In the US, where business casual work environments and “casual Fridays” prevail, it’s easy to forget that a place of business is still, well..a place of business. Even if you don’t have meetings on Fridays or if your CEO never shows her face after 3 PM on Thursday, it could still be considered a faux paus or even a career disaster if you show up wearing sweats or worse, looking like the office tramp.
In Paris or possibly anywhere in France, casual Fridays are becoming more common but are still rarely observed. Even on the most casual of work days or office events, French women still manage to look effortlessly sophisticated, sexy, professional, and tres chic all at the same time. They believe that, even on Fridays, you never know who could be watching you or judging your professional decorum.
However, just because French women don’t wear cut-offs or logowear on Fridays does not mean they are uptight or strictly conservative in what they wear. On Fridays, you may find the French girl wearing jeans or skinny black pants, but they will be paired with a colorful blazer, a funky top, and, what else?, a scarf of course! After all – just because you’re trying to be professional, does not mean you have to be boring or school marmish! So, as you see, to a French woman, it’s not so much a casual Friday, but rather a casually chic Friday.
I also believe in the French women’s philosophy of observing the casually chic Friday. Likewise, I believe that you should dress for the position that you want. So if you’re an admin but want to be an account manager – dress like it! Take tomorrow’s ensemble (pictured above) for example:
- Olive green velvet blazer (JCrew, circa 2009)
- Blue and beige striped fitted long sleeve tee (JCrew 2010)
- Dark wash perfect fit bootcut jeans (Gap 2011)
Fun and stylish? Yes. Trampy or frumpy? Never! The new director of communications….we’ll see 😉
Ciao my friends and dress well.