Professional Dress Code and Personal Appearance


Delta State University expects all employees to use good judgment at all times regarding professional dress code and personal appearance.


Employee: Includes faculty and staff employees who are working on paid appointments by the University. It generally excludes students or temporary employees. For specific information on who is considered an employee, contact the Human Resources Department.

Supervisor: An employee designated by management who exercises major supervisory functions over another employee or employees. These functions include hiring, evaluating, assigning work, and disciplining employees.

Discipline: Field of study or employment.

Personal Hygiene: Conditions promoting personal cleanliness and sanitary appearance.


Employees shall dress in a manner appropriate to their position, safety, office environment, and discipline. Dress, grooming, personal cleanliness, and hygiene contribute to the morale of all employees and affect the business image that the University projects. During business hours and while representing the University, employees are expected to present a clean, neat appearance. They should dress and groom themselves according to the requirements of their position and University guidelines. This is particularly true when an employee’s job involves safety issues or dealing directly with customers specifically or the public in general.

The following standards of dress code are established to provide direction for employees in order to maintain the professionalism that DSU advocates.

Clothing should be clean, well kept, and should be appropriate to the work place. Appropriate footwear should be worn at all times. Department heads will have certain discretion regarding dress based on the functions of the position. Examples of professional attire include, but are not limited to:  business suits, blouses, skirts, pants, ties, dresses; all shirts with collars, including casual shirts, button-up shirts and blouses, golf and polo shirts; slacks and trousers; sports jackets; footwear designed for business purposes.

Jeans are an option on Fridays. In support of Green Friday, DSU affiliated t-shirts may also be worn on Fridays. Managers have the authority to require a more formal dress on Friday as appropriate for their departments and if University sponsored events and/or meetings require regular business attire on Friday. Casual Fridays may be revoked on an individual, a unit, or a department-wide basis if the guidelines are not adhered to by DSU personnel.

Supervisors will work with Human Resources to determine whether chosen attire is appropriate on a case-by-case basis.

All departments must comply with the above dress code, except where department-specific policies supersede.


Employees shall not wear clothing that is unsafe. Shoes should be selected for safety and comfort and be otherwise appropriate for a work setting. Accessories such as rings, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings shall not present a potential safety hazard. DSU may institute more stringent dress requirements for reasons of safety.


Some employees may be required to wear DSU-issued uniforms in the performance of their duties. If uniforms are required, they will be supplied by the University. These uniforms are to be worn during working hours. The University expects employees to keep their uniforms neat, clean and in good repair. The uniform identifies the employee as a DSU employee. Upon separation from the agency, all uniforms are to be returned to DSU.

Religious or Ethnic Attire

The University’s professional dress code policy is not intended to abridge rights at law relating to non-discrimination or hinder the advancement of diversity at the University. Significant flexibility in freedom of choice will be shown in relation to religious or ethnic attire. If controversies arise, the opinion of the MS Institutions of Higher Learning’s Attorney will be sought and relayed to the parties in the controversy.


Supervisors may make exceptions to the dress code according to the standards of their discipline, for special occasions, and for participation in University-sponsored events.

DSU maintenance staff that install or do other physical labor, shall wear clothing suitable to their jobs and to their work-site. An exception may also be granted based upon a medical or health condition. The request must be reviewed and approved by the supervisor and Human Resources.


While on the job and in situations where one may represent the University, it is expected that employees will exercise good judgment and professionalism in appearance and action. Examples of unprofessional attire include, but are not limited to:

  1. Obscene or disrespectful clothing with a printed message, slogan, political messages, picture or art depicting drugs, alcohol, profanity, smoking, sex, weapons, or violence;
  2. Jeans with holes, splits or frayed areas;
  3. Shorts unless appropriate for performance of job duties; and,
  4. Any piece of article of clothing or accessory that could be a safety hazard.

An employee unsure of what is appropriate should check with a supervisor, manager, or the Human Resources Department. Supervisors are held accountable and responsible for enforcing this policy, including meeting with employees whose appearance does not follow the policy and/or causes a safety risk. Employees who disregard this policy may be asked to go home for a change of clothing and will be required to use personal leave or leave without pay for the period absent from work. Employees may be disciplined up to and including discharge for not wearing appropriate attire pursuant to this policy.


Responsible Office and/or Policy Owner: Office of Human Resources



  • None



Policy Effective Date: 04/29/2019

Approved by Cabinet: 04/29/2019