Corporate wardrobe essentials for Indian women
’90 percent of people will form an opinion about you within the first 10 to 40 seconds of meeting you’, says wardrobe consultant Jules Standish.
The clothes we wear subconsciously tell people if we are one of them or if we are different, whether they should listen or ignore us. It becomes all the more important if you’re working in a competitive corporate environment. The key to successful workplace dressing is finding a balance between ‘Fitting in’ and ‘Standing out’.

  1. Well-tailored Suit
    Well-tailored Suit
    Well-tailored Suit
    • A perfect fit, well tailored suit is a ‘can-never-go-wrong’ power dressing formula, especially for international conferences
    • Black is the preferred color choice and so are navy, grey, brown and pinstripes
    • What’s interesting is that you can wear it as separates. Pair the trousers with a silk blouse or throw the jacket over a different outfit
  2. Sari/Saree
    • The versatile Indian sari has been accepted as corporate attire, even on international platforms
    • Sarees are a smart choice; for they are elegant, unique and also provide room for personalization and experimentation
    • One can mix with different blouse styles (even formal shirts), play around with the draping style or throw in a blazer
    • Check out the collection of designers like Amalraj Sengupta who has experimented with sarees as power dressing formula
    • Make sure the sari is not bling or flowery, select a crisp one in subtle colors
    • Chiffon or georgette saris are not suitable for office wear
  3. Button down shirt
    Button down shirt
    Button down shirt
    • Have button down blouses in subtle colors and keep a few options in white as well
    • Do make sure they fit correct and are of good quality
    • A big faux-pas is gaps between the buttons, visible bra lines and sweat stains
    • So always wear a seamless bra and use sweat pads underneath your blouse
    • Wear, move around and check the fit properly before buying
  4. Formal Trousers
    Formal Trousers
    Formal Trousers
    • The key is to find the right fit and style
    • Have atleast two pairs of straight legged trousers in black color
    • Cigarette and wide legged trousers are trendy choices
  5. Pencil or A-line skirt
    Pencil or A-line skirt
    Pencil or A-line skirt
    • Some prefer trousers while some prefer skirts; it all comes down to personal preferences
    • Pick a fitted pencil skirt or an A-line skirt that flatters your body type
    • You can pair them with formal shirts or silk blouses and add a pretty silk scarf as well
    • Wearing pantyhose is advisable
    • If you’re wearing a skirt, always make sure there are no visible panty lines
    • Cross check the acceptable work attires for your office, since some places do not allow skirts
  6. Classic Pumps
    Classic Pumps
    Classic Pumps
    • Shoes can make or break the look. So choose a pair of sophisticated, good quality shoes that fits perfectly.
    • Six-inch stilettos, edgy shoes, nightclub heels or trendy wedges, these look stylish but office isn’t right place to wear them.
    • Invest in classic pumps or closed-toe kitten heels.
    • Black and nude are timeless but a little color or patterns won’t hurt either.
  7. Sheath dress
    Sheath dress
    Sheath dress
    • Sheath dresses are good options for work wear because you don’t have to worry about pairing up.
    • Have a form fitted one in black, grey or solid color.
    • These are perfect if you have to head to an after-work party, just add a statement neckpiece, a fun colorful bag and you’re good to go.
  8. Formal jacket
    Formal jacket
    Formal jacket
    • A structured formal jacket adds sharpness to office wear.
    • To lend definition to your look, just throw in a black blazer over your shirt or sheath dress.
    • What’s more, if you’ve got some wrinkles on your blouse, you can hide them under your blazer!
    • Also, single breasted jackets are a better pick because double-breasted blazers don’t work on every body type.
  9. Cashmere cardigan
    Cashmere Cardigan
    Cashmere Cardigan
    • They are classic, luxurious and at the same time, very functional and handy
    • Cashmere cardigans are lightweight and require less care. Thus, you can easily carry or keep one in your office for that unpredictable weather or office
  10. Elegant Bag
    Elegant Bag
    Elegant Bag
    • Keep a few refined and roomy high quality handbags for your office wear
    • Black, white and brown leather bags are good options
    • And yes, do add a bit of your personal style even to your office dress code

Published by Nivedita Longjam

Nivedita is a fashion designer, freelance writer and a computer enthusiast. She believes in the 'Zen' teachings of life that sadly, goes out the window half the time. For the remaining half, a warm cup of tea and the company of good books, good music and her adorable pets help her stay Zen like.

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