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Casual Dress at Work

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Casual Dress at Work  |  From the Desk of Ginny Morgan, Medical Staffing Specialist

Casual Friday has become almost a standard practice in American businesses. If your regular attire is a three-piece suit then business casual is a big step up. If you are used to wearing khakis everyday then jean’s day Friday is wonderful. No matter what the dress code, a day of dressing down a bit can be something to look forward to each week. Trinity Employment Specialists (www.trinityemployment.com) recently tried casual Friday, and it was a bit hit!

I honestly never imagined one day of the week could make such a difference. Growing up in school Fridays were fun days, and that mentality seems to have carried over into adulthood. It is great to look forward to something at work, even if it is something small. It is great to be able to kick off the high heels and put on a pair of flats. It is wonderful to be able to slip into a comfortable pair of blue jeans and head on in to work. There is just something about being a bit more relaxed that get the creative juices flowing.

But, can casual dress days get out of hand? Sure they can. This point can be enhanced by a May 2013 article on the website of the American Society of Employers ‘Are “Casual Fridays” Getting Out of Hand?’ by Anthony Kaylin. This piece makes the point often clients do not take people seriously if they are dressed casually. It also states that as a society we have become way too casual and sometimes people do not know when to draw the line. It goes on to say the informality in dress can lead to casualness in work as well.

I was intrigued by a recent Wall Street Journal on-line article by Andy Jordan entitled ‘If You Really Want to Defy Conformity, Dress Up on Fridays’. In his article, Jordan states that so many companies these days have a very casual dress code so they do not get to dress professionally and have come to miss it. It seems that new start-ups and technology companies that do not deal with the public face-to-face do not care to what employees wear to work. Flip-flops, jeans and even shorts are all viable options. These employees are choosing to buck the system and enact ‘formal Fridays’. Where many of us enjoy casual days, they like to look forward to dressing up in things like suits, top hats and even tuxedos. It’s a bit ironic for many of us, and I found it fascinating.

Whether it is formal or casual Fridays, it all really boils down to something to look forward to during the week. It is something to break up the monotony of the business week. I personally love jean’s day Friday at our office. We have a lot of fun in our workplace, but there is just something about being able to be a bit more casual. It also feels like just one step closer to the weekend!