Of all people, I should appreciate the quirky American tradition so many offices participate in once a week called Casual Friday. After four hard days of working while dressed in a restricting long sleeve shirt, tie, and pants (or at least a polo shirt and khakis), the dress code nearly disappears on the 5th day. Jeans, t-shirt, and flip flops are completely acceptable. Goofy. Just plain goofy.
The whole idea behind dressing professionally for work is to establish a mentality for the workers to act the way they dress. It also helps draw lines between superiors and those who answer to them, as managers and bosses tend to dress a little nicer, accordingly. But then that all goes away on Friday. The playing field is leveled out, according to appearance.
If the way a person dresses does indeed reflect their initiative and performance at work, why play around with that once a week? The answer: It must not really make a difference. Often, Friday is my most productive day of the week. And I’m dressed like it’s Saturday morning.
Last week’s rerun of The Office addressed some of the tackiness that often accompanies Casual Friday. Meredith’s lack of clothes, Oscar’s nasty feet, and Toby’s clashing colors. It just makes me laugh: the double standard of dressing professionally for 80% of the work week and dressing like a slouch for the other 20% of it.
Typically on Fridays I wear my comfortable, worn-in/worn-out jeans (circa 2002 so they’re that light shade of blue that used to be the standard), along with a comfortable t-shirt (usually something I got for free from an event I participated in during 2002 and should now only be wearing to wash a car or do yard work in) and my 2002 Etnie skate shoes I wear not because I skate, but because they’re so comfortable- I refer to them as my Marshmallow Shoes because they’re so soft and cushioned. The obvious recurring theme: clothing from the year 2002. The other obvious recurring theme: comfortable.
Casual Friday is really Comfortable Friday. If I dressed casually on Fridays, I would wear slimmer fitting darker jeans, an untucked collared shirt, and sneakers. But I don’t. And while I call it Comfortable Friday, “comfortable” can easily become a synonym for “sloppy”. Sloppy is in the same word family as “slob”. Slob Friday. But I’m not complaining. Some people like to play dress up to look and feel important at work. For the rest of us, there’s Friday.