If you’re lucky enough to work in an informal work environment where you get to wear womens casual clothing every day, you’re lucky! You probably have absolutely no idea how liberating people feel when they’re normally expected to wear dressy attire to work, but can dress more casually on Fridays. Casual Friday is fun and liberating. It makes you feel as if the weekend has started a day early. However, it’s important to remember that casual Friday is NOT the weekend. You’re not hanging out with your friends and family – you’re still at work, and you need to dress accordingly. Here are a few simple dos and don’ts to take the mystery out of casual Fridays:
DO wear jeans, as long as they are classic – dark wash, moderate rise, and straight leg or bootcut. Funky, torn, very flared or extreme low-rise jeans are a big DON’T when it comes to the office – even on casual Friday.
DON’T ever wear flip-flops to the office. Those are way too casual. In many formal work environments, you should probably avoid open toed shoes even on casual days. Instead, opt for a pair of ballet flats, or forgo the classic pumps in favor of trendier shoes with a fun, chunky heel.
DO wear clean clothes. This may sound obvious, but some people feel that casual Friday means that they can wear exactly what they would wear on the weekend, which includes slightly stained or frayed clothes. But at the office, this could seriously backfire and make you look unprofessional.
DON’T wear clothes that are too revealing. Even on casual days, showing cleavage, wearing a very short skirt or exposing your midriff are major faux pas at the office. And don’t even get me started on wearing jeans with such a low rise that they expose your underwear when you sit down!
DO balance out your look. If you wear something very casual, such as a pair of jeans, on the bottom, wear something a bit more tailored on the top – such as a crisp white shirt or a blazer.
DON’T go too casual. Wearing women’s casual clothing is fun – and much more comfy than wearing a suit – but sweatpants and a faded T-shirt is weekend attire, not office attire. (In fact some would say sweatpants should be reserved for working out and for wearing around the house only – they are just too frumpy and unflattering).
DO wear nice clothes if you wish but stay away from party attire. A sparkly halter top, tight pants and stilettos? Awesome for clubbing, not so great for the office.
DO check with HR and see if they can provide you with a copy of the company’s dress code, which should also include a section about casual Fridays.
Remember that casual Fridays are about relaxing the corporate dress code a bit in preparation for the weekend, but you’re still at the office – and should dress accordingly. In some organizations, casual Fridays became such a major source of confusion for the employees and headaches for management that the organization has decided to just put an end to them. This might be the easiest solution, but as long as your office does enable you to dress casually once a week, you should make the most of it – within the reasonable boundaries outlined above.