Workplace fashion hasn’t been so much in focus as it is today. Women at work are demanding new ideas and fashion companies are innovating to live up to their needs. Luckily, fashion has become an identity – and now there is no fixed way to define it.
In the past, there were too many rules and women had to dress conservatively when going to work. The official ‘uniform’ for women at work in India were sarees. However, with the changing times and westernisation, workplaces now have dropped such orthodox ideas on how women should dress.
With its ever changing ways, fashion has also found its way into workplaces.
Many corporate workplaces in India do have dress codes. The ‘corporate look’ is what arises from these dress codes. A crisp shirt, A-line skirt, or pants, and heels – that is what the look entails for women. Corporates usually have ‘casual Friday’ where everyone can wear jeans and a T-shirt. Other companies are more laid back, and are okay with women wearing whatever they please.
Neha Gandhi, a fashion stylist and personal shopper based in Kolkata tells us, “Women working nowadays seem to be breaking away from the mundane monotonous stereotypical formal attire. People are expanding the conception of formal attire by experimenting with prints and colours, something which was unheard of in the past.”
Debanti Roy, a fashion blogger from Bangalore told us how women are hiring stylists to help them with their wardrobes, “If you want to be taken seriously at work, you need to dress up appropriately. I think people have slowly started to appreciate this mantra. There are so many closet organisers in the business today and people are approaching stylists to guide them with what to toss and what to keep.”
Kuntal Malia, co-founder of StyleNook, made a good point about your clothes being an accessory to success, “What’s changed is an increasingly flexible dress code which enables women to look and feel polished at work, without compromising their own personal style. However, women also know that there are norms to be followed when it comes to workwear – your clothes should support your performance but not be the performance itself.”
Working women all over the world no longer need to take time out to go shopping. Since you can do it from the comfort of your home or office, it’s much easier and effective.
Online retailers are seeing a rise in the number of women ordering clothes and other fashion accessories online. Retailers like Myntra, Jabong are the big players in this regard.
Kuntal tells us, “It’s not surprising when you consider how convenient online sites are for women who lack time – no limit on the hours to shop and a wide array of options.”
Neha also makes a valid point, “E-commerce sites are offering better deals to customers and are offering something that irrespective of how much time one has to shop, people appreciate: convenience. So woman or man, working or not, free or busy, e-commerce sites have made shopping a lot easier”. Since e-commerce sites don’t have to pay high rents like retailers do for big shops, they end up saving more money, so it is easier for them to sell online at a cheaper price. Debanti agrees, she says,
“Working women do rely on e-commerce websites and apps to shop – it saves time and is hassle-free. Online shopping in India has witnessed almost a 2x growth in the last decade and will continue to grow.”
Sukhinder Singh Cassidy, who left Google to start-up her own fashion brand Joyus has gone on record to say, “I think e-commerce 3.0 is about bringing entertainment, excitement and social interactions to shopping, particularly to categories that remain underpenetrated. This is by far the most exciting period we’ve seen in e-commerce in the last 10 years, with so much innovation pouring into the category.”
The fashion revolution in India has just begun. Especially in the workplace. Women are realising that there is a lot of experimentation that can be done when dressing up for work. Since employers have given women the freedom to wear the clothes they like, women are enjoying that freedom and making the most of it.
Pic credits: ElleXray