I consider myself lucky to work in an office with relaxed dress code. Dressy jeans are cool, polished tee-shirts are cool, modest sundresses are cool - which makes dressing for work a breeze most days, even though I like to err on the dressier side of casual.
That being said, I've worked in offices where the dress code was less laid-back, too, and some of those offices had a "casual Friday" dress code policy that I avoided out of terror and confusion. But just because I lived in perpetual fear doesn't mean you should!
Participating in casual Friday is a great way to break out of your work-wear fashion rut and show off a bit of your 'off-duty' style. And, let's be honest - there's 100% nothing wrong with being overdressed, but it's no fun to be stuck in a button-up when everyone around you is chilling hard in their casual-Friday-sanctioned tee shirts.
So, what does casual Friday dress entail? It depends, honestly.
The best resource for this would be your company's employee handbook or dress code, which should list what is and is not allowed on casual Friday. Another good resource would be your team leader, who can probably give you the skinny on what they expect of you.
Also, lowkey it never hurts to abstain for a week or two and observe how your peers interpret the dress code. This will give you an idea of what flies, what doesn't, and how that can translate to your wardrobe and personal style.
Until then, here are my suggestions for goof-proof casual Friday outfits for casual, formal, and creative offices, AKA fitting for all your various office needs:
Casual Friday Outfit for Casual Office
A lot of business casual offices have casual Friday policies that allow you to wear items like jeans and open-toed heels, and I am firmly on team "live your life" - wear jeans on casual Friday if your office lets you!
Just stick to darker washes without a lot of embellishments or - ahem - rips, no matter how trendy or stylish ripped jeans are rn. (Unless your office is cool with it -- maybe you work at a fashion publication? -- in which case...go for it!)
And while double denim can be divisive, I actually super love this look for an office, especially when paired with feminine accessories and classic touches, like nude nail polish, a red lip, and a couple of dainty layered bracelets.
If you're worried about wearing a denim shirt and jeans to work, you can always swap the blouse for a button-up, or throw on a light cardigan, sweater, or blazer.
Casual Friday Outfit for Creative Office
Creative offices generally have a more lax dress code than their conservative counterparts, but the expectations are higher than that of casual offices.
That being said, you are probably more likely to get away with trendier or edgier pieces in a creative office as long as they are appropriate and modest - meaning you can try something bold like flashy statement earrings or a sassy (but tame!) statement tee. Just make sure you don't have any important client meetings that day!
I especially love the look of regular workwear like a textured pencil skirt and cardigan paired with a statement tee. When paired with a couple of structured accessories and choice beauty items, you have a look that won't look out of place in an office or on a fashion blog.
Casual Friday Outfit for Conservative Office
Even the most conservative offices may have a casual Friday policy, and depending on what is and is not allowed by your company's dress code, this one can be the toughest to nail.
A good rule of thumb for stricter dress codes is to swap out one component of your normal work uniform for a more casual (but still polished) piece, like the striped tee-shirt shown above.
A striped tee normally is more of a boozy brunch staple than a workwear piece, but when paired with tailored cropped pants in a conservative color and a feminine but structured blazer, the striped tee takes on a cool, creative editor vibe.
Add some luxe-looking accessories, like a textured leather bag and a pair of patent leather oxfords, and you've got a look that says, I'm a casual ladyboss, nbd.
What do you think?
What's your go-to for casual Friday? Would you wear any of these looks? What adulting scenarios do you have a difficult time dressing for? Let me know in the comments below!