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Office Wear For Women: Stylish Office Dresses To Wear To Work

31Dec2021
Office Wear For Women: Stylish Office Dresses To Wear To Work
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Need office wear dresses to wear to work? This collection of stylish office wear for women has some of the best professional work outfits on SHOPonSHEROES.

Choosing office wear for women can be much more complicated than choosing workwear for men. Indian women are more conscious of the importance of stylish office wear for ladies.

On the other hand, when selecting the best office wear for ladies we’re faced with many more options for exploring work fashion.

These formal workwear options, though fun to explore, can create confusion and indecision leading you to look at your overflowing work wardrobe and exclaim, “I have nothing to wear!”

Whether to avoid such indecision or if you’re just tired of looking boring and being invisible at work, these work fashion tips will help you fine-tune the art of choosing professional work outfits for women so you can dress for success and style.

Choosing Professional Work Outfits For Women in India

Would you like to look your best in stylish and trendy work outfits for women? Or stand out and be noticed at a business meeting, a job interview, or an event you’re hosting?

These work fashion tips here will help you choose classy work outfits and stylish work clothes for women so you can make a style statement and be noticed at work.

1. Sarees are stylish workwear for women

While pantsuits and Kurtis may be favoured among young professionals in today’s corporate India, the neatly donned, pinned-up sari or saree used to be the most commonly worn women’s professional clothing in India.

Sarees are dignified, respectable and graceful, and many schools and colleges mandated – and some still mandate – the saree as the preferred office attire for women in professions such as teaching, and also among hospital staff.

For social and cultural reasons, women in the 1980s and ‘90s mostly wore sarees to the workplace, but today’s generation looks beyond these factors when choosing office clothes for women.

A well-draped saree can make a statement in elegance, style and confidence, which is why many female CEO’s in India, like Naina Lal Kidwai, Chanda Kochhar and Shikha Sharma have made the saree their favoured style statement.

As Swati Piramal, Director of Piramal Healthcare says, “I feel when I’m outside, I’m an ambassador for Indian culture. I even try to wear a heritage saree to all my public seminars.”

Sarees are also very forgiving attire when it comes to covering up our flaws, making them the perfect office wear for plus size ladies.  In a corporate setup, it’s important to understand what types of sarees are appropriate to wear, and how they are worn.

While well starched and pressed simple cotton sarees, like this Synercent Crafts Handwoven Linen Saree, are a favourite, it is not uncommon to see some chiffons as well.

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office wear for women saree

Colours and patterns are very important too. Garish patterns and loud colours are a strict no-no, while sober colours with thin borders or delicate embroidery are graceful and make one look dignified.

Blouses with deep cuts and without sleeves are ok for party wear, but not appropriate as professional attire for women. It is also important to learn how to drape a saree correctly and keep your pallu neatly pinned up, and not floating as when wearing a saree to a party.

Instead of safety pins, you can use this stylish Fourseven Silver Champa Brooch to pin up your saree pallu and keep it in place.

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office wear for ladies

Or you may prefer this Mayura Peacock Feather Brooch with a deep sapphire blue colour that catches the light for a subtle statement of elegance.

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work wear women

While choosing office wear for ladies, what’s most important is to feel comfortable in what one is wearing, and not project an image other than what one is.

If you’re not so comfortable or good with draping sarees but need to wear them at work, this Instantwear Pocket Saree made with Mul cotton is the most practical choice to save time wearing a saree every morning. It can be worn in 15 to 30 seconds, needs no underskirt or petticoat, and has a deep hidden pocket to carry essentials.

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office dress

If sarees are really your thing, nothing can parallel the grace that comes with this traditional Indian business attire for women.

2. Indian or Western formal wear for ladies? It’s your choice

The ’90s saw a big change when work fashion and women’s workwear in India took on a whole new dimension. With the boom of the IT industry, large numbers of women were starting to take on core responsibilities in the corporate world.

With globalization becoming a hot keyword, there’s a considerable shift in the way women perceive modern business clothes. Young professionals prefer wearing Western business clothes or Kurtis, to sarees for more reasons than one.

As a 26-year old HR professional says, “It’s easy to carry off a Kurti or a pant-suit while at work, and much more difficult to manage a saree if you’re not used to it.” The key here is the phrase “used to it”.

The modern Indian woman took to the salwar kameez as a more convenient option for office attire. Today, Kurtis and trousers have come to constitute ladies formal office wear, although in more formal setups churidar kurtas are more common.

