Dressing Down at Work: What Does Casual Friday Really Mean?
When you work in an office, the attire will likely be business professional or business casual. This means slacks, button downs, blouses, and blazers. Of course, some offices have one exception to this rule: Casual Friday!
If you are new to the professional world or beginning to work in the office for the first time post-covid, you may be wondering: what does casual Friday ~ really ~ mean? Hint: it doesn’t mean it’s time to break out the shorts and flip flops.
If you aren’t sure of your office’s vibe yet, picking out the perfect casual outfit can be intimidating. Casual days are an exciting opportunity to express your style and personality at work. However, it’s still a work day first and foremost. The last thing you want is to come off as unprofessional!
Every office has its own dress code and unique office culture, so everyone’s work wardrobe will be a bit different. But, there are some universal rules to office-wear that are applicable across the board. So, here’s CCN guide to making the most out of your one day of dress freedom without crossing office boundaries!
The Do’s and Dont’s of Dressing Down for Work
When in Doubt: Go the Professional Route
It isn’t likely that anyone will call out an outfit for being too professional (you’ll know what’s normal for your office). But, breaking dress code or going too casual can cause some conflict. So, when in doubt, choose a dressier option. If it’s your first casual Friday in the office, lean toward more business and less casual so you know you won’t be crossing any lines on your first week.
This is also a great option if you have important meetings scheduled for a Friday (I know, but it happens). You can attend your meetings still professional and prepared!
Simple Blouse or Tee
Wear Something You Feel Comfortable In
If you are able to dress a little more down, make sure you put comfort first! Definitely not sweats or leggings, but an oversized sweater or a can be a great compromise between professional and comfy! Another comfortable option is matching some comfy (def stretchy) work slacks with a cute chunky sneaker and top. Show off your personality by adding a casual substitute to your typical work gear.
You’ll be looking so stylish, no one will even guess how easy putting this outfit together really was!
Let your personality shine through!
Finally, you don’t have to ignore the trendy pieces in your closet just because you are going to work! Of course, save your crop tops for the weekend, but its totally possible to keep up with the hottest trends while being completely work appropriate! For example, match a pair of square-toed heels with a wide leg jean and button down top, or dress up your Chelsea boots with a blazer on top!
Light Wash Jeans
Trendy Heels or Boots
Button Down Top
There are also some don'ts for dressing down at work (we've all seen that episode of The Office).
Again, everyone's (real life) office will have a different dress code, but typically the don'ts mean leaving behind the ripped jeans, shorts, and leggings. You'll probably want to stay away from cropped tops and tanks, and flip flops too.
Finding the perfect balance between office and casual can take time, but the more time you spend in your office, the more confidence you will have in rocking those casual Friday outfits! Your fits will be professional - and show off your style too!