[[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 offices. Schools which enforce dress codes may carve out exceptions, i.e. spirit wear or casual wear allowed as a reward, on birthdays, at regular intervals, or in exchange for a small donation to charity [[note]] and sometimes a combination of the latter two [[/note]]. Workplaces often have "Casual Fridays." (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 [[TheLawOfConservationOfDetail 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.



[[folder:Anime & 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.
* In ''Manga/CandyCandy'', the Saint Paul BoardingSchool has two different uniforms: white clothes for the normal weekdays plus Saturday, black ones for Sunday. A recently transferred Candy gets in problems when [[UnderdressedForTheOccasion she shows up in her first Sunday at school in the white one]].
* In ''Manga/DetectiveConan'', Natsuki Koshimizu shows up in a SailorFuku and says that she took a long time preparing for the [[spoiler: fake]] Detectives Koshien show because she's from a school that has a very strict dress code.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* ''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, namely wearing sandals.
* 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!
* ''ComicsStrip/BeetleBailey'':
** Miss Buxley often flouts the office dress code. PVT Blips has remarked that [[DirtyOldMan General Halftrack]] won't say anything about her pants being too tight because [[DistractedByTheSexy it's hard to speak with your tongue hanging out]].
** In one strip, Miss Buxley wears a [[BareYourMidriff matching mini-skirt and cropped top]] to work and explains to PVT Blips why she's wearing that outfit:
--->'''PVT Blips:''' Isn't that a little brief for the office?\\
'''Miss Buxley:''' Well, it's too warm to wear much.
** In [[http://art.cafimg.com/images/Category_7952/subcat_26925/PhQRinc6_0211152219351.jpg this strip]], she [[WalkingSwimsuitScene wears a bikini]] to the office.
* ''ComicStrip/ForBetterOrForWorse'': April finds a loophole in her school's uniform dress code when she notes that knee length socks are compulsory, but that it does not specify colour. She proceeds to buy the brightest rainbow striped socks she can find.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* 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).

* 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 Music/BritneySpears.

[[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.
* In an episode of ''Series/LittlePeopleBigWorld'', the Roloffs are preparing for Molly's middle school graduation. They don't check the dress code right away, and have to scramble to find a new dress for Molly because they didn't immediately check the dress code and realize she's not allowed to wear spaghetti straps.
* 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.

[[folder:Pro Wrestling]]
* [[Wrestling/StevieRichards Right to]] [[Wrestling/{{Ivory}} Censor]] all wore [[LightIsNotGood white shirts]] despite being heels.

* ''Radio/OurMissBrooks'': In "Dress Code Protest", Mr. Conklin imposes a dress code after the students celebrate "Spirit Week" by wearing outrageous and mismatched clothing. Miss Brooks refers to the "celebration" as a "Malevolent Mardi Gras."

[[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 ''VideoGame/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.

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

[[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 WebVideo/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.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Usually averted in ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' (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/{{Mickey Mouse|2013}}'' short "[[Recap/MickeyMouseS1E1NoService No Service]]" 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".

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The court of UsefulNotes/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 17th century onwards, the length of one's wig determined one's social status in polite society. This still remains with English law: judges wear longer, full wigs than the barristers (lawyers) who wear short, abbreviated ones--although because nothing is simple in English law or custom, the Court of Appeal wears short wigs and the Supreme Court (formerly the Appellate Committee of the House of Lords) doesn't even wear robes, sitting instead in suits. Also, judges and Queen's Counsel ([=QCs=] for short, senior barristers who have been formally recognised for their skill; the title becomes King's Counsel when the monarch is male) wear silk robes and stockings in court, while junior barristers wear other materials. This requirement has led to the process of becoming a QC being called "taking silk" and [=QCs=] being referred to as "silks".
* 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). Jury dress codes are usually much laxer, however; typically, jurors can get away with wearing street clothes as long as they cover everything up and aren't offensive. Lawyers, on the other hand, generally have to show up in proper business attire: that means a suit and tie with proper shoes and socks for men, and a pants suit or skirt suit for women. Failure to follow these rules can result in getting chewed out by the judge; many judges will refuse to hear argument from an improperly attired attorney (unless the attorney has a ''very'' good excuse[[note]]One lawyer just barely got away with the excuse that his child had vomited on his suit coat shortly before the proceedings and was permitted to appear wearing the suit without the coat; the judge commented that certain other judges in the same courthouse would not have been so lenient.[[/note]]), and some even keep stores of commonly-forgotten items (e.g. ties) ready in the courtroom for the use of errant lawyers. On one widely-reported occasion, a judge in Indiana [[http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/judge_orders_lawyer_to_put_on_his_socks/ got into a tiff with a lawyer about the lawyer's habit of dressing down--including not wearing socks--in court]], and even went to the trouble of [[http://www.scribd.com/doc/238460391/Sock-memo writing a proper, official court order, with a legal memorandum, ordering the lawyer to wear socks]].
** Historically, the restrictions were even tighter; it used to be that many courts required counsel to appear in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Morning_dress morning dress]]. American courts generally dropped this requirement over the 20th century; however, there are some traces, particularly the tradition where the U.S. Solicitor General and his/her deputies (the lawyers responsible for arguing cases in the Supreme Court for the U.S. government) continue to appear for oral argument in morning dress to this day.
* 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. Players usually wear team warmups or shirts to community appearances.
** Coaches wear suits and ties. 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 mini-skirts.
** Some girls who really want to piss off a teacher will wear an ankle-length skirt, follow the rest of the dress code to the letter, and then dare a teacher to tell her she's violating the dress code. Telling a girl her skirt is too long will not end well for a school district. An expensive lawsuit plus a shitload of bad publicity is where things start.
* 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.
** In some cases, such as military personnel, the dress code also serves to give the wearer some protection under law: A soldier fighting without a certain minimal degree of uniform could be considered an unlawful combatant or a spy if encountered or captured by the enemy. This is incidentally why the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration has uniforms at all: One of their duties is surveying and creating navigational charts for ships to use. Doing so during time of war can be considered spying if done wearing civilian attire.
** Journalists, such as those who work for CNN, will sometimes wear station or network-branded jackets or hats in severe weather to let other people know that they're trying to do a job and are not to be disrupted.
** Service dogs wear vests which usually say something to the effect of "Don't distract me! I'm working!" When they're not working, they can take the vest off and basically live as pets.
* 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 (or equivalent) standards, so ignoring or circumventing the dress code on these jobs is a good way to be permanently sent home.
* Businesses can enforce dress codes on the customers, but it's usually something along the lines of "must be wearing a shirt, pants, and shoes", which mostly everyone follows anyway. The rule is more for the benefit of other customers so they aren't weirded or grossed out by someone who is too revealing or could be spreading germs around.