Sharp attack: Dressing for the office

Office wear is not just about plain salwar kameez sets or pantsuits. You can rock dresses, skirts and palazzos, too.

If, like scores of other women, you believe that office wear is boring, think again. You’ve probably not bought the right dresses online, which you can wear to work without breaking any rules. This year, change up your style and see how awesome it makes you feel.

Why be boring when you can be hip?

Most women are conditioned to think that they should dress extremely plainly for the office. This belief is further reinforced by some workplaces insisting on a dress code at work. While women may be advised against miniskirts or pants, men are disallowed from wearing denim or tee shirts.

Over time, you may have relegated your gorgeous dresses and skirts to the back of your wardrobe, choosing to air them only over the weekends. But unless your place of work has a specific uniform, there are ways to rock pants, skirts and palazzos at the office without appearing unprofessional. Let’s strayinto new sartorial territory for the office this year, with these tips to follow before you select dresses online on your favourite shopping app:

Dress for a professional environment: Your place of work might not approve of too much visible skin, as unfair as it seems. So when you wear a sleeveless blouse, ensure that the arm holes are not cut too deep, and that the neck is not a plunging one. Meanwhile, ensure that your skirt or dress is not more than one inch above the knee.

Fitted is better: When we say ‘fitted dresses’ for the office, we don’t mean bandage dresses and minis. The office wear silhouette must be sharp and not slouchy or flowy. So look for fitted dresses online with collars, or full sleeves, in fabrics like cotton and linen. The same rule applies to your skirts: look for pencil skirts that you can team with a crisp white shirt, or a black blouse (no ruffles, zips and graphic prints, please) or even a plain coloured tee layered with a smart jacket. Even a simple thin belt added to the dress lifts its style quotient.

Pantsuits are great, but…Pantsuits are an excellent option for the office, especially when you work in top management. Some places of work expect you to show up in pantsuits – but they are hardly likely to specify that the suit in question should be a black or navy one. Experiment with colour, within reason. This also applies to skirt suits. Scarlet or maroon are excellent options, as are indigo, olive green, charcoal grey and off white. Pair with a contrasting blouse or shirt, and a pair of heeled wedges or pumps.

Wear salwar kameez and churidars, but…There’s no reason to ditch your salwar kameez and churidar sets altogether. But do style them up a little bit – experiment with a shorter hem for your uppers, and try different accessories and footwear as well. instead of a full sleeved kameez, you could try a sleeveless or Maggie sleeves.