For office-goers, it’s not only the advent of the summer but also a new financial year that beckons. And what better reasons to revamp your formal wear wardrobe?
"Office wear seems to be the stepchild of Indian fashion. But being stylish in the work area not only makes you feel confident, but also presents an improved version of yourself to your peers," says designer Nachiket Barve.
"Work wear doesn’t have to be boring. Slight accents and highlights can change the entire perception of formalwear if done correctly," adds designer Nikhil Thampi.Use these tips to restock your work wardrobe this season.
In the fabric
Barve recommends cotton, cotton-viscose blends and pure crêpe for tops and dresses. As for skirts and trousers, blends of wool and silk are good picks. "A non-clingy jersey can be used for wrap dresses and draped styles. Avoid fabrics that crush very badly such as linen and stiff chanderi, as they tend to look shabby by the end of the day," he says.
Designer Dhruv Kapur, who runs the label DRVV, says, "Essentially, you need fabrics that breathe, and only natural fabrics serve that purpose. Invest in cottons like poplin, twill, sateen, fine muslins, and light silks such as chiffon and georgette. Even light wool is not warm if it’s natural."
Make the cut
"Well-tailored blazers, trousers and pencil skirts, when teamed with a crisp formal skirt, can create the perfect office look. This summer is about a mix of feminine and androgynous silhouettes," says Thampi.
Barve emphasises on avoiding revealing, clingy or loud clothes to stay appropriate in a formal environment. "Bias cut and shift dresses, tunics, blazers layered over pants, the classic churidar-kurta with a printed dupatta, and saris with slightly tailored blouses are fashionable," he suggests, adding, "For heavier body types, a wrap dress and a cardigan, a cascade-cut shrug teamed with a crêpe blouse and pants and, of course, an oversized tunic with slim ankle pants work well. According to Kapur, there’s a simple trick to getting out of the rut of wearing shirts, skirts, and trousers every day. "Invest in separates with a unique character — pieces that have one detail that sets them apart," he advises. Mixing and matching them in various permutations and combinations can keep things interesting.
Thampi’s summer collection has plenty of whites, with a splash of teal, red and beige. On the other hand, Barve recommends "soothing neutrals like salmon, eggshell, aqua, coral and mint in bright tones."