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Advice / Succeeding at Work / Break Room

Your Guide to Casual Friday

TGIF! You’ve survived the first week at your new job, the weekend is on its way, and thanks to your company's Casual Friday policy, it’s time to trade in those suits and heels for something a little more comfortable.

But, given that “casual” is defined a little differently anywhere you go, what exactly does an appropriate Friday dress code entail? We’ve got you covered with some basic guidelines, plus four looks you’ll love to try.

Do Your Research

For starters, check out your employee handbook to see if there are explicit policy guidelines. Are open-toed shoes allowed? What about sundresses or jeans? When in doubt, ask a co-worker what people usually wear to get a sense for what’s appropriate.

Also note that just because you can wear something doesn’t mean you should. That means save your t-shirts for the gym and skip out on the flip-flops and graphic tees. Remember, you should dress for the job you want, not the job you have—even on Fridays.

Don the Denim

Jeans are the classic Casual Friday staple, but there are still some guidelines to keep in mind when picking out the perfect pair. Look for dark or black jeans and stick to traditional washes—unless you work in a creative environment, the office isn't the place to experiment with bold colors or acid washes, no matter how trendy they may be.

Wide leg trousers in a denim finish are a great option if you're looking to maintain a super-professional feel, and boot-cut jeans look fabulous on everyone while remaining totally work-appropriate. If your office is more relaxed in nature, you can try a lighter wash or looser fit, just be sure to pair with a structured, professional top. The same rules apply for skinny jeans (as long as they're not too tight).

(And if jeans aren't your thing—linen pants, cotton skirts, and dresses can be perfect for a tailored, casual outfit.)

style 1 | style 2 | style 3 | style 4

Choose Your Shoes

When it comes to shoes, don’t take “casual” too far—the office is never a time for flip-flops or sneakers (even if they’re cute). You can take a little break from the black pumps, though: Try bright ballet flats, open-toed pumps, wedges, or kitten heels, which provide a sophisticated take on casual footwear. At some offices, strappy sandals are totally appropriate, too, as long as they (and your toes!) look nice—think dark leather or pretty embellishments.

coral flats | black and white kitten heels | ballet flats | strappy sandals | wedges

Top It Off

The beauty of Casual Friday is that it allows you to express more of your individuality than your typical work-week wear. So when it comes to tops and accessories, don’t be afraid to go for unique colors and patterns. (Do keep it classy, though—pass on the tanks or anything sheer or low-cut.) A soft, feminine blouse or a structured blazer over a bright print tank are both great options. Or, add chunky jewelry and a patterned scarf to a solid top for a fun-but-professional look.

knit top | chambray shirt | white blazer | coral top

Looks We Love

Once you know what you’re up for, you can start combining pieces from your work and weekend wardrobe to create the ultimate Casual Friday style! Check out these looks for outfits that perfectly blend casual with chic:

Look #1

dark jeans | blazer | tank top | necklace

Look #2

blue blazer | floral top | boyfriend jeans | gold chain bag | watch | orange flats

Look #3

bangles | heels | blouse | cropped trousers

Look #4

bracelets | flats | jean jacket | khaki skirt

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