First, let’s set the record straight, you are still in the workplace so the term “Casual” Friday is a misnomer. Unless you work in a very laid back tech environment, Casual Friday just means slightly less formal than Monday – Thursday.
If you are required to wear a suit most days of the week, then on Casual Friday, you can get away with swapping your suit pants for jeans (this is true for most workplaces on the West Coast, other regions in the U.S. might have more strict standards – see if denim is an acceptable for your office dress code). If you can’t wear denim, then you might want to try to wear some army green military inspired pants.
Similarly, you can also make the change to denim on your upper half by swapping your blazer for a denim jacket. To still maintain a professional appearance you will want to have on dress pants and heels on your lower half.
So what can’t you wear on Casual Friday? A general rule is that you can’t wear anything you would change into to get comfortable at home, such as:
- Sweat pants – Even if your productivity increases proportionally to your comfortability, sweats are not going to be appropriate for the workplace. Yes, this is true even if you wear your “dress” sweats a.k.a. the ones without holes in it
- Yoga pants and other workout gear – Don’t worry a game of hoops is not going to break out during your next conference call and your co-workers do not want to see you in your shaky Downward Dog position so leave the workout gear in your gym bag.
- T-shirts – This can actually work on a Casual Friday if you pair it with a blazer or other tailored jacket. Just make sure the t-shirt doesn’t say anything inappropriate like, “Who Farted?”
- Jeans with rips and tears – No matter how trendy this look is, it may be too sexy for the office, unless you need a little boost during your performance review, but the flash of thigh will not make up for the fact that the earliest you can get to the office is 8:07 everyday.
- Flip-flop sandals – This shoe is also known as the official shoe of the under-achiever or at least that is what people will think if they have to look at your chipped toe nail polish during the morning meeting (unless it’s Joe from Accounting – you’re pretty sure he’s turned on by it).