Anyone can get dressed up and glamorous but it is how people dress on their days off that is the most intriguing.’ Words from fashion designer Alexander Wang that could easily apply to dress down Friday.
Exposed feet, vest tops, provocative statements on t-shirts – yes, many of us use the last day of the week to indirectly tell our colleagues a thing or two about ourselves.
Dress down Friday is perennially popular, with employers seeing it as a way to relax their more formal dress code at the end of the week. Around since the 90s, the policy grew among more traditional companies in response to the wave of dotcom and technology companies with their jeans and t-shirt bedecked employees.
However, all is not always easy when deciding what to wear at the end of the week. As summer approaches, the risk of making a ‘fashion faux pas’ increases as people start to peel the winter layers away and dress for hotter weather.
On top of this, surveys reveal that one in ten of us see dress down Friday as the most stressful day of the week. One in four is late for work thanks to indecision about what to wear and nearly half of us spend more time on hair and grooming on a Friday compared to other days of the week.
To help you dress down for summer and reduce the pressures of wardrobe searching on a Thursday night or Friday morning, here are our top 6 ‘dress down disasters’ to avoid at all costs:
- Skimpy outfits
As Coco Chanel said: “A girl should be two things, classy and fabulous”.
If you want to show these qualities, then keep your night time outfits away from the 9 to 5. Like it or not, many people relate clothes like this to social settings rather than work ones, so don’t be surprised if they struggle to see you in as professional a way as they otherwise would, if that’s your choice of office wear. And that applies to the boys as well as the girls.
Follow Chanel’s maxim by leaving more to the imagination. Boob tubes, strapless dresses and low cut tops have their place, but we’d say it isn’t usually at work. For men, the same goes for shorts or vest tops.
- Baggy t-shirts
Relaxing your look is one thing. Looking as if you’ve grabbed the first thing in the wardrobe before leaving the house is another.
Baggy t-shirts belong firmly outside of work, probably to ‘feet up on the sofa’, DIY and garden days at home. If you want to wear a t-shirt at work we’d always recommend a fitted one.
- Ripped jeans
Darker, smarter and well fitting jeans are more suited to the office than the kind you might have worn as a student. We know how comfortable and well, just ‘worn in’ your oldest and favourite jeans can be, but we’d keep them for the weekend and holidays.
- Sports tops
Work isn’t the football ground or the pub. There’s a time and place to show your sporting allegiances but coming into the office looking as if you’re going to start a tribal chant any second probably isn’t a good idea.
- OTT slogans on tops
Wearing a t-shirt with an outrageous comment across the front may seem a bit of a giggle, but this can offend. Being yourself with friends and family is one thing, but plastering a crude joke on your top that everyone around you has to be confronted with, throughout the day, isn’t the best way to win respect.
- Flip flops
Who likes to spend a day in the office staring at someone’s bare feet or hearing the squeak of flip flops around the room? Not us. Unless you’re a swimming pool attendant or lifeguard your colleagues are unlikely to want to see your hairy toes and fungal toenails.
While more foot supportive sandals may be acceptable in some workplaces, exposed feet are generally a big no-no. Men in flip flops, go home and get changed…