This story was updated in February 2019.Pencil skirts, tailored suits and formal shirts fill up most of our work wardrobe. And while a few of us wear casuals to work from time to time (and get to show off our latest finds), a lot of us tend to forego our traditional favourites. So how do you add an Indian flavour to your workwear staples without taking away your style quotient? Here we will give you some suggestions.
Ethnic Office Wear Pieces
Deciding traditional office wear clothes is tough, So, here are 10 best ethnic office wear pieces that will add the right mix of traditional to your professional look!
1. Comfy Kaftans
Incredibly comfortable, thanks to the drawstrings, kaftans can double up as an elegant yet sophisticated choice for work. Be it bright solids or printed tunics, pair your favourite kaftan with beige trousers or black skinny pants. Since most are hip-length or longer, they help even out the figure too, especially for those of us who are bottom-heavy! Just make sure your kaftan is not see-through, and if needed put on a tank-top underneath it. A cuff or a bracelet teamed with a pair of platforms, and you're all set!POPxo Loves:The Kaftan Company Women White Printed Cover-Up Dress Price: Rs 1,999
2. Jodhpuri Pants
A cousin of the uber-trendy dhoti pants, a pair of these can make you look sharp and stylish. You can team these with a solid-hued shirt (think how great monochrome would look!) accented with studs on the collar for an important meeting. A regular day at work can also be enjoyed by pairing it with a bright, sleeveless top or your favourite kurti. Team up with a statement neckpiece or silver earrings, lots of kajal, and you're done! The added benefit: it adds curves to those of us who are on the lower side of the weighing scale.POPxo Loves:Nayo Women Maroon Regular Fit Solid Dhoti Pants Price: Rs 1,499
3. The Quintessential Kurti
There's a reason why Masterji was called Masterji and still is. Be it classic Lucknawi white or a raw-silk woven black, well-fitted Kurtis are a must. If you think you don't have the time or the patience to get them stitched, then here are your cues when you're out shopping. Look for pieces that come a little above your knees, or panelled kurtas in different textures that will go with classic churidars in multiple colours like white, black, cream and maroon. (Save anarkalis for special occasions.) Just make sure it's elegant when it comes to print and embroidery and says something about your style. Jutis and a handful of silver bangles are all you need to perfect your look.
Be it Phulkari, Mukaish, Chanderi or Bhagalpuri, a collection of dupattas will never fail you. With a variety of block prints, bright colours and designs, they can really help add drama and depth to your look. A tussar-finish/cotton dupatta is great for work and can be paired with plain solid-coloured suits (and will definitely be the object of your colleagues' attention), while a printed dupatta can actually be worn like a scarf (with a fitted churidar and kurti) to add a slightly bohemian feel to your styling.POPxo Loves:INDYA, Beige Solid DupattaPrice: Rs 950
5. Flirty Skirts
Let's admit it - there is something aesthetically attractive (and “artsy”) about wearing midi or maxi skirts with accents of kalamkari, batik and other native prints. A perfect mix of traditional and Western, if you will. There's so much to explore, colours to try...without having to worry about showing too much leg! Plus they are functional and comfy - meaning you go about work without bite marks on your waist. You can play it safe and pair your favourite cotton skirt with solid-hued tops, or go crazy with print on print. Wear chunky jewellery, and remember to dig out those Kolhapuri chappals.POPxo Loves:Varanga, Women Black Cotton Printed Maxi Skirt Price: Rs 2,599
6. The Elegant Sari
Whoever said “No one, and I mean no one can look bad in a sari” was right. While most of our moms worshipped varieties of khadi and silk, make your own collection by investing at least 1 sari a year. Chiffon, Kanjivaram, cotton, silk, or net - find your calling. Make sure you are comfortable in it and have a blouse that is sexy but doesn't call for unwanted attention at work. Add to that a pair of silver or gold earrings, and you're ready to take down a colleague or give a Legen-wait-for-it-Dary presentation. (Just make sure there are enough pins to hold your pleats in place!) And save your favourite net sari for the upcoming Christmas celebrations at your office – after all, it’s your time to sparkle too!
Adorning an ethnic top to work can make life really easy as it is super comfortable and looks beautiful too. A yarn dye stripe ethnic top looks so gorgeous when paired with black jean or even a churidaar and kohlapuri juttis. You can even accessorize it with junk jewellery but don't go over the top with jewellery as you need to make the outfit more formal.POPxo Loves:Sangria, V Neck 3/4Th Sleeves Yarn Dyed Stripes Top Price: Rs 999
8. Comfy Palazzo
Palazzo's are another most comfortable apparel to wear in the office. It is not only comfortable but it is stylish as well. You can buy cotton, off white palazzo with stripes or block print design on it and you are good to team it with several kurtis.POPxo Loves:Libas, Women Off-White & Navy Blue Printed Kurta with Palazzos Price: Rs 2,399
9. Straight Kurta
A straight kurta in the office looks so formal yet pretty. You can wear a kurti for a meeting or even for a regular day at the office. You can buy subtle coloured kurti like olive green, pastel pink or blue. But make sure the fabric of the kurta is cotton if you are going to wear it in summers.POPxo Loves:SASSAFRAS, Women Olive Green Yoke Design Straight Kurta Price: Rs 1,799
10. Elegant Salwar
Salwars are versatile apparel that you can wear on a regular basis. Just buy a basic coloured salwar and team it up with any kurti. You can also wear some silver jewellery to give your outfit a traditional look.