWeasel Weasel]] being refused service at a mini-mart because of its dress code.
-->'''Fred:''' So you're saying I can't buy shoes because I don't ''have'' shoes?
* At the beginning of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS7E4BartSellsHisSoul "Bart Sells His Soul"]], the First Church of Springfield has a sign reading "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Salvation".


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[[folder: Real Life ]]

* The court of TsaristRussia had [[http://www.alexanderpalace.org/palace/ctcostume.html a dress code]], which included requiring ladies to wear the {{Pimped Out Dress}}es with the distinctive sleeves and [[CoolCrown tiaras]].
** Many other royal courts in the 19th century had their own codes as well. In a nutshell, this was the ErmineCapeEffect being [[EnforcedTrope enforced]], rather than just as an image.
*** And even earlier. One of Jane Seymour's newly appointed maids of honor caught all kinds of grief over her clothes. They were too French, she didn't have the right headress, and her girdle didn't have the regulation two hundred pearls!
** And before that, there were the "Sumptuary Laws", which dictated what materials people of a certain rank were allowed to wear. Apparently this was enacted by kings and queens tired of people of lower rank dressing better than them.
*** More importantly, at the time social rank determined how the law treated you, so trying to pass out for a higher class than you actually were was tantamount to serious fraud.
*** One of the laws was [[PrettyInMink what kind of fur one could wear]]. Ermine was largely associated with royalty already due to [[RequisiteRoyalRegalia their robes and capes]], but at that time royalty had it exclusive by law.
* England, circa the 16th century onwards, the length of one's wig determined one's social status in polite society. This still remains with English criminal law: judges wear longer, full wigs than the barristers (lawyers) who wear short, abbreviated ones.
* Almost everyone in an American court is required to meet a dress code, including the jury in many cases (which is printed on the letter sent to jurors).
* In Brazil, you cannot enter a public building without long pants.
* In UsefulNotes/VaticanCity, the guards enforce a strict dress code for entry to St. Peter's Basilica: [[http://saintpetersbasilica.org/Pics/SQR/DressCode-JG.jpg No bare shoulders or skirts/shorts above the knee for either men or for women]]. (It's also considered respectful for women to cover their hair.)
* Formal parties have general dress codes depending on the type. If you see terms like "White tie dinner", "Black tie dinner", or "Cocktail party", those are all in descending degrees of formality and dress.
* There is a 100 year old law in Paris that makes it illegal for women to wear trousers. Repeal has been proposed several times, but officials and law officers find it is simply much easier and cheaper to ignore it.
** Law enacted: November 7, 1800. Law declared [[http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/at-last-women-of-paris-can-wear-the-trousers-legally-after-200yearold-law-is-declared-null-and-void-8480666.html null and void]]: February 4, 2013.
* Similarly, in collections of "ridiculous old laws still on the books", you can find places in the USA where women may not wear patent leather shoes, because they might reflect their underwear.
* The Technology Student Association has multiple levels of dress code for conferences. All true TSA'ers know exactly what constitutes Official Dress and what doesn't.
* The WNBA and NBA have rules governing what coaches and players wear when representing their teams, both on and off court.
** Coaches wear suits, tie optional. Female coaches wear pantsuits.
** When players are injured and cannot play, they have to dress formally. In the WNBA, this sometimes leads to the exhibition of a PimpedOutDress.
* Most American public schools have a dress code, though usually more about prohibiting certain things than requiring a particular dress (e.g., no obscene shirts, no underwear showing, or no hats). The schools vary in how strictly they enforce it, however. Private and parochial schools, of course, often have much stricter dress codes up to and including uniforms.
** Often subverted by the students, who despite being required to wear their skirts knee-length, [[http://metronews.ca/news/toronto/36851/kilts-hiked-into-school-debate/ hem]] them into [[CatholicSchoolGirlsRule mini-skirts]].
* IBM had one of the most stringent dress codes, requiring men to wear garters, among other things. One bit of humor in Clifford Stoll's non-fiction book ''CuckoosEgg'' is that the computer science nerds he works with mistake federal agents for IBM sales reps, because ''nobody'' else coming into the server room would ever wear a dress shirt or a tie, let alone a suit.
* Any job that requires workers to wear uniforms, oftentimes to make employees easily identified according to their job, affiliation with the company, or rank.
** Even without a formal uniform, most workplaces have a dress code much like a school, which regulates appropriate clothing. If employees are found in violation of the dress code, they'll be sent home to change.
* Workplaces with an element of physical risk, such as building sites or warehouses, typically have a dress code that sets out what personal protective equipment employees and site visitors are required to wear. High-vis vests, work gloves, hard-toed boots, hard hats and harnesses are often the most common features of these. These items are mandated by OSHA standards, so ignoring or circumventing the dress code on these jobs is a good way to be permanently sent home.
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