Chances are, today is “Casual Friday” at your office. As of 2,000, 50% of American businesses have a Casual Friday.
Even businesses that don’t require suits, ties and skirts will relax their already lax rules on Friday.
Unfortunately, many employees make the mistake that “casual” means “wear whatever you want.” This is almost never true. Unless you work in the adult entertainment industry, your workplace will have rules and expectations regarding “casual” dress.
Pay attention to what your colleagues wear, both on Casual Friday and during the rest of the week. Take your cues from them. Don’t worry about what people in other departments and at different levels wear. Just because they let that guy in Shipping wear shorts, doesn’t mean you can wear them at the Friday business development meeting.
Casual doesn’t mean sloppy, dirty, old or torn. If you’re firm is going to let you wear jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers on Fridays, make sure they’re relatively new and in excellent condition.
It is never appropriate to dress provocatively at work, and Casual Friday is no exception. No skin-tight clothes, no bare midriffs, no inappropriately plunging necklines. Of course women are in greater danger here. If you’re wearing a sexy dress to work because you’re going out Friday night, just cover up with a jacket or vest.
Sexually provocative clothes aren’t the only problem. Don’t wear clothes with inappropriate slogans on them, such as t-shirts with religious or political themes, or profanity. And those jeans with the word “sassy” embroidered across the seat? No.
Work is not a gym. Unless you work at a gym. So no workout clothing, please.
No sandals or other unusual shoes. It’s Casual Friday, not a Grateful Dead concert. And I know your Birkenstocks are probably the most expensive shoes in the building — save them for the weekend. Also, I once knew a woman who caused an uproar at work by wearing clear plastic high-heeled shoes that lit up when she walked. Save them for the stripper pole.
Finally, unless you have some kind of important business meeting with a client, or a funeral, or a secret job interview with a rival firm, don’t wear conservative business attire on Casual Friday. You’ll make everyone who is more casually dressed feel uncomfortable. Be a team player — go get a casual collared shirt and some Dockers. You’ll be glad you did.Tips for Casual Friday by Erik Even