Casual Friday – it’s enough to send a shudder through anyone wanting to free themselves from the constraints of office attire while not leaving the boss thinking you’re too left of centre for the next promotion. I know, I know – it sucks! Why can’t you just wear what you want on casual Friday and not be judged? Well, you can wear what you like – you’re in control of that. But you can’t stop other people from thinking their own thoughts. So, if getting ahead in the office is on your agenda then looking the part, even on casual Friday, is essential. Having shallow people in positions of power in your office is a weakness you can exploit for your benefit. So play them at their game and win.
But how do you determine what is appropriate to wear on casual Friday? Well, the general rule of thumb is to look to your boss and notice what he/she wears. Remember – people promote clones of themselves. You can fight it if you want and rail against society or you can accept that some things are too big to change. It’s your choice but if you’re in an office full of suits, even on casual Friday, then the despite whatever may be said, casual Friday is frowned upon. Take the hint. However, if casual Friday alters the dress code of those who have approved the policy, then look to them for hints about how far you can go.
And remember – if a senior meeting or a client meeting is scheduled for Friday, forget about casual and concentrate on being professional. It’s expected. Clients and senior management don’t care for casual no matter what day it is. They care about the image of their company and how that image helps them achieve their bonuses. And sometimes, these meeting arise with little or no warning so keep a snappy jacket somewhere handy – just in case.
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