Casual Fridays are a welcome day for many employees. However, for others it can mean having to decide what to wear. The definition of appropriate and professional attire can vary from one company to another, but all have one thing in common. The style of work wear on casual Fridays or other times of the year is more relaxed than those worn during a regular work day.
Changes in the seasons can also make trying to figure out how to dress casually for work even more difficult. What may have worked in the winter months simply does not apply to the chilly days of spring and fall or the warm days of summer. Thankfully, there are a few rules that you can apply that will help you choose what to wear no matter what time of year it is.
Just Say No to Lounge Wear
Casual Friday does not mean ‘wear what you would at home’. Items like tracksuit bottoms, flip flops, pyjamas and onesies should be left at home. These items don’t create a casual air; what they do is communicate laziness about your appearance. When trying to decide on casual wear, try this rule of thumb: never wear anything to work that you would wear on your off time at home.
Pay Attention to Your Appearance
Just because it might be a casual Friday, doesn’t mean that you get just to roll out of bed like you might on a Sunday. Grooming is just as essential on a casual Friday as it is on any other day of the week. Be sure to stick to your regular grooming habits and be attentive to your appearance. Looking your best at work will be even more important on a casual Friday, as the focus will be on you as an individual.
Believe it or not, casual Friday also applies to shoes. While you may wear flip flops on errands or to the beach, they have no place at work. In fact, open shoes like flip flops may even be against company policy due to health reasons. When choosing appropriate footwear, consider loafers or ballet flats instead, as both can give your casual look some polish.
Jeans Are Okay
Casual Friday wouldn’t be casual Friday without denim. And when looking for a suitable alternative to dress pants, jeans are an excellent choice. But no two jean styles are alike. Dark wash jeans in a trouser style will look far more professional than their faded, torn and low-rise counterparts. Fit also counts here; ensure that the jeans you choose are not too loose or too tight. For leg styles, boot cut and straight-legged jeans are the most professional choice.
Sleeves or No Sleeves?
As a rule, when the weather gets warmer, sleeves are still preferred over no sleeves. For a casual Friday in the summer, choose a short or capped sleeve t-shirt as opposed to a ribbed tank top. However, there can be exceptions to this rule; there are many sleeveless blouses on the market which are designed with a professional look and feel.
When deciding what to wear on a casual Friday, it certainly is important to be comfortable. However, it’s equally important to consider the others you will be interacting with during the day, as well as the company you work for. What kind of impression does your company wish to give its clients? Also, you may want to consider whether or not you feel comfortable with what you are thinking about wearing to work on a casual Friday. If you aren’t sure, leaving it in the closet is probably best.