Fashion / workplace fashion

5 tips to use a saree for office wear, inspired by Vidya Balan

. 5 min read . Written by Kanksha Raina
5 tips to use a saree for office wear, inspired by Vidya Balan

When it comes to sustainable, evergreen fashion, one cannot forget the saree. A majority of us would agree that a saree is an elegant piece of clothing – it suits every body type and looks good when draped in most ways. But as much as we know this, not enough of us think of a saree as a staple for our everyday office wear. Well, we’re here to change that. And we have a celebrity to back us!

Vidya Balan is revered for not just her prowess as an actor, but also her impeccable sense of style. Very few women in the industry can carry off Indian wear as well as she can; after trying various styles throughout her career, she realised she’s comfortable and confident in Indian wear, and especially in an elegantly draped saree. In her words:

“I love the saree and I am so glad that I decided one day that I am going to wear what I like to wear, I am going to do what I want to do, I am going to say what I want to say. That is so liberating, it’s so freeing, and then people have no choice but to appreciate you. Because they realise you are too shameless.”

A saree can be a wonderful piece of formal office wear for women who wish to look more professional in the workplace. Just as you’d wear a pencil skirt and a formal shirt or a kurti with trousers, there’s something about a saree that commands attention in a room. What’s a better way to make a mark during that important board meeting?

Taking some inspiration from none other than the goddess herself, here are some tips on how you can nail that formal saree look for office.

How to wear a saree for office: nail the professional saree look like Vidya Balan

  1. Choose the right colour

The colour of your saree is as important as the decision to wear it. The most important thing to remember is that you’re at work, so your outfit should be conducive to your environment.

Loud colours are a strict no-no as they can be distracting. Steer clear of bright colours such as red, orange, or yellow, and opt for lighter colours such as indigo, lavender, and green.

Colours look different on different fabrics; at the end of the day, no matter what colour you choose, ensure that it doesn’t hurt the eyes.

Similarly, refrain from loud prints and patterns. A block colour is a great formal saree look for the office. However, if you truly enjoy experimenting with your work outfits, you can try out a trendy but sober print. Just make sure you don’t have your coworkers concentrating on you instead of the task at hand.

2.  Choose the right style

Now that you’ve zeroed in on the colour for your formal saree look for office, pick the right kind of style.

You are most likely to be walking from one meeting room to another, sitting in crowded canteens with greasy food all around you, and, of course, actually working. And to make sure you do it right, you need to be comfortable. Not to mention, your overall look shouldn’t take you hours to whip up.

From the fabric to the blouse, your professional saree look should spell comfort.

Ditch the georgette, delicate silks, and sheer drapes, and pick cotton sarees and handloom sarees for office wear.

They are easy to drape, are lightweight, and compliment every body type. There are several inexpensive casual sarees available online that you can wear to work with elan.

3.  Make it practical

Your saree should not only be comfortable, but should also adhere to your office dress code. You don’t want to pull a Sushmita Sen in Main Hoon Na in your quarterly review (leave that for parties to scandalise nosey relatives). Ensure you aren’t showing too much of your midriff by wearing a modest blouse – but modest doesn’t have to be boring. From collared blouses to boat neck blouses and differing sleeve lengths, there are a ton of new designs and ready-made blouses in the market that steer away from the traditional. Embrace it!

Along with this, remember to wear comfortable heels that you can walk around in. It’s also practical to pin your pallu to your blouse so you don’t pull another Sushmita Sen when you’re going out and about in the office.

4.  Accessorise

Wearing a modest and comfortable saree doesn’t mean it has to be boring. Let your accessories do the talking!

The good thing about breezy office wear sarees is that they’re easy to work with. Pair your outfit with a minimalist set of earrings or a neck piece that doesn’t stand out too much. If you want to elevate the look a little bit without turning heads, opt for a statement necklace or earrings and leave everything else bare.

You could even opt for a glamorous looking watch or bracelet if that’s more your style, pairing it with barely-there studs.

Avoid heels; wear comfortable footwear that adds some height so you don’t trip over your saree. A pair of Kolhapuri wedges or even a trendy pair of sports shoes will amp up your look and make it super trendy.

5.  Mix it up

Now that you’re comfortable with wearing a saree professionally, there are several ways you can give a spin to this classic outfit.

Wear a jacket over your saree on cold days to elevate your look. There are a variety of jackets available in the market today; pick from a wide range of colours, patterns, and styles to add to your work wardrobe. If you want to elevate a simple cotton or handloom saree for office wear without the drama, opt for a broad waist belt.

You could also mix and match different colours or patterns on your blouse so it compliments your saree.

If you’re feeling adventurous, go ahead and wear your saree with your favourite pair of trousers or jeans! Here’s one of many tutorials you’ll find on the same.

Many of these styles are office-friendly as they allow more movement and cause the least amount of hassle.

Brands that sell sarees for office wear

Think we’d let you go without sharing some of our favourite saree brands to shop from? Here are some of the best online stores where you can find the most affordable and stylish cotton and handloom sarees for office wear. Thank us later!

  1. Boveee
  2. Suta
  3. Chidiyaa
  4. Yarn India

Draping a saree to work need not be rocket science. There are several ways to go about wearing one, and the more you try, the better you get. We hope this helps you take that step forward and dress up in a saree for office. If not, take notes from the stunning Vidya Balan and try again!

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