Does your company offer a Casual Friday option in its official dress code? It can be a great way for companies to let their employees relax going into the weekend. Sometimes, you feel even more productive on Casual Fridays when you’re able to relax in your comfier clothes. But what is appropriate for Casual Friday? Before you grab your keys and head to the office on your next Casual Friday, you’ll want to consider a few tips and tricks to make sure you’re still professional and polished.
We’ll cover the ins and outs of the ultimate casual dress code to get you ready to impress the next time you’re chatting weekend plans on your coffee break.
Here’s what companies don’t explain in their official dress codes — Casual Friday really shouldn’t be treated that differently from other days of the week. That is to say, you shouldn’t treat Casual Friday too casually. After all, you still have to dress for the job you want, so dressing with professionalism is still important.
While Casual Friday certainly isn’t the time to be throwing on your favorite weekend sweats or cocktail attire, it is a time to experiment with different pieces of your wardrobe that make you happy and comfortable. It’s an opportunity to infuse your workwear with more personality and style than your Monday through Thursday looks, especially if you find yourself in a work dress or even a suit on most days. After all, doesn’t it sound more appealing to sit at your desk in comfy women's jeans than in a bunching pencil skirt and tights?
When assessing your closet for your next Casual Friday outfit, be on the lookout for comfortable and stylish pieces you can pair for put-together looks.
Let’s explore the clothing items perfect for your next Casual Friday. Take some time to play dress up in your closet and mix and match these styles to find your comfy and casual look. If you’re overwhelmed by the options, choose our favorite standby: the midi dress. It’s modest enough for work, and you can dress it up or down with a blazer or denim jacket and a cute necklace or bangles. To look more professional, a black or navy midi dress is the way to go. If you want to show off your stylish side, wear a patterned midi dress, or even try for a jewel tone, like cobalt blue or royal purple.
What you won’t see on our list? Those items that are just too casual even for Casual Friday, like Hawaiian shirts, leggings, shorts, crop tops, or anything with holes. Save those for the weekend.
From tunic tops to an oversized, untucked women's dress shirt, your top game can go in any direction, as long as you find the right pair of pants to complement the look. Try on a few styles and colors to see what speaks to you. Be playful and casual, and remember that you can always add professionalism to your accessories. So, bring on the white tees!
Many styles of pants can work for Casual Friday as long as you remember to balance more casual styles with a dressy layer, like a patterned cardigan or a pinstripe blazer. Because Casual Friday is meant to be fun, leave your dressiest trousers, particularly tweed or houndstooth, for earlier in the week. In the summer, you can dress up an otherwise casual look with a favorite preppy standby, white jeans.
You can try a pair of skinny jeans or ripped jeans for work as long as you throw on a nice T-shirt, a blazer, and even a neck scarf and nude pumps. The classy layers will balance out the T-shirt and ripped jeans. This styling is perfect for the transition to after-work drinks or dinner—just drape your blazer over your shoulders or leave it at the office!
This category is all about balancing style and comfort. That means you can ditch those pointy-toed pumps that are always giving you blisters—Friday means freedom from all of that! You can elevate a casual outfit like jeans and a T-shirt with a comfy heel, like a wedge or platform. Or, you can follow the style lead of those fashionistas in Soho or Paris and wear sneakers to work. You can pull it off if you’re wearing dress pants or a maxi dress with oh-so-cute white sneakers.
One way to layer for Casual Friday success is with your outerwear, especially when you’re wearing a dress or skirt. Keep your style game on point by pairing your more professional dress or skirt with a leather jacket. Or you can add a professional flair to your casual summer dress with a navy or pinstriped blazer. If your office is notoriously cold (whose office isn’t?), a denim jacket will keep things casual and keep your shoulders away from that pesky HVAC system.
On Casual Friday, your accessory game should be strong. When you’re wearing comfy, casual clothes, your accessories will be the key to an ultimately professional outfit. The right accessory will depend on the rest of the outfit. For example, if your top is already drawing attention to your décolletage, steer clear of a necklace and opt for earrings, like gold hoops or diamond studs. If you’re rocking jeans, a T-shirt, and a blazer, grab a fashion scarf or statement necklace to tie together your ensemble.
Nailing the Casual Friday dress code is all about mixing and matching until you’ve reached that perfect blend of comfy, casual, and professional. With a polished look that transitions from day to night, there’s no need to dash home to change. Just pack some red lipstick for later, and you’ll tackle all that Friday has to throw at you, even if it’s a late-afternoon meeting.