While it is common to see shimmering saris at weddings and festivals, the six-yard wonder has a significant place in the corporate world too.
Women in the banking, hospitality and civil services have always flaunted the sari (also spelt ‘saree’) with style and élan. Today, with revival attempts like the Sari Project and 100 Saree Pact, the unstitched garment is fast finding favour among young women in other sectors too.
Here are seven top reasons (although there are more!) why we think you must make the sari your numero uno wardrobe choice for work.
1. The sari is a legitimate formal wear
Whether it is a corporate meeting, a presentation or even a regular day at work, the sari is considered a legitimate formal attire, as much as the pencil skirts and trousers. Saris in solid shades and a simple border, teamed up with minimal accessories, are all you need to rock your day at work.
2. It is a symbol of authority and influence.
Corporate honchos like Chanda Kochar and Naina Lal Kidwai have really turned the sari into an aspirational symbol of power dressing.
When you turn up for a board meeting in a smartly draped silk sari or crisply starched cotton sari, you exude oodles of confidence and convey to onlookers that you know your job well and you are not to be taken lightly. You command the immediate respect of your clients and colleagues.
“In the initial years of work, the sari helped people take the professional in me seriously,” says Uma Ram, a leading gynaecologist in Chennai.
Dr. UMA RAM
Leading Gynecologist – Seethpathy Clinic
3. At the same time, the sari is warm, graceful and elegant.
While the sari makes you look ultra-professional, it also radiates a certain warmth and grace that is unmatched by any other outfit. This automatically permeates all around you and you receive warmth in return, says G. Sree Vidhya, CMD, Ravindra Services. “In my experience, most often than not, when I am in a sari I have been received with a warm smile, dignity and folded hands.”
4. When you represent a brand, there is no better way than to say it with an elegant sari.
You not only strengthen your organisation’s credibility in the eyes of others, you also create your own distinct identity and brand persona. This works well especially if you have client- or customer-facing roles.
Krishnaswamy associates (p) Ltd
5. No size issues.
Unlike western wear, the sari does not have size and fitting hassles. It looks great on anyone and everyone!
6. The sari is perfect for the oppressive Indian weather.
With its airy silhouette and weather-friendly fabrics, the sari certainly scores high on the comfort factor. Those who crib that it is difficult to wear the sari and handle it through a tough working day, remember it’s all a matter of practice and getting used to it. Ask Uma Ram, who gets in and out a sari and OT scrubs “without a thought.”
7. There is a sari for every occasion within the work environment.
Soft silks for the board room, cottons for an outing in the sun, silk-cotton for a presentation, and a stunning chiffon with a sexy, sequined blouse for the office party? The possibilities are limitless.
According to Latha Krishna, classical dancer, editor and director, the sari is “feminine, bold, comfortable, stylish, modern yet traditional, formal yet casual. Indeed, the sari is for any occasion.” We couldn’t agree more.
So, get the sari out of the closet, dabble with it, and find your own distinct style!