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UBS introduces craziest dress code ever

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Nails must not be longer than 1.5mm long. Skirts must hit the middle of the knee exactly. Flesh-coloured underwear is encouraged.

Swiss bank UBS doesn’t seem to have any qualms about imposing this draconian dress code on its employees. Reuters got hold of a 52-page UBS internal document that advises staff in five pilot scheme branches on how to make a good impression with customers.

The answer? Flesh-coloured underwear and stockings, avoiding smelly foods, and no tobacco. And female employees must wear make-up that gives off the impression of “competence”. And wearing too-tight underwear is a big no-no, too.

The guide really covers everything imaginable:

  • Employees must apply perfume as soon as they get out of the shower, not while dressed.
  • Women are allowed to wear no more than seven jewels, at the risk of appearing too fussy.
  • No new shoes
  • Women’s skirts should hit the middle of the knee exactly.
  • Men’s fingernails must not be any longer than 1.5mm long
  • Men may not dye their hair (“artificial colour contrasts excessively with the actual age of your skin”)
  • No knotting your tie in shapes that “don’t match the morphology of the face”
  • No eating garlic or onions at lunch
  • Men must not wear socks that are too short and show your skin while sitting
  • Men must see a barber every four weeks to maintain your haircut shape
  • Only black socks with no pattern are authorised

UBS’s crazy dress code is being tested for possible rollout to around 1,500 staff in all 300 Swiss branches.

Although UBS denies that the dress code will become mandatory – “They are meant as recommendations and not as hard and fast rules,” says UBS spokesperson Jean-Raphael Fontannaz – it would be difficult for staff to just ignore the rules, too.

We think UBS’s 52-page (!!!) dress rulebook is nuts. We’re all for encouraging stylishly dressed staff, but these rules are completely over the top.

Would you ever consider introducing such a strict dress code for your staff? Are staff allowed to wear whatever they want in your company?

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