The Office and Indian Ethnic Wear
Indian ethnic wear has become so associated with special occasions that it is quite difficult to imagine them as regular office wear. In most office spaces, Indian ethnic outfits are worn on special days dedicated to Indian wear like “ethnic wear Tuesday” etc. Rarely do you find working professionals wearing Indian ethnic garb everyday to office. Almost everyone from the previous generation used to wear Indian ethnic garments to the office but the youth haven’t continued the trend. The reasons for this are many.
The first is the perception that Western clothes are easier to carry than Indian ethnic wear. The second is the idea that colours are not welcome in an office space and the third is the aforementioned association of Indian wear with special occasions. But now it is time to remove such barriers and bring Indian ethnic wear to the mainstream. Following are 6 important points to keep in mind to rock Indian ethnic wear every day:
Change Your Mindset
There exists a thought that Indian ethnic wear is a sign of backwardness and are fit for certain occasions only. This mindset originated from how professionally successful men and women are portrayed in the media. Take any Indian movie as a reference and you would find a progressive, successful, urban character dressed in western clothing while an uneducated, unpolished, rural character is dressed in Indian traditional garb. This representation is a complete lie as the type of clothing does not determine your intellectual prowess and personality. So, the first task to accomplish is to change our mindset regarding Indian ethnic wear. This is crucial if you want to carry your ethnic office wear with the right amount of confidence and flair.
The most attractive feature of Indian ethnic wear is its bright colours, and the proper way to do justice to such attires is by expressing those bright colours. Choose outfits in bright yellows, reds, purples, pinks, greens etc. and give the dull and morose office ambience a colour boost. You can definitely wear your Indian ethnic outfit in dark blues, whites, blacks and greys but that would be just a waste of the outfit’s potential.
It is easy to get overboard with Indian ethnic clothing since there is not much difference between casual and occasional attires as such. Wearing bling and flashy clothes in the office is one way of doing too much with Indian ethnic wear. Bling is not professional and is associated with show off. Compromising on your professionalism in a workplace is never a good idea. Wearing flashy clothes in the office not only gives a wrong impression on your clients but also your co-workers. You will not be taken seriously if you enter a board meeting wearing an outfit fit for a big fat Indian wedding.
Wear Proper Accessories
No Indian ethnic attire is complete without its complementary accessories. The colourful and patterned kurtis, salwars and sarees do not suit a plain Jane look. Even the simplest of ethnic clothes require some accessories to go with it. The accessories that we are speaking of are earrings of the same colour combination and pattern of your attire, bangles of complementary colour or one of the colours on the attire, hair clip of a similar pattern or colour combination of your attire and a bindi of a suitable colour. None of these accessories is what you would call too much for the occasion. If anything, they would serve to increase your style quotient.
Fusion with Care
Communication across the world has improved tremendously in recent times. We are more connected with each other than we were ever before. This has led to the blurring of the boundaries among the myriad of cultures across the globe. This connection has produced great results so far what with common misconceptions and stereotypes being dispelled and the world population benefitting from the knowledge of individual cultures.
One of the products of this fusion is fashion. It is essentially mix and matching attires from two or more different cultures. While that might give you a unique outfit, the margin of error in such dressing is very narrow. Not all attires are complementary to one another. So, when you are using fusion in your Indian ethnic office wear, do so with some care.
Look After Your Comfort
No matter what you wear, you must be comfortable in it. Compromising comfort for style and fashion is foolish. Style requires you be at ease, appear as if the outfit is part of your body. An uncomfortable outfit will mar your style and your confidence with it. Discomfort comes with ill-fitting clothes, thus you must make sure that your clothes are a proper fit.
10 Latest Kurtis You Can Flaunt in Office
The above points bring one particular ethnic garment to the forefront. This garment embodies the above points perfectly. That garment is the kurti. You can have them colourful in non–blingy matte shades and simple patterns, can be complemented with simple accessories, is the perfect candidate for fusion fashion and above all is comfortable. Follow this BP Guide to choose the best and latest office kurti for yourself:
Solid Grey Kurti
This is a grey coloured kurta. The colour is solid and there are no patterns on it. It has three-quarter sleeves and a mandarin collar that gives it an authoritative character. The kurti is of calf-length, has a straight hem and has multiple slits. The material with which it is made is pure cotton and the weave is a regular one. It looks classy and has the austere charm of authority about it. This comes at a price of Rs.1,099 in Myntra.
Blue Striped Kurti
This kurti is made from pure cotton and has a blue and white striped pattern on it that resembles the pattern usually found on business t-shirts. The other features of this kurti are that it has a mandarin collar, three fourth sleeves and is of calf length. This kurti would look best if you pair it with dark blue leggings or jeggings. The material of this ethnic wear ensures comfort especially in the hot and humid summer months while the pattern gives off a professional vibe. It comes at a price of Rs. 1,499 on Shop for Aurliea.
