Let’s face it, clothes can make you or break you in this very, very judgemental world.
Moreover, with half of us learning courses that require us giving presentations every week or so, or be it the endless chain of interviews for internships or job placements, there ought to be more choices than shirts and pants when it comes to what all can we wear, right?
To some of us, formal clothing may seem like something very boring to work upon, but if the right pieces are put together, they add up a volume of confidence and power to your overall profile. Put up with the right pieces at the right places, and get in line to make the most rad presentation ever, or make that interviewer’s head turn in your favour.
When it comes to business formals, the skirt can be toned up or down. Along with the classic button-down shirt with a pencil skirt combination, a pleated or A-line skirt can also be worn with light sweaters, light-toned collared tops and even 3/4th sleeved casual tuck-ins. What separates casual from formal, in case of skirts, is primarily the colour and cut. All in all, skirts are one of the most versatile pieces when it comes to formal attire.
Not unlike skirts, pants and trousers can be classified as formal largely on the basis of their cut and colour. More than low-waist pants, the mid or high-waist ones work better in case of a formal setting, as they make the outfit look sharper. Dark hues such as black and shades of grey and navy, earth tones and light pastels work fine for business hours.
When it comes to business formals, there are numerous choices in case of what kind of shirts or blouses to wear, in addition to the classic button-down. Turtlenecks, pullovers, light casual blouses, even single-toned t-shirts would classify as formal wear if paired accordingly. In case of shirts, it’s fine to add a bit more colour, ranging from light pastels, various shades of wine/plum or semi-bright shades such as coral or mint.
A blazer is the one clothing piece that brings the outfit together, and hence, it is very important to keep in mind not to over-do with this one. The blazer’s hemline should seam well with the waist of the piece worn as the bottom, be it a skirt or some pants. The colour scheme should not clash. The boss coats well in any case.
There’s no such place good shoes can’t take you to. In case of those corporate hubs, flats, heels and oxfords would be your sole mates. One or two fine pairs in each category and you’ll be done with the Shoes’ section of your formal wardrobe. Similar as in the case of other formal pieces, light earth tones or sharp dark hues work best for shoes, as they would match almost anything.
Dresses are single-pieced perfection when we talk of formal wear. Pair them with the right blazer for a very chic look. However, in case of dresses, there isn’t much scope to play with colours. The options are limited up to black and greys, cream and earth tones, or the classic white. Also, avoid too much of lace or frill and asymmetrical cuts.
Accessorize as simply as you can, closing in at 2-3 pieces for an outfit. Belts, if necessary, should have a tone similar to the outfit. Also, hair accessories like ponytail cuffs and simple pins work best. If you could manage, carry your electronics in their specified cases, as they add a layer of professionalism too.
All in all, heel those interviews in as well as you can.
By Snigdha Singh