Flip-Flops: Part of the Future of Business Casual?
June 29, 2006 at 12:55 PM
The New York Times just published this article about the growing acceptance of flip-flops as acceptable footwear in the LA entertainment industry, which got me thinking: Will Hollywood’s enthusiasm for flip-flops eventually mean that West Coast lawyers will be wearing flip-flops to depositions at some point in the next few years? Out of curiosity, I Googled "flip flops" and "law firm" to find out whether flip-flops have already become acceptable law firm wear. Judging from my search results, it appears that even East Coast law firm employees are indulging their flip-flop love. On the DCist blog, a post about flip-flops brought this comment: "At my job, most 20-something women wear flip-flops in the office (a large law firm downtown) during business hours." The Washington Post carries this rant about women interns in suits and flip-flops. And the Jewish Advocate blog reports with dismay that "there is a scandal pulsing at the threshold of Boston’s financial district . . . It seems that everyone (and their mother and brother and law partner) wears flip flops to work – and not just on their way to work in the a.m., but throughout the day. People are flip flopping their way into office buildings . . . ." Despite evidence that flip-flops are gaining ground in office settings, Law.com has a sternly worded article about all of the faux pas to avoid during a stint as a summer associate, including an admonition to save flip-flops and sandals "for the weekend." My own personal opinion as a former law firm recruiting committee member? Nice, conservative sandals are not likely to be a problem in most California law firms, but flip-flops may raise some eyebrows even today. But who knows? Maybe in a few years, the last traces of flip-flop antipathy will vanish, and lawyers will wear them in the office without thinking twice.