I hate casual clothes Fridays. Its a stupid idea.
Surely it’s either OK to be allowed to wear casual clothes all the time, or for whatever reason, never?
So, reasons why “the bosses” are being “gracious” enough to let you wear casual clothes one day a week?
More often than not it’s a “reward” of some kind. Like working hard all week or to show that we really are a cool place to work, let your hair down before the weekend or something. If I was a 8year old kid this might actually be considered a “reward”, but as a grown-up working with other grown-ups, it’s just plain condescending.
Why can’t we wear plain clothes all week?
Well there’s the company “image”. Fair enough I suppose if you have client facing meetings and want to present a more business like professional appearance, but why does that matter for all the back-office staff that never appear in front of clients/customers?
That’s because formal business attire helps set your “frame of mind” to be more work focused.
Oh, so in that case by allowing us to wear casual clothes on Friday you aren’t expecting us to be as productive as normal? No, of course not. You are still expected to perform the same as any other day.
So we have a sort of circular argument here.
- You can’t wear casual clothes because you won’t focus on work and will slack off
- Despite (1), you can wear them one day a week, but are expected to perform as normal
So really, I can only think it must be some sort of “power” thing. Being able to tell you what you can wear is a relatively minor form of “control”. If you do your job as asked and are able to interact with other people as expected then how does what you are wearing make any difference? It’s most likely not a deliberate thing, just one of those “rules” that society has had for so long that everyone just conforms rather than being the one to draw attention to themselves by pointing it out.
For my part, I do a “cut off my nose to spite my face” kind of protest. I don’t really like wearing suit/tie and would rather wear jeans and tshirt, but on casual clothes days I just wear the same thing I wear every other day of the week. It saves me the hassle of having to pick something “suitable” to wear, and maybe even prompts people to ask why I’m not wearing casual clothes.
Sure, some people look at me funny when I explain my position as above, and they do kind of understand it… but they still don’t want to be the ones that draw attention to themselves over it 🙂