Friday, June 01, 2007

Casual Friday?

What is the point of casual Fridays in offices? It's one of those strange customs that's crept in over the years, and which doesn't seem to actually contribute anything. Maybe I've been out of the 'business formal' scene for a long time, and have forgotten that most men are still required to wear suits and ties, and most women have to 'dress up' when at work. But making one day a week 'casual' doesn't seem to contribute anything. Does it make people more relaxed at work? I'd hardly think so. And women, being women, will no doubt still dress up whatever the day is: they can't afford to be seen looking underdressed in contrast to other women in the office.

There's an interesting article on the subject on Wikipedia, which says that the idea of Casual Fridays goes back to the 1950s, but that it didn't take off much then. And then there was a period in the 90s when casual almost became the norm. I haven't had to 'dress up' at work for such a long time, I barely posses any real business clothes, and even in my current job(s) there's no need for what you'd normally call business gear – at least as far as I'm concerned. Earlier this year, when I got an interview with a legal firm, I went and bought a suit on the off-chance that I might get the job, and need to be suitably dressed. It was nice to have a suit that actually fitted – the one I already possessed had got a little tight, to say the least.

The trend seems to be getting away from casual on Fridays, or casual on any day, in fact. Casual dress can denote a casual attitude; business dress can denote a business-like attitude. It may not be truth, but it's worth bearing in mind.

While thinking about this topic I came across a blog called Canadian Headhunter. The post is obviously aimed at the bloke, and is written by a bloke, apparently. It has some good advice in it, even though not everyone might agree with the choice of clothing suggested.

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