Friday, April 19, 2013

Rant #946: Dress-Down Friday

Friday is the last day of the work week, and for me, it provides a breather, of sorts, from the rest of the  week.

No, I don't do less work on Friday. Believe me, my desk is filled with stuff for me to do, just waiting for me to attack it like I always do.

But today is "Dress-Down Friday," or "Casual Friday," or whatever you want to call it, where employees can wear something other than the business clothes they wear the rest of the week.

For me, that means no tie, no button down shirt, no shoes.

Today, I can wear just a regular shirt and sneakers, and I can fit right in as business casual.

Since I hate ties--and in an earlier rant, I told you why--this day is a blessing for me.

The day actually began in the late 1990s and is probably rooted in California business culture, especially in high-tech companies, where the level of dress is secondary to performance.

But the actual roots of this practice go as far back to the late 1940s in Hawaii, where the city of Honolulu allowed workers to ditch the suits and ties and wear Aloha shirts during a portion of the year, and this became officially "Aloha Friday" in the 1960s.

In the late 1970s, when the production of cheaper clothing outside the U.S. became more widespread, some manufacturers campaigned to make a dress-down Friday a weekly event to promote their more casual clothing lines.

According to Wikipedia, some workplaces that have no formal dress codes actually have their workers dress up on Friday. Personally, I have never heard of this, but to me, it would be odd if I dressed down all week only to have to wear more formal attire on Friday.


Anyway, since I have been at my present employer, for the past 17-plus years, we have had dress-down Friday, so for the past near two decades, I haven't had to wear a tie on Fridays, which is a good thing. At the other places I worked, I don't think we had a formal dress code, so it didn't apply, but in this place, four days a week, I have to dress to a higher standard.

Today, thank goodness, I don't.

And when I put on my clothes on Fridays, the more casual approach just signals to me that the end of the work week is near. I can finally see the forest for the trees.

Thank goodness. I need to rest.

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