This two-toned blend A-line Maroon Flared Kurta has a flared back, high-low hem, and mandarin collar with two side pockets. Crafted in a cotton blend, this piece works effortlessly for office wear or casual.

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office wear

In the last decade, Indian work fashion has changed a great deal and corporate attire for women has come to include ladies suits for work such as women’s formal pants outfits.

Some women feel that wearing Western office attire to meetings and client visits definitely make a stronger power statement and can increase their acceptability among their male peers.

In many workplaces that include front-facing jobs such as air hostess jobs where women need to engage with people travelling from abroad, women’s formal pants outfits with their easily manageable trousers and non-creasy shirts have taken a front seat.

However, in workplaces where the concept of women’s professional clothing in India is more fluid, the choice of whether to choose Western tops and pantsuits or ethnic Indian wear is left to the woman herself.

For expectant moms, finding stylish western formal wear for ladies online is a challenge. This MamaCouture Coral Maternity Dress with Cowl Neck makes pregnancy fashion look stylish.

It gently rides over your bump and flows elegantly down without hugging your body, making it easy to sit in. The adorable cowl neck design adds an extra feminine stylish touch to your maternity style.

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ladies formal office wear

The soft fabric and empire waist make this dress just as comfortably stylish for a postpartum back-to-work look. Just add a blazer for an extra sharp and smart look, and you’ll be super stylish and comfy at work.

3. Casual and chic work outfits work well too

Many companies allow business casual attire for women as part of Friday dressing or even as everyday office clothes, and it’s not unusual to see working women in jeans, T-shirts and sneakers.

But if you choose to go casual, choose smart business casual outfits. Women at work need to ensure that their work attire doesn’t slip into the sloppy zone.

Casual work attire doesn’t mean you can’t wear chic work outfits. For instance, you can combine formal tops to wear with palazzo pants for a semi-formal look.

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formal tops to wear with palazzo pants

There are a lot of options for women’s semi-formal office wear for ladies that can look just as fashionable and classy as formal workwear.

4. Know your company’s dress code

Probably the single most important tip for choosing the right business dress is to know your company’s dress code. This is extremely important, as you do not want to unintentionally break any company rules.

For women, it is common to find a number of corporate dress restrictions that may ban wearing low-cut shirts, tank tops, mini-skirts or dresses above the knee.

But these restrictions on work dresses may be only valid in some professions, while in other workplaces, sexy office outfits may actually prove to be perfectly acceptable.

To save yourself time, money, and prevent potential embarrassment, you want to ensure that sexy office clothes are acceptable in your workplace before you start shopping for your work wardrobe.

If you do decide to wear sexy work outfits, you may want to check out a Korean formal dress for ladies, like these Korean-Style Bodycon Dresses that don’t show too much skin but still show off your curves.

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korean office wear for ladies

5. What office dress for ladies is your co-worker wearing?

You may also want to observe what sort of office dress for ladies is popular in your workplace.

Checking out what kind of women’s office workwear your coworkers and bosses tend to choose is a great way to get an idea of what office clothes for women are fashionable and trendy in your workplace, as well as what’s not.

Although you need not worry about what others think of you and your appearance, you don’t want your office wear clothes to be the subject of talk and gossip.

If you’re the kind who likes to dress to stand out, display caution when choosing your office attire to avoid unintentionally ruffling any feathers. When in doubt, stick with modest and elegant office wear for ladies like this simple, yet sophisticated Reyna Green Cotton Top.

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office wear tops

6. Research workplace style trends

Your research on workplace style trends can start with exploring the internet and fashion magazines for the kind of office formals for ladies that you believe will look best on you.

If you’re dressing for a job interview, or for a workday, or an important business meeting, it may be a good idea to turn to career or business magazines for work outfit ideas.

You can choose a trendy and fashionable corporate outfit for ladies by browsing fashion magazines or websites that feature the latest women’s corporate wear trends.

You can print out patterns of fashionable office wear, show them to your tailor and ask if they can create something similar. Pinterest boards are another great source of workplace style trends.

Be on the lookout for any work fashion tips and pictures on office wear for women that you can use as workplace style inspiration for your own professional clothing.

7. Stick to a budget

Another thing you might need to research is where to buy work clothes online in India. The internet offers you a vast number of work clothes stores and retailers selling women’s office wear online.

