Not all of us have the liberty to work from home. It’s time to be a grown-up and it’s time to dress like one too. In India, while ‘Indian formals’ is an option, once you step into the real corporate world, you realise that Indian just doesn’t do. It then hits you that you might literally have nothing to wear when on your work invite it says ‘strictly formals’. Well, for all of you who haven’t got down to owning a formal wardrobe, here are a few basics to live by.
The clean cuts and crisp lines in formal attire, do the work of making you look your corporate self. Combine this with a confident demeanour; you should be good to go. All you men and women out there looking to making it big in the real world start out by sorting that formal wardrobe with a few tips from us.
Shirt On Alert
We’re talking to both you men and women when we say that the shirt should be a tailored one. White shirts are a basic when it comes to formal wear. They are easy to pair and make for a neat option. Striped shirts are also quite the classic option; pin-striped shirts are a favourite typically. Pastel colours like peach, lavender, lilac and periwinkle also make for good options for both men and women when it comes to formal shirts. While checks maybe thought of as unconventional they too are a good option. The small-set design in checks gives a cleaner look when it boils down to smarter occasions.
WM Tip: Keep in mind the thickness of the shirt and the length of the collar when buying a shirt. Always make sure it fits to perfection and isn’t overly loose or too tight.
When we talk about bottoms we think few basic colours – navy blue, black and grey. Other than these, white too is a good option. We understand white can be a difficult colour to maintain but white chinos for men and white pencil skirts for women are perfect when we think formals. Formal pants, also known as ‘dress pants’ should always fit comfortably. Hem and alter pants once bought if you think there are a few places that need it. Ideally, your pant should always have belt loops.
WM Tip: Always sit when trying on a pair of dress pants to make sure they fit perfectly. Both men and women, never wear your formal pant below your hip. They should sit at your waist restfully.
On The Outside
Blazers are a must for your formal wardrobe. From a casual one to a formal one, blazers are an extremely versatile garment and help pull off any look. Before we digress too much let us give you a few tips on how to buy the perfect blazer. Check for fit, type and colour. Make sure the blazer doesn’t pull or form any creases on being worn at the shoulders or sleeves. When choosing colours, think ‘re-usability’. Grey and navy are safe options to go for. Choose a colour that pair well with the rest of your formal wardrobe. Yellow too is quite a smart option for women.
WM Tip: Formal shirts are usually long-sleeved hence always wear long sleeves when buying a blazer and check for correct length.
Here, always stick to just the basics. A tie for men is ideal. (Read more: Let’s Talk Ties). A bow-tie for men and women (yes women too) is an option. However, avoid for everyday formals. A belt is a must for men with pant hoops and women too. Ideally your wardrobe should have a black and brown belt due to their versatility. Men, match the colour or your tie to the colour of your shoes, ideally. (Read more: The Balancing Act: Pants, Shoes And Socks).
WM Tip: A chain or leather strapped watch for both, men and women, gives your outfit that added officialism.