Casual Friday I am in love.
I love casual Fridays for their laid-back office wear. However, labelling outfits as ‘casual’ and ‘laid-back’ is rather objective and contextual, therefore fairly blurry. What is casual for company X may be ‘not even think of wearing that’ for company Y.
Adding the parameter women’s office wear can only make things more complicated. Women have more choices and they can dress up their outfits with interesting jewellery or a tailored blazer on top of a quality shirt. On the other hand, women often face criticism for their appearance, style, clothing, and makeup, which eventually makes outfit selection a difficult task.
A few days ago, I overheard a girl on her early 20s asking whether ‘this leather skirt is too much for a job interview’. I could not but turn and look at her. She paired a midi pencil leather skirt with a chunky off-white knit, a pair of opaque tights and ankle boots. I found her outfit office smart yet edgy enough to let her personality shine: a girl that was neither overdressed nor inappropriate.
Her friends, though, shared a different perspective and urged her to get rid of the leather skirt because, according to them, leather skirts are simply not ‘office appropriate’. I was stunned. I instantly thought of a ‘5 Ways To Wear A Leather Skirt At Work’ blog post. And then I reflected on the attributes society gives to womenswear. And then I got furious, but that’s another story for another post.
My take on casual (or not) office wear.
I like optimising my wardrobe to get dressed quickly in the morning. I also love day to night outfits because they can take me from work to a formal dinner to a pub crawl in Edinburgh. Comfort is also above all to me. I hate standing on killer heels, for I can’t dance (I always go for pumps or platform boots).
Comfort and time/money management: this is pretty much all about me and my obsessively efficient outfit decision-making.
My closet consists of mostly monochromatic basic pieces, quality breathable layering tops, coloured trousers and loose fit shirts (I swear in the versatility of striped shirts). Shirts for me are like the sunglasses for Anna Wintour or the signature kitten eye liner for Lisa Eldridge. They are good for layering, they are awesome for office wear and they can be a super sexy option for a night out paired with a red lip, pencil skirt and an edgy chocker.
This is an office wear set I created on Polyvore:
An off-black pair of jeans is the basis to build my outfit. The powder pink H&M shirt is a nice piece for layering, under a chunky black knit perhaps? I particularly like this one’s loose cut. Since I am not into accessories (unless it’s a minimal ring or a pair of statement earrings), I usually go for some colour details to make my look more interesting: here I chose this floral print cross body bag.
For my signature bold lips I chose this Nars lipstick which I am going to try asap! What a dramatic and seductive colour, don’t you think?
What are your casual Friday office wear outfits? And, would you consider a leather skirt ‘interview’ or ‘work’ appropriate?