Hi Patty. I think that what you can gather from the variety of answers here is that it is BEST for you to take the time and expense to speak with an accountant. In my opinion, everyone’s circumstance is different and because of the potential problems that you can get yourself into by being WRONG about this (and other business items such as legal forms etc), it’s always best to seek the professional advice of licensed and experienced professionals (e.g. accountants, lawyers) with something this important!
I do for a couple of reasons.
The first is that at the gym, I don’t get a uniform provided as other employees did when I worked there.
The second is that where I teach now I am a 1099 employee and I consider them a work expense. I can’t really teach dance and fitness without the specific clothing and shoes. The way I see it, if I have to wear certain things to do my job, and I have to buy it, then I will deduct it.
BTW, I have a degree in Business Administration and have taken my share of courses in accounting and personal income taxes!
I take a deduction for my clothes and shoes. Reason: our facility requires us to wear a specific color and style. I would not have purchased these specific styles and color if I was employed elsewhere or if I were shopping for myself.
Since its a requirement…I take the deduction.
Also…just about any clothing can be worn at “non-work places”.