There are 52 Fridays in a year. If you are lucky enough to work in an office where on those Fridays you are allowed to dress casually, don’t abuse the privilege.
It seems so simple, the causal Friday concept, but yet, it creates more problems than any other dress code.
As Zac Early, author of The CoMoian and Building International Coalitions Through Beer and Pavement points out, just go to any public school and look around. There you’ll see casual Friday done horribly wrong by the teachers and the students.
“In the beginning, teachers wore their mom jeans and a sensible top,” he said. “Then, along comes Ms. Gonzales. Now, I loved Ms. Gonzales. She was a great kindergarten teacher. However, she wore shirts that barely covered her lower back tattoo and often revealed her pierced navel. I’m no prude (two tattoos of my own), but it was a little shocking in a room full of five-year-olds.”
Zac said it was downhill from there. Over the next few years tops climbed higher and waistbands got lower.
“Jeans were ripped,” he said. “And maybe the most egregious offense was the wearing of flip-flops to school – not exactly the safest choice. Of course, it soon spread beyond casual Fridays making everyday a perfect day to wear a low-cut shirt, plumber-like jeans (you know what I mean), and flip-flops.”
Zac’s biggest concern is an overall lack of professionalism in elementary schools these days.
It isn’t just teachers who should be concerned. Everyone can be a little more respectful and professional by dressing a bit nicer. You can be dressier in a nice pair of jeans than your co-worker can in dress pants.
Jennifer Cicero encountered someone who wore a “tube top, palm tree and sequins” to the office. “I didn’t even mention the skin-tight pink pants and cork shoes.”
I’m obviously an advocate of over, rather than under, dressing and that goes for casual Friday as well. Wear an outfit that you would be comfortable meeting an important client in. I tend to wear a casual blazer or jacket with jeans, if the weather and office temperature permits.