BLOG: Following the Dress Code: Casual Friday

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Although companies often have different policies regarding their office dress code, Friday is often referred to as “Casual Friday” where employees (and employers) are allowed to dress down and sport casual attire.

Here are a few common (and often safe) choices for Casual Friday wear:

Jeans

Jeans are a no-brainer especially for somebody who wore slacks, trousers, skirts or dresses from Monday to Thursday. Jeans are the most common piece of clothing during Casual Fridays. It could be straight, boot cut, flare, low-cut, slim-fit or skinny. Both men and women wear them. In the office setting, wearing a pair of pressed, well-fitting jeans is acceptable – not too loose, or too tight.

Avoid distressed jeans or low-cut pairs that are just too low. Try not to wear jogging pants. Shorts are mostly frowned upon even on Casual Fridays.

Shirts

Most employees trade their crisp button downs and blouses for more comfortable alternatives of polo shirts, turtlenecks, round or v-neck cotton shirts. Some may still opt for collared shirts, but with the sleeves neatly folded for a more laid-back feel. Shirts should be clean and ironed. Women like to add accessories like scarves and necklaces to give the plain shirt more character. Avoid tops that reveal too much skin or that are too tight. Loud and gaudy prints would also raise an eyebrow or two. Tank tops, halter tops, halter tops, strapless or sleeveless tops are allowed if worn with a jacket, blazer or cardigan. Skip shirts with plunging necklines too, unless you’re willing to wear a camisole under it.

Jackets and Vests

Jackets are foolproof ways to make your casual attire more office-friendly and it helps keep you warm! More lightweight alternatives are vests, blazers, cardigans and sweaters.

Skirts and Dresses

The policy with skirts or dresses mainly concerns the length, regardless of the day it was worn. If the hemline is too short, it is usually discouraged. Also, try a sit-down test to check how it will look when you sit. If it goes well past your mid-thigh, pick something else. For women who’d like to wear mini dresses, make it office-friendly by pairing it with tights or leggings.

Shoes

Although you could give your leather shoes or pumps a day off, conservative footwear is advisable. Walking shoes, loafers, dock shoes, boots, sneakers, flats or heels are just some of the shoe styles you can wear. Flip-flops, slippers and open-toe shoes should usually be left at home.

Accessories, Jewelry and Makeup

Women love jewelry and accessories since they add character to one’s ensemble. However, they should be donned in good taste. Limit the visibility of body piercing. Perfumes should also be worn in small quantities, should some of your co-workers be allergic to chemicals.

Makeup should be worn with restraint. Some women tend to go overboard with heavy eye makeup and loud lip color. It’s either one or the other; wear minimal eye makeup with red lipstick while heavily lined or smokey eyes look good with nude-colored lips. Neutral eyeshadow could also prettify a woman’s look.

These are merely guidelines. Upon the first Casual Friday at your new workplace, try to observe the trends that your colleagues are wearing. It might be safer to blend in a bit at first and later, add your personal touches to make your clothes reflect your personality.

HUBMAN ASKS: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE “CASUAL FRIDAY” ATTIRE?