Oman beauty: 10 style tips for work
May 28, 2017 | 1:51 PM
by Antara Bose

Who said that we need to reserve the most boring get-up for work? Your work wardrobe needs as much attention as your date nights. We emphasize words like punctuality, dedication, and leadership at the workplace, but many of us often tend to downplay the need for dressing well to work. Even though it isn’t stated explicitly (and as shallow as it may sound), the outward appearance subconsciously does play a role in how you are perceived at work. Though the modern workplace and various creative houses allow more casual apparels, there are still some guidelines to dress for a typical corporate environment.

Colours and prints

There is no colour that is particularly a no-no to work. Well, as long as we don’t include fluorescent, neon and shining silver to the list. Bright shades when used to just add that pop of colour to an otherwise dark monotone dress is acceptable; but definitely not a monotone jacket in a bright yellow. Many believe that wearing darker shades radiate a sense of authority at workplace. On the other hand, lighter shades in summer are pleasing to the eye and look pretty fashionable too. As long as you are not severely contrasting everyone else in the office, you are good to go. When it comes to prints, there is a lot you can experiment with. Just because you aren’t bringing out that exclusive totemic printed skirt or that crop top with the trending over-sized flower, doesn’t mean you can’t still play stylish and sport the season’s colours. If you like flowers or stars or any other geometric shape, keep it small. Pinstripes are an evergreen favourite. It is stylish yet formal and can even work to make you look leaner. Vertical stripes give you the illusion of being thinner and even taller. With polka dots however, keep it small and go easy on the accessories as the dots itself do the job. Pair your stripes or dots with plain coloured apparels for that perfect professional getup. If all fails, go for checks - you can never stray too far with those.


Though jeans weren’t generally the ideal option for most corporate offices, it has become fairly common for field days, Thursdays/Saturdays and days when there aren’t any important meetings lined up. Opt for shades in darker colours and wear your jeans ironed to work. Which means you’ll have to leave out those baggy, stone-washed, and ripped jeans for the weekend.

Well-fitted clothes in the right material

No matter what you wear, make sure the fitting is right. We do firmly believe that office-wear shouldn’t be figure-hugging, but going extra cautious in a dress two sizes larger is going to make you look sloppy. Avoid necklines too deep. Collared shirts, round necks, and button-down dresses are the usual norm. And for the love of all things sartorial, unless it is adequately lined beneath, just steer clear of sheer.


When it comes to accessorising at work, keep it simple, classy and most importantly, quiet. Don’t wear bracelets which clang each time you reach for the phone or chains that rattle every time you pass by (you aren’t playing Tinker the cat and don’t need to be belled). Heavy jewellery is considered a distraction at work, even visually. Remember, your jewellery is only meant to complement your work dress, not complicate it.

No wet hair

Nothing screams ‘I really cannot manage my time’ like wet hair to office does. Yes, there is something enticing about wet hair, but that’s not what we are targeting at the workplace. Those wet stains at the back of the top are far from attractive and definitely not professional. It’d be easier to get away with a tight bun to conceal oily hair, if that is the concern.


If you don’t want to be tucking your nails behind a bunch of papers every time someone seems to be fixating on your hand, get a manicure (and pedicure if you are wearing open-toed shoes). It is essential to complete the perfectly-polished look at work. When it comes to nail enamel, you can never go wrong with pastel shades. Dark shades in blues, browns and even purples are common too. Though the office environment now has become more open to an array of shades that are acceptable, you still don’t want to wear colours too loud and be identified as the one with whacky nails. And yes, you can wear reds.

Statement bags

Before we get into brands and styles, there are some less talked about matters when it comes to bags. Ensure your bag is zipped, so people don’t get to get a sneak-peek of what is inside (they really don’t need to know). Keep your things well-organised inside so you aren’t clumsily fumbling around for things as your client waits upon you. Getting back to the fashion bit, even if you are dressed simple, a nice handbag matched with the right shoes, can add that style statement to your attire almost instantly.

Comfortably stylish shoes

No flip-flops to start with, no matter what the office environment. As the name itself, it makes you look floppy. Sandals with open backs have the same effect. On the contrary, wearing 9-inch stilettos to work is going to look a little over the top. If you are wearing a business suit, don’t go for open-toed shoes. Closed heels in neutral shades of not more than 4-inches are your best bet. But wear heels only if you are sure you won’t be hobbling around the entire time; it really defeats the purpose.

A good watch

Though old-school, it is the best accessory to wear to work and you can never go too wrong with it. Maybe slightly though; like if you decide to wear an elastic, water-spraying watch that belonged to your three-year-old nephew. Rather than bulky fitness watches that beep every time you’ve crossed 1,000 steps, go for dress watches. It shows you value time. A classy timepiece is the most subtle way of making an impression and sometimes also a great conversation starter for a fellow watch aficionado.

Light makeup and perfume

It’s the same principle for both these items. We definitely recommend wearing both to work, but keep it minimalistic. Besides making you feel uncomfortable, your workplace doesn’t need to know your contouring skills. As for perfume, keep in mind — what might be ecstatic for you, might leave another shrivelling up their nose. Just smell pleasant, not overpowering.

Work your fashion in office right and you’ll have colleagues giving you the tag of an ‘office style icon’. Now, if that is out of envy or love, totally depends on your chemistry.

Hi Beauty Editor, Antara Bose is a model turned fashion and beauty consultant. A popular blogger, anchor, and voice over artist, she maintains a deep connection with the local fashion industry and is passionate about discovering and celebrating aspiring talent as well as promoting animal rights. For fashion updates with a side of humour and sarcasm follow Antara on instagram @antarabose and on Facebook (Antara Bose)

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