My regional counterpart wanted to know the dress code for customer visits in India.
Both of us Marketing ladies were in a dilemma on what to reply or rather how to word it.
Her queries- Are skirts acceptable or are suits best?
We know that the issue of dress code is not so high with corporate clients. With globalization and travelling and the fact that India is so attractive as an investment we always have global bosses coming down to meet the Indian arm. So in a way our men folk are more than used to northward hemlines and plunging necklines. Yet every one likes a good dekkho one in a while and it didn't seem fair to subject her to the stray stares.
But we did not want to sound matronly and prim and behenji by telling her wear anything as long as it is not too short in length or too deep in the front.
We could not tell her to Indianize herself and wear a sari or a salwar suit like we try to westernise ourselves on our abroad trips by buying suits & trousers irrespective of our genetically typical Indian buttocks, so that we don't stand out and are considered one among them?
We needed to tell her about the hot sweaty summers so that she doen't bring her lovely suits and toast in them.
Ultimately we summed up our views in a few lines- it would be hot & dry, cotton would be the best material, we would be meeting corporate clients so dress code no issue, skirts are fine, knee length ok.
Was our line of thinking right?
What would you have suggested in such a situation?
Do you believe in westernising yourself for abroad visits or do you be what you are- some days Indian/ sari some days trousers? Do you feel a sense of inacceptance or lack of confidence in Indian clothes in a global setting?
Is it really an issue- wearing Indian clothes for abroad trips? All my memories of photographs had Indira Gandhi standing in the ubiquitous sari for all Global summits. Yes she stood out but she was the most visible in the crowd. I never felt anything odd about her in a sari and she was the most graceful among all similar dressed people.