If you’re not careful, when choosing women’s professional clothing, you could end up spending much more than you need to and run up massive shopping bills buying formal business suits for women.

It’s not advisable to buy cheap business clothes for women because quality shows and poor quality work outfits will reflect badly on your style quotient.

But there are definitely ways to save money on women’s work apparel and buy chic business attire, like this elegant Reyna Red Ethnic Motif Cotton Tunic, without breaking the bank. You can pair it with leggings and oxidised jhumkis for a complete office wear look.

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office wear tops for ladies

One of the best ways to save money when shopping for women’s business suits is to be on the lookout for any discounts on work outfits for women.

In the SHOPonSHEROES marketplace, you can check out the latest sales and offers and also support women micro-entrepreneurs in India by purchasing your office outfits for ladies from their online clothes stores.

8. Use your best judgment

Perhaps, the best thing you can do when you want to buy classy office dresses for women is to use your best judgment. Many women do not realize just how far a little common sense can go.

Trust your instincts. If you think your butt looks too big in it, it probably does. If you’re doubtful whether those cute dresses for work would be acceptable for a business event, it may be best to choose something else.

If you’re looking to dress for a formal event where you’ll be the star attraction, or are receiving an award for a worthy cause, such as your participation in local charities, you’ll want to dress in classy and stylish work clothes.

Although we all love to look attractive and wear trendy business attire, it is important that you look elegant and dress appropriately. A sober and understated look is always better than going overboard with the bling.

Skirts are less commonly worn than pants as western formal wear for ladies in India, owing to the fear of being seen as inappropriate. But when chosen carefully, a formal skirt can be a very smart female office wear choice for a business environment.

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western formal wear for ladies online

Just remember that your skirt length should be at least till the knee (pantyhose is also recommended) and if it is fitting, a small slit is usually advisable at the centre back to allow you to sit comfortably.

9. Make a statement with stylish formal tops for office wear

Being professional in the workplace doesn’t mean wearing drab and unattractive clothes. You can be a serious worker and a fashionista at the same time.

Women who worked in large multinational companies in India became used to seeing their foreign counterparts dressed in office suits for ladies, such as pantsuits or skirt suits, and a few ventured to try these out.

Many women want to wear fashionable formal tops for office wear but are not able to do so because of professional dress codes. Others don’t know what office wear suits for ladies to select that looks serious, yet feminine.

You can wear feminine office wear tops for ladies like these elegant Satin Shirts inside your business suit to create a fashionably feminine and professional look.

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formal office wear tops for ladies

Business suits for women combine a blend of fashion and professionalism, so you can still manage to look chic and attractive without flouting your office dress code.

These Office Wear Tops are made from crepe fabric and come with a solid pattern. They are perfect to express your femininity in a professional and stylish manner as their cut, colour and drape set them apart from men’s clothing.

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formal tops for office wear

There is a variety of business attire on the market that is rich in texture and style. While available in rich colours, the type of fabric and the designs created for women’s business suits are usually understated.

There are a number of things you need to consider while buying career suits for women. The first thing to consider is the shape of your business suit.

Women are not square-shaped like men. Their bodies have curves and that should reflect in their formal workplace attire too. It is not necessary to hide your curves to be considered professional.

Do not buy boxy suits – instead, opt for ones that are delicately shaped to give you a good fit. This Beautiful Grey Formal Pant made from cotton Lycra fabric will accentuate your curves, looks and figure. This simple, yet elegant design for business attire will make you look feminine, yet professional while accentuating.

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women's formal pants outfits

If you’re pregnant or need plus size office wear, you can check out this Mamacouture’s Pink on Pink Polka Day Jacket made from light cotton with a touch of lycra, for that extra stretch required in pregnancy. It comes with stylish lapels to give that extra style punch for a formal look and the discreet pockets add an elegant touch for a semi-formal occasion.

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jackets for formal dresses

Business suits for women can be made to look more feminine by some clever accessorizing and incorporating feminine add-ons and matching accessories to go along with your new office attire.

You can accentuate the look of a formal plain black business suit and a nice shirt with long collars or brightly-coloured formal office wear tops for ladies.

It’s a great idea to add a scarf or stole of a similar or contrasting colour like these Stylish Silky Stoles that add elegance to any formal outfit.

