Office power

She’s the tough, new corporate climber out to outperform the men. and her sartorial style tells you all you need to know. we profile four looks, which are power personified.

Bibek Bhattacharya | Print Edition: October 19, 2008

Women wear the pants at home, so why not at work? There’s been a shift in formal dressing for corporate women. We’re way past the formal suit. Even within the “safe” format of shirt and trousers, there are many different options to explore. Don’t worry about the corporate glass ceiling, the status quo never lasts. And challenging the establishment starts right here, with an edgy, elegant style.

The skirt

Nothing flatters better than a skirt worn well. If you’re tall, you have a natural advantage, but really, it’s about how you wear it. Priyanka is tall and rangy, so she goes for shorter skirts in uniform colours but with interesting designs, like this self-printed one. Heels work their magic, as she pairs her stilettos with a lovely satin shirt.

She’s wearing:
Shirt from Basic Addict by Axara for Rs 2,699
Skirt from Esprit for Rs 4,200
Shoes from Venus for Rs 2,180
Bag from Sisley for Rs 5,999 

Deepika’s skirt ends just above her knees, maintaining a fine balance with her long-sleeved shirt. Speaking of which, like her, wear shirts with as much frills down the front as you please, as long as you’re sure it does not overwhelm the design. The skirt frees you to wear high heels—go for the stringy types that you twist around your ankles.

She’s wearing:
Shirt from Sisley for Rs 2,999
Skirt from Esprit for Rs 5,500
Shoes from Sisley for Rs 5,999 

The suit

Wearing the suit is to dress conservatively, but wear it with oomph and with some personal flourishes and you’re bound to stand out. Deepika here wears her suit with extreme feminity, but she doesn’t have any time for wasters. She takes her  time with things and gets them absolutely right. Notice the tasteful way she contrasts the colours of her jacket, shirt and trousers. Contrast is everything when you’re carrying off a look like this. Don’t wear heels with trousers. The flatsoled shoes work just fine. If you have to wear heels, go for shorter ones.

She’s wearing:
Jacket from Esprit for Rs 5,500
Shirt from Sisley for Rs 5,999
Trousers from Esprit for Rs 3,800
Shoes from Da Milano for Rs 4,295

Priyanka’s take on the suit is more outré, but exciting for that very reason. Slaying a few blokes with the look on her way to work is no big deal for her. Some shine on her clothes works to her advantage. Contrast plays a big role in her wardrobe, too. Notice the trench-coat cut of her jacket and the flat-front trousers. A stylish but sturdy bag is a must, but make sure it’s not too big, you don’t  want your shoulders to look puny.

She’s wearing:
Jacket from Axara for Rs 5,999
Shirt from Axara for Rs 2,099
Trousers from Axara for Rs 2,999
Bag from Da Milano for Rs 8,995

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