When you enter your local Starbucks, you’re hit with the inviting smell of freshly brewed coffee and the sight of the iconic bright green aprons the Starbucks employees wear. It’s not a coincidence that this signature uniform has strong brand ties, because this uniform plays a critical role in helping Starbucks employees feel a sense of identity and community while ensuring the customers see a professional and consistent image.
The current Starbucks uniform includes a green apron, a neutral-colored, well-fitting shirt, solid-color pants, jeggings, shorts, or skirts, and black or brown closed-toe shoes. Starbucks also encourages employees to showcase personal and individual expression while staying within these guidelines.
They allow employees to showcase their styles using small personalized touches and accessories. If you’d like to know more, read on to find out how the Starbucks uniform evolved and has become a key piece of the Starbucks brand identity.
Related Article: Why Starbucks Writes Your Name on the Cup
What is the Starbucks Uniform Policy?
The company created the Starbucks Uniform Policy to help ensure each branch or location had a consistent image while still allowing employees to express their individual style. The following highlights the biggest points of the uniform policy and acceptable deviations from it.
The most recognizable piece of the Starbucks uniform is the green apron. This piece comes with a Starbucks logo, and staff wear it while they’re on duty during their shifts. In some instances, there are special editions or black aprons that the employees wear, like if an employee reaches the Coffee Master certification or for the holidays.
The standard bottom for the Starbucks uniform is black or khaki pants, but gray, brown, and navy are also acceptable. Any pants should be full-length without being baggy or extremely tight. Skirts, capris, and shorts in the same colors are also okay, as long as they are longer than four inches above the knee. White bottoms are against Starbucks’ current dress code.
Starbucks requires all employees to wear neutral-colored shirts under their aprons. This can be a button-down or polo shirt, and both short and long sleeves are acceptable. Starbucks also allows turtlenecks and mock turtlenecks. Tops can’t have holes, tears, or be see-through, nor can they have graphics, large logos, typography, or hoods.
For safety, employees have to wear closed-toe shoes with a low or flat heel, and they have to be black or brown. It’s also highly recommended to pick out shoes with slip-resistant soles. You have to wear socks or hosiery with shoes. High-heeled, open-toed, and athletic shoes aren’t allowed.
Accessories are where Starbucks encourages employees to show a little personal flair, including jewelry, scarves, or ties. You do want to make sure these items aren’t overly flashy or distracting, and they have to follow Starbucks’ guidelines on style, pattern, and color.
Hats or Headwear
Any headwear an employee wants to wear has to be in an approved color and not have a logo unless it’s a Starbucks-branded hat. Employees can also wear a beanie, visor, short-brimmed hat, plain baseball or backless cap, satin-lined cap, other secured head covering like a hijab, headwrap, or turban, or a knotted or plain headband.
Grooming and Hygiene
Employees have to have a well-groomed and clean appearance. Starbucks does allow visible tattoos, as long as they’re not on the neck or face, and are not inappropriate or offensive. Facial piercings are also allowed as long as they’re discreet and small (no larger than a dime), and you can only have two ear piercings per ear. Your hair should be clean and neatly styled to keep it out of your way as you work.
What Uniform Does Starbucks Give You?
When you first start working at Starbucks, the company will give you the essential components of your uniform. This usually includes:
- Green Apron: The green apron is the most recognizable part of the Starbucks uniform, and it has the Starbucks logo. All employees have to wear it while on duty. There are special black aprons for Starbucks Reserve or if you get your Coffee Master certification.
- Hat or Headwear (if required): Depending on the local health regulations and your location, Starbucks may require you to wear a hat or headwear while you work. This may have the Starbucks logo on it, and it has to be an approved color.
You should note that Starbucks usually doesn’t provide the pants, shirts, or shoes that make the rest of your uniform. Employees have to supply these items by themselves, ensuring that whatever they pick meets the Starbucks Uniform Policy. This includes wearing the correct neutral-colored tops and bottoms, black or brown shoes with a closed-toe, and a low heel or flats.
With this uniform policy, Starbucks attempts to walk a fine line between comfort and style while allowing individuality.
Is Starbucks Dress Code Strict?
While Starbucks does have an official dress code policy to help all employees keep a consistent and professional look across all stores, they do encourage individuality and personal expression. The dress code isn’t extremely strict, but it does require employees to adhere to certain standards to ensure they create a comfortable environment and a cohesive brand image.
