Watch CBSN Live

How to Avoid Casual Friday Faux Pas

Casual Fridays can be a fun time to break out some less austere clothing. But what should you wear? It may not be what you think.

"Early Show Style Contributor Katrina Szish shared some fashion "do's" and "don"ts" for appropriate style on Casual Fridays.

Szish said the biggest misconception about Casual Friday is that it means anything goes.

"Listen, I get it," she said. "The weekend is so close you can taste it, so it's often tough to make the distinction between almost-weekend clothes and weekend clothes. But, there are still rules! Remember: You don't want to dress like you've already left the office. Even if you're beach-bound the minute the clock hits 5 p.m., keep that to yourself and don't let it show in your outfit."

Szish said some things are always inappropriate when it comes to office attire, such as mandals (male sandals), strapless tops and anything showing way too much skin.

As for denim, Szish says many offices do allow denim on Casual Fridays, but you still have to choose your denim carefully. And, what you choose to wear with your denim can make or break your business casual look.

She said jeans with frayed edges, rips and tears, excessive embellishment, extreme sandblasting or anything too tight or too baggy is a "don't" in the office. She added women should avoid tops that are too low-cut and too tight. Men should avoid logo t-shirts and athletic sneakers.

Think of denim as an alternative to a trouser. Think "tasteful" not "teenager," especially if you're just out of college or in your 20s. And, easiest rule of thumb: Darker denim is always the safest bet.

For women, it's OK to embrace trends. We put Blair in a pair of skinny jeans and kept her covered up on top with, but still very on-trend with this military-inspired layered look. Don't dress like you're going straight to a club or girls night out -- pair skinny jeans with flats like these from Jessica Simpson instead of stilettos or strappy sandals.

Blair's Look
Mandee cargo jacket, $24.99,
LOFT tiered ruffle top, $49.50,
LOFT modern skinny jeans, $59.50,
LOFT metallic leather tote bag, $148,
Jessica Simpson Genno studded flats, $69.95

For guys, denim can still have a relaxed fit, but it's all about what you wear it with. 20-somethings can easily look like they're heading to a concert instead of a meeting, but that doesn't mean you have to dress like your dad. Wear those slim-fitting shirts -- choose one that doesn't have to be pressed and starched for a chilled-out vibe like this GANT one from -- and roll up the sleeves. Then layer it over a ringer tee, and add some cool canvas kicks. A casual messenger bag completes the look. Save the logo tees and the running shoes for the weekend.

Tyler's Look
Gant Rugger handloom Madras button-up shirt, $114,
Old Navy ringer t-shirt, $8.50,
Land's End Canvas slim fit jeans, $49.50,
Land's End Canvas Essential jeans belt, $39.50,
Land's End Canvas navy sneakers, $49.50,
Land's End Canvas 1963 messenger bag, $79.50,

It's summer! It's sweltering! It's Friday! Your brain might already be halfway to the Hamptons, but what you're wearing shouldn't project that image. Szish says it's simple: If you'd wear it to the beach, don't wear it to the office. Casual doesn't mean sloppy -- that is my ultimate summer style mantra. And, if it's too beachy, it looks sloppy at the office. Save the Hawaiian shirts and cargo pants for a barbecue. Women shouldn't wear strapless to the office. We love a maxi dress, but this looks like a beach cover-up.

Kara is still cool and comfortable in a brightly colored dress from LOFT, but the neckline is office-appropriate, and the fabric and silhouette add polished structure to the look. You can wear sandals to the office, like these metallic wedges, but leave the flip flops in your beach bag.

Kara's Look:
LOFT ink floral shift dress with ruffle neckline, $89.50,
Jessica Simpson Flor wedge sandals, $82.95
G by GUESS sunglasses, $49.50,

Still looking summery, still wearing a bright, graphic shirt -- this one is from Tommy Hilfiger -- but this look is crisp and clean. The untucked polo keeps it casual, as do the classic rolled-up khakis from Land's End Canvas. Boat shoes complete the look. And, I love Clarence's glasses -- a major trend comeback we're seeing. The accessory of the moment for guys!

Clarence's Look:
Tommy Hilfiger slim fit polo, $58, Tommy Hilfiger website
Land's End Canvas Heritage chino, $39.50,
Land's End Canvas leather boat shoes, $79.50,