The idea of business casual for women (and men) started out in Silicon Valley in the 1980s. That stands to reason, considering that Silicon Valley is the poster child for innovation, rule-breaking, and generally shaking things up. I mean, why would cultural norms regarding stiff dress codes be any different, right?
Productivity seemed to stall at the intersection of fashion and formality, so the powers that be attempted to do away with both. Frankly, if you’re sitting in a room writing code all day, no one will care if you’re doing it in a three-piece suit and whether you grab your fedora at the end of the day on your way back to the ’50s.
No doubt, the idea of business casual made sense in theory. But it was also a moving target, and by the ’90s, it reached new heights of convolution and misinterpretation.
The truth is, no one