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What To Wear To Work On A Budget | How To Dress For Office 101

Posted: July 2, 2013

Looking forward to the annual budget? Here’s our wishlist for Ms. Nirmala Sitharaman!

Worried how to dress for office without it being boring or expensive? 6 tips for Indian women on what to wear to work on a budget!

By Chandana M

Do you spend every Monday morning staring into your closet wondering for the nth time why you have nothing to wear? Many working women in India face this dilemma and there can be nothing worse than a closet that does not cooperate when you are already running late for work. Let’s face it, we Indian women love our clothes. Dressing up smartly and looking presentable makes us feel good about ourselves.

However, you don’t need to spend big bucks to get that dream wardrobe. Like everything else in life, smart choices and knowing what works for your body is the key to having a never-disappointing closet. The two most important aspects that working women in India need to remember when it comes to office wear are:

– Comfort
– Fit

Keeping that in mind, here are some tips to get you one step closer to a frugal working wardrobe!

What to wear to work on a budget tip 1

Shop your own closet: There are always hidden gems in every Indian woman’s closet. Keep sorting your clothes regularly. Alternate the piles at the back of your closet with the ones in front so that you get to use all your clothes. Once you discover the set of clothes you wear most often, you know what your style is.

See if you can somehow work with the other not-so-often-used set of clothes too. Those might be impulse buys, which you thought you might wear. Maybe you can experiment and venture a little out of your comfort zone.


A white kurta lying in your closet forgotten? See what else you can team it with!

Where you can get it: Ziyaa White Boat Neck with Cap Sleeves kurta

What to wear to work on a budget tip 2

List and Budget: Once you have organized your closet, if you still feel that you are missing some key pieces (maybe neutral coloured leggings, or a pair of well fitted black trousers), make a list. Have a budget. Stick to both. It’s easy to get side tracked when shopping so having a list helps you invest in good quality pieces, which can be used in more than one way.

One thumb rule to follow is to divide the price of the product by the number of times you believe you would be using it. Example: If something is Rs.1000 and you’ll probably wear it at least 5 times, then the cost is justified. But if it is Rs.1000 and you are going to end up wearing it only once, then do you really need it?


Well-fitted, yet relaxed grey trousers, go with everything!

Get it here: Van Heusen relaxed grey trousers

What to wear to work on a budget tip 3

Mix and match: This is the easiest way for working women in India to save quick bucks on their work wardobe. Although it takes some practice, it gives you numerous combinations to wear.

– Solid colours like black, white, grey and brown go with almost any colour. A top/kurta of one of these colours with any coloured bottom is a perfect match. So you have, 4 kurtas x 4 coloured leggings = 16 combinations!

Get it here: Krystle combo set of 6 leggings for women

What to wear to work: Mix & Match

– You can wear your dresses as kurtis with leggings; very different and very office appropriate.

What to wear to work tip 3

What to wear to work on a budget tip 4

Turn old to new: Right accessories can turn plain, old clothes to brand new ones.

– A statement necklace over a simple top/ kurti. 

A statement necklace on a white kurti.

Get it here: Zephyr Handmade Statement neckpiece

– Statement earrings with a colour-blocked suit 

Statement earrings with a colour-blocked suit

– A well-fitted blazer pairs perfectly with just about anything – be it dresses, skirts or trousers. 

A well-fitted blazer

Get it here: Today Fashion women’s stylish black blazer

What to wear to work on a budget tip 5

Try out the fit in a shop, buy the same online for a discount: This is one trick by which working women in India can save a lot of money. It specially works for shoes where comfort is very important and you cannot really know the fit unless you try it out. In most cases the most comfortable shoes are the most expensive ones! A lot of online stores offer the same brands for good discounts, so hit the (online) sales rack!

What to wear to work on a budget tip 5

Get it here: A range of sandals for under Rs.1000

What to wear to work on a budget tip 6

Crisp business formals: You need to know when to draw the strings on your purse tight and when to splurge. A business suit is where you splurge. The fabric, the fit, and the cut – it all matters. Nothing oozes confidence more than business formals!

What to wear to work: Crisp business formals

So go ahead; follow these tips and dress up for work every day!

Photo credits:  The Girl At First Avenue and others via Amazon.

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Artist. Writer. Travel buff. Style enthusiast. Finance graduate. Aspiring entrepreneur. Reads too many books for

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