Walmart, one of the most recognized retailers with over 2 million associates worldwide, used to enforce strict dress codes to maintain its brand identity. Still, over time, their employees have more freedom to introduce other personal expressions into their uniforms.
If you plan to work here long-term and are concerned about balancing professionalism and personal styles in your attire, this article is for you.
In this article:
What Is Walmart’s Dress Code Policy?
Employees must still wear their classic Walmart vests with name tags. But other than that, the new dress code guidelines have become much more relaxed; even hair dyes and tattoos are no longer forbidden. In most cases, you only have to avoid heavy makeup, ripped jeans, and hazardous piercings.
Leggings and similar bottoms (like yoga pants) are all prohibited during shifts. However, employees can still wear jeggings if they are kept neat and clean.
The Walmart dress code does not allow sweatpants, joggers, athletic wear, or loungewear. You should only wear smart casual bottoms like jeans, capris, cargo pants, slacks, or chinos.
No Walmart stores permit distressed or ripped jeans; even the smallest rips or ragged edges on any parts are considered unacceptable. They must also have zero patches, stains, patterns, frayed edges, or stitching.
From what I know so far, Walmart does not have any specific rules regarding their colors. Still, it would be best to keep things conservative and stick to basic colors like black, indigo, or blue.
Whether hoodies are allowed varies across different stores; managers will decide based on job positions and if the hoods pose any hazard. From what I have observed, many stores have started to accept hoodies, but the employees must still tuck their hoods into the Walmart vests.
Like most stores and retailers, Walmart strongly disapproves of shorts in their workplaces. Still, there are exceptions for certain positions, and female employees can still wear long/short skirts or capris pants, as long as the hems are not higher than 3.5 inches above their knees.
For years, baseball caps have always been welcomed.
Unfortunately, they are likely the only type of hat Walmart allows during shifts. This policy does not apply to check-out employees and cashiers, meaning they cannot wear hats while working.
The brand is quite open-minded regarding sneakers; employees and even managers can wear them during shifts for more comfort.
Still, note that too-bright shades or offensive slogans are not welcome. Each store may also issue different rules for footwear, so I suggest double-checking your employee handbook.
After years of banning hair dyes, Walmart has finally loosened the rule to some extent. Specifically, employees can still change their natural hair color to other shades in any styling they like, provided that the new color is not distracting.
However, what is defined as “distracting” is still up to the manager. To play it safe, avoid overly processed styles and neon shades; you should also talk to your supervisor first before planning any new hairstyle.
Like dyed hair, tattoos used to be heavily frowned upon, to the point that anyone with visible tattoos would not be hired.
Fortunately, thanks to the updated dress code, Walmart associates can now keep their tattoos and body markings (guaranteed no vulgarity or offensive messages) – but again, different managers might have different reviews on what is “offensive” and what is not.
If you showed your tattoos during the interview and were still hired, chances are they are acceptable at work. For those considering getting completely new tattoos, double-check with the manager first.
Although piercings are not 100% banned, there might still be several restrictions. For instance, some jewelry might pose a hazard, like catching onto objects, which explains why some stores ban all types and sizes of hoop earrings. Employees working in the store’s fresh food areas must also remove all their piercings for hygiene reasons.
So far, Walmart does not include any specific makeup requirement in its employee dress code. But as a rule of thumb, a natural tone will be the safest bet; avoid excessive makeup, bright lipstick, heavy foundation, or false eyelashes.
Are There Any Exceptions or Accommodations?
Yes. Walmart’s employees come from diverse cultures and religions, which calls for some accommodations and exceptions in special cases:
Religious and Medical
The brand supports its employees’ religious and medical needs through the following accommodations:
- Some dresses not included in the original dress code are still accepted if they seem appropriate and have no safety risks. A few cases in point are open-back or open-toe shoes, hats, skirts/shorts, sunglasses, and coats.
- Likewise, employees can wear their religious garments and other head coverings if they do not interrupt the workflow or pose any danger.
Maternity and Pregnancy
To acknowledge and support its pregnant employees, Walmart incorporates several allowances into its usual dress codes:
- As mentioned, capris, cargo pants, chinos, and jeggings are not prohibited.
- Pregnant employees can wear long/short skirts during shifts for better flexibility and comfort.
- Any other extra accommodations, both related or not related to the dress code (e.g., timeframe adjustments for walking or standing, additional breaks, or stools to sit on) are encouraged.
What to Wear to Walmart Interview or Orientation
For Your Interview
A professional appearance is important for most job interviews at Walmart.
- Being a recruiter and interviewer for years, I suggest opting for a business casual outfit for roles like cashier or customer service staff. Men may choose button-down shirts paired with khaki pants or slacks, while women can wear well-pressed skirts and blouses with modest necklines.
- Are you applying for a managerial position instead? Then, consider leaning towards more formal attire, like a suit. Make sure your outfit is clean and accompanied by closed-toe shoes.
More tips on interview:
For Your Orientation/First Day
Walmart’s orientation is a great opportunity to kickstart your journey with the company, get to know its offerings and connect with new colleagues.
I understand your determination to make an extremely good impression on your first day. Still, a casual yet flexible outfit is totally acceptable.
If you want to strike a better balance between comfort and professionalism, consider pairing a button-up shirt with khaki pants/jeans. Choose clean yet comfortable closed-toe shoes, and polish your final look with well-groomed hair and nails.
Walmart uniforms for employees have been much more flexible in recent years. But there are still rules and restrictions to keep in mind, especially if your manager is traditional/conservative. So, always remember to balance your styles with professionalism and confirm with your higher-ups first before getting any new hairstyle, tattoos, or facial piercings.