How do I keep it professional on “Casual Friday”?

When you’re working weekdays in an office, Fridays are awesome.  If your office has a “Casual Friday” policy, Fridays can be even better.  But the words “can be” are key here.  If you’re not careful about planning your Friday outfit, you may find yourself on a slippery slope toward looking like someone who is less professional than he or she truly is.

A good rule of thumb to keep in mind as you plan your “Casual Friday” outfit is to ask yourself if you’d still consider it appropriate if you had to attend a last-minute meeting with a client, company president or CEO.

What to Wear:

Today is “Casual Friday” at my office, so check out some of my colleagues’ looks that reflect the more casual nature of the day, and also demonstrate the professionalism required for an office setting.


I love Renel’s look, above, as the desert-inspired palette of her outfit reflects the hot July weather.  Her blazer is a neutral colour, adding both professionalism and visual interest to her look.  Also, her woven shoes are an interesting take on a more traditional flat, and are completely office-appropriate. Our office is jeans-friendly on Fridays, and if a client were to pop by, Renel could easily roll down her pants and shine in a last-minute meeting.


Lisa’s look, above, is another great way to wear jeans on “Casual Friday”.  Dark denim exudes sophistication and can easily be dressed up.  She’s wearing a classic black blazer to keep the look professional.  Her bright teal pumps would be appropriate in any meeting, and they also represent her unique and fun personality even when she’s in the office.


It’s a hot day in July, so I’m wearing a multi-coloured shift dress that’s versatile enough for the office (above).  Summer dresses can be tricky, as many dresses can cross the line into being unprofessional if they’re too tight, too short or if the straps are too thin. To mix it up and add a casual flare, I’m wearing beige booties rather than pumps. Should a client drop by or if the president wanted to meet, I can easily put on the black blazer I have hanging by my desk to ensure I’m covered enough for a boardroom setting.

What Not to Wear:

Things like racer-back tanks, ripped jeans and flip-flops are generally frowned upon in any office.  However, it can be tempting to let these items creep into your “Casual Friday” office wear if others are sporting them.  It’s important to remember that you’re still responsible for your own career, and a professional look at all times is greatly appreciated by company leadership.

Do you have any tips for ensuring a professional look on “Casual Friday”?

Image credits:; Laine Jaremey.

3 thoughts on “How do I keep it professional on “Casual Friday”?

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