Why ‘casual Friday’ is disappearing in some offices

The economic downturn has inspired some professionals to dress up five days a week, while a nonprofit helps disadvantaged women follow suit.

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Lately, however, when I look around the train on a Friday morning, the commuters no longer appear to be dressing down; in the age of the economic downturn and increased job insecurity it seems that “casual Fridays” are becoming a thing of the past.

This is due not to businesses’ formally restricting the uniform of employees, but rather to employees’ making the decision themselves that dressing more casually on a Friday—or any given day—might affect their performance and job security.

A survey by U.K. work wear provider Alexandra found that 94 percent of respondents say that the way they dress can influence the outcome of the economy.

More than 90 percent of respondents said a person’s attire determines how professional and trustworthy they look. Nearly 40 percent said “scruffy clothing” at work hurts performance.

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