5 Tips for Appropriate Casual Friday Dress

By | Jan 5, 2009

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We all love Fridays, especially if our employer allows us to dress down.  Some people, however, take Casual Friday a bit too far.  Here’s some tips to appropriate dress on Casual Friday.

  1. Casual doesn’t mean unprofessional.  Avoid wearing clothing with advertising or messages that are inappropriate for the workplace.  In doubt whether it is appropriate or not? Just don’t wear it.
  2. Clothing should be clean and in good repair.  Make sure your clothes are clean and wrinkle free (preferably pressed), and free from tears, missing buttons, hanging hems, etc.
  3. Always check your company’s policy on what is appropriate for Casual Friday.  Jeans are allowed at some offices, but not at others.
  4. Don’t show any more skin than you would do on a normal workday.  Bare midriff’s and sleeveless shirts are just as taboo on Casual Friday as they are the rest of the week.
  5. Flipflops are never appropriate office wear unless you’re having a beach party at work.  Appropriate shoes for standing on your feet all day should still be worn to the office.

Does your office have a Casual Friday?  What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve seen on casual dress days?

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21 Comments so far
  1. Barbara Swafford - Blogging Without A Blog (3 comments) January 6, 2009 12:12 am

    Hi Jodith – Great post. I haven’t worked for a company that had casual Fridays but I’ve seen many who do. My greatest concern is when I go to the bank on a Friday and not only have they dressed down, but some of the employees appear to be ultra relaxed. I don’t like the thought of someone being “casual” about my money.

  2. Jodith (189 comments) January 6, 2009 3:58 pm

    *laughs* It’s always a jar when I see people dressed down at the bank. It’s an industry where you expect everyone to be dressed to the nines. Still, it’s nice for their employees to have a day away from the spit and polish.

  3. Chicago breast cancer (1 comments) January 7, 2009 6:35 am

    For some companies like Google everyday is casual Friday. I saw a news article about it and apparently Google’s employees not only have the option of wearing basically what ever they want but also have a chef on duty 24/7, massage parlors and completely customizable offices. Sounds pretty nice. Regards!

  4. Jodith (189 comments) January 9, 2009 5:32 pm

    I worked for a company like that back in Houston (BMC Software – if anyone’s looking for a job, they’re a great place to work). I loved working there. Still, even if the environment is very casual, if you want to be on the career track, it’s a good idea to be a bit more professional in your casual dress.

  5. alan (1 comments) January 31, 2009 8:59 pm

    In many more companies these days its like casual friday everyday. I know its like that where I work.

  6. Jodith (189 comments) February 2, 2009 9:12 am

    Yes, many companies have gone for casual work attire, so essentially these tips would apply every day in those companies *laughs*. The company I currently work for is a casual dress company, which makes me ecstatically happy.

  7. Joseph Richard (1 comments) July 27, 2009 4:43 am

    I hate to sound petty, but I hate when you people use the word “appropriate” or it’s other version “inappropriate.” That word is so irratating. I hear it too much from formal settings, career centers, human resources, corporate environments, consulting firms, etc. Enough is enough. I remember one time when I went to a class on job interviews, when the topic of choice of clothers came up, that word was used between 20-30 times. Wow.

  8. symon sawe (1 comments) July 27, 2009 4:50 am

    Ok,many companies have gone for casual work attire, so essentially these tips would apply every day in those companies *laughs*.The company Icurrently work for is acasual business company,which makes me ecstaticaly happy.

  9. esther (1 comments) July 27, 2009 6:32 am

    I love companies that permit their employees’ to dress casually, everyday or fridays and i also love companies that permit their employees’ to dress on suit, it nice, i love the both of them its just that i prefer dressing on suit to the office to casual wears although i dress caually to the office.

  10. MCarol (1 comments) July 27, 2009 7:43 am

    Supervisor here! Here at work…Friday’s have become so casual and its employees so unpredictable (Not just our employees…the staff from sister companies) that business management hesitates doing business on Fridays for the sake of presenting an unprofessional look to customers. Overall customers impression of a company and its employees makes or breaks a sale or a contract. That’s why we have created rules in the Employee Handbook, and yes I am in full agreement with your Casual Fridays Dressing Tips! Thanks Much for that article, as I have posted it at the water fountain! On a side note…on the first Friday of the month our office has a THEME CASUAL FRIDAY…Hawaiian, 1920, 50’s, Western, etc. Top leaguers usually dont do anything too extreme so they still look presentable and can make a quick change to handle customer care.

