What’s Happening to Casual Friday?
Ah, the much beloved workplace tradition of casual Friday. Who doesn’t love the opportunity to take a break from the painful shoes and the stuffy suits — or even the boring business casual? Getting a day off from driving up that dry cleaning bill, and having the option to wear jeans and sneakers, is pretty great stuff as far as most people are concerned. But, are casual Fridays changing right before our eyes?
(Photo Credit: Tobyotter/Flickr)
Let’s take a look at a few trends.
1. Gadget wear.
These days, nearly any clothing item can be manufactured to double as a speaker. From hats to messenger bags, there are new speaker gadgets popping up so often now, we can’t bother to be impressed by them anymore.
But, a T-shirt that doubles as a computer case? Now, that’s something new. This padded, V-neck, casual-Friday-ready top is padded for protection and features a compartment big enough to hold an iPad or even a laptop. Why would you want to carry your device around literally on your person? We’re not so sure. But, your new shirt is sure to be a conversation starter in the lunchroom next casual Friday.
2. Too much pressure to be extra cute.
Remember when jeans and a T-shirt was a perfectly reasonable outfit to wear walking down the street, out to lunch, or even to the office on casual Friday? These days, the fashion industry, and the culture at large, never misses an opportunity to turn up the heat and apply a little pressure to, “look our best,” even when we’re supposedly given the option of being more casual.
The Huffington Post recently offered some fashion tips for meeting high casual Friday expectations in a piece that gave advice on ways to rise to the occasion. Their recommended styles do look really great, but doesn’t this kind of seem like this could take more effort than preparing for a regular work day? But, hey, if you’re into that, if it brings you joy, great! If you just want to wear something comfy from your closet, that’s okay too. At least, it is with me. Some folks might disagree.
3. The rise of athleisure.
Athleisure clothing is clothing that is meant to be stylish and also suitable for working out. The idea is that we’ll wear this stuff to work, and then the gym. Many people do enjoy donning yoga pants both around the house and at the gym, but, would you really wear this athleisure stuff to your spin class? It does seem like it would be more comfy than regular work attire, but, does that mean it’s the best choice for working out? Still, if this appeals to you, you should find more and more options like this in stores in the months to come. Items like this could be incorporated into your modern casual Friday wardrobe (which apparently is a thing) for some fancy/cozy options.
Tell Us What You Think
How do you prefer to observe casual Friday? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.
Gina Belli works as a teacher, freelance writer, and educational consultant, and lives in her beloved home state, Connecticut. She likes to write about education, work-life balance, and the economy. Given her arresting capacity to over-analyze anything interpersonal, her writing often tends to focus on some of the more emotional aspects of workplace connections and disconnections, as they relate to partnerships and teams, personality and communication styles, and leadership. In her free time, she likes to putter around her renovated one-room schoolhouse home, take walks in the woods, and eat as much guacamole as she can get her hands on.