Friday is surely everyone's favourite day of the working week, and when Dress-Down Fridays come along it’s an even better start to the weekend - not only are you suitably ready for after-work drinks, but there's also the opportunity to put across a bit of your off-duty personality to colleagues. The only issue is knowing what to wear - how casual is too casual? Can you get away with that 'hilarious' graphic tee? Will you be judged on the basis of your trainers? To help you navigate these murky waters, here's a guide to making Dress-Down Fridays work for you. Like a boss.
Dress-Down Fridays (henceforth to be referred to as DDF) are all about keeping it casual, but never slouchy, messy or grungy. Work casual and weekend casual are completely different beasts and there’s a fine between getting it right and going off-piste. Stick to the following DDF uniform rules for best results:
- Jogging bottoms are strictly verboten.
- Jeans are fine, but avoid ripped or bleached styles and stick to classic indigo, grey or black straight leg denim.
- Slouchy sweaters are a no, but laid-back knits work well - try a simple crew neck or v-neck jumper over a plain t-shirt.
Swap your traditional plain, smart work shirts for something a bit more casual, like a relaxed 'denim-look' chambray shirt or a shirt with a slightly more adventurous colour or print, like paisley.
- Chinos are the ultimate smart-casual staple, making them perfect for DDF - chinos in burgundy, dark green or navy blue are a good choice if you want to inject some colour into your look, without going overboard.
Leave your suit jacket on the bench (metaphorically) and instead try wearing a colourful cotton blazer - pastel colours are big this season, but a bold blazer in red, blue or green works equally well.
- Graphic tees are fine, but avoid anything with a potentially offensive slogan or design. If you can't decide whether a t-shirt is in good taste or not, give it the Mum Test™: would you feel comfortable wearing it at your mum's? If not, it's probably not right for work either.
On Dress-Down Fridays, you can afford to be a bit more adventurous with your choice of accessories, and they're the perfect way to show some personality.
The watch - You might usually wear a classic metallic link watch, but on DDF, why not mix things up with a retro-style colourful digital watch, or a kitsch watch with a leather strap?
The belt - Ditch the classic black leather in favour of a more casual woven belt - how colourful you go is up to you.
The shoes - You can get away with trainers on DDF, but it's best to stick to suede or leather styles (like those from Hudson or Fred Perry), rather than sporty hi-tops or baseball styles. Alternatively, strike a good smart-casual balance with a pair of suede desert boots or boat shoes.