  11. Richard (1 comments) July 27, 2009 8:16 am

    I failed to discover when employers became sponsors of the fashion industry. Employees should be comfortable and neat. Jeans are acceptable if clean and in good repair. Productivity has never been improved because an employee is wearing a coat and tie or lovely dress and hose. I think the fashion industry has pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes for too long. We aren’t in high school anymore.

  12. Susie Arena (1 comments) July 27, 2009 9:59 am

    In the article above, you say that you should not go “sleeveless”????? Can someone please explain this to me. What could possibly be wrong with exposing your ARMS???? Michelle Obama does and people praise her — they rant and rave about how nice her arms look. So again, can someone please explain this — sounds absolutely ludicrous to me!!

  13. Jodith (189 comments) July 30, 2009 3:19 pm

    Wow…look at all these comments on an old post *laughs*. Let me take these one at a time:

    Joseph: Yes, the word gets annoying with it’s repetition, but it is, after all, the appropriate word choice.

    Symon: Many companies have gone to a casual dress environment. I love it when I can dress down. However, casual dress doesn’t mean no dress code.

    MCarol: Thanks for the kudos! As you say, employee dress can be quite unpredictable without good guidelines in place. I’m glad your company has set some standards. I love the idea of a theme Friday. What a great way to boost morale.

    Richard: Unfortunately, whether or not dress standards at work affect productivity, they do affect the image of the company to visitors. The Supreme Court has long upheld the right of a company to set dress standards in the workplace. So, like it or not, we have to meet those standards.

    Susie: Perhaps I should clarify. I was talking more about shirts that have a deep cut in from the shoulder. A normal, conservative sleeveless blouse or shirt should be acceptable. Unless, of course, your company dress code forbids it. Some do. Always follow company dress guidelines.

  14. Stacie (1 comments) January 18, 2010 10:00 am

    During the week I wear slacks or a comfy dress. On friday i usually wear a nice shirt with jeans and no heels!
    .-= Stacie´s last blog ..Comparing Checking Accounts =-.

  15. Zee and Co (1 comments) April 30, 2010 4:38 am

    Dress down days are great. If nothing else it means that is it the end of the week and the weekend is here. I think that a dress dwon day once a week really helps the office – it brings a great air of informality which helps to break down some office politics and barriers … great post !!!

  16. Travel Harriet (1 comments) June 7, 2010 6:09 am

    Thanks so much for these wonderful tips,many people don’t know what to put on Fridays.Hope to they will style up with this information.

  17. Jodith (189 comments) June 9, 2010 10:16 am

    I have to admit to being quite amazed at how popular this post seems to be. I originally wrote it in response to one reader’s question, and it actually hit the #1 spot on Yahoo one day. Even all this time after writing it, this remains one of the more popular posts on the site. Thanks for your comment!

  18. Salvia Divinorum (1 comments) July 1, 2010 10:03 am

    I wish my boss would let us dress down one day of the week :(

  19. Kelly Watson@Handbag Boutique (2 comments) August 15, 2010 1:41 am

    Thanks a lot for the tips! I agree almost with everything, especially that casual doesn’t mean unprofessional. Some people in casual look more professional than the others wearing business style.

  20. Donald Bautista (1 comments) August 30, 2010 8:23 pm

    Thanks for the tips. My sister didn’t listen me to wear a appropriate clothes for work. Instead of listening me I told her to read your tips.
    Donald Bautista´s last blog post ..Getting A Reliable Company That Will Ensure Professional Window Cleaning

  21. Aidan (1 comments) December 12, 2012 8:15 am

    I would wish for short pants suit for all guys!!I dont mind collar shirt(as long as its not full long sleeved) and leather shoes,but long pants just gets in the way,ditto for jeans.Short pants provide ease of movement and sufficient ventilation for the legs,without any improper exposure too(at most it exposes just the same as a typical skirt or dress allowed on working women these days)

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