Is casual Friday a thing of the past?

Mark Zuckerberg, May 2007

Image via Wikipedia

Casual day at work used to be on Fridays.  Do you have casual day at work?  When did casual day begin anyways?  Isn’t it casual day every day now?

More and more, we see in the workplace young people going to work in a t-shirt and jeans.  Take Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook for example.  He gives corporate speeches in his casual clothes.  Since when do millionaires wear faded jeans at a corporate event? (Should I have said billionaire?) Modern day CEO’s have lengthened casual day to casual week.  Do we really work better in casual clothes?

My first big job in a corporate setting was like attending a fashion show every day.  A suit, shirt, tie or dresses were all part of a regular day.  In the early nineties, our company began providing internet access to employees and shortly thereafter came casual Fridays.  Yet, casual Fridays did not include jeans and a t-shirt.  We just dropped the suit for a day.  I was more comfortable.  My work didn’t improve though.

Most young people today do not even own a suit, unless they need to attend a wedding or a funeral.  They need to run out and get one, or better yet, just wear black pants and a charcoal button down top.  It costs less.  Maybe in today’s recession buying a suit for a young person is too much.

Do young people know how to dress up today?  Were they taught guidelines on what to wear and when?  This must have happened during the dot com bubble.  What if the internet never took off?  Would young people be wearing ties and jackets at work today?

It’s nice to see that the restrictions of a formal dress code at work have been dropped.   However, now, do we need new guidelines for the work place?  Perhaps the guidelines would look like this:

  • Leave the ripped jeans at home in the closet
  • Drop the ripped t-shirts also
  • How about a clean t-shirt free from swears
  • Don’t wear flip flops in the snow
  • Shorts aren’t quite right when it’s 10 degrees outside
  • Perhaps pull up your pants, at least to the hips
  • Yellow really doesn’t match teal

Do you have something to add to this list?  Perhaps the funniest outfit you’ve seen on someone at work belongs on this list.

The best way to dress is to remember that your appearance can make or break your success.  You can dress like a multi-millionaire CEO after you have made your millions, but while you work your way up the ladder, remember, people will remember how you looked during an interview more than how you performed on the job if you don’t dress appropriately.

The start of casual day has groomed a generation of young people with new traditions in the workplace.  Perhaps these younger people will start having Dress Up Fridays.


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