Today is Friday. At many work places this means “Casual Friday”. In my 20 years of being in the work place, a lot has changed in regards to dress code. I remember when I first starting working full time in 1988 men were still required to wear a suit everyday. Today that is almost hard to believe and I am glad that has changed!
The 90’s ushered a radical idea – “Casual Friday”. Where I worked, it was a summer-time only experiment, but the foundation was laid and there was no turning back. In a few years it became year-long and in the past decade, many places of employment allow business casual dress not only on Friday, but Monday through Thursday as well. Where I work, “Casual Friday” is now “Jeans Day”.
What has been most interesting to observe during this radical change is how so many people just don’t seem to be able to really understand what is appropriate to wear in the work place and what the definition of “business casual” really is. This seems to especially be the case in my industry where I am around folks in the technology profession – Geeks.
So in honor of casual Friday and Summer being around the corner, I thought it would be a good idea to help spread the word as to what business casual is and what it is not. Do everyone a favor – make sure you understand this! Here are the official guidelines from where I work, but they are a good guideline for most places.
Business Casual wear means clean, neat, professional clothing.
Anything you would wear to the gym, beach, and trendy bar or to clean out your garage, should not be worn to the office. Business Casual dress does not mean wearing your most comfortable old clothes or your favorite old jeans to the office. Rather it is a chance for you to take a more casual approach when dressing for work. We ask everyone to use good judgment when determining if an outfit is appropriate. When in doubt, don’t wear it! A lot of this is just good common sense.
Business Casual is:
For women: Skirts, dresses, pant suits, casual dress slacks, Capri or cropped pants, blouses, knit tank or short-sleeve tops, sweaters, blazers, appropriate sandals.
For men: Casual dress slacks, Khakis, sweaters, dress shirts and golf shirts. Ties and jackets are optional.
Business Casual is not:
Camisoles or thin-strapped tank tops, t-shirts, shorts, skorts, jogging suits, sneakers (tennis shoes), rubber thong sandals or workout clothing. These items are inappropriate in an office environment at all times.