How we dress to work matters. It directly reflects on our personality and also influences how others interact with us. And most importantly it impacts how we feel about ourselves. The way you dress also defines your career growth. Unless you are required to wear a uniform, you are most often left with the conundrum of what to wear to work or a job interview. While it is easier for men to stick to western formals for obvious reasons, for women, especially in India, office wear has always been a juggle between the binaries of Indian formals versus the western look. While most women carry the sari as their identity badge, the younger workforce effortlessly carry both ethnic and western formals.
With a greater influence of western culture in the corporate sector and an increasing number of women stepping out into the professional realm, ready-to-wear formals such as jackets, shirts and trousers are gaining popularity. Older women in the management fields such as banking still favor the elegant sari for everyday work wear. However, younger female professionals in sectors like medicine, IT and law show a striking preference for western formals with the sari being saved for festive occasions and traditional days at work. Stylists observe that the Indian sensibility still doesn’t incline towards accepting shorter dress as corporate wear, even though some sectors like hospitality, media, and aviation have adapted well to it.
Women’s workwear still needs to factor for a great many considerations- city of work, the office culture, the professional ranking, the person’s age, traditions and family expectations, mode of commute and climate. Some clear understanding comes from the fact that client-oriented jobs still demand crisp formals while work-casuals and semi-formals are okay in some work cultures. While have a lot of options unlike men, a lot of variety can also add to the chaos. Here are a few styling tips to perfect that formal look:
Formal shirt and Trousers/ skirt: Pick trousers that’s fit you well. In case you opt for a skirt, go for a knee length one, as shorter versions may attract unnecessary attention in the Indian context. Team up trousers or skirts with a well-fitted formal shirt. Grey, black, and navy are common choices when it comes to bottom wear, it is ideal to stick to lighter shades of formal shirts like ivory, beige, cream, pink and sky blue with no or minimum patterns such as simple stripes. Keep heels to a sensible limit when choosing your footwear.
But no matter what you wear, there are some rules you need to play by.
- Opt for dresses that go with your personality, age, and physical build.
- Dress smart, dress crisp but do not dress to attract negative attention.
- Always wear well fitted and ironed clothes.
- Accessorize to compliment your attire.
- Also, concentrate on wearing your hair the right way.
- Shoes matter. Your choice of footwear goes a long way in defining your look.
- The bags you carry too define your look. Handbags with either long or short handles in sober hues with an organized storage space are ideal.
With the market churning out new collections every season, it is difficult to stay abreast with the latest in fashion. Choosing from among a large ocean of choices can another ordeal. But there are some staples that come to your rescue time and again and those that have withstood the test of time. AMPM’s exclusive collections give you the best of both ethnic and western formal wear. Our tastefully weaved up pieces accentuate the essential grace and svelte look you carry so well. It is up to you to follow your instincts and sensibilities when it comes to knowing what works best for you.
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