Unlike the Indian corporate world, where saris and pant-suits are a common sight, a woman entrepreneur’s clothing depends on her work – the environment, the kind of clients and employees she deals with, and the physical effort involved.
It could be casual streetwear for one, trendy dresses for another, and track-pants for a third! We asked six women entrepreneurs what they wear to work every day, and the reasons behind it.
Charuvi P Aggarwal, 34, Founder of Charuvi Design Labs
Visual artist, filmmaker and the award-winning founder of animation studio Charuvi Design Labs, Charuvi P Aggarwal’s fertile imagination is in complete contrast with her simple clothing. In 2009, she set up her own firm to produce 3D animated videos and films in 2009, and their first film Hanuman Chalisa won several awards at film festivals around the world. She also creates large, mind-boggling art installations.
Workwear: Cotton or linen pants with cotton tops or handloom kurtas or salwar suits. The only thing that matters in my field is the quality of work one delivers. And the ability to communicate with clients. So what I wear has to solve those two purposes.
Makeup: I like natural / nude makeup, and I love Bobby Brown and M.A.C.
Heels or flats: Flats! But I do wear heels when I head to meetings.
Accessories: I don’t care much for jewellery or watches or even handbags for that matter. I do like high-quality and artful accessories for the odd occasion, though.
Salon time: Once in three months – or if there is a special occasion!
Hair rules: I believe it’s best to limit the amount of chemicals on the hair or skin.
What you will NEVER wear: Glittery, blingy, gaudy dresses!
Aashita Chopra, 34, Founder of Kratos – Fitness & Beyond
Armed with an MBA degree from UK, Aashita Chopra worked in the corporate world before partnering with two international-level body builders and strength-training coaches to launch Kratos – Fitness & Beyond. They offer group training, ‘body weapon’ boot camps, zumba and mixed martial arts to individuals and corporate houses.
Workwear: Mostly track pants and T-shirts or tank tops. I like to stay comfortable without hampering the range of motion for movement. Snug and well-fitted innerwear is very important – a dash of bright colours keeps it interesting.
Makeup: My trusted brands are M.A.C and Clinique. My usual work look is basic and fuss-free with kajal (black or sometimes blue), face cream, and lip balm with a coloured lip tint.
Favourite workout shoes: Nike, ASICS and Mizuno. I mix up and alternate my shoes according to use and what I’m wearing.
Accessories: I keep my accessories to a minimum with simple stud earrings that don’t catch in the hair or come in the way of fitness training. I wear a smart watch and carry shades –Oakley or Coach – when I’m outdoors.
Salon time: When I’m free! But I stick to my basic skin and hair regimes religiously. Good eating habits and lifestyle work best.
Hair rules: I keep it tied up. I try new hairstyles with braiding or a new haircut once in a while. When I go out, I keep my hair open.
Yoga pants versus track pants: I mostly favour track pants but it depends on what fits best and looks good for the activity and day’s routine.
What you will NEVER wear: Anything super tight or uncomfortable.
Vishaka Beriwala, 30, Founder Director of V Club Gurgaon
Hailing from a business family with interests in real-estate and construction, Vishaka Beriwala’s interest in hospitality and fine dining took root after completing her MBA from ESADE Barcelona. In 2015, she launched V Club Gurgaon, a luxury sports and recreational club catering to high-net-worth individuals and corporate bigwigs.
Workwear: I have a lot of walking to do at my workplace due to operational rounds, client visits and events management. Instead of branded clothing, I let my work speak for me. I love wearing khaki pants from GAP and cotton or linen shirts. Sometimes, palazzos and long kurtis do the trick.
Makeup: Minimal or no makeup! I stick to sunscreen and eye-liner on most days and a basic Christian Dior Lip Gloss.
Heels or flats: I walk almost 6000-8000 steps a day, so I wear either canvas sneakers or flats to work.
Accessories: My everyday accessory is a very classic Pandora bracelet with a few charms. I stick to basic diamond studs for my earrings and a couple of subtle rings.
Salon time: Fortunately, my club has a salon, so I can go anytime.
Hair rules: No chemicals. I avoid blow-drying too as much as possible.
What you will never wear: Tight clothes, stilettos and red lipstick.
Gauri Angrish, 28, Founder and CEO of CAREDOSE
Gauri Angrish studied biotechnology with a focus on cardiac stem cells from the University of Nottingham. After working for a few years in big pharma, she quit her job and developed the CAREDOSE system, which ensures medication delivery and intake. Since then she has received two patents and has been selected as a NASDAQ milestone maker.
Workwear: The startup world is a bit casual but in healthcare I sometimes feel the need to look a bit older as that helps while talking to established people across the table.
Makeup: Just lipstick. For a formal meeting, maybe a darker pink lipstick and some kajal.
Heels or flats: Flats on a daily basis but heels for meetings or conferences.
Accessories: I don’t change my jewellery and usually wear small gold hoops, two bracelets (one is a charm bracelet and the other is a kada) and a rose-gold watch. I also wear a gold and emerald ring.
Salon time: I go for basic hygiene upkeep and manicures-pedicures but not for any beauty regimes or extensive facials.
Hair rules: I’m blessed with poker-straight hair, so I usually leave them open but I also sport a pony-tail or juda sometimes.
What you will never wear: At work, I would never wear something that is revealing or tight.
Pallavi Pratap Malik, 27, and Amrita Nagpal, 28, Co-founders of The Brand Concierge
Amrita Nagpal studied finance at the University of Warwick. Her school friend Pallavi Pratap Malik studied political science at Jesus and Mary College, Delhi University, before studying fashion business management from London College of Fashion. After working in the communication and design industries for a few years, the two came together in early 2017 to set up The Brand Concierge, a creative marketing consultancy that provides end-to-end branding and digital design solutions.
Workwear: We end up meeting quite a few professionals from the fashion industry every day. So our dressing has to be trendy and presentable. We keep our vibe smart-casual.
Makeup: Usually just BB cream, kohl and eyeliner. Cosmetics are mostly in neutral / nudes at work.
Heels or flats: It varies according to our attire. Currently, we are both obsessed with flatforms and mules.
Accessories: (Pallavi) A watch and a bracelet. Sometimes a funky ring or neckpiece. (Amrita) I love highlighting a simple outfit with a chic jewellery item.
Salon time: Trips to the salon usually are for a quick mani-pedi and eyebrows that need to be on-fleek!
Hair rules: IT MUST NEVER LOOK OILY! Both of us always keep it fresh, open or in a casual pony-tail. We also swear by dry shampoo.
What you will never wear: We are quite experimental with our looks, so in terms of clothing, there isn’t much we wouldn’t wear. But definitely no excess makeup!