First things first, casual Friday can mean many different things in different workplaces. As such, it is very important to understand the climate of your particular office before fully participating in casual Friday. If you are new to an office, I would avoid dressing for casual Friday for the first week or two to observe your new co-workers and develop a clear understanding of the casual Friday vibe at your new workplace. Secondly, the dress code for casual Friday is not the same as business casual. Confusing, I know, but casual Friday and business casual encompass very different expectations and parameters.
Now that the disclaimers are out of the way and I have released myself of all liability, we can get to the fun stuff that you came here to devour.
Aside from being able to wear jeans on casual Friday (at my office – as long as I don’t have any court appearances scheduled), my FAVOURITE part of casual Friday is taking a few more liberties with my style, particularly with my hair, makeup, accessories, and shoes. [Note: “a few more liberties” does not include bike shorts and a blazer… as cool as this looks on Instagram and regardless of these photos being tagged #businesslady and #officeready, this look will never ever ever be office appropriate… ever.] On casual Friday, the rules are looser, corporate rigidity is slightly relaxed, and the extra fun section of my closet swings its doors wide open.
I almost always reach for jeans on Fridays. Denim can have an air of professionalism, but that professionalism is totally destroyed by ripped knees and intentional bleach stains. The jeans I reach for on casual Friday are not distressed, have no tearing or holes, and are appropriately tailored. A lot of workwear resources advise that any denim worn in the workplace must be a dark rinse. I don’t agree that dark rinse denim is compulsory (especially when light rinse is on trend). What is most important about the denim is that it has a clean silhouette. I love wearing this AGOLDE pair, or this Citizens of Humanity pair, and I’ve been dying to get my hands on these wide-leg Denim Forum beauties. All are good examples of appropriate casual Friday denim for the office that can be part of an overall polished look. I like to pair my jeans with a blouse, tucked in, with a cardigan over top, or a duster for a prettier look.
When it comes to shoes, I choose a pair of pumps or flats that are slightly louder and bolder than my Monday through Thursday footwear. These Jeffrey Campbell flats are a great example (and they are currently in my shopping cart). I am obsessed with the crystal accent but likely wouldn’t wear a crystal accent of this size throughout the regular workweek.
And for the open toe shoe debacle… For work, I very rarely reach for any footwear with an open toe and the only time I would even remotely consider it is on casual Friday. It might be just me but there is something about toes that just doesn’t mix well with a professional office environment. However, if you are forced to air out your lower phalanges at the office, I would gravitate toward a mule like this pair because there is more coverage on the rest of the foot.
Although this shouldn’t need to be said, flip flops are not welcome in the office on any day ending in ‘y’.
Friday is the day where my accessories have their day at work. Throughout the week, I stick to very minimal gold earrings and my wedding and engagement rings. When Friday rolls around, I break out my headbands (I LOVE hair accessories) and larger earrings. While I absolutely adore Lele Sadoughi headbands, I have opted for a more affordable but very similar style by Philocaly. I also love the Namjosh beaded headbands that are at a more cost effective price point than the Lele headbands.
For earrings, the sky is really the limit. I like to add an accent colour to my outfit with my earrings and am a Roxanne Assoulin earring fiend. Her pieces often have two to four colours, are perfectly mismatched, and add some visual diversification to your look with their sparkle. Another favourite are these Jennifer Behr earrings that are more of an investment.
While casual Friday can mean dressing down, it can also mean wearing items that aren’t “casual” per say but items that you wouldn’t typically wear Monday through Thursday. The relaxed rules of casual Friday open up opportunities to experiment and have more fun with your work wardrobe. Come Friday, don’t hesitate to reach for the items that you have been too cautious to wear throughout the week! For me, that means wearing my Chloe glasses pictured above.