The 10 most humiliating retail uniforms

One good thing about unemployment: You don’t have to wear these costumes.

Women love a man in uniform, unless that uniform is for a retail job. While some workplace attire can be fun (Hooter Girls, NFL Quarterbacks, Batman) most fall into the “eww” category. Here are the “ewws.”

Best Buy

Photo by Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images| Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012
There are three kinds of people who can successfully pull off the look of a blue polo shirt tucked into a pair of iron-pressed khakis: Dads on vacation, undercover cops and dad cops on vacation.


A slightly lower-end variation of the Best Buy uniform except worse because it indicates that it’s okay for customers to sneak up from behind and burden you with questions at any given moment. As a general rule, wearing sentences on your back is a fashion faux pas. As a general law, uniforms should not be sleeveless smocks unless you’re teaching 3rd graders about clay.

Agent Provocateur

Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012
It’s difficult to take someone seriously when they’re dressed as a slutty lab technician. (It’s why we changed dentists, podiatrists and accountants.) While we don’t mind the sexy look of these underpants sales associates, the employees must feel a bit embarrassed…especially when we stop to stare and yelp.

Medieval Times

Photo Courtesy of Medieval Times| Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012
Employees might think, “I look like a badass character from Game of Thrones.” Everyone else thinks, “I sure wish that Hobbit would give me more goddamn Pepsi.”

Easy Jet

Photo by Mati Milstein/easyJet via Getty Images| Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012
The uniform attempts to be stylish but no one looks good in orange, and the kerchief is far too sexy and risque making the entire flight awkward for all.

Foot Locker

Photo by James Devaney/WireImage| Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012
This is perhaps the most recognizable retail uniform, which contributes to its downfall: Everyone you meet will instantly know that you sell sneakers for a living. Don’t even waste your time trying to convince a girl this is only a temporary thing, unless she’s European and mistakes you for an off-duty referee.

TGI Fridays

As Office Space put it: “Doesn’t it bother you that you have to get up in the morning and you have to put on a bunch of pieces of flair?” The red and white stripes make these workers look like walking barber poles, helpful candy canes, or perhaps a White Stripes cover band named Lite Stripes.

Steak n Shake

Okay, we get the hat is a throwback to old school diners, but why the Chippendale bowtie? It makes everyone look like creepy Pee-Wee Hermans.

Hot Dog on a Stick

Photo Courtesy of Hot Dog on a Stick| Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012
There’s something retro and Arrested Development frozen banana stand-ish about working here, but come on, you look like a clown had a baby with a beachball. We don’t even like the food, but we go because we feel bad for the workers. (And the sticks can be used to make arts and crafts on rainy days!)

Hollister ‘Lifeguard’

Photo by Mike Marsland/WireImage| Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012
You have to stand outside like a piece of meat taking photos with giggling female tourists that you can’t even hit on, because you’re working! What if it’s cold outside? What if the sun isn’t out? Too bad! All of that is part of the job. You’ll also constantly compare yourself to your fellow lifeguards (“his right third-from-the-top ab looks so much better than mine today!”), which will undoubtedly cause you to go home and eat an entire basket of fried chicken, which could very well be the reason you’re fired the next morning. Plus, what grown man wears Hollister?

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