Friday is the best day of the week because it is the one most filled with potential. A day of possibility, Friday is on the precipice of something—of celebration, of relaxation, of restoration, of anything, really. Friday is about the excitement and anticipation of something amazing that’s about to happen. If you could bottle up the feeling that Friday brings, you’d be a millionaire.
Brooks Brothers did just that, in a sense, with their most versatile—their most adaptable—button-down, The Friday Shirt. After inventing the button-down shirt more than a century ago, the brand, under the leadership if its new creative director, Michael Bastian, is re-inventing it again. Can a single garment, one as utilitarian as the button-up shirt, evoke all the joys and expectations of a Friday? Well, yes, yes it can.
Made from a washed cotton poplin in a relaxed silhouette (not too slim, not too loose), the shirt has an undeniably easygoing feel to it. In this post-pandemic era, the days of the uptight, formal dress shirt are numbered, if not already far behind us. The Friday Shirt meets this moment head on, by providing us with an item that has a laid-back feel, yet still possesses just a touch of decorum and elegance. That’s thanks in part to its spiffy, button-down polo collar and the understated flair of the six-pleat cuff shirring—both elements that Brooks Brothers pioneered, which are now classics. No matter your preference or personality—from subtle to swaggy, sweet to spicy—the Friday shirt comes in a color or pattern you’ll not only love, but look good in. (Psst: we really like the tartan.)
While it may be officially known as the Friday shirt, this little outfit-saver shines every day of the week, in virtually any situation. Off to work (as in, yes, going to the actual office?) Tuck it into some smart wool trousers and slip on an unlined sports coat. Dinner with pals? Toss it on, unbuttoned and just slightly rumpled, over a well-worn T-shirt and pair it with relaxed chinos and loafers. Going on a date? Leave the top two or three buttons undone, wear it rakishly untucked with jeans and some slick sneakers. From Monday meetings to Sunday brunch, the Friday shirt is really an all-day, every-day piece that will become the bedrock of every one of your outfits going forward.
When it comes right down to it, the Friday shirt embodies a very modern way of dressing. It effortlessly pulls together two contradictory vibes (as the kids today call them), and, in doing so, marries a dressed-up, traditional ethos with a more insouciant attitude. That reflects the way we live today, where we are never just one thing, and we are always on the go, trying to have it all. In this type of life, the Friday shirt is the answer to any style dilemmas you may have and, even better, bring a little bit of Friday—the anticipation, the sense of possibility—into every aspect of your life.
Berlinger is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, the Los Angeles Times, the Business of Fashion and others. He’s probably wasting time on Twitter right now