Business casual Fridays stemmed from the Hawaiian garment industry in 1966. The industry wanted to sell more shirts, so they encouraged the Hawaiian businesses to allow their employees to wear Hawaiian shirts one day a week. By the nineties, Hawaiian Fridays moved mainland and started being called Casual Friday. It was a way for employers to give their workers the impression that they could relax, just not too much. Levi’s jeans were starting to have lackluster sales as baby boomers matured both in their mindset and the waistline. Levi’s new company, Dockers, was a perfect segue into the business world and they took full advantage of this casual attitude. Dockers became the “in” company who knew exactly how to outfit an office workforce. According to Wall Street Journal fashion columnist, Teri Agins, “Dockers was considered revolutionary,”
While Dockers is doing its best to change that image with their Alpha Khakis, they are still considered the staple of cubicle living professionals across the globe.
Today, most companies and corporations have embraced casual Fridays. But, they don’t mean wear t-shirts and jeans, though. It’s usually what’s called business casual and is a hybrid between casual and professional. There are still many stigmas related to just exactly how casual, casual Friday should be. This article deals with just business casual shirts and the famous men who have worn them successfully. While not all famous men have made the transition to more a corporate environment, most of these men are also successful businessmen. And some of them made billions and changed the world with their businesses. With that in mind, we’ve made a list of the ten best business casual shirts for casual Friday and those famous men who made the most of the style.
Short Sleeve Sport Shirt
For colder weather a long sleeve works well while a short sleeve version is recommended for warmer seasons. The sport shirt comes in button down or spread collar and can be worn with or without a tie. David Beckham not only made it famous as a soccer superstar, but he also rocked the button-down sport shirt and made business casual Friday’s fun for many of us. And let’s not forget the woman’s man, Ryan Gosling. This gentleman made all women swoon. You could do the same with this style of shirt in your closet.
Polo shirts can be worn under a blazer or by themselves. A well-made well-fitting polo shirt conveys professionalism while still being casual enough to wear around the office. These versatile shirts were first used as jerseys in polo matches, but the great fit and durability of the shirt has made its way into the style book for business casual. Pharrell Williams and Kanye West have recently made the polo shirt cool once more. But from James Dean to Rene Lacoste to President Eisenhower, the polo shirt has been around for decades.
V Neck Sweater
Sweaters are a great crossover because they work well as professional attire and business casual. It all depends on what you use with it. The V Neck sweater was made famous by Bill Gates during the nineties. It’s still a staple for style for tech companies as well as large corporations. Another gentleman who took men’s style to a whole new level was Clint Eastwood as Dirty Harry. He could make even the worst V Neck Sweater look dashing and polished.
Crew Neck Sweater
Another great business casual shirt is the crew neck sweater. It can be made from 100% cotton or Scottish Cashmere and it perfect for the blustery winter Fridays. Used over a button-down collar shirt and you’ve got a great business casual blend to give you an edge in your meetings. Jimmy Fallon has brought the crew neck sweater back as a staple for business casual Fridays. His flair for comedy and boyish charm make this sweater perfect for those who enjoy the end of the week.
Dress Shirt Open Collar
Nothing says, “I’m ready to work” than a dress shirt with an open collar and rolled up sleeves. President Obama made this type of business casual famous. It’s the epitome of getting things done and not being afraid to work hard to do it. Men’s fashion designer and filmmaker, Tom Ford, has this style and happens to make it look classy and strong.
Roll Neck Shirt
This type of shirt was made famous by another nineties mogul of the tech industry. Steve Jobs was rarely seen in public without his roll neck shirts and dark colors. This image allowed men to be sexy and intelligent. He made nerds all over the world desirable and to this day the roll neck shirt is a great addition to your wardrobe for Business casual Fridays. Other famous men who rock the roll neck shirt are Clark Gable, Ernest Hemingway, and Jeff Goldblum. The roll neck shirt can be made of cotton, polyester, or a blend as well as wool. This style can be worn with or without a blazer and still be distinguished looking.
Beginning in 1966, business casual Friday became a much needed break for tedious office work. It’s humble beginning as Hawaiian Friday in the islands to the bustling New York skyline, businesses have embraced the idea of one day of relaxation while working. This guide gives the busy male ideas for making the most of their attire with shirts that will fit their personal taste. These shirts work well with most business casual outfits and if you are looking for more information on what else works, read about the other half of the outfit here, the pants. Business casual Fridays don’t have to be an embarrassing display of your unprofessionalism. With these style tips, you can make your Friday stress free.