Styling Saree for the Perfect Corporate Look

Styling Saree for the Perfect Corporate Look

Saree for office!! Yes, why not???

With more and more participation of Indian women in the work force, office fashion has gone through a radical change especially when it comes to women. Initially, when Indian women entered the corporate sector, women’s dressing was more about being modest. Feeling comfortable or looking stylish wasn’t much of a priority. Instead staying covered up was more important. Gradually, as more women started working in corporate along with the fundamental changes in the society, work wear for women also started getting more interesting and bolder. Equipped with more buying power and changing career status, women in India started to experiment with western outfits. Today, western wear has become a norm when it comes to work wear for women. Interestingly, Indian women never stopped mixing traditional office wear with western outfits. When it comes to corporate wardrobe, Indian women always enjoy a wide range of options and saree definitely manages to find some space in their wardrobe.

Though saree has always been an excellent choice for office wear, there has been a sharp decline in its popularity. Barring some sectors such as education, hospitality, healthcare etc., women in the corporate sector prefers to make a power statement in their business suits. Besides the changed fashion perception, there are few other factors too which led to this drastic change. Now a days women prefer to opt for hassle free western wear that gives them better mobility.  Tying a 6 yard saree in the morning is considered as a daunting task. Many women also think that saree needs lot of preparation.

Hold your thoughts…have you ever wondered, it’s just a perception and can be changed? If we just go back to not so distant past, we would notice that these saree cladded Indian women left their mark not just with their equal participation in Indian freedom struggle and in the farm lands, but also by flying planes. Saree can equally make a power statement in any corporate meetings if they are styled appropriately. Many of our women corporate honchos like Naina Lal Kidwai, Chanda Kochar, Meera Sanyal and Arundhati Bhattacharya are regularly seen in graceful sarees making their presence felt.

Sarla Thakral      Corporate Leaders in Saree


Myths vs Reality

Let us take look into the common myths that are leading saree to an oblivion when it comes to corporate dressing.

Time consuming- It definitely needs some practice like every other thing. Look at our mothers or grandmothers, how quickly they can drape a saree with elegance. Saree gives so much flexibility as it allows you to drape the way you like.

Not so formal- It’s about our perception. With changing time and fashion, we associate business suit with power position and authority. However, if we look around we would notice that most of the women leading corporate firms opt for saree as the formal wear. What matters is how you style your saree for work and your attitude towards your work.

Only for special occasions- Not really. If you choose the right fabric and pattern, it can be worn on a regular basis. It’s only our changed perception that we have started associating sarees with weddings and parties. Due to this, even when it comes to work wear, we associate sarees only with special occasions. Just imagine, how you can beat your Monday blues with an elegant and smart saree drape that motivates you to start your week on the right note. Or for that matter going for a mid-week change that lifts you up just when you start feeling burnt out.

It’s old-fashioned- There couldn’t be a more interesting attire than a saree. Having saree in your work wardrobe adds an interesting flavour to your dressing. When most of your colleagues in the office are donning the same boring business suits, you can breathe a fresh air to your office environment. Isn’t that exciting?

Tips to Style your Saree for that Corporate Look

While most of us find it very easy to style our saree for social gatherings like weddings, parties or festivals, we feel that saree is not an attire that go well in the office environment. The reality is, styling saree for work is altogether a different ball of game. And if it is not done correctly, it can affect your persona negatively. The good news is, it’s not that complicated. It’s rather simple and straightforward. You just need to make some smart choices. To make it simpler, we are going to focus on each of the aspects that would help you bring out uber smart office chic look in saree.

Select the Right Saree Type

Not every type and texture of saree work in office environment. Needless to say, one should stay away from any kind of glitzy and flashy sarees. However, you can never go wrong if you choose sarees in natural fabrics. Sarees such as handloom cotton, cotton silk, khadi, linen, raw silk and tussar are the best bet when it comes to office wear sarees. No matter if you want to go for solid colours or prints, traditional weaves always add a touch of class and elegance. In case of prints, try to go with smaller prints preferably, though there can always be an exception based on the pattern and styling of the saree. Linen, raw silk and tussar sarees are so versatile that you can pull them for an after-office party with some minor change in makeup and accessories. Besides the handwoven varieties, chiffons can also be a great addition to your office wardrobe.

Saree Types

Choose the Color Right

Colour is another key element when it comes to office wear. Loud colours can be a total put off. Pastel hues and earthy tones go best with office ambiance. Solid colours and sober prints in these shades can make your look subtle but stylish. As in the case of western wear, black coloured saree has the ability to make you look quite formal. Not just the colour of the saree, the colour of the blouse and how you pair it with your saree colour also has a strong impact on your overall look.

Saree Colour

Pair your Blouse Wisely

Blouse is an important part of your saree look. It can make or break your style quotient. To look professional, one should avoid any kind of flashy cuts and design on the blouse. Keep it simple, sober but stylish. You can opt for boat necks, collar necks or even round or v-necks. Just make sure to avoid deep necks to maintain the office decorum. Similarly you can opt for long sleeves, quarter sleeves or even sleeveless but without looking edgy. Depending on saree colour and pattern, you can opt for same colour blouse or go for contrasting hues. All you need to do is to select a colour that does not stand out noticeably.

Accessorize Smartly

Sarees are never complete without accessories. However, for office wear we need to choose the accessories smartly. Opting for accessories doesn’t mean that we have to go all out in loading them. The trick is to balance it out. If you are opting for a heavy neck piece then you can go easy with bangles. Similarly, if you are opting for a statement earring, then you can completely avoid wearing a necklace. The rule is to completely avoid any glittery stuff. You can either opt for oxidized silver jewelry or natural stone jewelry. Pearls also go very well with your office sarees especially with silk and chiffons. You can also pair your handloom sarees with simple wooden or terracotta jewelry too. And yes, make sure you put on your watch to make the look absolutely formal. Invest in quality watches with gold, silver and black leather straps. This gives you the option to pair the right one with any of your sarees.

Accessorize Saree

Makeup and Hairstyle

This is the most important aspect of your office look. Avoid any kind of dramatic, over-the-top makeup or hairstyle. Office ambiance is very different from social parties or weddings. Always opt for neutral and effortless makeup. Nude, pastel and earthy shades of lipstick is what you should go for. Simple kohled eyes without much drama is what looks good with your office saree. When it comes to hair, clean and neat hairstyle looks the best. Simple blow dried hair is always the most effortless look that can go with your saree. You can also try sleek ponytails, simple braids and high or low bun hairstyles.


Follow the above suggestions and bring a breeze of freshness to your office wardrobe. Sarees are not meant for just festivals, weddings and social gatherings. Change the perception and flaunt your corporate look in sarees with all your confidence.



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