Dress Down Friday is a weekly terror for some. "Casual" and "corporate" are two words that just don't tend to mix, so it seems pretty twisted to torture us weekly with a day where we must teeter the balance between on- and off-duty. Help is on hand, however: each Thursday, theworkwearedit will bring to your desktops a little nugget of inspiration to help you plan an outfit for the follow day.
"Smart casual". What an oxymoron. A concept that has left us all baffled at some point, even the most genius style gurus can be rendered a confused mess when encountered with such a vague and non-specific term. Unfortunately enough for us, the whole notion of Dress Down Friday is based around the phrase, making us worry that our chosen outfit will look either too "done" or too slobbish. More often that not, it's the top half that we struggle with, trying to find something that will smarten up a pair of jeans or look casual combined with a polished skirt or trouser.
However, the high street has plentiful offerings of t-shirts, blouses and all the other by-words for "tops" that can double up as off-duty for the weekend and crisply professional for the office, therefore making them the perfect companion for situations that must straddle the two. The abstract marble print featured of Topshop's loose-fit tee, for example, will look as perfect paired with your favourite skinnies as it will with black cigarette trousers for the office. Reiss' combination of silk and jersey and the addition of nude lace to Oasis' navy offering are both welcome updates to the humble style, adding enough class to make them both welcome additions to the working wardrobe. For a more sport luxe vibe, French Connection's dotty print upon a pointed collar blouse makes for a grown up version of the polo shirt and will look fresh paired with a black pencil skirt. Last but not least is Warehouse's 70s inspired pin tuck blouse: perfect for those seeking an injection of feminity, this floating number will look best when paired with a fitted bottom half. Use these picks as inspiration from your own wardrobe (or go on a quick dash to the shops) and combine them with some of the previous look ideas given to you on this very website to accurately navigate across the smart casual tightrope.