Dress down Friday is becoming popular in many businesses and organisations. But it’s not just Friday where we have seen this shift.
Many organisations have accepted the removal of the tie or formal suit for a more casual jacket and trousers for men and smarter casual attire for women during the course of the week.
The current settled summer period of very warm days has also introduced another clothing challenge as most of us have a summer wardrobe that is more suitable for the beach rather than the office.
A new millennial workplace has created a far more relaxed and less formal approach but clearly there have to be rules to ensure there is no negative impact on the company image in the eyes of the client or co-workers.
Looking back 50 years at pin striped suits, bowler hats and umbrellas, the working environment has moved on with many organisations allowing staff to express themselves in their own personal way, often leading to a more relaxed, productive and engaged workforce.
For some more formal organisations casual Friday means ditching the tie. For others it’s jeans, t shirts and your finest trainers.
Clearly this needs to be agreed and managed well, ideally through the inclusion within the company handbook, to avoid any ambiguity and negative impact on business.
Many ‘creative’ sectors are being influenced by the likes of Google, Facebook and Apple where teams are allowed to more freely express their personalities through their chosen workwear.
So where did casual Friday come from?
Casual Friday originated in Hawaii and was called Aloha Friday. An opportunity for staff members to don the flowery shirt to signify the end of the week. This quickly spread around the world and in the UK we now see many companies adopting casual Friday clothing or dress down Friday.
However, beware – fashion police are watching – football shirts, ripped jeans and trainers as old as the hills may not be what your boss intended.
Your business still has a brand image and personality that needs carefully managing. Inward looking prospects and clients may still be sensitive to such drastic changes in office attire.
Following a recent Dress Down Friday catwalk at a Marketing Stockport event, John Lewis in Cheadle, provided ideas and styles for a wide range of dress down Friday options. But, if in doubt, always best to check with first.