Based on the corporate wear trend forecast for India this season, here are items you should buy, wear and flaunt:

For Him

Short-collared shirts

Formal shirts with short collars for a sharp office look. They are a lot more functional than other collar lengths and will stay popular over the next few seasons. Go for a short collar on a dressy white shirt (which you wear either with a tux or without) or a smart pastel (blue, grey, mauve) shirt under your favourite business suit.

Three-piece suits

Old-world three-piece suits in classic cuts for the boardroom and business trips are by far one of the strongest trends for men this winter. The waistcoat must be made with the same fabric as the jacket and trouser and should give you a structured and snug fit. Ensure its 'dressy enough' to be worn with a full-sleeve shirt, even without a jacket on top.

Slim ties

Broad ties are vintage. Update your tie rack with a collection of slim ties. While a black one is a must, keep a brown, blue, purple and red tie handy to mix and match with all your suits.

Textured & matt fabrics

No shinier, metallic and glossy fabrics for business and work wear. Trends favour a matt, dull look especially for jackets, trousers and three-piece suits. Soft fabrics and luxury wool blends will be the flavour this season. Texture is strong and so are small prints of tartan or multicolored checks.

Double breasted jackets

Six and eight (brass or silver) button jackets from the early '80s have been reinvented to look shapelier. Since a double-breasted jacket can make one look broad and boxy, wear them only if you are tall or lean.

Short overcoats

The era of large 'detective style' overcoats is over. Invest in a good quality, short (knee-length or higher) one for peak winter or if you are traveling to cold places. Choose solids (in camel, grey, black or brown) over prints, as they are a lot more neutral and are less likely to be remembered, even when worn over and over again.


For Her

Blouses, not shirts

Finally women have the option of wearing 'feminine' tops to work. The obvious changes from masculine shirts rounded collars, curved ends, short sleeves and a relaxed cut for the chest and shoulder. Black, grey, beige and brown will be the season's strong colours. Keep the primary colours (red, blue, green and yellow) aside for spring / summer.

Wool wraps

Short and medium length block coloured scarves and stoles to wrap around the neck or drape over the shoulder. Pick any primary colour (red, yellow, blue and green) either plain or printed (floral or tribal, not animal) to offset against the greys, browns and blacks.

Knee-length skirts

Trends favour wearing knee length (or longer) skirts to work. Colours that will dominate the season: grey, black and navy blue. The fit: smart, tapered and close to the body it's the end of flared styles, layers and gathers.

Structured short jackets

Structured hip length jackets over skirts and trousers. Why? Because they look sharper and feel a lot smarter. If it's not part of a business suit, then contrast the colour of the jacket with the trousers or skirt.

Fitted sleeveless dresses

One-piece structured dresses for the woman on the go. Key elements: three-fourths sleeves (or shorter) and a straight or defined silhouette. Choose soft-yet-warm fabrics. Accessorise your dress with a slim coloured belt or team it up with light woolen tights as second skin.

Short pencil heels

Keeping the look, comfort and practicality in mind, slim (but short) pencil heels are going to be on most fashionable feet in the office. The details: gladiator inspired (single or dual) thin straps for the ankles, peep or open toes in front, under half-inch heels on the rear and solids or contrasts of black and white as colour.

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This article was originally published in the online version of the Economic Times dated on 10th November, 2013