“It might be “Casual Friday”, but that doesn’t mean your sense of style should take a break”

Wow…how true is that quote?  As a wardrobe consultant, I’ve been invited to professional offices over the years to talk to their employees about how to dress casual and still look professional.  Seems like a no-brainer…right?

So, for once and for all…let’s do this and get it right!  Denim is the usual go-to look for a casual day at the office.  To give your denim a professional vibe, wear your jeans with a blazer the same way you wear your suit pants with a blazer. In other words, make your jacket work overtime! For a classic touch, add a scarf and a classy handbag.

Speaking of scarves, accessories are an easy way to add polish to a casual look.  You will definitely want to include a scarf in your fall/winter-office style. A gray coat worn with skinny jeans topped with a camel blanket scarf is so chic….add a leather handbag for extra luxe.   A camel coat, sweater, and jeans paired with a black scarf and cross body bag will definitely score brownie points with the boss!

Cardigans, wraps, and kimonos are another way to dress up your casual style.  The key here is coordinating with shoes/boots and accessories to give your denim a polished look.  A Pinterest board favorite shows a long bulky cardigan belted. By belting a cardigan, it shows off your waist and makes it look like a coat.  A day-to-night look we love shows a pair of black flared jeans topped with a floral kimono. Hmmm….looks like these wraps are working over-time!

When you are in “the trenches”, it’s good to know a wardrobe built around staples can be a life saver.  We think a trench coat should definitely be a staple in your career wardrobe. They look great over dresses and suits and ultra-classy when worn with jeans or wide leg trousers.  To give your trench coat a current look, add a few “it” accessories…like a Staud bucket bag, an initial necklace from Anthropology, and tortoise earrings from Bauble Bar.

Did you know it is perfectly acceptable to wear leggings to work on “Casual Friday”?  But here’s the deal: Make sure you complement your leggings with a long tunic top, or long sweater or blazer.  We are loving Spanx faux leather leggings. A Houston blogger gets it right by matching her Spanx leggings with a long white shirt topped with a black sweater.  A look I think is perfect for “Casual Friday” is black leggings coupled with a camel J Crew blazer and oversized checked scarf.

An army green jacket should definitely be one of your wardrobe staples. Typically they are a “weekend look” but also perfect for casual Friday. There are several cute fall options to check out on our Pinterest board. Think about pairing a wrap jacket with a striped sweater, scarf, jeans, and top off the look with a pair of over the knee boots. And when the weekend rolls around, just add a suede cap!   

You do know there’s business casual and then there’s weekend casual….right?  To stretch the budget, anything from frayed denim to logo t-shirts are a fun way to give your “Casual Friday” style a weekend vibe!  In other words, repurpose your plaid blazer by wearing it with distressed denim and a logo t-shirt. Meeting a friend for a cup of Joe on Saturday morning?  We think the trench coat you wore on Monday with black slacks and heels will look just as amazing with tattered jeans and loafers. Make that budget work girl!  

Get ready!  Because once you combine your great taste, style, and common sense with a few of my “Casual Friday” suggestions….it’s bonus time!!!

Holley Williams is a personal stylist specializing in closet inventory, seasonal shopping, closet organization and wardrobe consultation.  Contact Holley at [email protected].   Be sure to check out Holley’s updated Pinterest board here.