- Start with a skirted suit or pants suit for the most conservative look. The right color and material are important but the right length is critical. If you sit in a chair and can see too much thigh with legs crossed or uncrossed, the outfit is too short.
- If your skirt has a slit it should be small, centered in the back, and no higher than the back of your knee. High slits in skirts are never appropriate. A slit should not impair mobility (walking and climbing up stairs).
- Skirts should be knee-length or slightly above or below. Avoid extremes. A skirt more than two inches above the knee raises eyebrows and questions.
- When wearing coats / blazers, the collar is always outside, unlike that of a man.
- Pants should break at the top of the foot or shoe.
- In India, women wear cotton saris to office as well. Remember, silk saris are an absolute NO in business attire. Wear a sari only if you are comfortable carrying one. Chiffons can be acceptable to an extent.
- Kurtis with trousers are also acceptable in the workplace; however, churidars and kurtas look more professional than kurtis.
- Women need to wear hose in the business world. Neutral or flesh-tone stockings are the best choices. Never wear dark hose with light-colored clothing or shoes. Keep an extra pair of stockings in your desk drawer unless the hosiery store is next door or just down the street from the office.
- A low heel is more professional than flats or high heels.
- When it comes to accessories and jewelry, less is once again more. Keep it simple: one ring per hand, one earring per ear. Accessories should reflect your personality, not diminish your credibility. Pearls compliment your business suit the best.
- Undergarments should support your figure and not show through clothing. If your panty line shows, your clothing may be too tight or you might need to wear a slip. Wearing thongs is best inside trousers.
Investing in a good business wardrobe is an investment in your professional future. For those who think it's not what you wear but who you are that creates success, give that some more thought. Business skills and experience count, and so does personal appearance and that all-important first impression.
Here are few pictures to help you with the right choice: