Keep Calm & Love Dress Down Friday

That #FridayFeeling, #Friyay, #TGIF, #FridayFeels - however you choose to ‘Hashtag’ it, for most in an office based setting it tends to include Dress Down or Casual Friday. 

A great opportunity to ditch the suit and tie for the last working day of the week, and welcome the weekend with your favourite pair of ripped jeans and baggy t-shirt, Right?! Unfortunately not! Whilst weekends are for relaxing, a ‘relaxed’ Friday dress code is frequently misinterpreted.  

For some corporate Employers it’s the most dreaded day of the week. Some people like to use it is an invitation for the ‘freedom’ to express themselves through ‘Crop tops and leggings - because I work out ’, ‘My Favourite Outrageously branded brightly coloured Tee’ and ‘I wear these pizza-stained joggers on Sunday in front of the TV’. 

To help avoid any awkward Friday faux pas, we’ve put together a few tips for Employers and Employees to consider when Friday is looming:

Employer Tips

Tip # 1 Friday Fashion Policy - Come up with a policy that clearly states what is appropriate/inappropriate. Put out a questionnaire to your team to gather a general consensus of what they deem fit and give examples of what is acceptable. It's worth bearing in mind at this point, is your team going to be interacting with clients on a Friday and if so, is casual Friday attire OK for the meeting? It might be helpful for everyone to have a clear understanding of what's acceptable when the team are customer facing as opposed to an office based day. 

Tip #2 Set the Trends - As an employer or if you’re in a senior role, it is not only important to lay down the law on what is appropriate to wear in the business place with guidelines, but to abide by this yourself - Consider your brand attributes and what level of dress is expected from your business and whilst Friday is an opportunity to share some 'personality' rules still apply, albeit more relaxed. Likewise, if you are aiming to climb the career ladder consider making yourself stand out by dressing for the role you would like to achieve. An outfit can also speak a thousand words.

Tip #3 Fashion Police – You don’t need to have sirens and a badge, but ensuring staff abide by the Casual Friday rules won’t do any harm. Over time you will get rule breakers, but if you set forfeits or consequences your team will know you mean business. 

Employee Tips

Tip #1 Think Smart Casual – It may be Friday but it’s not quite the weekend yet - you’ve still got work to do! Think about what you usually wear in your work environment and how it makes you feel. A suit paired with a shirt for men or women instantly embodies a professional notion. With this in mind try soft tailoring or crisp contemporary shirts a little removed from the conventional mid week staple. High street stores such as Zara, Cos and Whistles have great range of current trend smart clothing for all price points. If you are more of a traditionalist, try M&S, Reiss or Next.

Tip #2 Personal Flare – Your own personal flare could be the colour you wear, the accessories you pair your outfit with or something different from the normal corporate wear.

Tip #3 - Stay clear of sheer!  - Unless you’ve partnered your sheer top with suitable undergarments (i.e. camisoles & t-shirts) – if you can see through it your colleagues will see through it too! Keep skin bearing to a minimum, no crop tops, vests, shorts and definitely no strappy tops! The office may be sweltering but you’re not on holiday. If your office tends to be on the hotter side, wear lightweight fabrics with a high cotton or linen content.

Tip #4 Friday Uniform – Take the stress out of deciding what to wear by buying some staple items; e.g. a smart Blazer, Blouse/Shirt and some Trousers/Skirt that you keep for wearing every Friday. If you like to mix it up pair together a couple of looks that you rotate fortnightly. Wearing uniform and suits every day of the week is a more efficient way of deciding what to wear, so why not channel your inner Steve Jobs and save time by setting an outfit routine for Fridays too.

Tip #5 Plain & Simple – If you’re not a keen Fashionista there’s nothing stopping you from just removing your tie or blazer for that final weekday. It’ll save time, money and fuss – simple!