DON’T PLAY THE PART
Your work wardrobe should reflect who you are, but never give away what you do. Dress smart and keep the curiosity alive. Unless of course, you wear a uniform or are a lawyer, doctor or serve in the military – where your clothes speak for themselves. If you have the freedom to wear what you can, express yourself the way you want others to perceive you. In the hierarchy, seniors are taken seriously if they dress a notch above next level. If you head a company or a team – your clothes need to reflect it too.
You are what you wear. Observe the colours, styles, prints and patterns that your colleagues and juniors wear. Make a conscious effort to look and dress distinctly different from them.
Never typecast your look – if you are a man, change your tie, shirt and suit combinations as frequently as you can. Women need to do the same with their saris, jackets and blouses.
NEVER WEAR LOGO OR OFFICE DECOR COLOURS
Being loyal to the company is one thing, going overboard with it, is another. Some people make the mistake of wearing colours that are a part of their companies branding. Worse still, they are those who like to match their clothes to the colours of the walls, interiors and office furniture.
The message is clear: in the office, you need to dress to stand out and not blend in. Besides black and white, (a hint of) red, subtle shades of blue, brown, green or grey are acceptable corporate colours.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Wear clothes that are well-made, fit right and look as good as new. Oversized clothes will make you look and feel shabby. Clothes that are too tight can be restrictive and highlight areas they shouldn’t. These need to be altered or replaced – especially if they are shirts, jackets, trousers or skirts. Make new purchases look the way they do, even after a season of wearing them. Crease free materials or well-ironed clothes, will always send out right signals.
BE PATRIOTIC BUT DON’T OVERDO IT
While its fine to dress in traditional clothing occasionally, it can’t become your identity. The more ‘universal you look the better. If you want to be known by your work, skills or intelligence – dress in clothes that are globally accepted as regular office or work wear. Let people judge you by work not by your religion or nationality.
STICK TO THE UNIFORM
If you wear a uniform – give it the respect it deserves. Don’t make changes – even small tweaks – to your prescribed look. Always follow the regulation look for what it is. The only way to stand out in the crowd is to keep your uniform looking crisp and well maintained. Ditto for accessories, or the lack of it. This will always give you an edge over your colleagues. Fact: When you wear a uniform, it’s not about you, but about the image of your brand, company or employers.
NO STYLE STATEMENTS
Work wear needs to look the way it should: smart, sharp and crisp. Stick to conventions and avoid experimenting with new or passing trends. If you wear them at all, T-shirts (full or half sleeve) should be devoid of tongue in cheek messages. Similarly, refrain from wearing garments with prominent branding or loud and busy prints. Subtle, simple, fuss free and monotone clothing is ideal.
Fact: Pin stripes and small checks are the only prints that you can wear to the office.