If you happen to work for a company where you’re required to wear a suit and tie each day the arrival of ‘Dress Down Friday’ will either fill you with elation or an indescribable feeling of dread. Without the sartorial security of a suit and tie you’re suddenly launched into the perplexing world of smart casual dress that nobody’s ever really one hundred percent sure about. You start asking yourself: ‘Can I get away with wearing that? What about this?’ But, ultimately who really knows?
The whole smart casual dressing for work thing is a minefield, so we’ve made it our mission to break it down for you and guide you through pulling it off successfully. And always remember: just because it’s the end of the week and everyone’s winding down, there’s no excuse to let standards slip.
Always Lean More Towards Smart than Casual
If you’re in any doubt, it’s always better to be more on the smart side than the casual. You’re still working so it’s important to be professional and to reflect that in your attire. This means opting for a well-ironed, collared shirt over a T-shirt and shoes over trainers. Brogues, derbies, loafers, chukkas or desert boots are ideal. It’s also worthwhile investing in a classic 2-button navy blazer which is ideal for throwing on when you have to attend a last minute meeting.
Steer Clear of Outlandish Pieces
Less is definitely more when it comes to smart casual at work. If you’re keen to express your personal style in the work place we’d advise leaving those crocodile skin loafers at home and instead opting for a more subtle approach with either a statement pocket square or an eye-catching pair of socks.
The Denim Debate
Whether or not it’s acceptable to wear jeans in the office is a hotly debated topic. Like any item of clothing, there are jeans and there are jeans. In other words, there are some which you might get away with wearing and some you definitely won’t. But if denim is permitted on smart casual days in your office make sure it’s dark indigo and slim fitting. Jeans with heavy washes, rips, studs and/or any other elaborate accoutrements are a huge no-no and should never be worn in the work place. If denim is a no-no, slim fitting chinos or trousers is navy, grey, khaki or sand are ideal alternatives.
Now we’ve ironed out the dos and don’ts of smart casual office wear, take a look at the following outfit we’ve put together which that ticks all the positive boxes mention and steers clear of the negatives. Smart casual at work sorted!