Once upon a time (I do love a story that begins that way), there was no such thing as Casual Friday.
Finally, one day, Mrs. Joe Neanderthal decided that she was tired or wearing formal saber-tooth tiger skins and declared a day off. Unfortunately, Joe Neanderthal took that to mean a day free of clothes and almost froze his whatsis off.
Eventually, people moved from from mammoth fur to power ties and three inch heels. Business attire had arrived.
Meanwhile, in 1966, the Hawaiian shirt industry was trying to sell more brightly decorated shirts (do not try to imagine Mrs. Joe Neanderthal in a Hawaiian shirt), and Aloha Friday was invented. It was a made-up reason for people to wear Hawaiian shirts on Friday (and therefore purchase more Hawaiian shirts).
The trend caught on.
Fast forward to the recession of the early 1990s. The idea of Aloha Fridays migrated to the western states and then continued to march east. Simultaneously, companies were looking for ways to give perks to employees that didn’t cost anything and voila! Casual Fridays.
All of which was fine until people tried to figure out what to wear, and people started showing up at work wearing all kinds of, um, interesting (and by “interesting” I mean way too casual) outfits.
Levi’s had at that point purchased a going-nowhere brand called Dockers which made golf course type khaki pants. In a brilliant marketing move, the Dockers people printed a little brochure showing men what to wear to work on a business casual day. They sent this brochure to HR people who could then show inept dressers how to dress in a more ept way.
These days, almost every day is business casual in the majority of businesses. Yet we still talk about Casual Friday. Let me know if you figure that out. In the meantime, have a great Friday.