Dressing appropriately is one way to convey commitment, value, and professionalism. Our clothes communicate our personality traits to our superiors, who, unfortunately for us, have the power to make or break our professional careers. This means we should be paying more attention to our work dress. How we dress for work is something our bosses consider sub-consciously, and for certain jobs consciously, before giving us a job or a promotion. Although you should always wear clothes that make you feel comfortable, you should also vary your working clothes based on the firm’s values for which you work.
Before heading for an interview, business meeting, event, or conference, you must have opened your cupboard and wondered, “what should I wear?” and stood staring at your wardrobe for a while. The answer may have magically appeared right in front of you if you work in an environment where formal clothing is a norm, and your closet is full of them already. On the other hand, if the working environment of your organization or industry is more traditional, for example, if there is a policy of only ever dressing up in eastern wear, the answer may be entirely different for you.
For men, the same cannot be said to hold true. Give them a neat button-down shirt, formal slacks, and khakis, and they are ready to go. A plain shalwar kameez with a waistcoat and oxford shoes will suffice for formal eastern attire. When professional women enter the picture, the playing field becomes more challenging to navigate, especially when it comes to eastern work apparel, as there is no defined formality for different occasions in Pakistan.
It is challenging but not impossible. To assist you, we have listed some proper professional clothing for each type of working environment, so you can dress for the position you want rather than the position you have.
Casual Business Work Attire
Going with casual business attire is a win if you work in a firm or agency, such as a production house, where the working environment is not just informal but also comfortable.
Button-down shirts and blouses look great with straight trouser pants and khakis. Jeans can also come and go but try skinny or straight jeans only. Baggy jeans have no place in any work environment.
Dress up any medium-length kurti with straight trousers, capris, or shalwars for an ethnic look. Long gowns are also welcome. Colors can range from vivid to bold, whatever suits you and your personality the best. Accessorizing is essential. Use small pieces of traditional jewelry. Carry lovely small purses that are not too dazzling or gaudy. Wear sandals, pumps, khusas, or low heels.
Business Casual Work Attire
To take it up a notch or two, go from casual business clothes to business attire.
Pair medium and long-length Kurtis with simple ankle-length straight trouser pants minus the embroidery and lacework. Avoid conventional jewelry and instead opt for jewelry that does not demand immediate attention. Wear a slim chain, studs, little stone-studded rings, and bracelets to keep it basic and minimalistic. Carry simple purses and wear low heels, plain khusas, and sandals.
Professional Work Attire
Dressing professionally is essential if you work in law, corporate, or banking. Casual or smart casual has no place in this dressing mode because anything less than professional attire should be avoided at all costs.
Banks, particularly Islamic banks, frown on women wearing western attire at work and make it a policy for women to always dress in eastern attire. If you work in those banks or law offices, it is advised to avoid wearing shirts with bold or vibrant colors that have been printed or embroidered. Always choose two-piece suits in solids or basic colors with minimum embroidery and lacework and no bold cutwork. Kurtis should always be medium or long length, with full sleeves and straight ankle-length pants. A dupatta or scarf is essential. Add a traditional shalwar and avoid any other variation.
Accessorize with simple and minimalistic jewelry such as simple chains, rings, bracelets, small studs, and sleek watches. Wear low heels, pumps, and khusas and carry small, essential bags.
Formal Work Attire
Formal work attire is similar to professional work attire, except it is typically designated for award ceremonies, work dinners, benefits, and other evening events. It preserves professionalism even outside of the office setting. You should always be cautious when dressing in formal business clothes because you are representing your organization and its value, which should always be in a positive light.
Wear simple kurtis with flared pants and long solid-color dresses. Avoid wearing anything with large prints, such as florals, and bright hues, such as magenta. Three-piece suits are also appropriate for a formal business atmosphere. Keep your accessories to a minimum, opting for an essential chain, bracelet, earring, and watch. Wear heels and pumps with a simple clutch.
Gender Neutral Work Attire
If your business does not have a gender binary dress code, you can dress in gender-neutral work clothes.
Sweaters, cardigans, shirts with jeans, and khakis are appropriate for a casual setting. Pair slacks, trousers, crisp chinos with sweaters, button-downs, or cardigan shirts for a more formal work environment. Button-down shirts with trouser pants and blazers are appropriate in a business context. Pantsuits are an excellent option for a formal situation as it does not get any more gender-neutral than this. Although you can add a touch of pink, red, or peach to highlight feminity. Adding wristwatches and simple bracelets will complete your look.
It is always necessary to look put-together at work to be considered seriously. No one wants to follow orders from someone who looks like they just rolled out of bed and is late. Clothes give a perception of professionalism. They tell others that we know what we are doing. If we can take care of ourselves well enough, aka keep ourselves well-groomed, that gives our bosses the signal that we can take care of more responsibilities handed down to us. Imagine showing up to your workplace in pajamas. You would stand out like a sore thumb with inappropriate workplace attire. Fall in line with the dress code or, better yet, excel and develop your own sense of style in each category.
Elegante carries a wide choice of clothing for women for the formal workplace at affordable prices. You can enhance your wardrobe by getting your formal clothing custom stitched using the unstitched lawn or adding a new pair of trousers for your casual wear. Visit us anytime for more formal wear for women.