Accessorise to look the part

Accessorise to look the part

Styling without blindly following trends, smart fashion hacks and a little imagination can turn even the most mundane workday outfit into something special. And the beauty is, you can use the same set of five separates and three accessories to get a new look every day of the week.
Work wear has come a long way from starched sarees and kurtas over jeans to more customisable outfits that are in keeping with your professional role. If you are someone who is on the field all day, you may want to chuck killer heels and settle for comfy flats or sneakers, but there is a lot you can achieve by a simple twist to your fashion jewellery.
A dash of colour, a hint of silver in an elegant pair of earrings, or a glimpse of Kalamkari art in a breezy pendant - you do not have to spend a fortune or time to look good even on the most hectic days.

Simply studs

While gold and precious jewellery is best left for occasions, fashion jewellery that makes a statement, tells the world who you are, is the best way to perk up your Monday mornings and spice up your Friday dressing.
A well-cut blouse, tailored dress or skirt, may be your preferred attire on all working days, but you can play around with your accessories and hairstyle to move from boardroom to the pub in one swipe of your screen.
Meetings, presentations, or a regular day at work, may call for basic studs, small drops, colour coordinated, or mismatched for just a shot of energy. Voluminous or boyfriend shirts can be spruced up with a statement pendant or maybe just a statement cuff. Towards the end of the week, you can go more adventurous as the severe ponytail, bun or braid can make way for a fun hairstyle, bold earrings and bold necklaces. Even mid-week, when you kick off the work-day blues over a drink with your buddies, you can swap your plain-Jane studs for something that brushes the shoulders, add a pop of colour with pom pom and tassels or a glint of glamorous gold to make an occasion out of a coffee date snuck in between meetings.
Ethnic, well-cut kurtas, oh-so-versatile and with such an amazing variety of cuts, fabric, colours to choose from, are a fashionista's delight. Petite jhumkis, sleek stacked bracelets or even studs with intricate detailing, can make a statement without you having to shout from rooftops. Tradition, with a contemporary twist, is all you need to look the part in most work places these days.
Women, who hold senior, leadership positions in retail, IT or other industries, have had a interesting experience to share. When they are leading a large, mixed team, they have realised that the right kind of outfit and accessory can influence the quality of engagement with their peers and employees. Strange but true - most Indians are still more comfortable with a woman in a position of power when she chooses to dress in a classic-conservative way.
A light, crisp kurta with just a hint of colour in the accessory and a pair of comfortable but stylish sandals often scores higher than stilettos and side-slit pencil skirts and a severe top knot. It would seem that most men find it easier to converse with a person whose sartorial language is something they are familiar with. Presentable, stylish, without being fierce, intimidating, approachable yet something that commands respect, and uniquely Indian - it is the mix that will never fail you. And it is a feedback you are likely to get from women in every part of the country.
On days when such women have swapped their favourite H&M skirt and well-crafted blouse with pumps for a straight kurta with just a hint of detailing, the black and grey studs for a dainty pearl drop and the hair done up in a way that makes their facial features look a less severe, they seem to get more work done, without changing their working style even one bit! A woman like that is still the boss, just that she seems to put more people at ease when they approach her with a problem!

Go desi

There are some workplaces where a more western look will help you blend in. But it is important to remember that the best approach is to make yourself seem approachable without getting lost in the crowd. Monochromatic outfits, subtle prints or patterns on a well-tailored formal shirt, with skirts that are flattering to your body type, or pants that are designed for the Indian shape, are your best bet. And what better way to personalise your workday look than by playing around with your accessories?
Petite pendants on a sleek chain that nests between your collar bones, tiny drop and studs with pearl or coloured stones, or a long, layered necklace to go with a more fun look - you can use your imagination to put your signature to your outfits and look the part.
The right kind of accessories not only complement your look of the day, but also send a message across - whether you are a multi-tasking boss lady, a trainee, an IT professional, a young mom back at work, or a teacher.
While you can play around with colours, textures, trends, do remember, accessorising is also about knowing what makes your comfortable, makes you happy. Because when you are confident in what you wear, you look even more beautiful.

(The author is CTO & CMO of Voylla)

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