Finally, it’s Friday. Five days, tens of meetings and hundreds of espressos later, we’ve made it to the end of the tunnel and the end of the week. But if, like many offices around the country, your workplace buys into the comfortable concept of ‘Casual Friday’, this last stretch to the weekend may be the day you dread above all others.
Just what is ‘Casual Friday’? In a world where workplaces are become less and less formal, just how casual are we talking? Is it possible to dress down from jeans and a T-shirt? Here at Gentleman’s Journal, we’re still firm believers that the office should be a smart space. And Friday, in our minds, simply offers the option to experiment with some more comfortable clothing — while maintaining the same level of professionalism.
So take off your ties and slip off your suits — here are four ways to see off the week in style…
Ditch your shirt, and grab a roll neck instead
Casual Friday is a chance to shrug off your week-long, buttoned-up image and express your signature style. So loosen that tie, leave your shirt on the hanger and try out a turtleneck. These roll neck jumpers are just smart enough for the office, but add heaps of cool to your wardrobe. Pair with smart trousers or chinos, or even slip on with your suit if you’re feeling suave.
The key here is to keep your colours simple. Sunspel has a sumptuously soft navy merino wool jumper with a slightly chunkier knit for the colder weather. Oliver Spencer’s extra fine roll neck offers a lighter look — in both colour and weight. And Paul Smith’s (dependably cool) slim-fit sweater features some subtle contrast tipping at the neck.
Sunspel Guernsey Jumper
Oliver Spencer Merino Roll Neck
Paul Smith Slim-Fit Sweater
Give your brogues the boot, and slip on some sneakers
Of course, when throwing together an outfit, it can help to build from the bottom up. And Casual Friday means kicking off your Oxfords, giving your brogues the boot and slipping on some sophisticated sneakers instead. Trainers aren’t all tatty running shoes or duffed up daps anymore — and there are brands out there committed to creating truly stylish sneakers.
Take North-89, for example. Available on the Gentleman’s Journal eStore, this Swedish manufacturer has combined weatherproof suede and rugged Margom soles to create kicks fit for the smartest of workplaces. A Day’s March, another Scandi brand, has made similarly high quality suede sneakers. Or, for some classic leather trainers, head to Church’s and seek out its slick Mirfield style.
North 89 No-1 Sneakers
A Day’s March Marching Sneakers
Church’s Mirfield 2 Sneakers
A versatile, statement coat might just save the (Fri)day
The big problem with Casual Friday — in every workplace from a stockbroker’s skyscrapers to shared creative workspaces — is that incredibly important meetings often crop up out of nowhere. And, as comfortable as you may be, you’re not likely to negotiate the deal of a lifetime while wearing an old band T-shirt and anorak. To be ready for any eventuality, invest in a smart, statement overcoat that will elevate even the most casual of Friday looks.
Go for Mr P.’s exclusive alpaca-blend overcoat — slouchy, longline and with a smart, louche feel. Or opt for Richard James’ Savile Row styling; a modern double-breasted look afforded character by a chic dogtooth pattern. Alternatively, Salle Privée‘s elegant camel hue will pair well with just about every shade in your wardrobe.
Mr P. Belted Alpaca Overcoat
Richard James Dogtooth Coat
Salle Privée Double-Breasted Wool Overcoat
Jump headlong into the jumper game
As winter approaches, Casual Friday offers the chance to wrap up warm in the morning and stay at a duvet-level of comfort all day. By pairing with a casual shirt or smart trousers, even a patterned sweater can be smart enough for the office — while still Friday informal.
Drake’s cable-knit offering is ideal; thick, textured and with shades of Steve McQueen from The Thomas Crown Affair. Scotch & Soda’s striped jumper gives you just enough pattern, while remaining work appropriate. And Oliver Spencer’s mid-weight, two-colour twisted crewneck jumper is charmingly unfitted, but gets away with it thanks to an office-official navy hue.
Drake’s Cable-Knit Wool Sweater
Scotch & Soda Stripe Jumper
Oliver Spencer Blenheim Crew Jumper
Hoping for something a little more waterproof in these weather-beaten times? These are the best trench coats for a rainy autumn…