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Technology & Innovation

At Some Companies, Fridays Mean Business Suits

In industries where casual is the new normal, some are adopting formal and informal policies where workers come dressed in their corporate best.

What’s the Latest Development?

Ages ago (in tech years), one of the things that differentiated bleeding-edge companies from their older and stodgier counterparts was their casual dress code. Now that relaxed dress standards have become common at more and more businesses, those same workplaces are flipping the script: In San Francisco, “Formal Fridays” are being adopted by startups and more established companies alike. At Facebook, which has had a “Corporate Friday” tradition dating back to around 2005, designer Skip Bronkie says, “Sometimes you just want to bring the heat for no particular reason at all, and Corporate Friday is your opportunity to suit up.

What’s the Big Idea?

Besides keeping things “fresh,” so to speak, dressing up has benefits for both the viewer and the person being viewed. Business-etiquette expert Lydia Ramsey loves the idea, saying some startups have taken workplace dressing to a new low: “These people are not in college anymore. They need to look like adults.” And Ravi Mikkelsen, CEO of startup jobFig, says that even implementing the occasional Formal Friday makes him “feel like a banker…and I want to produce.”

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