College Central®

Ask around. The Network works.®

Casual Friday—Things You Do Not Want To Hear

Balekile Gausi -- An international writer reminds professionals, from Alaska to Zambia, that some career tips are universal.

Casual Friday seemed to have quietly installed itself as a weekly habit in many work places especially where workers usually appear for work in formal clothing or in some sort of uniform. Come Friday and outfits and moods change, but beware that you do not get any of these comments.

Do We Need to Make a Collection For An Iron?

Do not arrive for work with un-ironed clothes. You will give the impression that you are disorganized and do not have your life together. Also, do not leave home dressed in clothes that have stains, tears, missing buttons or with slogans that have nothing to do with your firm or are risqué.

That Does Not Look Professional

You are meant to be dress down, and not almost undressed, so avoid low tops or plunging necklines, spaghetti straps, short skirts, high slit skirts (for women) unbuttoned fronts, muscle shirts and underwear showing (for men). This is very distracting and reflects poorly on the organization. Casual does not mean provocative or unprofessional.

That Outfit Is Too Tight

Wear clothes that fit. If too tight they look like you struggled into them and will look like you are struggling to stay in them each time you move. Be able to walk comfortably and not [teeter] or be pulling at your clothes as you move. You will look clumsy, unprofessional and very distracting. Remember also that too loose clothing will look drab and give the impression of sloppiness. So wear the right fit.

Why Are Your Clothes Shouting?

Be careful the colors you choose. Flashy, shimmering, neon (unless you need it for work) clothing is very distracting and you might as well be shouting, "See me!"

The same goes for jewelry. Try not to overdo it. Too much jewelry can be just as noisy. That clink, clink can be as highly distracting and as loud as brightly colored or shimmering clothing.

Would You Like A Peppermint?

Bad breath, alcohol breath, and anything that anyone can smell is really unacceptable. So before you get to the office make sure you do not smell unpleasant or overpowering. It might be a casual day but no one likes strong smells any day.

It's Dress down Friday, Not Slow Down Friday

Don't slow down because you have dressed down. Your slow performance or casual approach to clients will not bode well. Don't be uncaring; choose your clothes wisely as they send a message to outsiders. Be aware that your clothes define you and, more importantly, understand and do what is appropriate in your work environment.


A self-proclaimed "incorrigible Zambian writer with a lot of travelling," Balekile Gausi is a freelance writer living in Nairobi, Kenya. She draws on her Public Administration and Economics background, coupled with a Journalism Diploma, to offer tips, hints, and useful bytes of information to busy young professionals. Her passions are poverty reduction, economic empowerment, and education. For more, visit her blog, which centers on work and lifestyle advice, at

© 2018 Balekile Gausi

Return to top

The views and opinions expressed in these articles do not necessarily reflect those of College Central Network, Inc. or its affiliates. Reference to any company, organization, product, or service does not constitute endorsement by College Central Network, Inc., its affiliates or associated companies. The information provided is not intended to replace the advice or guidance of your legal, financial, or medical professional.