Many companies have a “dress down Friday” policy, in which employees can wear more casual clothes to work. However, even that can have a dress code. There are still limits on what kind of clothes employees can wear or the extent to which casual wear is considered appropriate.
An office is a professional setting, so wearing shorts or tattered jeans is reasonably unwelcome there. But that doesn’t have to make your fashion choices feel restricted. There are many ways to stylize basic workwear, such as the addition of accessories.
So here are some fun accessories you can add to your Friday casual work attire:
1. Printed Tote Bag
A printed tote bag will instantly elevate the look of your plain outfit. Go for an eye-catching print, like floral or hand-painted designs.
Aside from a casual wristwatch, bangles can adorn your wrists beautifully, too. Wear at least one around each wrist, and your basic outfit can emit a simple Bohemian vibe.
3. Printed Scarf
Even if it’s summer, there’s still a reason to wear a scarf, thanks to your office’s AC. You can wear it around your neck or drape it over your shoulders like a shawl. If you’re having a bad hair day, you can also wrap it around your head. Or, if your plain bag needs more life, you can wrap the scarf around the handle. Scarves are a true fashion hack item, as they can have multiple functions, including a top if you’re daring.
A pantyhose is good for both formal and casual days. But you must keep it in a neutral shade, even if you’re dressing down. A bright yellow or red pantyhose may look stylish, but it may catch too much attention and thus look a little improper inside an office. The same is the case for a pattered pantyhose. So choose your everyday shade, and make sure it complements your casual dress or skirt. If it has tiny snags, cover them with clear nail polish. It will prevent the snag from running and spreading down your leg.
5. Travel or Random Souvenirs
Who says souvenirs can only stay in the house? Besides a fridge magnet, there are more types of souvenirs, which can go along with any outfit. Some novelty souvenir stores sell key chains and stickers that you can put on your purse. They may also offer patches that you can sew to your plain shirt or canvas bag. If you like to customize your sneakers, the patches and stickers can work great as shoe accessories, too. Souvenirs worn as a fashion accessory shows off your outgoing personality, which may spark conversations with colleagues you haven’t interacted with before.
6. Briefcases or Portfolios
For guys who struggle a little with fashion, you don’t necessarily need to update your wardrobe. Carrying a stylish briefcase or portfolio alone can make a noticeable difference. If your tastes are on the sleek, classy side, choose a leather portfolio or briefcase in a neutral color. Otherwise, go for a more casual material, like denim. Try to avoid your everyday backpack that has seen better days. Replacing that with a briefcase or portfolio will make you look more mature, professional, and of course, fashionable.
Of course, the classic accessory will always be jewelry. But for the sake of style, avoid costume or oversize jewelry. Keep them low-key but stunning. Examples of such are stud or small hoop earrings, charm bracelets, and pendant necklaces. Simple jewelry tends to be more classy, even for a Friday night out.
8. Designer Sling Bag
If you’re not a tote kind of girl, you may like a sling bag more. A bucket bag with a cross-body sling can offer the same storage capacity as a tote bag but is smaller and easier to carry. Avoid counterfeit designer brands, and choose high-quality but affordable brands instead.
Bonus Tip: What Not to Wear
Depending on your office dress code, there might be some garments or accessories that you’re not allowed to wear. So before choosing your outfit and accessories, ensure that you won’t be breaking any rules. Also, mind the texts or graphics on your tees if you’re planning to wear them. There might be words or images there that are inappropriate in a professional setting.
If you want to wear a necklace that runs down your chest, avoid wearing a top with a plunging neckline. The chain or pendant may cover your chest, but it doesn’t make the attire more appropriate.
Lastly, avoid wearing slippers. Even if you accessorize your slippers with fancy-looking stones, they won’t be proper footwear for work. Remember, casual Fridays aren’t an excuse to disobey dress codes, but simply permission to dress down and be a little more comfortable because it’s the weekend.