I did a video interview a while back about my advice on what men should wear to work for casual Fridays, but I thought it would be a good idea to expand on this and share my ideas in writing, too. So here are my dos and don’ts for menswear on mufti day.
Remember, you’re still at work
Mufti day means different things at different companies. It’s important to know your workplace’s policy and be respectful of (and adherent to) it. Admittedly, I lean towards the more conservative, ‘business casual’ end of the casual-Fridays spectrum. After all, you’re still at work. You’re still making an impression with your employer – and as a representative of your employer. And you still want to look good, right? Sometimes – and we’ve all seen it – casual can be too casual, and casual should never mean sloppy.
When it comes to what not to wear, I recommend that you save the gym clothes for the gym and for the weekends. No trackies, hoodies, or dirty trainers. And it’s a good idea to save the Havianas for the beach.
Don’t wear those poorly fitting jeans that hang off your backside. Clothing should not be fraying or have any holes in it. The workplace wardrobe should not include the favourite T-shirts with the questionable sayings or the rock’n’roll icons. (AC/DC won’t mind if you don’t wear it till Saturday night.)
I won’t tell you not to wear jeans; if jeans are OK with your employer, then they’re OK with me. But they should be nice, clean, well-fitting, dark-denim jeans. Again, there should be no holes, and the material shouldn’t look distressed. Denim doesn’t do it for you? You can’t go wrong with khakis or chinos.
My advice for shirts: Tuck them in. I’m not a fan of wearing your shirt untucked, especially when you’re at work. Polo shirts or button-down shirts are great options – and you can certainly have some fun with colours and patterns.
Finally, dress your working man’s feet in a pair of proper casual shoes. I’d discourage the big, clunky, Dr. Martens-type boot. And again, it’s probably a good idea to avoid your everyday trainers (you can wear them to work, just not at work), but there are some perfectly stylish and acceptable sneakers on the market – and they’ll go well with your Mr Clean Jeans look. Slip-ons or lace-ups, a nice pair of leather shoes is ideal; you’ll still look very smart in the office. Opt for a nice pair of brown brogues, for example.
One last tip: iron! You don’t want to look like you’ve just rolled out of bed (even if you have!). It’s an easy way to still achieve a crisp, professional look while still being casually comfortable. Everyone looks best when well-pressed!
Cheers for reading. H