Fancy Friday brings formalwear to campus

Allie Feitzinger and Soumya Jhaveri

Seniors Nishant Patwardhan and Kevin Cox, both donning button-downs and khakis for Fancy Friday, chat with a group of Fancy Friday partakers. The pair hopes to increase participation in Fancy Friday, encouraging to dress in nicer attire than usual. “Everybody out there reading this — dress up fancy for Friday,” Cox said. Photo: Soumya Jhaveri

When was the last time you ventured into that dusty corner of your closet and pulled out that button-down your mom bought you? For Palo Alto High School seniors Kevin Cox and Nishant Patwardhan, such a venture into formalwear happens every Friday, a budding tradition they’ve aptly named “Fancy Friday.”

Fancy Friday is a far cry from the “Casual Friday” concept practiced at workplaces across the nation, and encourages students at Paly to celebrate the end of the schoolweek with a nice outfit.

The pair began Fancy Friday one year ago, when Cox and Patwardhan both showed up to school one day wearing somewhat formal outfits. They recognized that the practice would allow students the chance to wear fancier outfits they usually neglect.

“Fancy Friday is an opportunity for you to stretch the limits of your imagination by using your full wardrobe to its full potential,” Cox said.

While the two encourage students to dress up, this doesn’t necessarily mean donning eveningwear.

“Fancy Friday basically is dressing up a little bit nicer than you normally do,” Patwardhan said. “Doesn’t have to be incredibly fancy, like a suit, but just a little bit more spiffy.”

Outfit suggestions include a collared shirt or sweater with khakis, or a dress or skirt.

“When you wear these clothes you feel better,” Patwardhan said.

Originally, the pair publicized the custom through word-of-mouth, but Patwardhan and Cox have since created a Facebook group numbering 50 participants as of today. The founders of the event say they hope underclassmen will carry on the tradition.

“We’re trying to make a legacy,” Cox said.