Everyone loves Casual Fridays. It’s a chance for employees to kickback, hang up their stuffy suits and ties, and shelve their black pumps for the week. But when does casual cross the line into inappropriate? There are some clothes that should never see the inside of your office because at work, you should always dress for success.
Just Say No’ to T-shirts, Shorts, and Short Skirts
Although casual Friday puts us under the impression that we’re getting a head-start on our weekend, try to avoid t-shirts as much as you can. This is especially true for shirts with silly graphics or lettering on them.
For women, it usually isn’t acceptable to wear a skirt that is above knee-length. If you do decide to wear a skirt, make sure that it is in good taste and won’t lead to any embarrassing accidents. The same goes for shorts on men. Shorts tend to cross the line and turn the office environment into a pool party. Stay classy, even on Fridays, and you could set an example to your colleagues.
Make Sure Your Clothes Fit
Wearing clothes that are either too loose or too tight can be a disaster. Loose clothing leaves you looking slovenly and unprofessional. It gives the impression that you just rolled out of bed and into the office, and that is never acceptable.
Tight-fitting clothing is just as bad, if not worse. Many people regard tight clothing as inappropriate for work, no matter what the occasion is. Wearing tight or revealing clothing also increases the chance of a wardrobe malfunction. You don’t want to be remembered for something like that around the office! Sheer clothing material is not an option at all; your outfit should always look professional and never sloppy.
The Foot of the Matter
Footwear is always a big question mark for casual Fridays. The answer, however, is quite simple. Keep footwear on Fridays comfortable, but avoid exposing your toes as much as possible.
Flip-flops at the office are a big no-no; use them for your beach parties. Socks and sandals could also be considered a little too casual for work. Sneakers, loafers, and other casual shoes are the best options for men.
Women could stick to ballet flats, kitten heels, or open toe wedges. And regardless of gender, make sure your feet are clean! This brings us to the next point which is about maintaining personal hygiene.
Just because it’s Friday, it does not mean that you can arrive at work looking bedraggled. A 5-o’clock shadow, bed-head, untrimmed toenails – these are all a turn-off at work. This is especially true if you work in an office where you need to meet clients on a daily basis.
Whether we like it or not, we are judged by our outward appearances and a lack of personal hygiene at the office can be seen as a lack of seriousness towards work and clients.
All hope is not lost, though. There are still a wide variety of clothes that you can wear on casual Fridays, which are professional but display your unique taste and style.
– Smart Casual for Men
Men should stick to chinos or corduroy pants; these pants are comfortable and also work great in a professional setting. Jeans are also the way to go, as long as they are in a darker shade. Never, ever wear torn jeans; there’s just no excuse for it. A shirt with a collar is an absolute must, and short sleeves are acceptable. When it comes to footwear, comfort and style are the necessities. You don’t want to be known as the guy with the smelly or sweaty feet or the red plastic sandals.
– Smart Casual for Women
For women, well-fitted pants with a boot cut are always classy. Jeans should be dark and muted with a traditional wash. No matter how hip you are, bright denims and acid washed jeans are never good for the office. If you must wear a skirt, make sure that the hem falls no higher than the knee.
Soft, feminine blouses, button-down sweaters, and structured blazers are a perfect way to balance work and fun. Splashes of color are always allowed, but just don’t over-do it.
As mentioned, flat shoes, peep-toe pumps, and wedges are all acceptable; make sure you keep the strappy sandals to a minimum.
And Make Sure to Check Your Company Policy
Of course, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to style. Be sure to check your company policy for any dress codes they may have for Fridays. Use your good sense and take a look at yourself in the mirror as you head to work. Smart-casual is never too casual for the office.