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Bevin’s administration outlaws flip-flops and exposed midriffs for state workers


Do you work at the state capitol? No more flip flops at work. According to the Herald-Leader, Governor Bevin’s administration just put a new dress code in place that outlaws flip-flops, exposed midriffs, and clothing with large commercial logos or offensive language for 31,000 executive branch employees. Those who dare to bare their toes in flip flops or show their belly buttons could face disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

Earlier this month, Personnel Secretary Thomas B. Stephens also passed down a stricter code for those in the Personnel Cabinet, banning jeans, sweatpants, pajama pants, exercise pants, camouflage pants, shorts, and tank tops. Dresses and skirts must be knee length or longer, and strappy dresses must be covered with a cardigan. Most of this is common sense for workplace wear, but if it wasn’t the norm before now, getting people to change their ways won’t be easy.

As someone who worked in a corporate setting for five years after college, I know NOTHING upsets people more than changes to the dress code, especially when it comes to footwear, so I can only imagine the grumbling in Frankfort.


Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

28 Comments for Bevin’s administration outlaws flip-flops and exposed midriffs for state workers

  1. Neal Orac
    10:41 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

    You’d think he’d have more to worry about.

    • jpgfile
      2:19 pm October 25, 2016 Permalink

      Small details like proper attire matter. John Wooden used to instruct his players regarding their socks.

  2. jayiron11
    10:42 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

    Imagine the grumbling when Beshear banned tobacco use on State properties and facilities throughout the state.

    • UKBlueGreen
      11:14 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

      You want to see some pissed off people? Ban coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant/drug too. It affects the central nervous system. I know is isn’t dangerous like second hand smoke, but it is still a drug.

  3. Neal Orac
    10:43 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

    It’s great to know that Kentucky is in such great shape, dress codes are on the agenda.

    • EdC
      10:13 pm October 25, 2016 Permalink

      I’m guessing the bare midriff rule has more to do with Kentuckians NOT being in great shape.

  4. Booby Petrino
    10:44 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

    I work for the state and I’m happy about this. People walk around work in sweatpants and flip flops in the State Office Building where taxpayers come in for help with taxes. It’s unprofessional and embarrassing but until now there was nothing that could be done about it.

    • Mathlete
      10:48 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

      Be honest – were you one of the people walking around with a bare midriff and those “Juicy” sweatpants on?

    • Booby Petrino
      10:51 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

      Ha ha! No but people seriously wear stuff like that here. Or used to…
      I work in taxes and have to interact with taxpayers so I definitely try to dress like an office professional and not like I’m going to Walmart.

    • Mathlete
      11:25 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

      A buddy of mine is a state employee and sent me a pic of the actual memo that went out… it *should* be nothing more than common sense, but common sense is anything but common anymore. The stuff that was banned basically amounted to “dress like you’re going to work, and not like you’re going to bed, the beach, or a sketchy bar.

      I give Bevin a hard time (often justifiably so, at least in my opinion), but after talking to my friend about how some of his coworkers regularly dressed something needed to be done. If nothing else, maybe having to dress like a professional will create some cognitive dissonance in those people and get their minds and attitudes to follow their appearance into being serious professionals.

  5. jayiron11
    10:44 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

    Yeah Neal Orac, let’s not act as if Beshear didn’t ban something during this tenure as governor.

  6. secrick
    10:47 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

    Sound like the right thing to do , don’t understand why your complaining about it or even posting this.

    • Bluebloodtoo
      11:18 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

      here, here. Welcome to the rest of the professional world Frankfort….

    • Realme
      12:46 pm October 25, 2016 Permalink

      Totally bizarre they were allowed to dress like unprofessional garbage before that.

  7. Mathlete
    10:47 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

    Glad we’re finally getting around to the important issues that are negatively impacting our state like what shoes (if any) people are wearing

    • catdaddyd
      1:54 pm October 26, 2016 Permalink

      Dress for success.

  8. Go Deep
    10:47 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

    It’s sad that someone has to give instructions to adults on how to dress appropriately for work. But, I’ve had to do just that at every company I’ve worked. BTW, you can have more than one thing on an agenda…

  9. jayiron11
    10:48 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

    Anti-BeVin folks in denial about Beshear banning things from state property and facilities when he was governor.

  10. Willis talkin bout....
    11:35 am October 25, 2016 Permalink

    Glad he isn’t the CEO of Google or Apple.. someday people will figure out that your perception, or opinion, of what is “appropriate” dress has nothing to do with how well people perform their jobs or how successful your organization will be. If the person wearing flip flops gets the job done better than the one wearing the high heals.. that’s the line I’ll be in!

    • Booby Petrino
      12:15 pm October 25, 2016 Permalink

      Let me guess… You’re a millennial. I don’t think it’s asking too much for someone to not wear flip flops to a professional building.

    • ClutchCargo
      1:18 pm October 25, 2016 Permalink

      This is state government we’re talking about, not Google or Apple. Also, it’s not a choice between flip-flops/getting the job done, and high heels/not getting the job done. Job performance is expected from both of these people, just as professional appearance should be.

    • cayuttts
      1:23 pm October 25, 2016 Permalink

      Does Tim Cook reveal his belly button regularly? Sad this has to even be addressed.

    • jpgfile
      2:19 pm October 25, 2016 Permalink

      I don’t recall having to meet face-to-face with Google or Apple staff, though I’d like to do so.

  11. Lanthal
    12:16 pm October 25, 2016 Permalink

    Lol you people act like he had to take more than 30 secs to address this. The said thing is that it needs to be addressed at all. People should know how to come to work dressed appropriately

  12. CB3UK
    6:09 pm October 25, 2016 Permalink

    It’s pretty sad it even had to be addressed…who the hell wear’s flip flops or sweatpants to work…especislly state government job.

  13. UKPROF
    9:02 pm October 25, 2016 Permalink

    Long overdue. Let’s try and show a little class by dressing appropriately. Nothing wrong with trying to look just a wee bit professional. If you don’t like the minimal dress code, then QUIT and give up your STATE job and sit at home in your exposed midriff tee shirt. Seriously, it’s not too much to ask to substitute your flip flops for sneakers, is it??

  14. SADmaninKy
    9:39 pm October 25, 2016 Permalink

    I have worked for the state for a number of years. The code against flip flops, exposed midriffs, etc. have been in effect for a number of years. This latest email was just a reiteration of the policy that has been in effect for years.