Last Friday I took a couple of hours off to run some personal errands. I wish I had stayed home, because my retinas are forever emblazoned with the visions I saw in "casual Friday" workplaces as I went to take care of my business.
Casual Fridays were instituted as a sort of morale booster years ago, a way to let employees ditch the tie and pantyhose and wear something a little more casual. But I'm pretty sure employers never intended it to go this far and I know that as a customer, I never again want to see a grown woman at work wearing Uggs covered in silver sequins.
So, for the sake of your career, I'm going to go over some rules of casual Friday. (This doesn't apply to those of you who need to wear casual clothes every day because you assemble SUVs or work in the county landfill.)
The biggest don'ts:
1. No boots with fur on them. Leave them at home to wear when you take the dogs slushing.
2. No shirts with sayings on them. I don't want to read your chest before I can conduct my business.
3. Forget the jeans. I don't care how nice they look, they still look like jeans. You may say, "but what about my $200 pair of chic jeans that don't look like jeans?" The truth is, jeans look like jeans whether they cost $20 or $400. Don't wear them to work.
4. No sweatshirts. Especially any that say, "World's Best Nana."
5. No tennis shoes.
6. No shoes that look like you should be boating with the Kennedys.
7. No shorts. I don't care if you wear tights under them, wear boots with them or they make your butt look really cute. Shorts are shorts. (See above reference to jeans.)
8. No hats. You're not a Kardashian or Indiana Jones. It looks stupid and we all know you're doing it because you didn't wash your hair.
9. Nothing you classify as "comfie." You want comfie, work from home. When you're at work, I don't want to see you in pants you could sleep in, a sweater big enough to wrap around yourself and your desk and shoes that you "slop, slop, slop" across the floor in because they're really house slippers.
10. No stamps. Wash off the stamp on your hand you got from the club last night, or put makeup over it. I'm not doing business with someone who could possibly be hungover and/or is still drunk on Jello shooters.
The important thing to remember about casual Fridays is that you don't want to do anything that would unravel the professional image you've created during the week. You never know when a customer or potential new employer seeing you on a Friday is turned off by your beat-up sweatshirt and jeans and heads toward a more professional-looking worker.
Anything you think I should add to the list of "don'ts?"