The biggest perk of being a media professional in Mumbai or Delhi, or any other Indian city, is that you aren’t bound by the shackles of corporate dressing. When I say media professionals, I am referring to the journalists, bloggers, advertising guys and creative professionals, who work in offices and agencies, but also the freelancers who use the neighbourhood Starbucks as a boardroom. Now, my grouse with many guys in the media is that they tend to let themselves go and forget to dress and groom themselves well. While going uber casual may be your thing, there is no reason to be shabby and dowdy. You can still look professional and display a smart turnout, in spite of being completely dressed down.
In the past week, I’ve been spending my days at the brand new Social Todi Mills dressed in pieces from French Connection’s Spring-Summer 2015 collection. I’ve put together a five-point style guide for all you Mumbai media professionals out there.
- Wearing Shorts is Acceptable – If you work in a place that allows you to traipse into office in shorts, then count yourself among the lucky few. Wearing shorts to work is indeed a perk. However, let me remind you to not abuse this privilege. You can wear shorts if they are trendy, well-fitted and end at the knees (no higher, no lower). Wearing shorts that resemble jute sacks of potatoes is not cool. Always remember to belt your shorts so that they fit snugly on your waist and do not hang sloppily.
- Smart Tees Only – No guys, this is not Goa or Phuket. We do not want to see oversized, beach-style tees, nor do we want to see torn, faded and shabby tees. If you do choose to wear a tee-shirt to work, which you probably should, make sure they are well-fitted, stylish and ironed. There is a clear difference between tee-shirts for your workplace and tee-shirts, which you would wear to the beach or to the gym. As for tees with suggestive, offensive or sexist messages, let’s just keep that discussion for another day.
- Use Those Shirts: When it comes to shirts, I have one basic rule – if you’ve got a meeting, wear a shirt. No matter how casual the setting is, a button-down shirt always reflects a certain degree of professionalism. You can choose to keep the look as casual as possible, even with shorts, if that’s what makes you happy.
- When In Doubt – The classic combination of beige chinos and a bright coloured, basic polo will NEVER let you down. A polo is also a great middle ground between a button-down shirt and an over casual tee. And it always looks smart and professional, no matter how boring people think it is. I always keep a stock of basic polos in my wardrobe.
- No Flip Flops Please – You may be a freelancer or a media professional, but you are not a beach bum. And remember that you are at work. So flip flops, in any form, are not acceptable. But again, that’s my opinion. My recommendation: ditch those flip flops for espadrilles, rubber clogs and loafers are great with your shorts and classic leather lace-ups or sneakers with your jeans and chinos. It doesn’t get any simpler.
Stay tuned to UrbanEye for the coolest updates on men’s fashion and grooming trends. Stay stylish, gentlemen!
Photography – Vishal Jolapara
Photography – Sanat Gaba