I talk to young professionals- Pawan Hora, Co-Founder, WishBox Studio in New Delhi; Ruchi Jain, Asst. PR Manager at The Imperial, New Delhi; Bangalore based fashion designer, Deepika Govind ; Pratiti Rajpal,
Cluster Director of Marketing Communications, Andaz Delhi and Grand Hyatt Gurgaon (pre-opening)
and Ruchita Sharma, Marketing & Operations Manager, CGB (Consumer Goods Business) India, Swarovski to find out the significance of dressing professionally
The first grooming lesson one learns in the professional world is what may sound a cliché: ‘First Impression Is The Last Impression.’ You never get a second chance to make a first impression. The way you look says a lot about you. These familiar statements emphasize the significance of dressing professionally.
The New Business Casual
Interestingly, the subject has taken a new turn now-a- days with ‘Casual Dressing’ – the New Trendy Code in today’s working environment. So what happens to the classic suits and ties, are they out totally?
“Not at all,” says Pawan Hora, Co-Founder, WishBox Studio in New Delhi. “I believe the dressing in today’s working environment has a lot to do with the kind of profession you are in, Hora continues. “I run a PR & Communication design studio, with mostly lifestyle clients, therefore when you’ll step in my office you’ll find a melange of colours not just in the way we dress but the office space as well. We don’t have to look formal except on those couple of days when we have to go for Press Conference(s), etc. I have always believed that comfortable dressing at your work place increases one’s output as well.”
Ruchi Jain, Asst. PR Manager at The Imperial, New Delhi
agrees with Pawan when she says, “The trick is to wear comfortable clothing made of good quality fabric and carry it wisely, as one spends 9-12 hours in office. For example, well-fitted pants with shirts in muted shades clubbed with bright scarves is such a wonderful creative mix and match to be in contemporary style.”
Don’t Be Casual about Casual Look
Just because the workplace has gone casual doesn’t mean you have to be in comfy shapeless sweats and T-shirts with I-don’t-care kind of attitude.
Bangalore based fashion designer, Deepika Govind likes to give due importance to workplace dressing. No matter what may be the trend, she feels dressing appropriately for work is crucial.
In her own words, “While it conveys a sense of respect for the job (and more importantly, for yourself), it is important to be smartly turned out. It should be as formal or simple as the profession and work environment demands – but the basic guideline of simple, neat and chic is nonetheless universal….”
Formal Dressing still crucial?
Pawan Hora says, “It is crucial for sectors like Banking, Insurance, Bureaucracy, etc which still work under the notion of “Formal conduct at work gets its stamp of approval through formal dressing.”
According to Govind, “Formality may vary according to the profession and the kind of people one needs to interact with. But to dismiss dressing for work as `unimportant’ would be a faux pas.”
Pratiti Rajpal says, “Casual dressing works well for the new-age corporate set-ups but in the hospitality industry, grooming and attire are a very critical aspect and sticking to the basics and formals is the mantra especially for hotels. I feel dressing in a way that allows you to be your best and brings your true personality to work is the mantra. Because only when you feel good, can you do good.”
“While I must say that professional or formal dressing is always more preferential and makes for ‘Power Dressing’, how you dress up for work is more about what feels right and looks good on you,” says Ruchi. “Most of all it has to look effortless. For the hospitality industry, saree is the most elegant outfit, a woman can opt for which is not only elegant and well turned if worn properly but also looks extremely formal. I would just conclude by saying that one should be his or her own stylist as far as the work attire goes, not splurging on expensive designer clothing with heavy price tags but always opt for sophisticated and suave look with the right mix of outfits which create lasting impressions.”
Likewise Ruchita Sharma, Marketing & Operations Manager, CGB (Consumer Goods Business) India, Swarovski makes her point.
She says, “Dressing for work is key to projecting an image you wish to communicate non-verbally to people around you. That being said however, casual vis-a-vis formal dressing is an ongoing debate with the line slowly blurring. Today, dressing for work reflects your attitude for the day.”
Personally, Ruchita prefers to dress for work in a practical and professional manner and love sporting her jewellery, especially Niravana rings and classic pendants which add a sparkle to each work outfit.”
• So well groomed look is never out of fashion whether one is a part of a corporate work environment or is working in the service industry.
• A well dressed associate is always impressive. But one has to suit one’s wardrobe appropriately suiting the professional environment.