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Why "Casual Friday" doesn't mean what you think it means

Casual Friday is a tradition that a lot of offices and businesses take part in where their dress code is relaxed on the last day of the work week, Friday. This can be a good and a bad thing. Here are a few reasons:

1. It is more comfortable (the good)

Man in SuitAlmost everyone can agree that wearing casual clothes is more comfortable than having to wear a suit or even just a shirt and tie. You don't have the constrained neck from the tie or the constrained arm mobility that suits will often give you. It also allows for a more comfortable body temperature due to being allowed to wear less clothes as well as being able to wear more comfortable materials such as cotton or linen.

2. It is often misinterpreted (the bad)

Sloppy Man"Casual Friday" does not mean "Sloppy Friday". You should never go to work and look bad. There are many reasons for this. One of the reasons is that maybe you have to deal with customers or clients. You are giving off a poor image and a poor representation of yourself and the company you work for if you are dressed poorly and customers or clients see you. Never assume that you won't have to deal with anyone either because you never know when maybe you have to cover for someone else or pick up a surprise client that you aren't prepared for and you either have to say "no" or look unprofessional. It could put you in a sticky situation and it is just easier to make sure you don't come across as sloppy.

3. Sloppy ≠ Comfortable (the solution)

Casual ManSloppy does not equal comfortable. What I mean by this is that you do not have to look sloppy to be comfortable. There are numerous styles that you can wear that allow you to look very professional but stay comfortable. One of these options is linen. I recently talked about linen shirts in a blog post here, but basically they can be a casual and comfortable alternative to standard dress shirts. Depending on your boldness, shorts are even sometimes acceptable. Also, don't forget that khaki's are extremely easy to wear and they can be very comfortable (pictured left). Make sure that you put professionalism first when you get dressed for casual friday because you never know what could happen that day and it is always best to be prepared. Plus, they always say "dress for the job you want, not the job you have", so your professionalism could be seen and you could be rewarded for it.

Remember, just because you can, doesn't mean you should.