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stylish office wear for ladies

10. Comfort is key for work shoes and accessories

Shoes and accessories are a very important part of an Indian woman’s business attire. Faux leather or fabric in dark shades (black, tan, navy) to coordinate with the rest of your attire is appropriate, while white or pastels are not.

Often given the least thought, your choice of footwear at work can make or break your day. That, however, does not mean you need to strut around in not-so-aesthetic ergonomic slippers in the boardroom.

With a little smart shopping for work shoes, you can keep your feet comfortable without having to compromise on your style quotient.

You have probably, at some point, faced the repercussions of wearing the wrong shoes at work – sore heels, calluses, bunions, painful shins and achy backs are some of them.

If your job requires you to be active, stand for prolonged periods of time or walk around a lot, it helps to invest some time and effort in choosing the perfect pair of business shoes to carry you comfortably through the day.

Avoid high heels or block heels at all costs! Wear comfortable flat shoes, preferably with the toes covered and follow our tips to choose sensible women’s business shoes.

Wedges give you the pleasure of wearing heels without actually bearing the brunt of the discomfort they cause. They are comfortable and fashionable and you can wear wedges with almost anything.

If you’re the daring kind, make space for flat, ankle-length boots in your work wardrobe. Choose these Elegant Boots without gloss, fringes or metallic detailing. These look great with skirts and even trousers.

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elegant office wear for ladies

Ballerinas or bellies are all-time classics and extremely versatile footwear for daily use. Whether it is the traditional salwar kameez, a casual Kurti with trousers or a power suit, ballerina-style shoes like these Women’s Elegant Graceful Bellies are the most comfy work shoes to complete any work attire.

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comfy work outfits

Since your feet stay covered, you can tide through dusty outdoors and freezing boardrooms. Make sure you buy a pair with cushioned heels for comfort and support throughout the day.

You can wear a pair of slip-on shoes with a thick base and cushioned heel and you’re all ready to brave a long day at work. You can even slip them off to put your feet up under your desk. The best part is that you can make your slip-on shoes look as formal or casual as you wish.

A pair of elegant pumps is a must-have in every career woman’s wardrobe as pumps spell power dressing. Choose one with a small heel and a less steep slope for office wear. Make sure that the heel is thick and sturdy, preferably with a raise in the front. This will prevent your feet from sliding down to the front.

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fashionable office wear

While comfort remains the highest priority when choosing work shoes for women, make sure you choose a design and colour that is appropriate for the workplace.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right work shoes:

  • Pick neutral colour tones like black, brown, beige and navy blue. These can be matched up with anything.
  • Avoid flashy and gaudy detailing, such as big bows, metallic studs and vibrant colours. There are plenty of stylish shoes that look classy and dressy without drawing unwanted attention to your attire.
  • Do a test walk with a pair before actually buying it. If it doesn’t feel right within the first five minutes, don’t even think about buying it or you’ll live to regret it.
  • Also, note if the shoes make loud clickity-clackety sounds when you walk. Anything that is too loud will be a distraction at work.
  • Faux leather, suede and fabric are good materials to choose from.

Always keep your office dress code in mind while shopping for shoes and find out if there’s a policy against open-toed sandals or backless shoes.

8 Timeless Pieces For Your Work Wear Wardrobe

If all you can choose are a few classic pieces to buy, then make them these timeless, must-have pieces that should be in every woman’s workwear wardrobe.

1. Fitted Trousers or Leggings

A pair of well-fitted black or grey trousers should definitely be present in your wardrobe. They not only serve as everyday wear but can also prove to be the best for a formal sit down official dinner.

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western formal wear for ladies

Paired with a well-tailored shirt and a jacket with minimal jewellery, is the best way to wear your trousers to business meetings.

Mamacouture Maternity Leggings are under-the-bump fit leggings that are perfect for women who do not like fabric covering their pregnancy bump.

These ankle-length leggings grow with you through pregnancy without feeling tight or uncomfortable and are designed with a firm cross-styled underbelly waistband, to sit comfortable and snug just below your baby bump.

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office clothes for women

Made from 100% natural cotton fabric with lycra, they are extremely soft, comfortable, stretchy, non-itchy and breathable.

Their Maternity Overbelly Pregnancy Slacks are a slim fit, tapered style with an over the bump Fabpouch that goes all the way over the pregnancy bump, keeping it snug, secure, and comfy.

