Casual Fridays

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

image-3.php‘Casual Fridays’, a term that is so very misleading. There is about as much ‘casual’ in ‘Casual Fridays’ as there is ‘common’ in ‘common sense’. Do you feel me? This concept must have been invented by a guy who didn’t want to wear a tie to work, or a woman who didn’t want to wear pantyhose.

 If you are working in an establishment where the word ‘casual’ has to be attached to a specific day, and one day only, then do be careful with your fashion choices. There are more rules to ‘Casual Friday’ wear than there is to everyday professional wear. If you are still unsure whether your workplace falls into this category then this may help – If your workplace has banned, considered banning or has removed a ban from social networking and IM sites, then yes it does. If you are eyeing that promotion or thinking about asking for that raise then keep it like Business Mondays.

Think about it, as the owner of a corporate company, are you likely to give people more responsibility if they can’t seem to manage the responsibility of dressing themselves? However will they manage the responsibility of representing you and your organization?

Exactly. Well, HR staff are humans too and they would definitely think twice about promoting someone who’s style speaks louder than the company’s mission statement.

A few general suggestions:


~ Wear clear clean clothing. Casual doesn’t mean sloppy, so yes they also need to be ironed.

~ Appropriate shoes. No sneakers, sandals, flip flops

~ Anything you would otherwise wear to the club. Not only is it inappropriate, but it may give the impression that you don’t get out often.

~ Wear trousers or khakis rather than jeans. You can dress up or down depending on what you pair with them.


~ Jeans in general. Because the rules list for this is way too long. If you must, opt for plain, dark, straight legged denim. 

No extra pockets/ flaps, no writing along the side or the bum, no holes, no bum fading, no thigh fading, no slashes, no fancy colour-of-the-season, no skinny jeans, no tights-that-look-like-jeans, no overly tight jeans, no low riders, no hipsters, no fancy stitching, no 3/4 lengths (men), no capris, no overly faded jeans, no dirty jeans… I told you it was long, and it can still go on.

~ Over accessorizing. Keep it simple. Anything that clangs and bangs keep at home, or in your draw, car or bag if you are heading out later because they annoy your co-workers.

~ Anything you would otherwise wear to a club -Tight, flashy, noisy, trashy, short, revealing, transparent.

A few specific pointers for men:

~ Keep accessories simple.

~ Wear dress shoes. Avoid sneakers, sandals, and flip flops

~ Wear shirts or the company issued button up. You may also wear short sleeved shirts or plain/ unprinted/ minimally monogrammed  button ups but be sure to wear with with a blazer to work or keep a blazer in your office. Be prepared. In the event that you have an unscheduled meeting to attend, you don’t want to look like the only one who isn’t taking his job seriously. 

- No slogan tees. No muscle tees. No obscene belt buckles.

For more tips on men’s dressing see Men’s Style File: update your look.

A few specific pointers for women:

~ Keep makeup simple

~ Keep boob and leg cleavage under wraps

~ Wear a blazer over that strappy or shiny top that you intend to show up at the after work lime wearing later.

~ Wear appropriate shoes. Leave gym trainers, evening shoes, flip flops and sandals either in your car or your bag if you decide to change clothing after work.

~ No short shorts, no peek-a-boo clothing.

~ Feel free to wear khakis. However, I would go out on a limb to say that I have never met a woman who looks ‘great’ in khakis yet. Utilitarian yes, ‘great’ no. I just don’t find it flattering at all to the rear but your choice.

Realize that although your company wants to give the impression that they are with the times, it is still a corporate environment and there are rules, lots of them. They can’t make an exemption for everyone. One person in a pair of jeans may look totally different from other, so much so that one is deemed accetable and one doesn’t, a contributing factor to why some companies have banned wearing jeans on ‘Casual Fridays’ altogether.

Package yourself in a way that your collegues take your contribution to the organization seriously. The last thing you want to do is have your appearance speak louder than your accomplishments. Let your work and work ethic be your signature.



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