Friday, January 11, 2013

Casual Friday

The widespread adoption of "Casual Friday" by many institutions, business, academic, and otherwise, has led to a certain amount of ambiguity in different settings.  After all, it is hardly customer-encouraging for bankers to appear in jeans and lumberjack shirts, and even less if they sing The Lumberjack's Song!  Likewise, halters and flip-flops hardly go with most academic offices,except maybe in Southern Florida.  Because there is such a widespread interpretation as to the meaning of "casual dress," this has resulted in the vague term to clarify: business casual.

Now, for guys, there's pretty much this interpretation:  Business casual = Not wearing a tie.  That's a start. 

Actually, I found this interpretation from Wikipedia (okay, I'm lazy):

  • For women: A reasonable length skirt or trousers of a non-jeans material combined with a top (such as a dress shirt, or sweater set) is considered acceptable. An informal dress with appropriate skirt length is also acceptable.
    • For men: A combination of collared shirt (such as a dress shirt or polo shirt), cotton trousers (such as khakis or blue, green, brown, or black trousers) with a belt.  Jeans are not acceptable business casual attire. A blazer or business jacket can optionally be added.
    • Unacceptable for either gender: rumpled or ripped clothing, T-shirts, miniskirts, underwear as outerwear, inappropriately revealing attire such as bare midriffs, and flip-flops.  Many corporations also frown upon open-toed shoes and shorts. Bare feet are also unacceptable.
    The problem with business casual is that, for some people, it requires a new outfit that is worn only at work on Fridays, in which they are supposed to appear "casual."  Business casual may not fit an idea of personal casual, or comfortable.  And, once work is over, they go home and change into their real casual clothes!
    Anyway, the concept of Casual Friday or Business Casual has some unresolved questions:

    Do strip joints have Casual Fridays?  If so, what would strippers wear?

    Is the sting of the Walk of Shame muted if one returns on Saturday morning wearing Business Casual?

    Might the norm against bare midriffs be set aside for employees who wear the company logo navel jewelry?

    What about Casual Fridays in offices of universities?  Since in some cases it is okay to wear spirit wear, would it be okay to wear spirit wear of another institution?  [I can imagine some employee of a state college in NC wearing a UNC or NSU sweatshirt on Casual Fridays in the fall.]

    What does the military do for Casual Fridays?  Do they wear battle dress?

    For that matter, what is acceptable Casual Friday dress at McDonald's or Starbucks?

    If Hooters' were to have a Casual Friday policy, what would the waitresses wear?

    Can one wear bunny slippers on Casual Friday?

    Finally, what unspeakable outfits may appear on golf courses when they institute Casual Fridays?



    Clarissa said...

    I never thought of those peculiar ramifications of Casual Friday politicies. Why not have a Spiffy Monday?

    Grand Crapaud said...

    We need to expand Casual Fridays into Casual Thursdays.

    Duckbutt said...

    When we got a new Dean several years ago, he decided to launch Casual Friday. He was not aware that Casual Friday had already been in place due to the initiative of the rank and file, and benign disinterest from the administration.

    Bilbo said...

    As for the military, I can tell you that Headquarters Air Force at the Pentagon changes from blue uniform combinations to ABUs (Airman Battle Uniforms - camouflaged utility uniforms) on Fridays. And I think Clarissa may be on to something ... why not an occasional "Formal Friday" requiring long gowns for the ladies and tuxedos for the men?

    TexWisGirl said...

    bike shorts were always the worst offenders in my office.

    Anonymous said...

    Can we also have "Come Wearing What You Have Left" for office wear on washdays?

    Mike said...

    At my old work we finally didn't have to wear ties anymore. It was casual week.

    John Hill said...

    I wear shorts on most days; flip flops if there is no snow in the forecast.

    Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

    Where I work they're relieved if we wear clothes and not pyjamas!

    Dianne said...

    I'm so casual that I'd look forward to dressing up just for the change

    Bilbo said...

    Many years ago I worked in a military facility where we wore civilian clothes every day. A young enlisted soldier newly assigned to the office showed up on her first day wearing a candy-pink track suit. I had the first sergeant send her home to change. Oy.

    Randomly Rachel said...

    The downside of casual friday is the implication that the other four days require formal dress.