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Workplace Culture

Dress Code: Is every day ‘Casual Friday’ at your office?

Marketplace Contributor Aug 13, 2012
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If Don Draper flew off a skyscraper like he does in the opening credits of “Mad Men” and landed in the middle of a modern American business district, he would probably be horrified by what most of the men were wearing. No suit. No tie. The male office worker in his natural habitat usually wears some variation of “business casual” these days. So do the ladies.

While we might associate that phrase — business casual — with drab slacks and button downs, there was a time not so long ago when business casual was considered serious FUN. Human Resource Managers introduced the idea as a “perk” — a cost-free bit of fun they could offer their employees. But then the question arose: How much fun is TOO much fun when it comes to what you wear to the office? Are flip-flops kosher? Are Hawaiian shirts OK? What about tube tops?

I’m working on a story about the history of “Casual Fridays” and the invention of business casual attire that will be airing later this week. My research got me wondering: Where do you draw the line when it comes to dressing “fun” at work? What should, or shouldn’t, be allowed in a company dress code? Send us your stories or photos of Casual Friday and the crazy or questionable outfits you’ve rocked — or caught coworkers — rocking. 

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