FBI Dress Code Requirements 2021

FBI Dress Code

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, also commonly known by its abbreviation FBI, forms the national intelligence and security service of the United States of America. It is the primary central law enforcement agency in America. They operate under the supervision of the United States Department of Justice and are a member of the U.S. Intelligence Community. It directly reports to both the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence. A leader in gathering intelligence, and investigation, the FBI exercises control over breaches of multiple categories of federal crimes. Over here, we will be discussing the FBI Dress Code requirements in this article with additional information here.

FBI agents wear suits and ties for the maximum time, but it is not absolute. We see them wearing casual clothes when arresting criminals or conducting surveillance. The undercover work demands blending into the type of community they are targeting and their role. For conducting raids or dealing with different law enforcement agencies, they might don deep blue synthetic jackets with the noticeable embroidery of the alphabet’s ‘F,’ ‘B,’ and ‘I’ in yellow. In the firearms training, they have to wear neutral work attire and a ball cap. In simple words, for their training regime, the preference is something comfortable for both the upper and lower body.

FBI Priorities

To be the leading law enforcement agency in the United States is not a straightforward task. The FBI needs to adhere to certain priorities under any circumstances. They are: 

  • To safeguard the United States of America from invasion
  • To safeguard the United States of America against alien intelligence, surveillance, and cyber engagements
  • To battle notable cybercriminal pursuits
  • To battle federal corruption at all levels
  • To safeguard civil rights
  • To battle transnational unlawful industries
  • To battle notable executive crimes
  • To battle notable violent crimes

FBI Dress Code According to the Work Profile

The dress code of FBI agents varies according to the job profile, considering the local conditions, tradition, and needs.

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  • They usually wear a suit 5% of the time. If the agents are to be present within the court premises, they will invariably wear a suit. Executives working within the FBI usually don a suit, but exceptions exist. 
  • Street agents clothe themselves in the average person’s attire to blend into the general population. In case, the agents who deal with white-collar crimes always dress in business attire. 
  • Whereas those agents who look over the cyber-crime, and counter-intelligence sections appear in business casual attire. Agents working in gangs and drugs undertakings are more casually dressed, typically in jeans and T-shirts.
  • Agents who handle early morning searches or arrests dress up in smart attire that may comprise athletic shirts paired with tactical pants.
  • Members of the SWAT team are predominantly tactical in their outlook. FBI agents have to qualify on their government-sanctioned handgun four times a year. Now, this exercise is regular to be conducted in slightly moderate tactical outfits which might include protected tactical pants, athletic shirts, and ball caps.
  • The central purpose is to appear and be professional and represent the agency as well. They shouldn’t overdress because it limits the ability of the agents to interact with the environment and population. This becomes crucial in times of surveillance searches since they cannot compromise their ability to conduct imperative operations.

Different Branches of the FBI

The FBI is further divided into multiple departments, each handling the issues of its niche. We have listed them down below:

  • The FBI Intelligence Branch
  • The FBI National Security Branch
  • The FBI Criminal, Cyber, Response, and Services Branch
  • The FBI Science and Technology Branch,
  • The FBI Information and Technology Branch
  • The FBI Human Resources Branch

Grooming: The Dos and The Don’ts

  • Tattoos under the FBI’s policy list as a distraction to others if not covered properly. The 50th page of the 2017 edition of the “Special Agent Candidate Information Packet,” specifically states that the tattoo (s) are distractive in the training environment. An agent must cover them by correspondingly colored long sleeves or long sleeves shirts under the polo shirts.
  • If one doesn’t prefer wearing a full shirt under the polo shirts, full-arm sleeves are acceptable too. They even come in various colors that imitate skin tones to look natural.
  • A conventional look during the training sessions/periods restricts diversions, at the same time promoting unity, agreement, and order. This is per the FBI literature. 

In supplement to the guidance on tattoos, the Information Packet explains the conventional look. It comprises:

  • Earrings if worn by women (men cannot have piercings) must be small, plain, and secure (not drooping or a design that could get tangled with something or someone).
  • No other types of facial piercings are permissible.
  • Hair – should be of a moderate length, no excessive styles or hues.
  • Men’s hair should be no further than the base of the collar. They also shouldn’t keep buns, ponytails, and braids, etc. 
  • Men should have a clean shave and no facial hair.

The Issued Firearms

After qualification, they assign an FBI special agent a full-size Glock 22 or compact Glock 23 semi-automatic pistol. Both pistols are chambered in the—40 S&W cartridge. In the year 1997, the FBI officially approved the Glock, chambered in the.40 S&W cartridge for common agent use. In the current scenario, the Glock 23 “FG&R” (finger groove and rail; either “Gen3” or “Gen4”) is the assigned sidearm. The Glock 26 (sub-compact 9mm Parabellum), Glock 23, and Glock 27 (.40 S&W compact and subcompact, respectively) have the approval of being secondary weaponry. The Special agents may also gain and fit with the Glock 21 chambered in.45 ACP. Also, the Springfield Armory Professional Model 1911 pistol chambered in.45 ACP is assigned to the special agents of the FBI Hostage Rescue Team (HRT) and regional SWAT teams. In 2016, the FBI conferred Glock a deal for the latest handguns. They are chambered for 9mm Parabellum better than the issued.40, S&W chambered Glock pistols. 


Some of the FBI agents travel in black SUVs while they designate the other agents, blue sedans. It doesn’t mean that those two are the only vehicles that are issued to the FBI personnel. Their assigned vehicles range from grey Jeeps, brown trucks to brown coupes. The vehicle that the agency assigns mostly depends on the constitution of the work profile, the climatic conditions, the region’s topography, etc. Indeed, Black appears to be a common color amongst the fleet but shouldn’t be mistaken as the only color.


To be a part of the leading law enforcement agency in America is respectable but is a risky and high demanding job. By being the representatives of the FBI, they foresee the agents to clothe and work professionally. It nowhere shows that every agent has to don the conventional black suit with a white shirt. The agents perform a wide variety of roles that demand different outfits. No matter what you wear and where you are, being an FBI agent is a role to be proud of since you’re working day and night to the welfare of the people and the nation.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is it unlawful to wear an FBI Jacket? It depends. If you are a working FBI agent, wearing a jacket is lawful since you’ve earned it. But if you’re not an FBI agent and wear it then, the cops might arrest you for mimicking an FBI agent/officer.
  2. Are tattoos permitted in the FBI? The FBI has strict rules for physical appearance. It doesn’t entirely ban tattoos, but one has to be careful in covering them properly during training and work hours.
  3. Is facial hair acceptable in the FBI? The FBI expects its employees to be professional and presentable. Though a clean shave look is permissible, facial hair should be neatly trimmed, if at all allowed.
  4. Do FBI agents have permission to carry personal weapons? Yes, FBI agents can carry their weapons. This is permissible on grounds that they do not infringe any policies concerning firearms.
FBI Dress Code Requirements 2021

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