What to Wear on Casual Friday
It’s Friday! You’ve survived yet another week of work and thanks to your company’s Casual Friday policy; it’s time to put away those ties and heels and trade them in for the uniform of the office cubicle dweller – a nice pair of jeans and trendy video game t-shirt. Right? Maybe not. I’m sure not everyone agrees with how “casual”, Casual Friday has become. It’s become “old school” mentality to dress up when coming to the office on any day of the week much less Friday.
Originally, Casual Fridays became an easy, cost-free way businesses could reward their employees while boosting employee morale. The question now is whether dress-down days have become a benefit or burden to the company. Many companies have adopted Friday as a casual day, while others have made casual business attire a full-time policy. Some employees view wearing casual business clothing as an employee benefit. To others, it is a disaster. Both men and women are often confused about what “casual” means and about how to dress casually and still look professional. Casual Fridays that become ‘too casual’ can quickly turn into an HR issue.
Here are a few guidelines when it comes to choosing your attire for Casual Fridays:
DO: Look your best
Leave the yoga pants, baggy sweatshirt and pajama bottoms at home. If you’re unsure whether your attire is work appropriate, ask yourself if you’d wear it while lounging at home binge-watching Netflix on the couch. A good rule of thumb is to never wear anything to work that you would wear relaxing on the sofa at home. Professional attire is designed to help instill confidence and allow you to look your best, so try and keep that in mind when selecting your outfit. And, don’t forget to shower. Even if your wardrobe is relaxed, your grooming shouldn’t be.
DO: Wear jeans
In my day, the only time we ever wore jeans to work was to clean out the storage closets but times have changed. Jeans are now acceptable attire for Casual Fridays. Choose a darker wash of jeans with a fit that mimic dress pants. Very baggy or skinny jeans, jeans with holes in them or those with paint splattered on them look too messy for the workplace and are generally unacceptable.
DO: Wear appropriate shoes
When it comes to shoes, don’t take “casual” too far—the office is never a time for flip-flops or running shoes. You can take a little break from the black pumps, though. Go for a closed-toe flat or causal loafer. And ladies, sandals are totally appropriate, too, as long as they (and your toes!) look nice.
It’s great that companies and employers recognize the benefit in making employees feel relaxed and more at home. However, just don’t take the word “casual” too far. Even on Casual Friday, it’s important for every employee to dress in a way that looks neat and professional. So, if you choose to dress casually on Fridays, or any other day of the week, do it tastefully.