Depending on your company culture, either every day is Casual Friday or it’s reserved for…well…Friday. Regardless, it’s important that you understand what is and isn’t acceptable to wear in the office, even on the most informal of days. Afterall, it is still the office.
We won’t bore you with a history of Casual Fridays, but we do have to mention that it originated in Hawaii in 1947, where it became acceptable to wear Aloha shirts on Fridays only. Top Tip: Aloha shirts are not appropriate for Casual Fridays. Ever.
So what is? Here are 5 tips to ensure you look smart this Friday.
- Get a Feel for Your Company
First things first, you need to understand the expectations of your particular office. Can you get away with jeans or should you stick with tailored chinos? Can you go in without a suit jacket? Does wearing a t-shirt give the wrong impression? What’s the unspoken policy on trainers? Of course, you don’t have to actually ask these questions. On your first week, observe everyone else. Who looks out of place? Is it the guy in trousers and suspenders or the intern in jeans and a sweatshirt. You don’t want to be either. Think of Goldilocks.
- Express a Bit of Individuality
Use Casual Friday as an opportunity to show off a bit of your personal style. While every other day of the week you might look similar to everyone else in your navy suit, tailored shirt, and brown brogues, this is your opportunity to incorporate eye-catching prints, glasses with coloured frames or funky socks. Of course, don’t take it too far. You should still look professional.
- Make Use of Separates
Casual Friday is all about striking a balance. Goldilocks, remember? The best (and easiest) way to do this, is to mix and match smart with casual. Pair your favourite tailored blazer with a pair of tailored chinos, a simple t-shirt, and a pair of clean trainers or no-fuss loafers. If you include one piece that you regularly wear to the office, you can almost ascertain that your outfit will be appropriate.
- Lose the Tie
We don’t want to prescribe any hard rules for Casual Friday (aside from the no Aloha shirt rule) but we don’t recommend you wear a tie. Ties are the antithesis of casual and – for this one day – give your neck a break. If you feel bare without a tie, try layering instead. Wear a casual sweater or cardigan overtop a tailored shirt or try a blazer with a polo.
- Make Sure Your Clothes Still Fit Well
Casual does not equate to sloppy. Even if you are dressing down, your clothes should still fit. Imagine two men come in to the office in jeans and a t-shirt. One is wearing a loose t-shirt with a deep v-neck and a pair of baggy, faded jeans. The other is wearing a slim fit crewneck and a pair of dark wash, tailored jeans. You, of course, want to be the second person in this example.