WHY ARE SUMMER Fridays so amazing? Ok, so an early work day definitely has its perks, but it’s also about the clothes. (I mean, when is it not?) A sweltering July Friday is the one day when it’s kind of ok to dress down a touch in offices all over America.
And yes, in the hospital even we, doctors, need a jean day. But when you’re not lucky enough to work in a chic and swanky Google-like spin-off start-up where you can wear PJ’s to the office without anyone blinking an eye, the casual of the business casual is key. Pair a stiff suit with a twelve hour work day and you can develop a serious lifelong aversion to many fabric blends. Throw in a doc’s lab coat (as in the case of yours truly), and you’ll soon be petitioning against dress codes everywhere.
But that’s not to say that sashaying in, all sleek and profesh, is not in. Dressing up is, for the most part the ultimate confidence booster. Heck, it can even make you smarter by enhancing creativity and abstract thinking, according to studies. But why can’t we marry business with casual in stylistic expression? If work is meant to equal play these days, I proclaim that you can modify these play clothes to fit your professional expression…
Jeans. These may get a bad rep, but the medley of colors on store shelves these days is meant to be experimented with. Dress up black jeans with a blouse, or throw on a cardigan over a sleeveless silk number. You might even clock in a few extra hours if you’re not itching to get out of those synthetic slacks.
Cotton dresses. Leave the heels for the board room and pair a jersey dress with flats and a blazer.
Loose blouses. Who doesn’t love bell sleeves?
Sneakers. I can’t get away with these as easily as some of you lucky office royalty, unless I’m wearing scrubs, but so many sneakers these days can pass for sensible work shoes. (like Keds! aka, the eighties’ gift for mankind…)
Ballet flats. Thank you, Audrey Hepburn for making these a classic.
Ref: Slepian et al The Cognitive Consequences of Formal Clothing. Social Psychological and Personality Science 2015, Vol. 6(6) 661-668.