Pastel Green Kurti
This kurti is unique both in colour and design. It is a straight fit, has half sleeves, mandarin collar and multiple slits. The colour is pastel green and the pattern consists of vertical pleats at the front along with the entire calf length kurti. To begin with, the colour is unique, soft and very attractive. You do not get to see this colour often and the softness of it has a soothing effect on your senses- much needed in a stressful office environment. The pleats and the front slit are wonderful designs to go with the uniqueness of the colour. Look dashing by pairing it with white coloured straight pants. This kurti costs Rs. 1,749 on Nykaa Fashion.
White Printed Kurti
This is a straight, white coloured kurti with floral block prints on it. It has a front closure with the button line on the left part of the torso, reminiscent of the tunics worn of by Indian landlords (zamindars) of the British era. The other characteristics of this kurti are that it has a round neck, three-quarter sleeves and is of calf length. The block prints are of natural dye and hand-printed. The kurti is made of pure cotton. The white colour of the kurti expresses sophistication and class. Pair it with white leggings to complete your office look. This kurti comes at a price of Rs. 2,100 on Nykaa Fashion.
Grey Embroidered Kurti
This is a flared cotton kurti that is of calf-length, has full sleeves and mandarin collar. The base colour of the kurti is grey with a bunch of flowers embroidered on the left side of the torso. This kurti has a royal personality about itself. It is comfortable and expresses class and sophistication which makes it perfect for office wear. The solid base colour and the embroidery provide just about enough depth to design without going overboard. This kurti is priced at Rs. 4,170 on Craftsvilla.
This simple yet elegant kurti is made of rayon material, is of calf-length, has three-quarter sleeves and a round neck. The base colour is turquoise with beautiful embroidery in yellow in the front part of the kurti. The best aspect of this kurti is that it is simple but has sophistication and class about it that makes the wearer look elegant and beautiful. It is also easy to carry as it’s a straight kurti without any hassle about it. This kurti will look best if you pair it with a white coloured or dark blue coloured leggings and accessories matching the warm turquoise colour of the kurti. It comes at a price of Rs. 2,917 on Craftsvilla.
Printed Flared Kurti
This kurti is bright yellow with geometric prints on it. The other features of this kurti include full-length sleeves, simple round neck, ankle-length asymmetric hemline and flared bottom and sleeves. It is made with cotton-rayon blend fabric and the prints on the kurti are grey. The bright yellow of the kurti will bring forth the essence of hue and warmth in the office environment. This kurti is best worn like a frock and it is priced at Rs. 1,499 on Flipkart.
Maroon Printed Kurti
This is a long kurti with three-quarter sleeves, mandarin collar, calf-length hemline and multiple slits. This kurti looks like a sophisticated jacket and thus it is one of the most appropriate office wear under Indian ethnic garments. It comes in a rich and beautiful maroon base colour with white floral patterns printed on it. The colour and the print provide a royal impression. This kurti will look best when paired with an off- white palazzo and heels. It comes at a price of Rs. 1,498 on Flipkart.
Peach Embroidered Kurti
This is a peach coloured kurti with blue floral prints on it. It is made of pure cotton material, is of calf length with a flared bottom, has three-quarter sleeves and a round neck. The colour of this kurti is soothing and unique. Pair it with blue leggings (the same blue in which the flowers are printed) and silver coloured accessories are you are all set to rock the office look. This kurti comes at a price of Rs. 1,599 on Amazon.
White Slit Kurti
This kurti has both a traditional and western touch to it. It has a mandarin collar, three-quarter sleeves, calf-length hem and multiple slits on it. The kurti has a white and black textured print on it. This outfit has a sophisticated and authoritative look about that will be to your advantage in the boardroom. It is made from quality cotton fabric and would go well when paired with black leggings. It comes at a price of Rs. 498 on Amazon.
Common Ethnic Wear Mistakes
There are certain aspects to look into when you are wearing Indian ethnic wear. You might have the best outfit but if these aspects are overlooked then it would mar your entire appearance. The first thing to notice is your silhouette after wearing the kurti. Wear a kurti that is in shape with your figure. Selecting a size and cut of kurti that doesn’t fit your body shape will make you look shapeless and that is an ugly sight.
The second thing is that you must never follow trends blindly. The ongoing trend might not suit you or is appropriate in the office space. The third, make sure that safety pins and underwear are not visible. You show what is happening on stage but not what is happening behind it. Obscure the safety pins in the folds of your attire and wear the right underwear for the outfit. If the kurti has a wide neck then opt for brassieres that have transparent straps. The colour of the lingerie must be of a similar shade to that of the kurti. Wear a bodice if the kurti is of thin weave. If your lingerie is visible or prominent then it would be disastrous to your look.
Kurtis Suitable for Work!
Kurti is facing a comeback with more and more youngsters going for this versatile garment. However not all kurtis are suitable for a formal environment. As for cuts, A-line, jacket, anarkali and certain assymetrical kurtis are ideal for work. When it comes to prints, solid colours, geometrical print, block print and self-patterned kurtis work the best. While any modest neckline work, mandarin collar and high collar give a look of authority. Experiment on your pants; shuffle between palazzo, leggings, and cigarette pants for a varied look. Play with your accessories to achieve the look you are going for.