Workwear, remixed

Jan 20, 2013, 11:45 IST | Kaveri Waghela

Gone are the days when work wear was related to pleated box pants and boring pencil skirts. With a simple play of accessories and interesting fabrics, one can transform the formal look into sleek yet appropriate office wear. Kaveri Waghela gives you tips on how to look polished, professional yet trendy at work

Palak Singh’s wardrobe is a mix and match of sorts. She is an avid dresser. As a 21-year-old production assistant with a television channel, she is always juggling between shoots apart from having a steady desk job.

Sudip Sanyal creates an interesting contrast by pairing neutral beige trousers with a sky-blue shirt. Pic/Sameer Markhande

For Singh, dressing up to work is a unique element that brings out her personality. She explains, “ I love to mix and match casual with formal clothing. I think it gives a right amount of balance to your look. More than anything else, I like clothes that make me feel good about myself. A good pair of shoes can make a huge difference to your overall look.” But in terms of a fashion emergency, she always tries to carry a pair of flats to office.

An exclusive illustration of workwear fashion by Narendra Kumar Ahmed for Sunday MiD-DAY

However, for Poulomi De comfort is key. The 27-year-old photographer with a magazine feels that one shouldn’t compromise with comfort. Though she likes to wear interesting clothes to office, she thinks that it is always better if one experiments within the confines of the dress code of the organisation. “I wouldn’t ever wear a short skirt in a board meeting,” she laughs.

Palak Singh pairs a high-waisted pencil skirt with a vintage blue blazer that gives a simple yet chic look. Pic/ Neha Parekh

Fashion Designer Shantanu of Shantanu and Nikhil agrees, “Irrespective of where you work, one should adhere to the dress code of the organisation, but it need not be boring. Women can wear a wide array of accessories or try the colour blocking technique which is in vogue this season.”

Hoshang Kotwal pairs a formal black blazer with jeans that gives a relaxed yet sophisticated look in office. Pic/Pradeep Dhivar

Work wear can be a task for some, especially for men who have very little choice let alone styling a look. Hoshang Kotwal, a 21-year-old, who works in a event management company, agrees, “For me, it’s the attitude to carry off whatever you wear. I like to mix a lot of casual clothes with formals. I may be wearing a classic black blazer with a striped T-shirt underneath. It’s good to have fun with what you wear.”

Poulomi De likes to wear simple dresses to work. The green chiffon Peter Pan collar dress is an easy and fashionable choice for office. Pic/Bipin Kokate

But some men can be purists and may not necessarily experiment with casual clothing. Sudip Sanyal a 27 year-old sales head at a website is one such person. “I like to dress in casuals. Boring or not depends on the person. A great belt, a pair of well polished shoes and watch can not only look good but also quite dapper,” he smiles.

Dressing up for office doesn’t always mean that you should leave your personal sense of style behind. If you are someone who likes to experiment Nikhil shares some useful insights. “Teaming up casual with formal wear is a huge trend this season. For men, well-tailored blazers always work. In terms of prepping up a little, cuff links and pocket squares should be the ‘go-to’ accessories. Women can experiment with a lot of colour and silhouettes, a parka, a cropped blazer and a midi-length pencil skirt always works,”he concludes.

You don’t have to wait for those ‘casual Fridays’ to bring on your inner fashionista. All you need is your individuality! 

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