The Saree Etiquette for the Corporate Woman

25 Jul 2018

Most of us love to wear a saree to the office but we often give up on the idea because of one of the following notions. 

 
1. Saree is not professional enough and might draw undue attention.
2. It takes too much time to get ready when you decide to wear a saree.
3. Lack of accessories and styling ideas to look professional in a saree.
So, let's discuss today what are the problems faced by a woman when she decides to wear a saree to a professional situation like our offices and business meetings.
 

 

Picking the right Saree ( Color, Design, Texture etc) for office wear
We understand that you may have a gorgeous collection of heavy silk sarees or fancy stone/metal work sarees. But keep those back in the dress cupboard. An apt choice for an Office Saree is a subdued single tone saree in earthy or mellowed colors. Khadi, Cotton, Tusshar, Linen are some of the best material choices for a professional saree. Occasionally silk sarees are welcome in events and functions. Bold patterns and vivid colors do not go very well in an office setup.
 

Correct ways of wearing the Saree with the Blouse and Petticoat
These two garments complete a saree and it is important to pay proper attention to them to look your professional best.
1. Use a high neck blouse or one with collar, avoid backless, low-line or round neck blouses.
2. Always prefer longer sleeves; full sleeves or elbow length sleeves are more acceptable.
3. Make sure the petticoat is never visible beneath the saree or at the foot. Use a matching color petticoat. Try to wear heels or stand on a small stool (any large object with a flat surface about 5 cm high should work) to get the saree height from the floor, petticoat and pleats adjustment right. 
4. Avoid showing skin and cover the abdomen area correctly.
5. Pin up the saree with the pallu firmly and do not leave it hanging. Sarees sliding off the shoulders are considered a wardrobe malfunction and we must avoid it.
6. Make about 6-8 pleats for best results. You can use a pleat maker as shown below, as we understand that this is the hardest part of wearing a saree. 
 
 
Nidhi Jagtiani specializes in professional styling for women entrepreneurs and you can learn more about her expertise here.
 
Formal Accessories and Jewelry to accompany your Saree 

Now that we have seen how to pick the right saree and wear it correctly, let us now focus on accessories and jewelry that goes well with a formal saree. 
 
1. Keep jewelry minimal to simple earrings and studs. Light Pearl neck wears, and simple gold and platinum jewelry are easily accepted. 
2. Modern watches in subdued colors and neutral-hued straps do very well.
3. Use formal handbags, of neutral and single colors without laces and frills.
4. Shoes should be slightly more stylish than those you wear with a formal suit but not as gorgeous or informal as the ones you combine with jeans or wedding attire.
 
 
Hair Styles and Makeup for perfect Saree Etiquette
Primarily clean and neatly organized hair is the symbol of a corporate woman. It shows how hygienic and organized you are, personally and impacts your personality very strongly. So, we should focus on this aspect and instead of intricate designs or a carefree flowing hair over the shoulder we should use a sleek bun, well-braided hairdos or simple ponytails when short of time with our sarees. 
 
 
The same applies to makeup. Some people may take offense to a bright red or purple lipstick and bring undue attention to your face. Maintaining a good skin health and using a light foundation with a minimalist makeup can save your time and still make you look impressive as a corporate lady. Refer to my blog about makeup tips for professional women here for more details. 

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