Friday, February 8, 2008

History Lesson: Casual Friday

I am currently reading The End of Fashion by Teri Agins, a book recommended to me by one of my professors. I haven't gotten past page 12 yet because reading books for leisure in between perpetual textbook duty is near impossible... It's been compelling so far, though.

The book is- as you can easily deduce- about how fashion evolved. I'm not going to delve into that, though- instead, in honor of everyone's favorite day of the week, here's a history lesson on "Casual Friday":
Photo via Literanista

In the early 90s, Alcoa, a Pittsburgh based aluminum company, "became the first major corporation to sanction office attire." But how did this change come about?

During a two-week fund drive, the company allowed contributors to dress informally. Employees liked dressing casually so much that the company changed the policy so that people could wear non-fussy clothes everyday.

Soon after, the rest of corporate America (ie. IBM and a slew of other corporations) followed along. Though some companies didn't completely abolish their cleaned-up dress coat, they at least allowed for one day of the week- Casual Friday- in which workers could dress however they pleased.

In a way, I guess you can blame sloppy dressing on Casual Friday. After all, it was a trend that swept the nation, helped shut down boutiques, and encouraged the masses to dress down.

1 comment:

Jen (MahaloFashion) said...

I wish guys still dressed up like they did back in the day, so classy.