Casual Fridays have been around for a long time now, yet plenty of confusion abounds when it comes to what actually men should wear on a Friday to go to work. The confusion comes from the difficulty of exactly defining what ‘casual' means, often people interpret casual clothing as what they would generally wear during weekends or holidays, but when it comes to the workplace, your weekend casual wear may not exactly be ‘kosher.' This article attempts to provide some helpful tips on what constitutes "Friday dressing" for men...
When in doubt...?
Check back with your company's dress code. Most companies include rules on dressing as part of their human resources' policies, some going to the extent of having very ‘specific' dress codes for men and women, for each day of the week. Play it safe.
- Khaki or cotton twill trousers or dark-colored chinos that are neatly ironed are a ‘good bet' for any Friday.
- Another all-time favorite is to wear a good pair of jeans, no holes, dirt or faded patches though.
- For trousers, the colors you can never go wrong with - black, beige, olive green or tan.
- Pair your casual trousers or jeans with polo shirts or t-shirts with collars.
- You can also wear casual shirts, plain, pinstriped or with small checks, keeping the colors light in contrast to your trousers.
- Avoid shirts made of flannel or plaid, though some offices may allow plaids or flannels that are not too colorful or come in garish patterns.
- No shirts with bright or gaudy color combinations or wild prints! Plain or soft shades are the ideal choice (you can wear pink, if you like it).
- When it comes to shoes, stick with casual loafers or leather shoes, no sandals or flip flops ever. Also, if the company management is okay with it, you can wear sports shoes, especially with denim. However, make sure your sneakers are clean, without holes and are preferably white. Other great alternatives are casual shoes made in suede or boots.
- Follow the leader - take a look at what your boss and his boss are wearing. You can never go wrong by following the same styles and looks as the senior management in your company. What this means, however, is that if you're bosses dress formally even on Fridays, then you need to do the same or at a minimum, keep your look business-casual.
Of late, more and more employers are putting their foot down on Friday dressing, given the fact that in the absence of a solid definition of Friday dressing, employees have taken Friday dressing to the limits. Part of it also stems from the age-disparity in the workforce. Young professionals tend to be a bit more daring when it comes to their wardrobes, whereas older employees, who may also be occupying senior positions in the company, frown on outfits which include capris or Bermuda shorts and expect a more sober and formal style of dressing.
While the debate on what constitutes casual Friday dressing continues, the men out there cannot go wrong by following the fashion tips discussed in this article. After all, you're headed in to work, not a casual stroll through the nearest park.