To look for formal wear for women is like searching for gold on Juhu beach. The choices we women have are few and far between. But with formal wear slowly becoming an everyday staple for the fairer sex, the options are ever increasing. But what to wear and when to wear becomes a dilemma especially for the working out of home women and wearing something different to office is every day is not just a task but a herculean one. Let us be honest- we don’t have the time or the patience to coordinate our clothes every morning. Finding an unwrinkled shirt is an achievement as was sending that presentation with the impossible deadline.
But what we don’t realize it is that we have it easy when it comes to choices of corporate wear- be it ethnic, western, prints, colours, accessories and shoes. We have it easy whereas the men can stick to only one type of ensemble in basic three to four colours.
Kurtis- The long Indian shirt with chudidar or tight pants is an office favourite when it comes to us. Extremely comfortable and trendy, this ensemble looks chic. Don’t opt for shimmery prints which become the sole focal point of you, but instead opt for soft colours with self printing or thick floral borders. Keep the look interesting by wearing bright coloured bottoms. Quarter sleeves work very well at the office. In case you opt for sleeveless then a subtle printed stole or a dupatta works well. Shoes should be closed or peep toes. Open footwear gives a very casual look to the entire outfit and that is not what you want.
Sarees- Sarees are our basic black dresses or the office grey dresses. They are the go to saviors when nothing seems to look good. Don’t wear sarees in materials which crumple easily. Instead wear georgette sarees which look great the entire day and need very little adjusting. Plain sarees with plain or contrasting thin borders look perfect for that client meeting. Open footwear with heels is recommended. Keep the jewelry to a minimum with studs, a bangle and a dainty chain. The blouse can be subtly printed with flowers or paisley or stripes.
Dresses- Dresses for corporate wear come in all lengths and types- right from knee length to slightly below the knee to slightly above. With gingham being this season’s favourite print, don’t feel shy to wear a checked dress. Pin stripes, bold stripes and geometry prints look great too. The dress should not be a very bright coloured one. Plain stockings and high heeled pumps are a must.
Suits- In suits there are not too many choices for prints. Self printing ones have extremely subtle prints woven into the fabric and are usually of the same colour. Paisley print is one such print. But for a more fun option, you can opt for blazers with floral patterns. Stripes and checks are and will always remain classics in suits, whether you are wearing a pantsuit or a blazer with skirt.
Tops and Bottoms- So suits are not a common dress code in the office? Don’t sweat. You can have fun with shirts and blouses and pants and skirts too. Bold striped shirts or small polka dotted shirts look formal and chic when worn with plain trousers or skirts. Print on print trend should be avoided in the office as it does not look very formal. Brush strokes or floral printed blouses are another option as well. Else, wear plain or self striped shirts with pin striped bottoms. Bottoms with small checks also work very well for the office.
Accessories- Whilst wearing a plain ensemble, you can liven up the look with a scarf. A printed scarf around the neck in possible in subtle complementary colours look bright and trendy without being too OTT. Gingham, paisley, striped or abstract printed scarves do not look out of place. If you do not want to wear a scarf then striped or checked shoes can be an option as well. As long as they are peep toes (with well manicured toes) or pumps, they will look formal. The shimmery ones or ones with funky heels are a strict no-no.
So go all out (not exactly all out. You are not going for a party) whilst changing your entire work wear wardrobe. There is a whole new section of shopping waiting to be explored by you. Keep it interesting week by week so you also like facing the day and looking good and chic has always made us want to challenge ourselves in whichever field we are in whether it is flashing a smug smile to the male office pet in a conference room or whether it is signing all those agreements and getting you out of the dreaded slump.
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