The key elements of this dress code include wearing the green apron, a neutral-colored long or short-sleeved shirt, neutral-colored bottoms, and closed-toe shoes. Inside these guidelines, you can add scarves, ties, or jewelry.
Can You Work at Starbucks With Tattoos and Piercings?
Yes, Starbucks allows employees to have tattoos and piercings. The company puts a lot of emphasis on diversity and individuality with employees, and they have a decently inclusive policy regarding piercings or tattoos. However, there are a few minor guidelines for each to abide by, including:
Starbucks allows for visible tattoos as long as they’re not on the throat or face, and they’re not inappropriate, offensive, or considered objectionable. Any tattoos that promote violence, hatred, or discrimination go against the dress code. It’s also important to note that local laws and cultural norms might influence Starbucks’ tattoo policy in certain regions.
Starbucks also allows facial piercings, but they have to be discreet and small. The company policy states that you can have a maximum of two earrings per ear. Stretching or large piercings, gauges, and excessive facial piercings might not work because they don’t align with Starbucks’ professional image.
As long as your tattoos or piercings adhere to the guidelines Starbucks sets and you keep your appearance professional, you can work at this company without any issues. Remember, the rules can fluctuate by region, so it’s always a good practice to check with the specific district manager or store if you have questions or concerns.
Does Starbucks Dress Code Allow Jeans?
The dress code does not allow employees to wear jeans while they work. The company policy outlines that employees have to wear their neutral-colored pants, jeggings, skits, or shorts. Leggings are also acceptable as long as you wear them under your dress or skirt, but you can wear jeggings on their own without an issue. If you choose to wear shorts or a skirt, they have to come down a minimum of four inches above the knee, and pants can’t drag on the ground.
What Shoes Can You Wear Working at Starbucks?
When you work at Starbucks, you will have to wear footwear that meets certain guidelines to ensure comfort, safety, and a professional look and feel. The dress code for footwear includes the following elements:
- Closed-Toe – Shoes have to be closed-toe to protect your feet from potential spills or accidents while you work with equipment and hot beverages.
- Color – Your shoes should be black or brown because these colors match the overall Starbucks uniform look to help you keep a professional and consistent appearance.
- Heel Height – Low-heeled or flat shoes are required to ensure you stay safe and comfortable while you work during long shifts where you have to move around and stand.
- Slip-Resistant Soles – While the dress code isn’t specific about this point, it’s highly recommended that you wear shoes with slip-resistant soles to minimize your risks of falling or slipping on slippery or wet surfaces.
If you choose to work at Starbucks, it’s essential that you take steps to prioritize your safety, comfort levels, and professionalism. Make sure to pick out a pair of closed-toe shoes in brown or black and offer good traction and support for your work.
If you’re comfortable and happy at work, you can easily make that famous Frappuccino or a Quad Over Ice to the customer’s exact standards.
What is the Starbucks Reserve Uniform?
The Starbucks Reserve uniform is a very stylish and distinctive variation of the standard one, designed specifically for employees working at Starbucks Reserve locations. These upscale, unique stores showcase small-lot, rare coffees and offer a more high-quality coffee experience to customers. As a result, this uniform reflects the locations’ premium natures while holding onto the Starbucks brand essence. Typically, this uniform style includes:
- Black Apron – Instead of wearing the classic green apron, employees at Starbucks Reserve locations get a black apron with the Starbucks Reserve logo.
- Collared shirts – Very similar to the standard uniform, employees wear neutral-colored collared shirts, like button-downs or polos under their aprons. However, the shirt will have to have a more refined and tailored look to match the elevated aesthetic.
- Pants and Skirts – Employees keep wearing neutral-colored pants, skirts, dresses, or jeggings, following the same guidelines as the standard Starbucks locations.
- Shoes – Brown or black closed-toe shoes are standard for consistency and safety. They don’t permit athletic, high-heeled, or open-toed shoes, just like the normal dress code.
Even though the Starbucks Reserve uniform shares many characteristics with the standard one, the distinct black apron and more refined clothing choices set it apart. It reflects the elevated and premium coffee experience customers can expect when they visit Starbucks Reserve locations.
Style and Consistency: The Essence of Starbucks Uniforms
The Starbucks dress code and uniform play a huge role in helping maintain a consistent and professional brand image in every location while giving employees the chance to express their individuality. From the iconic green apron to the more refined Starbucks Reserve uniform, these dress codes have become a part of the overall Starbucks experience, creating an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for customers and employees.