Your Reputation Is In Your JeansSOURCE Men's Health
Casual Fridays can be tricky. "If you don't dress properly, your credibility will be undermined, even on casual days," says Ron Herzog, CEO of Fortune Personnel Consultants, an executive search firm in New York City.
"Your boss may not admonish you, but he'll make a mental note that may cost you a promotion." Here's how to keep your style and professional image intact.
Don't...confuse casual workdays with Saturday night. "You want to look just as put together and professional as if you were wearing a suit," says Eric Jennings, fashion director for menswear at Saks Fifth Avenue. So avoid holes, frays, and distressing.
Don't...wear jeans that are too loose or too tight. Baggy may be comfortable, but it's also sloppy, while tight jeans scream high school. Your work jeans should match your maturity, and fit as well as your trousers do, says Herzog.
Don't...confuse your jeans with formal wear. "Some men look like they put on a suit and tie to go to work, and then just took off the suit pants and replaced them with a pair of jeans," says Jennings. So no French-cuff shirts or silk ties, please.
Do...stick to a dark wash with a straight, medium-to-slim fit. It's universally flattering and not overly casual, says stylist Marcy Carmack, the creator of chicwardrobesolutions.com. "Go for simple," says Carmack. "Some designer jeans look too 'fashiony.' "
Do...pair jeans with wingtip brogues to dress up the denim without looking too fussy. Suede desert boots are a cool, slightly more casual option. If you can get away with sneakers at your office, make sure they're clean and simple, with a sleek profile.
Do...try a cotton button-down shirt, knit tie, and blazer with jeans. "If you take off your jacket, you'll still look put together," Jennings says. Opt for a tailored vest when you want to forgo a blazer, or try a fitted, solid-color T-shirt under a cardigan.