Casual Fridays. Make that Casual Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and so-on as relaxed business attire has taken over the workweek for a few years now.
Each day and on weekends, after my product development duties conclude, I devote my personal time to running a career-exploring non-profit which aligns students with customized “live and remote” Internships. The program also keeps me in tune to trends occurring on campuses across the U.S. and a very interesting movement is just beginning, at least in Southern California.
Business professors and Internship programs similar to my organization, are spearheading a movement where students are encouraged to dress in business attire. Whether in class, while participating in job interviews (mock or real) or attending intern and career fairs.
After hosting programs on four Southern California campuses over the weekend, I was amazed at how many students were dressed business-appropriate and allow me to preface not once did I encounter the trend of a couple years ago when pajama bottoms and Uggs were the norm on campuses.
Several of the students approached me dressed-to-the-nines so naturally I was inquisitive about their attire. I was informed during three separate conversations they are establishing their career-paths now and it is their belief when dressed in an office appropriate dress and heels, business suit or dress shirt and slacks, people tend to act, speak and think differently towards the interns versus when they’re dressed in casual wear.
A psychology professor confirmed this new attitude as research is showing the way people dress truly does affect the way they act and feel. The psychological association between business attire and possessing traits of intelligence, confidence and charisma are actually installed during childhood. And the same holds true for casual attire and its association with being easygoing, laid back and easily approachable. Ironically, the same psychology can be applied to how society views those dressed in a uniform whether it’s a police officer, flight attendant or front Desk attendant.
What are your thoughts on this new trend being birthed on campuses and adopted without hesitation by interns? Although it may not be affecting the masses just yet, do you feel its time for businesses to also return to more of a formal dress attire code? Also, feel free to chime in about casual Friday expanding to casual Monday through Friday. Is it time to better define workplace dress codes based on the day of the week?