Corporate Power Dressing – The Indian Way.

Hey There,

This post is going to be about how to create an effortless office style for people who wear only Indian dresses like sarees, salwar kameeze, kurthis and chudidhars. The reason for taking up this topic is that I feel, I look better only in Indian wears. I am not at all comfortable in western outfits. I am a fair girl (yellow undertones) with typical Indian looks that looks extremely pretty in Indian outfits. In western outfits, I look as though I am trying too hard to look at ease. So I simply tend to avoid them.

When I started to go for job, I used to wear any salwars that were there in my wardrobe. I will accessorize it with beads, chains, handbags and what not that somewhat match the outfit. It looked good until one day my dad remarked that I looked way too casual for office. This comment from my darling dad was an eye opener for me and from that moment, I started paying attention to how I dress.

I tried to draw inspirations from the people I see around me. Like, Trisha from VTV, Hina Rabbani Kaur, Pakistani Minister and most of all from my own mother.

In all the people I mentioned, one common tip I noticed is, keeping the accessories simple but elegant and playing with the color and pattern of your outfit. I loved the way it created a classy appeal.


If you are a woman who opts for sarees, the following tips could be useful:

  1. Avoid dramatic prints.
  2. Use subtle colors and in case you wanted to wear bright shades, stick to sarees that are not heavy with designs.
  3. Gardens, silks, silk cottons are the best.
  4. Always pleat your pallu. Do not leave it single. It tends to give a casual feel to the entire outfit.
  5. You can opt for banarasi silk blouse with plain cotton or patch work saree. It gives a very sophisticated look.
  6. Speaking of blouse, do not go for dramatic back necks etc. Keep your neck lines high. You don’t want any unnecessary attention.
  7. Wear proper and color coordinated inner garments.
  8. Make sure your hips are not visible. You can pin them initially and once you get the hang of it, you can pull the saree in such a way that your hips are not visible. If you are new to draping sarees in such fashion, you can always increase your blouse length so that you need not worry about this.
  9. If you are opting for pure cotton, make sure it is starched and stiff.
  10. Most important, iron your sarees properly and in fold in its length.

An example of the above, uniform of Taj Hotel employee:


Salwar Kameeze & Kurthis:

  1. If you are a full figured woman, please avoid pairing kurthis with leggings. In case you want to wear them, always wear kurthis that do not have any side cuts.
  2. Cottons are best suited for office wear however you can also add up other materials.
  3. Do not wear heavy umbrella cuts, anarkalis etc unless you are attending an office party.
  4. The salwars should fit properly. It should neither be loose nor tight.
  5. You need to keep an eye on your sleeves and neck line as well.
  6. Three forth or full Sleeves are apt.
  7. Always iron your kuthis. And avoid Dhothi pants.


Hair Tips:

  1. Pay attention to your hair. Don’t let it fall loose. Especially on your face. It tends to distract the person to whom we are speaking to.
  2. Effortless hair styles work the best. If you have really long hair, best keep it in a pony tail or wear a braid. I do not advise on wearing a bun or for that matter wearing a braid all the time because, in the long run, they result in hair loss.
  3. Make sure the hair styles you choose do not result in you touching your hair every five minutes. Trust me ladies, It’s really annoying.

Foot wear and Accessories:


  1. Invest in good pair of shoes/sandals in basic colors like black and beige. Get bags to match your shoes.
  2. Heels should be of modest length. What I mean by “modest” is that, it should not attract attention at work.
  3. Covered toes work best for office. Apart from giving a formal feel, they also help in keeping tan lines at bay.
  4. Invest in good jewelry. Thin Gold chain with a simple earrings suit the best.











Makeup for offices can be very challenging. I bought this foundation that claimed to keep my face photo-perfect. I wore it in the morning. It looked really nice and I went to office with it. Lo behold! Under my cabin’s lighting, my face glowed with a weird luminescence. It was so embarrassing especially when you like that in a normal work day. It drew all unwanted attention. Like I said earlier, work office make up should not be so obvious. You want the people around you to pay attention to your work than to the way you have done your face.

  1. Invest in good concealer, good applicator and setting powder. Learn the art of concealing only the problem areas. There are loads of you tube videos in it.
  2. Good eyeliner, mascara and lipstick are a must.
  3. You must carry a mini make up kit in your bag. It gets handy when you need to wash your face at office.
  4. Most importantly, make sure your morning makeup regime is simple. You must be able to recreate it, if need arises in your cabin or in the wash room. I use moisturizer, concealer and setting powder for face and eyeliner for eyes.

Some Common tips:

  1. Make sure you keep your accessories common, dress simple and elegant.
  2. Carry safety pins, pocket mirror, wet wipes, hair pins and mini make up kit.
  3. If possible carry a mini perfume spray or deo.
  4. Do not get upset if some one comments about your “conservative” style. Its nothing bad to feel comfortable in your Indian outfits. And there are places to showcase your not so conservative outfits and office is definitely not one of them unless you work for a modeling agency.

And most importantly, Drink Loads of water and keep smiling.

Hope I have covered all the tips. If I have left out some important tip, do let me know. J J




Posted on October 2, 2012, in my posts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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