Struggling to choose between a striped kurta and a self-striped pencil skirt? Well, you’re not alone. 90% of the working women today struggle with the choice. Does this list of concerns look familiar? Read below:


  • A kurta will be very comfortable throughout the day, but a skirt will look more polished in my MNC, what should I do?
  • I can’t carry a saree whole day even though it suits my figure the most! What must be my next safest alternative?
  • I am not feeling well, a tight t-shirt will make things worse, but a salwar suit can look too offbeat for my regular style. I don’t want extra attention, what must I do?

If these questions are what you face often while standing in front of your wardrobe every morning, this article will help you find answers without compromising on your style quotient.


Here are the top 5 ways you can wear Indian ethnic wear to the office without looking ‘extra’ or too offbeat:


1)   Start with wearing indo-western if you generally do not wear ethnic to office


If you’ve worn jeans or trousers or pencil skirts all your life to work, it’s likely that you’ll be jittery to switch to a kurta or a sari. A lot of women lurk around in their houses in comfortable Indian wear but force-fit themselves into body-hugging western wear while dressing up for the workplace.


A good starting point could be Indo-western wear instead of heavy traditional Indian outfits. The hybrid looks classy and edgy without having room for getting labeled as a skirt or a saree person. For example, try pairing comfortable cotton formal shirts with ethnic midi skirts to turn heads at your workplace!


2)   Choose subtle, earthen or pastel colors to stay neutral in your overall look


While reds and yellows and neons can look a little too lurid for office hours, muted browns, subtle mustard and other pastel colors can be a safe bet. These colors are usually too understated to look garish and you have more leeway to play with accessorizing. Colors like lavender, sky blue, peach, light brown, bottle green, etc. are all very commonly found in ethnic wear collections and are your best bet while putting together an office outfit.


3)   Choose accessories wisely – they can make or break your style statement!


Medium-sized hoops, dainty bangles (that don’t rustle too much to make you come across as noisy) and lariat necklaces are a great accessory choice for the office. These accessories are a good investment because they not only take an ethnic outfit many notches up in style but can also be paired with western wear for your brunch outings! Stay away from heavy oxidized jewelry that is touted to go best with ethnic wear. It can not only make you feel overboard but can also become uncomfortable after a point. Invest in light jewelry to accentuate your ethnic outfits and never again fall short of style and enigma.


4)   Be unpredictable in your choices and combinations


Don’t bother finding the right colored leggings for your kurta or the perfectly stitched blouse for your saree. Mix and match outfits from your existing wardrobe to create an element of surprise in your attire every day. Here are some examples:


  • Wear a cotton saree with a thin belt for an edgy twist to the traditional, comfort wear
  • Pair your regular melange crop tops with sarees and ethnic skirts
  • Pair regular color-blocked or chikankari kurtas with jeans instead of salwars and palazzos


5)   Be unpredictable in your choices and combinations


Everyone finds a cotton saree extremely classy and professional, especially for wearing to work. However, maintaining a cotton saree may not be a simple task for most working women who already struggle to maintain a healthy work-life balance.


As an alternative, you can always choose fabrics like georgette, chiffon or polyester, based on your comfort levels with each type and appetite for maintenance. We at Mivik, highly recommend rayon and cotton for kurtas and poly-georgette for sarees for all working women out there! Get in touch with us to explore more options according to your personal preferences.


We hope this article has helped you realize that working ethnic wear at the office is no big deal! All you need is the right mix of prints, colors, fabric, and the garment type. Don’t worry, you can still take on the world while staying comfortable in your skin and in your clothes too! Ditch those uncomfortable pencil skirts and be yourself in a laid back yet a compelling Indian ethnic garment.


3 thoughts on “The Working Woman’s Quandary _ Indian attire vs. Western Formals

    This is exactly what i was looking for, thank you so much for these tutorials

      It would be great to try this theme for my businesses

    What a nice article. It keeps me reading more and more!

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