Whether or not your salon has an official dress code, there are expectations that a certain standard be maintained. Just what that standard is may depend on the atmosphere, size, and location of your salon. We asked techs if there is ever a time when old jeans or sweats are appropriate attire for the salon.
I allow my techs to wear jeans but they must be clean and free of holes. I believe they are adults and I do give them the benefit of the doubt and trust they’ll use good judgment. If at that point they don’t dress appropriately, I intervene. My techs have always been really good though.
CARRIE KOHUCH — About U Salon & Spa - Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
I think dress codes can vary quite a bit depending on your salon, area, and clients. I think jeans are OK, as long as they look good on you and you can make them fashionable. I will occasionally wear darker, modern jeans on a Friday or a Saturday depending on my clientele for the day. There are people who can pull off “old jeans” well, as in the shabby chic or urban grunge look. Sweats should never be worn in the salon unless you’re cleaning after hours. However, those popular velour track suits can really look cute and trendy on the right person if properly accessorized.
DEBORAH BLATCHLEY — HFN Hands, Feet & Nails - Fort Collins, Colo.
It all depends on what kind of atmosphere you are trying to provide for your clients. Dressing up for business evokes an atmosphere that is supposed to be professional and clean. But this isn’t necessarily so. I have a salon way out in the country. I have done nails wearing my sweats or jeans and I have also dressed up for business. I found people are more comfortable coming to me than other places for services. Not to mention that 75% of my clients have been to more “dressed up” salons and then come to me with a severely damaged or unhealthy nails. Not one time in my six years of doing nails — whether in my sweats or slacks — has a nail client ever had a problem like that.
BARBARA LEE — Country Nails & More - French Creek, W.Va.
I don’t think it’s OK for nail techs to wear old jeans or sweats. If we want people to see us as professionals, we cannot dress that way. Even though I am a sole proprietor with a salon in my home, I dress professionally. I may not wear suits, but even if I do wear jeans, they have to be new with a nice blouse or sweater. I usually try to wear something “dressy casual.” If we don’t portray professionalism, the clients won’t see us that way.
CINDY WENTZEL — Nails at the Carriage House - Newmanstown, Pa.
I don’t think it’s OK to wear old ugly jeans or plain old cheap sweats. Some sweats are fashionable and cute. You want to keep a professional image, so if you do wear jeans and sweats, make sure they look new and cute, not old and like you just slept in them!
FAITH GLIONNA — Cuticles Salon - Indialantic, Fla.
I do not think it is OK to wear sweats or old jeans in any profession that works with the public, especially in the fashion industry. I think your appearance sends a message to your clients. I would like to convey a message that I am serious about what I do and I am going to do a professional job. This is not just a hobby.
BECKY BENCE — Salon 505 The Day Spa - Austin, Texas