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Dress down Friday: How to get it right


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The dress down day is a perfect way to end the week with a more relaxed sense in the office. However just because it is Friday, it doesn’t mean the weekend starts straight away, and we still need to tie up loose ends and prep for the following dreaded Monday morning. 

What is considered appropriate at your office will all depend on your company culture. However, there are a few hints and tips that can allow you to easily implement a blend of toned-down casual look even within the most formal of environments. 

Pairing Tips – Casual Jeans

If wearing jeans, pair with a V-neck sweater and a casual shirt underneath to bring a sense of professionalism to your look. A darker tone such as black, indigo or navy jeans are less obvious than the more recognisable stonewash blue denim, so offers a more subtle option. Avoid wearing trainers, but if a formal brogue shoe is too much for your smart casual look why not pair with a suede chukka boot. 

Weekend wear – the checked shirt 

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Relaxed yet a bold choice to show your true personality. Check flannel shirts or madras print come in a variety of colour runs and shapes that can allow your outfit to do all the talking. Pair with graphic t-shirt underneath and miss a few buttons for much more laid-back effect. If concerned of being a little more ‘weekend’ than you prefer, then simply complete your outfit with a smart pair of chino trousers and formal footwear. Smart accessories such as a leather watch and matching colour belt can all help to bring the outfit combination together. 

Style Icon – Pep Guardiola 

Whether you’re an avid football fan or not, no matter who you support we can all easily admire the style Manchester City’s boss has brought to the pitch and off it. Pep personifies smart casual with perfection. Let’s start from the ground up. On match day you will see Pep in a smart pair of black leather derby shoes with a slim fit formal pair of plain dark trousers combined with black leather belt to complement the shoes. However, it is the top half that Pep masters the combination. His dark grey or black trousers allow for a simple black or grey crew neck sweater with a white plain t-shirt underneath that just shows through at the base of the neck. Plain and simple, yet effective. There is on occasion a shirt collar and tie poking through, yet with the smart trouser and more casual sweater and underlying tee the more casual blend is spot on.

Layered up – Do not knock knitwear 

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Beating the winter chill is the main purpose of a thick cable knit jumper or the additional layer that a smart cardigan can also provide. Sweaters come in a variety of fabrics and finishes but offer the opportunity to use the smart shirt collar to take away the emphasis. Go for a bright blue smart shirt or small checked print option, so that you are creating an obvious formal element to your look. A darker colour can help to bring a more professional tone, and pair with a smart stone or beige chino or denim jeans for a more casual touch.