Casual Friday – how to avoid a wardrobe malfunction

Casual Friday guide for big & tall menFor most people working in a corporate or office environment casual Friday, also known as dress-down Friday, comes as a welcome reprieve from strict business attire. But as anyone who has watched the casual Friday episode of the US version of The Office will know, it can mean many things to many people and can so easily go badly wrong.

So what are the options and what are the do’s and don’ts to avoid a career defining moment?

Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. After all, the whole point of casual Friday is that it offers more freedom to express your individual style. It also depends largely on the industry or profession you work in and the culture of your specific workplace.

To maintain a degree of professionalism, many companies’ HR departments have drafted policy guidelines on what is and isn’t acceptable, but here are some pretty obvious no-no’s.

Keep the beachwear (thongs, shorts, crew neck Tshirts and singlets) for the weekend. Also avoid runners and any kind of sports gear – though you might just get away with wearing team colours on the eve of a Grand Final weekend!

Casual Friday mistakes
Keep beachwear for the beach

So what can you wear?

As a general rule of thumb, if you choose casual for your top half, keep it a bit smarter below the belt. Alternatively, if you decide to keep it strictly business above the belt, relax a little with the pants.

So, one option is to mix ‘n match a more formal business shirt with a pair of jeans – particularly on jeans for genes day. But make sure the jeans are smart – avoid too skinny or too baggy and leave the old torn-at-the knees jeans for the weekend.

Geoffrey Beene and Nicholby & Harvard make a great range of 100% cotton business shirts in sizes ranging from 46 to 56. For jeans, choose between Chisel, Blazer, Gant and RM Williams. And if you want the ultimate in comfort, you can’t look past Brax and Eurex.

Casual Friday dress options
Casual Friday – above and below the belt

Another mix ‘n match option is to wear a more casual shirt with a pair of cotton chinos or even more formal dress pants. If this is your chosen option, best to stick with long sleeve shirts rather than short sleeve, even if it means rolling the sleeves up on warmer days.

Generally speaking, you should choose a slightly more classic fitting casual shirt. Blazer and Gant offer some great casual shirts for big & tall men. But if you need the room, RM Williams and Nautica will provide a more relaxed fit.

Of course the really big question when wearing a casual shirt, quite often foremost in the minds of bigger men: tail tucked in or left out? This really takes us back to the type of industry you are in and the company culture. If in doubt, take it to the TMO – ask your wife or partner.

In cooler months, a fine wool V neck sweater or vest and/or a smart sports jacket will work equally as well with all these options.

Regardless of which casual Friday outfit you choose, don’t ruin it with the wrong choice of shoes. RM Williams boots are a perennial favourite in Australia, but otherwise any smart pair of leather or even suede shoes will work.

Conclusion
Enjoy the opportunity to express your individual style, but make sure casual doesn’t become sloppy and maintain a degree of professionalism at all times. Finally, check your diary before dressing on a Friday morning… just in case you’ve scheduled a meeting with an important client or the bank manager and don’t let this happen to you…

Casual Friday gone wrong
But, I thought you said ‘boardie meeting’!
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Choosing Trousers – Tips for Big & Tall Guys

You may have noticed, as we have, that some big and tall men have no idea how to wear a simple pair of trousers. They either choose pants that are too baggy, too tight, or worst of all, sit way too low, hanging down under their waist leaving their butt exposed for all to see. Er, no thanks guys!

Whether you are big, tall or fall somewhere in-between, here’s some tips on choosing the right pants and jeans for you.

For the Big gent:

-Choosing dark coloured trousers is a good idea for big men as they tend to be more flattering than brighter tones.

-If you want to look more lean, we would suggest avoiding pleats and going for regular cut, straight leg pants. They have less fabric build up (and therefore less unnecessary bulk).

-Skinny cut pants and jeans are a big no-no for larger men, they will attract unneeded attention to your legs and create bulk in places you want to avoid. Instead, go for full cut, flat front pants.

Dress pants with a front pressed crease creates a vertical line down the leg, making them seem longer and giving the big man a slimmer look.Big Men Pants

-Wear your trousers high, but not too high. Just below your natural waist if possible. Wearing them low will more often than not require a belt, which is pulled tight underneath the belly, causing the stomach to fall over it and create that unwanted bulge.

-While fashionable among younger chaps, low rise pants and jeans should be avoided by the big man as they do nothing for the large physique.

-A bigger belly means it is more difficult keeping your pants from sliding down. We suggest a flat front, traditional or relaxed cut style pants. Simply buying the biggest size available won’t solve the issue. It’s all about the perfect fit.

-While it’s hard to beat a stylish belt for practicality, big guys should think about the alternative of wearing braces. They can be an attractive option while also a more comfortable one.

For the Tall gent:

-Tall men should always make sure they get full length trousers, as even the smallest show of ankles or socks creates an unflattering lanky look. Your pants and jeans should reach at least the top of your shoe.

-Being tall means you are able to wear virtually any style pants, from regular cut, boot cut to flat front. You just need to choose pants with longer inseam and leg length. Remember that fit is everything.

Tal Guy Pants-High-waisted pants and jeans are rarely a good look for tall guys. Try to keep your pants beginning just below the waist to create the most flattering look.

-Tall men often suit a stylish pair of chinos, which never go out of fashion, or tailored cotton pants.

-If you are tall and thin, the extra fabric of pleats can sometimes work against you to create a baggy look. Tall guys want their pants to look as sharp and crisp as possible.

-Try to avoid supper skinny jeans as they create a towering beanpole effect on a tall man.

In Conclusion

These are just a few tips when choosing your next pair of pants. The biggest tip we can give though, is to take charge of your size. Big or tall, you have got to dress with confidence and pride. Own your body shape and size!
Ron Bennett Big Mens Clothing have a huge range of mens trousers and jeans available exclusively from their online store. Check out these just released Brax pants for big men and browse the rest of the store for some great deals.