Has Casual Friday Become Too Casual?


Friday is, hands down, the best day of the workweek. Not only is it the last working day, it’s usually in conjunction with pay day, summer hours and, if you’re lucky, a casual dress code.

But how casual is too casual?

Remember Casual Friday at TV’s favorite paper company in Scranton, Penn.? One Friday at Dunder-Mifflin, Oscar showed up wearing sandals, Stanley in a sweat suit, and Mer

edith had the gall to don a mini-dress sans undergarments — not a pretty sight when she ends up exposing herself while using the copy machine. When Angela complains about her co-workers’ attire, Toby calls an office meeting and cancels Casual Friday when it’s clear that certain staff have interpreted the term too loosely.

this might seem like an extreme example of “too casual,” it’s not far off from what employers have seen in their own offices.

Richard Laermer, CEO at RLM Public Relations, says he once had a male intern wearing capri pants, plus many sockless employees and a few with holes in their jeans. All

of these are no-nos, he says.

“I’ve sent people to the corner [near our office] where there’s an H&M, Banana Republic and a Gap,” he says. “I have said, ‘Go get something to wear that doesn’t make you look 12.'”

Mary Harris, an etiquette consultant who specializes in business etiquette for small and large companies, says she visited a client’s office on Casual Friday and saw everything from football jerseys to sweat suits.

“Our culture has gotten so relaxed that casual to many [people] means what you would wear around the house on a Saturday,” she says. “It’s gotten lost that the meaning is still professional but somewhat relaxed.”

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