Of course, you can’t be wearing bright biker shorts, rapper-style vests, or your gym clothes to work. But considering the rise of the informal work attires at different offices, how casual is ‘casual’? While we are still battling to arrive at some sort of consensus on leggings (the battle of the generations continue), here is a list of what’s acceptable, what’s not, and what can be made acceptable. Honestly, we really hope you weren’t actually wearing the ones we’re crossing off.
Jeans: Jeans if worn right are perfectly acceptable, common, and most importantly, hassle-free. But we’ll emphasise on ‘worn right’ again; which means you can rule out low-waist jeans that look like they are hanging on for dear life. Ripped jeans are a no-no too. Though people do wear washed out jeans, the ideal pair would be a solid dark blue or black.
Sparkles: It’s a workplace, not your favourite nightclub. Leave the bling out of your office. If you really want to look vibrant, wear pretty florals in bright colours, not a sequined, embellished dress studded with polished mirrors. It’s distracting, and not in a pleasant way.
Text T-shirts: If it says things like ‘I love my workplace’ you’ll probably get a nod from the boss. But let’s not walk around the office with a T-shirt illustrating your disturbingly dark humour. Definitely not acceptable!
Clothes you need to keep tugging at: Basically anything that makes you uncomfortable. It could be a skirt that is too short, a shirt that is too tight or even a top so loose that you need to keep pulling it together. You’ll be living in that outfit the entire day and people are bound to notice the dress and your discomfort in it.
Animal prints: We know it’s not fur or skin and there is no cruelty in just a print. But do you really want people in the office to call you the ‘cheetah girl’? If you are considering your leopard-printed pants, we suggest you keep it only for your wild adventures (no pun intended).
Sneakers and backpack: You aren’t a college kid anymore so drop these two items for the workplace. You can find a pair of ballet flats if you’re looking for comfortable shoes and a tote bag that’s more ladylike.
Crocs or flip-flops: No matter how fashionable a pair you buy, you cannot wear crocs or flip-flops to work. They are meant for lazy afternoons, poolside barbecues or beach-days, not for office.
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, wellness and health industry. For fashion updates follow Antara on instagram @antarabose and on Facebook: Antara Bose.