Your favorite barista's work uniform just got a few small but mighty improvements. Today, Starbucks announced that it was updating its dress code policy. Employees at the java behemoth can now wear jeans, provided they're a dark wash. There are changes up top, too: More shirt color options are now allowed. Instead of solely being able to wear black and white underneath those instantly recognizable green aprons, staffers can wear gray, charcoal, navy, khaki, and brown shirts, in addition to denim. So, yes, you might now spot some Canadian tuxedos behind the counter while waiting for that iced venti. Patterned shirts are now within code, too, but nothing too busy; only "small stripes, tone-on-tone plaids, and tight patterns" that have a base hue that's within the aforementioned color palette will fly, as this employee lookbook details. A number of Starbucks Reserve locations have already had the new dress code in place, allowing the company to test-run the updated uniform guidelines before launching them widely. “I believe these changes work well with our iconic green apron and also complement the passion partners bring to our coffee and their craft,” said Cosimo LaPorta, Starbucks' executive vice president of U.S. retail store operations, in a release. (The coffee chain refers to its staffers as "partners," FYI.) “We want partners to be as proud of their look as they are when they tie on their green apron.”
There are still a few style moves the dress code tweaks don't allow for. Besides bright shirt hues and certain patterns, Starbucks employees can't wear hoodies, T-shirts, logo-laden tops, V-necks or any neckline that "falls below the apron top," per the employee lookbook. Other off-limits pieces include socks with "distracting" motifs, Uggs, and hats that aren't deemed "suitable," like cowboy hats, berets, or caps with team logos. (Beanies, solid baseball hats, bowlers, or fedoras are allowed, however.) The chain's policy on hairdos has been relaxed, too: Employees can now dye their tresses any color, and the response on social media has been really positive, as Business Insider pointed out. In the past, Starbucks has not allowed staffers to have "unnatural" hair, a policy that's riled up some hires, as this petition from last year proves. The more liberal policy is reflected in some of the images of happy, smiling employees that Starbucks released today along with the new dress code, like the shot below.
A year-and-a-half ago, the megachain updated its policy to allow exposed tattoos; that change also took effect after a petition about the matter circulated online. So, what do you think of Starbucks' somewhat relaxed new uniform policy? Let us know in the comments below.