It's Official

Dressing that works [It’s Official]

Its-OfficialPut that dress to work. Whatever you wear at the workplace should take you a long way work-wise. We may prefer to work from home, but let’s not be too much at home during work. Stop halfway between sloppy and too stylish.

Keep the weather in mind. Wardrobes should first of all be divided into hot and cold. What will work in the long run are summer-wear and winter-wear on the left and right, respectively, with some warm-cool maybes in the middle. Wind a scarf or stole – from dressy sequined ones to floaty chiffon or silks – around the neck. This takes care of crumpled collars, wrinkly necks and double chins in one shot. If male, however, this only lends a bridegroom air, totally wasted at the workplace.

dress fi

Men should lose the high-waist look for trousers but not the trousers altogether. So a belt, yes, a good belt that does its job just like the wearer is doing his. Linen pajama trousers work only if you have the legs for them.

Sexy sirens, quick, cover up that cleavage. So there are no ups and downs in career graphs. Wardrobe malfunctions on this front find their way into appraisals. Ditto upper thighs and tummies. Shorts are out of place unless selling beach vacations. Slits in skirts have to be carefully rationed.

dress_menWhether your belly button is an innie or an outie, best to keep them guessing. As for panty lines, ugh is the word. A backward look before leaving home, please. And all those men and women who bend to pick up something from the floor, there is too much information going on.

Ditch the flimsy, the transparent, net-like, too much peplum and too many frills. When you go for a 9-to-5 comfort level, you can’t look like you have a hot date later in the evening. Mind the gap, always mind the gap. Between the two buttons on a formal, formal shirt.

Don’t get too arty with the eyeliner either; only Cleopatra could carry that off. Muted and nude are in – be it nail polish or lipstick. Too much red and you appear to be permanently pouting, which is not a good look when you disapprove of your colleague’s input on your reports. Accessorize with bags that don’t block the view. And remember that too much perfume goes a long way.

Okay, so you rock a sari. Keep it a slightly opaque fabric and go with a couple of safety pins. The neckline of the blouse and the length of the sleeves will determine the distance between neat and un-neat. Saris with exquisite zari or detailed inlays should be left in the cupboard or all those women in the Ektaa Kapoor serials will rob you blind.

dress_womanStock up the sock. No welcome mats for stinky feet. A change of socks now and then – not turning them inside out but taking them off – is good. Control those wild locks with gel or serum, though adopting the currently chemically straightened homogenized dead hair look is not recommended either. A coiffeur must hint at efficiency, time management and a complete lack of fuss.

Jackets, cardigans, blazers and coats in casual, trendy material make a nice change from the stuffy, I-am-getting-fried-in-here tweed and scratchy wool. Add a tie, however askew, and you are asking to be taken seriously in a cool way.

Bling should make sense. A wedding ring, some pearl drops, a delicate chain. No earring should be long enough to pop into your mouth during a presentation. Nose-pins larger than the nose are a no-no. Hairy limbs can be distracting though a hundred percent honest on a woman. From haircuts to high heels, discreet is the word.

Shopaholics, who jump at any chance to binge on clothes, stop working for clothes. Instead, combine your inner fashionista with an affordable wardrobe that works for you.


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About the author

Shinie Antony is a writer, editor and literary adventurer. 'It’s Official' is her weekly column with on matters professional, career-oriented and entrepreneurial. For work is not always worship.

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