Do you know how important it is in life to dress for the occasion? Do you remember the first day of your college… your first day in a B-School? Oh and the most exciting day, your first day at work 😉 For me that was the best I’d say.
I was dressed for the occasion and what an impact it made on my peers and managers. Co-incidentally I was dressed in a Van Heusen Blazer. I must say that Van Heusen has consistently been ahead of the curve in understanding the evolving fashion needs of Indian professionals and making it accessible to the Indian consumer. After all Van Heusen is India’s No. 1 premium lifestyle brand for men, women and youth. With a rich heritage of 128 years, you can never go wrong styled in them.
Did you know that they had a contest recently? By partnering for the second time with the world’s largest professional social networking site, LinkedIn, the brand launched Season II of its successful contest, ‘Most Fashionable Professional’. With the intent to identify 10 most fashionable professionals, the contest is targeted at LinkedIn’s member-base of 26 million professionals.
“This is in line with our continued endeavours of making the workspace a more fashionable place” says Mr Vinay Bhopatkar, Brand Head, Van Heusen.
The idea was very unique – you don’t participate in this contest, but you get nominated which means that others are recognizing you for your fashion sense. Basis the nominations received, 40 people were shortlisted and then their panels of eminent fashion experts selected 5 male and 5 female winners.
Users who nominated their connections were also entitled to a one time gift voucher, redeemable at any brand exclusive store. The Most Fashionable Professional microsite also offered advice on corporate dressing by roping in leading editors from GQ, Marie Claire, etc. Now that’s something worthwhile, isn’t it?
Here’s an interview of my favourite contestants:
Nisha Mishra: A Professional working with Zenith Infotech from Mumbai.
What does fashion at the workplace mean to you?
I believe that fashion can make you more creative in your everyday life. Fashion can also be used as a form of self-expression and is important because it is a form of communication. You are communicating to others who you are and what is important to you.
If you really think about it, when you are getting dressed in the morning, what goes through your mind? No matter what it is it’s probably pretty creative and you most likely put some thought into it.
Now if we were more creative with everything that we do including the way that we dress, it could makes us more creative at work. What I have found is that people feel extremely happy when they create something that they like and ends up a success. For example if someone was getting dressed and they decided to wear an outfit and people complimented them on it they would be happy and self confident. Fashion simply promotes creativity in everyday life. Fashion can make you look and feel more professional. If you are wearing something that makes you look more professional to a job interview they are more likely to take you seriously and consider you for the job. If people see you and think that you are professional, well kept, and put together then they are more likely to respect & appreciate your views.
How would you define your style?
I’d define my style as being innovative & experimental with my looks which is always on the lines of grace, style & elegance.
What interests you most about the career path you have chosen?
Working in the sales industry has been one of the most challenging and most rewarding experiences in my life, once you enter the sales industry, how far you progress in your sales career is a result of your personal drive, ambition and dogged determination to be the best at what you do. The gratification you experience when your hard work pays off and you meet those sales targets and reel in those big clients, is truly an amazing achievement.
What leadership qualities do you most admire and who is your role model?
My role model in life would be Will Smith. He is a true inspiration to me in whatever I do. His statement ‘greatness is not this wonderful, esoteric, elusive god life feature that only the special among us will ever taste, it truly exists in all of us’ makes one want to think that it doesn’t matter from where you are and who you are. Success simply comes by making a choice, you simply decide – What its going to be, who your going to be & how your going to do it.
How do you strike a balance in your life?
It’s simple really, I follow a very simple and precise method of going about my day and week in general. I dedicate my weekdays to my work & fitness. My weekends are the days I keep for family, friends & myself which could be anything from movies to brunches to shopping. A great weekend ensures a fantastic week ahead.
Aditi Mittal: An Image Consultant from New Delhi
What does fashion at the workplace mean to you?
Fashion to me is something that strongly defines who I am, in simple words my inner personality reflected outward. I believe that fashion at the workplace must be characterized by ‘The Four
A’s’, that are:
- Authentic: I should look like myself, the way I want to be seen and perceived. My fashion should be consistent with my values, attitudes and personality traits. In other words, my clothes and the person I am should be in sync together.
- Appropriate: I should dress as per my roles and goals. I should look like I belong, like I know what I am doing at my workplace. At work it must indicate that I am a person of importance and create the desired impression, visual message or statement.
- Attractive: I should look impressive and soothing to the eye and absolutely nothing about professional dressing should be distracting for the people around. I feel looking at me should be a pleasant and positive experience. Moreover, fashion at workplace must be carefully selected and should flatter my body with all elements of my dressing coordinated harmoniously.
- Affordable: Workplace fashion is quiet an expensive and time consuming affair and therefore it must be treated as an important resource. My kind of fashion is one that is versatile and allows me enough flexibility to have fun one with my clothing.
2. How would you define your style?
I define my style as ‘Romantic’, where I like to appear feminine and prefer clothes that bring out my gentle, charming, sensuous and gracious side. I prefer clothes that are delicate, soft and light. I like to add a lot of soft curvaceous lines and flowing shapes in my dresses with a highlighted waistline. I have a particular likeability for floral and rounded pattern and I absolutely love to compliment my beautiful pearl jewels with my ensemble to add the romantic touch. Having said that, my sense of style is versatile and experimental and always complimented with a hint of yin (feminine) traits. Apart from romantic, they could sometime reflect traits that are delicate, sporty or even classics. Another important aspect to my personal style is that is strongly represents and reflects my mood. Depending on my mood my fashion differs and my preferences vary.
3. What interests you most about the career path you have chosen?
Absolutely everything! If you think about it, everything around us is a visual image and it’s through these images we form our perceptions about things. On average, it roughly takes about 3 seconds for an individual to form these impressions. And most often this impression is a lasting one. The fact that I’m able to intervene and change perceptions about the way people see themselves and how others perceive them is both exciting and satisfying at the same time. There is nothing better than waking up to your dream, acting upon it and in the process you’re able to reach out to and help people. Moreover, image management is a combined application of art and science. It is where I’m able to bring out my creative self and also justify the science behind things. Image Management is dynamic and engaging; it’s something that you can never really get bored of.
4. What leadership qualities do you most admire and who is your role model?
The leadership quality I admire the most is the ability in a leader to inspire others, ofcourse positively. Only if a leader is able to inculcate a behavior that others seek as to be authentic would they want to model it and transform themselves. My role model is Oprah Winfrey. Her story is something that has probably given hope to a million hearts. He struggle, her motivation to rise and to emerge out so strongly is deeply admirable.
5. How do you strike a balance in your life?
What works the most is to have a good understanding of what your priorities are. My priorities are typically categorized into three areas- Family, Work, and Fitness. The key to balancing life is not in the quantitative hours but qualitative hours that you can give your work, family and fitness. For me, if I’m working it is purely work and nothing else. Similarly, when I’m with family that is my family time. And I make it a point to constantly involve myself into any form of physical workout- I’ve been a dancer previously; I’ve also learnt a bit of self defense; now I’ve moved on to a gym. I constantly change my hobbies whether it is familiarizing myself with football or getting into gardening. Every time I get bored of my schedule I make it a point to change it by introducing new things. Monotony of life is what gets people bored. It’s best to constantly break it, revise your interests and introduce new things. The idea is to constantly learn and evolve.
Signing off… with a question for y’all! What does your work wear say about you?