Casual Fridays in a corporate work environment could get you worrying about your wardrobe as you stress about how to crack the dress code while still looking good! While the word “casual” can mean almost anything when it comes to clothing, finding the right combination is vital if you want to create a good impression.
Pitching up in your blazer without a tie may still be considered too smart for Casual Friday and yet, your fashionable jeans may raise a few eyebrows. Planning your Casual Friday wardrobe needn’t be a headache once you know what to include in it. Think along the lines of business casual shirts for men and women as well as smart polos.
Need more ideas?
Read on to find out how you can crack the Casual Friday dress code while still looking good in your work environment.
Find Out What Your Office Dress Code Policy Says
If you need guidance on what to wear in your office environment, get familiar with its dress code policy. A well-drafted policy will clearly state what is and what isn’t acceptable in the workplace. If it says no jeans, then apply this to Casual Friday workwear as well to play it safe.
However, if your senior management pitch up in stylish jeans on Fridays, assume you can do the same. But, be careful about dressing as casually as your senior manager. This may be seen as a sign of overstepping the roles boundary!
Opt for Smart Casual Even on Fridays
Casual wear implies jeans, T-shirts, mini skirts and flip flops. But, don’t be fooled into thinking your bosses want to see you pitching up in your beachwear on Casual Fridays! The safest way to navigate Casual Fridays is to pick smart casual wear. This could include business casual shirts and pants, relaxed footwear such as mules or closed slip-ons and leaving the T-shirt at home for weekend wear.
It’s vital to remember you’re still representing your workplace even on Fridays when you’re allowed to wear less formal outfits. This means finding a balance between looking professional while still enjoying downtime from wearing business suits. Smart casual clothes allow you to look professional and neat while being informal and relaxed.
Casual Friday: An Opportunity to Stamp Your Personality
Casual Fridays give you the opportunity to show your personality in the workplace without resorting to T-shirts with political or raunchy slogans! Instead, consider wearing bolder colours and patterns to display your uniqueness when picking shirts for casual office wear. The same can be applied to footwear and dresses for ladies.
If jeans are acceptable invest in a designer brand that focuses on a good cut. Avoid distressed jeans and stick to solid, bold colours to maintain smartness. Smart polos with stripes, embroidered details and pockets also look good while letting you make a subtle statement in the office.
What to Avoid on Casual Fridays
The objective of Casual Friday is to aim for clothing that’s slightly more relaxed than your normal office workwear. This may mean skipping the jacket and tie while wearing a collared shirt with smart pants. Ladies can opt for floral dresses in place of the formal black or navy blazer and skirt attire they normally wear from Mondays to Thursdays.
But, there are clothing items that are an absolute no-no for Casual Fridays at the office. Avoid wearing them at all costs if you want to maintain a level of professionalism and keep your boss happy.
Use this list to help you avoid making an embarrassing slip up at the workplace on Fridays:
- Low cut shirts that bare all when you lean over.
- Mini skirts or dresses that rise way above the knees when seated.
- T-shirts (unless they look smart and don’t have slogans).
- Jeans with fashionable “rips and tears.”
- Shorts and tracksuit pants.
- Tank and midriff tops.
- Clothes that look wrinkled and untidy.
- Thongs and slippers.
There’s always an off chance of a sudden meeting being called with clients or a board director decides to visit the office on a Friday. So, you still need to look good even if you’re wearing casual clothes in the workplace.
Use Accessories Wisely
You may think it’s a good idea to wear your nose or tongue stud on Fridays at the office but unless you’re working for a wildly creative company, leave them at home. The same applies to any jewellery that might come across as offensive to other work colleagues. You can opt for oversized jewellery that’s big and bold as well as wearing funky socks to add a bit of fun to your loafers.
Hairpieces are safe, as are watches, backpacks and bags you wouldn’t normally use on other days of the week at the office. Once again, avoid items that look scruffy or carry slogans or logos that may be seen as offensive.
Cracking the Casual Friday dress code can be done by simply adding a few twists to your office wear. There’s no need to go and buy a whole new wardrobe for your Friday casual day at work. And, at all costs, avoid wearing anything that could be seen as raunchy or messy. Always opt for an outfit your boss will appreciate and you can’t go wrong!