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work clothes for women

These breathable and ankle-length, easy to wear, smart-fitted leggings with side pockets can be worn post-delivery also. Wear them with a long Kurti and heels for a formal look.

2. The One Piece Dress

If you need to attend a formal cocktail party and are undecided on what to wear, you can always rely on your little black dress or this One-Shoulder Dress as an all-black outfit.

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sexy office outfits

In addition to black, you can shop for other one-piece dresses online. Pastel shades and monochromes are great for shorter dresses. If you’re looking at long and flowy gowns, then the colours won’t matter, you’ll look gorgeous either way.

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office wear dresses

If you’re pregnant and need a plus-size gown for a formal cocktail party, this Mamacouture Black & Silver Maternity Maxi Dress is perfect to wear on formal occasions.

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plus size office wear

3. The Traditional Saree

Whether it is the classy Kanjivarams or the rich Benarsis or the lightweight Mysore Silk, a silk saree is a priceless heirloom, and you should definitely have one in your wardrobe.

Sarees exude grace and elegance and are suitable for any formal occasion like this off-white MIMOSA Embellished Kanjivaram Art Silk Saree that comes with an unstitched art silk Kanjivaram blouse.

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office attire for women

Sarees are now worn mostly during celebrations or parties, rather than on a daily basis. But for your everyday wear, you can choose light cotton or flowy georgettes and chiffons. If you’re comfortable wearing sarees, they can become your signature style.

4. The Ethnic Anarkali Gown

Right from Meena Kumari to Aishwarya Rai, Bollywood divas have worn the ethnic Anarkali gown. You can buy this beautiful embellished Anarkali Suit Set in rayon fabric to wear on festive occasions.

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office wear clothes

They never go out of fashion and are a line of apparel that adds an ethnic Indian twist at formal and official functions.

5. A Classy Jacket

Whether you are wearing a shirt or a dress, a couple of classy jackets for formal dresses are a must-have in your work wardrobe. In fact, you could even wear one with a saree, emulating the style of the who’s who of the fashion industry.

If you’re looking for plus-size work outfits, this Mamacouture Houndstooth Printed Day Jacket is one of the best jackets to wear with formal dresses.

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jackets to wear with formal dresses

This plus-size office attire is made from Lycra cotton and tailored from soft polyester fabric in a regular fit for breathable comfort. It comes in stylish cuts and flattering shapes, which makes it perfect for women at work.

6. Classic Accessories

Keep your makeup, accessories and jewellery to a minimum at work. You can opt to wear a practical fashion accessory such as a watch that suits your workwear choices.

Choose from this selection of water-resistant Titan Raga Espana Analog Watches for women that come in gold, grey, and rose dial with anthracite, mother of pearl and rose gold.

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trendy office wear

7. Face Mask & Chain

One of the most important work accessories in the post-COVID workplace is this Leather Mask & Chain Combo that includes a splash-resistant, easy to breathe, 4-layered linen mask engineered for all time wear, and a genuine leather chain to keep the mask from falling or getting lost.

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stylish office wear

8. Laptop Bag

Of course, no office attire for ladies is complete without a smart briefcase or a laptop bag – one of the essential business accessories you simply must have – and who says it has to be boring?

You can buy a stunning, artistic Indian Ikkat Laptop Bag with trendy hand-block prints that can be paired with a western or ethnic work outfit.

This laptop luggage bag is also perfect for daily office use and comes with a single main compartment, accessories compartment, front big and back zip pocket, and laptop section.

It has a sturdy grip and has a spacious 16 x 12″ (diagonally 19.5″) laptop space that’s a perfect fit for laptops 18″ inches or smaller.

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office work wear

It is who you are inside that really matters. But what you wear to work also creates an impression of who you are.

Dressing right will boost your confidence and make you feel good about yourself. When you take pride in your appearance and look good, you’ll feel good and your confidence levels will go through the roof.

So make the right choice of office dress and be sure to include these timeless pieces in your wardrobe. When choosing your business attire, be aware of your body type, and your comfort with different types of clothing.

Use the tips above for choosing the best office wear dresses for ladies, so you can dress for success, and get the edge you need to reach the top of your profession.

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In the SHOPonSHEROES marketplace, you can purchase both homemade and high-quality, branded products while supporting Indian women entrepreneurs in their goals of achieving financial independence.

Author bio:

Priya Florence Shah is the Group Editor at SHEROES and author of Devi2Diva, an emotional self-care book for women.

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