What to Wear to Work – Friday Dressing in India

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Friday Dressing is a Western concept. Organisations that have a formal dress code require their employees to wear suits, dress pants, button down shirts and conservative ties. The colours and fabrics are restricted too. I read on smallbusiness.chron.com that less than 9% office goers in the west dress in this sort of attire anymore. In India for most metropolitan cities, the climate itself does not allow dressing in suits and wool blend fabrics for most part of the year! Most organisations opt for a Business Casual dress code. Loosely translated, it means men need to wear full sleeved shirts, formal dress pants, socks and shoes. Ties are generally optional and reserved for client meetings only. For women, this gets tricky especially for those who are into Indian wear. In Indian wear, a sari is the ultimate formal attire. But, a K-serial type sari is not appropriate. Even in a Business Casual environment, a starched cotton sari is akin to wearing a tie! Salwaar Kameez or a Churidaar Kurti too can be easily worn in a business casual environment. For such an attire to be office appropriate, it should be preferably cotton, conservatively cut and sport minimum embellishments.

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What are the option for Friday Dressing in India then? In most Indian corporate offices, Friday dress code is semi casual wear. Casual wear like shorts, capris, singlets are a strict no-no. Semi casual means that jeans are allowed. So are T-shirts. While some organisations will only allow collared T-shirts, a lot are not that particular. Even with jeans, being in an office means a plain wash. A dark wash is always good but a light blue, grey or black jeans is good too. No distressing and absolutely no embellishments! There is a debate on coloured denim though. While a coloured denim being sported by men would be frowned upon, some women might be able to get away with it. Personally, I would leave the coloured denim for the weekends and after work sojourns. Men can also sport khakis, chinos and loafers as long as these are well pressed and not scruffy. Women can wear open toe sandals or slip ons. Not flip flops though! They are more beachy than officey. If you like to wear dresses, a jersey dress is acceptable friday dressing in India. A mini sundress is not.

Friday Dressing in India
A few of my colleagues show how its done!

At the end of it all, whatever be your office dress code, one needs to remember that a well groomed attire is necessary. Exposing thighs, midriffs and chest are best left to your own time. Lastly, comfort is the key!

What are your faourite Friday Dressing Outfits?

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