Is it Appropriate……?

'Which pair of pajamas says 'smart casual'?'

Lets talk about the second ‘A’ of image management.

Have you ever turned up at an event and realized that you are underdressed? Or sometimes you could arrive at an event and realize that you are overdressed.

And then there are times that the weather catches you off guard and you are not appropriately dressed for it.

How often has it happened that you have received an invitation that specifies dress code, that you cannot crack?? (I guess that’s why it is called as a ‘code’.)

For example, how does one interpret a dress code specified as ‘Evening wear’, or ‘Formal wear’ or ‘casual wear’. There have been times when a friend has called me up to ask ‘what does ‘elegantly casual’ mean?? Does it mean that I can wear flip-flops with my evening gown??

A ‘dress code’ that is specified on an invite, is expected to make life easier for the invitees by giving them a clue about what to expect. However, the reality can be exactly opposite in a way that the ‘dress code’ that is specified leaves the invitees completely flummoxed!

Depending on who is reading the code, there can be many ways of interpreting it.

For example, casual wear could mean anything from shorts and singlet to summery dresses and flip-flops. Whereas formal wear could mean a long evening gown, a three piece suit or even a sari.

Whatever be the interpretation, we all want to feel ‘appropriate’ at an event or at a given situation.

That’s the second A of image management “APPROPRIATE”.

Most people are unable to accept the idea of appropriateness because it has some sort of restrictive feel to it. It is as if we are like kids again when our parents would say ‘yes’ or ‘ no’ without giving a reason or a context.

What is appropriate at home may not be appropriate at work. What is right at the beach is wrong at the office. Sometimes it seems like common sense, sometimes its plain confusing.

Your clothing, body language and etiquette must be appropriate not only to the role that you are playing and the goal that you want to achieve, but also to the occasion.

To arrive upon a decision we have to get more information. Information like Whether the event is indoors or outdoors (weather), who will be present ( social reasons), what is the purpose of this event (is it for networking, or for meeting prospective bride  or groom , or is it wanting to be more popular) and whether there is some goal that has to be achieved at this event ( eg job interview)

To me, appropriateness is all about knowing the context. These contexts and needs differ in priority according to the stage of life that we are in.

For example, at a wedding party, for the young girls, fashion would be of highest priority sometimes at the cost of comfort. (Noticed girls shivering in their fashionable backless cholis?)

This will be exactly the opposite for the senior members of the family, where comfort will be top priority and fashion would probably be of zero importance.

A quick checklist will help you to be appropriate at an event.

  • Check your calendar and consider what to wear in advance
  • What is the location of the event and its culture
  • What is the occasion
  • Who will I be with? Who will see me?
  • What do I want to accomplish at this event?
  • What statement or message do I want my clothes to make?
  • What are the clothes that will communicate this message?

Your clothes, behavior, body language and comfort will be based on the answers that you receive to the above questions.

Take a trial of the outfit beforehand to avoid wardrobe malfunctions.

Quiz yourself in this manner whenever you wish to influence the opinions and actions of others.

To me, appropriateness is all about being right in the given context.

Have you ever wondered how appropriate your clothes are? Are you willing to take appropriateness from the choice of your hair clip to the choice of your socks? Or will you stop at just your clothes?

I hope this post has made you think about your choices in clothes, accessories and make up. Hopefully, it will help your image to be appropriate in any given situation and event.

Remember, we are all masterpieces in progress and you are your own artist.

Until next week, Stay happy, healthy and positive.



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From textile designer, to fashion designer, to entrepreneur, to image consultant, to internationally certified ‘Heal your life coach’, to a lover of yoga, my journey had been that of discovery and learning. Somewhere along this journey, I also became a wife, a companion, a mother, a daughter in law to being a mother in law myself!!! I’ve come a long way! I enjoy interacting with people and sharing all that I have learnt along this journey. There have been lots of failures but the lessons learnt from these experiences are priceless. I believe that clothes , grooming , body language and appearance have a tremendous impact on not only how we feel but also how others react towards us. However, the most stylish clothes and the best grooming habits are of no use unless we are healthy from within. The key lies in balancing this Image that we project to the world, with the real YOU that the world sometimes fails to see. The image that we project to the world, has to be Authentic, Appropriate, attractive and affordable. Unless we work on this image from Inside out, no matter how much we work on it from outside, it will be inadequate. I help people find their true self, to embrace themselves and accept themselves with all their flaws. Thanks to the teachings of Louise Hays, I believe in the powers of affirmations and positivity. Thanks to yoga, I am more aware of how strong our bodies can be. Yoga taught me awareness and staying in the moment. My only regret is that I wish I had discovered yoga earlier in my life. It’s never to late to start yoga practices and the best time is NOW, no matter how old you are. Through my blog, I am trying to make my readers aware of how easy and exciting this journey of self discovery can be. So, this is how I would like to describe myself. I am an artist, a poet, a fashion designer, a foodie, a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a companion, a caretaker, a dreamer, a realist. I want everything, and want to live to the fullest. I have an opinion about everything and am ever ready to give my advice and opinion , but only when it is asked for and is valued. I am always ready to learn new things and also willing to share whatever knowledge I have gained in the last 5 decades of my life . This is my platform, where I share my thoughts. Feel free to visit and drop your comments.

9 thoughts on “Is it Appropriate……?”

  1. Very insightful Mruga. I am also on the quest to cracking the ‘code’ and next time hopefully I will be
    closer to being appropriately dressed using your suggestions 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well written article about dress code.All my doubts are cleared about dressing up.I am always confused about what to wear and what not to wear.Thank you Mruga.Keep blogging dear.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rupa, yes, confusion happens to most of us and to the best of us. Most often one must listen to your gut instinct and not get swayed by other pressures and expectations.


  3. Great guidelines to make dressing decisions. Like most situations, men have it easier. We can always wear a suit and then doff the tie and jacket as needed.

    Liked by 1 person

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