Casual Friday

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Casual Friday

Casual Friday, also called Dress Down Day, Casual Dress Day, and Business Casual Day, is a loosening of the business world's unwritten dress codes on designated days. Employees trade suits, ties, high heels, silk shirts, scarves, and other formal business attire for slacks, sports coats, polo shirts, pressed jeans, loafers, knit tunics, and flat-heeled shoes. Casual days arose in the mid-1980s influenced by the jeans-T-shirt-sneakers uniform of the computer industry, as well as increased numbers of women in the workplace and work-at-home employees. The concept caught on in the early 1990s and, fueled partly by Levi Strauss's marketing, by the mid-1990s had become a corporate institution. By the late 1990s, employees below middle management in one third of U.S companies had gone casual five days a week, according to an Evans Research Associates survey.

—ViBrina Coronado

Further Reading:

Bureau of National Affairs. Dress Policies and Casual Dress Days. PPF Survey no. 155. Washington, D.C., Bureau of National Affairs, 1998.

Gross, Kim Johnson, and Jeff Stone and Robert Tardio. Work Clothes—Casual Dress for Serious Work. Photographs by J. Scott Omelianuk. New York, Knopf, 1996.

Himelstein, Linda, and Nancy Walser. "Levi's vs. The Dress Code."Business Week. April 1, 1996, 57-58.

Levi-Strauss & Company. How to Put Casual Businesswear to Work. Version four. San Francisco, California, Levi-Strauss & Co. Consumer Affairs, 1998.

Molloy, John T. "Casual Business Dress." New Women's Dress for Success. New York, Warner Books, 1996, 209-249.

Savan, Leslie. "The Sell." The Village Voice. April 16, 1996, 16-17.

Weber, Mark. Dress Casual for Success … for Men. New York, McGraw-Hill, 1997.