255 shades of B&W
So you do BOHO. Awesome start! And you got a cool new job that adds a few serious figures to your paycheck. Ain’t that cool? A little twist though. Your previous work place was the epicentre of Bohemian trends in the city. Your ‘ol boss skinny-dipped at Woodstock in 69 and never grew old. You won all hearts and the fattest wallet at this job interview but your heart started to sink looking at a black-to-dark-grey spectrum of color in your new high rise office. Is that even doable without Photoshop?.
You are a Warrior, always sailing your ship with a dozen lifeboats. You are too smart to throw Bohemian Jargon at new colleagues of yours. You definitely do not want rookies to google “Bohemian” all by themselves, no no. You don’t create panic but decide that come next Monday, “There will be color”.
Subtle theme and minimal Blings
Every workplace is different. Some have a casual atmosphere with Lamb of God Ts and spilled nuts on most work desks, while others...Oh, you just found out: high strung kind. Ever thought why the whole workforce sways in one or the other direction? Culture. When you are spending most of your time and skills with a group of people with a common goal, not only it's in your and everyone’s interest to assimilate, it also transforms this group of people into one bigger machine. This is where “culture” builds and attire follows. That doesn’t mean there are no chances of negotiating, Rather the opposite. Add to it! Start with what you are given and take it to the next level.
Choose a theme that reflects the attire (values) your workplace has broad acceptance for. Start with safe assimilation. Play within the playground you are given. Bring in a natural leather watch strap. Leather boots with a piece of metal or hand-sewed patch on it. Show respect for what others wear but get positive attention by adding Bohemian flair to it. Don’t ask them to google Bohemian style. Show them, get them curious and let them ask. Throw a Banjara Denim jacket with minimal hand work on it. Keep it low but add to it gently. Think about a subtle theme. Choose accessories that do not scream “Hippy” but ... can tell a petal from a leaf (You are the petal, to be clear). Plan ahead, make themes. Create happy vibes, not a storm (Unless you own the company). Ask yourself; “Are you teaming well?”. Be inclusive, ask others about how they dress up (let them return the favor by asking you back, Bingo!). Here are a few for a starter:
There are no hard and fast rules, should and shouldn't s when it comes to Bohemian style in general but wearing Bohemian style at work definitely creates an overlap to be dealt with delicately. In this first scenario, we will suggest a few minimalist Bohemian elements which merge seamlessly with a conservative style dressing at your new workplace.
Observe, if clothing at your workplace exhibits power status. It is not unusual to find such rules and expectations a tad relaxed when one belongs to the narrow side of the hierarchy. Exceptions often mark exceptional talents and position in an organization. Giveaway here is you might have to curb your enthusiasm according to your position in the organization, especially if attire is tied to the social position. Under such circumstances, you’d want to “bait” first. Dress up the way everyone else dresses up but with a slight twist. A bangle, a handmade ring you purchased from a local artisan, a carved stone pendant with Tibetan Mantra carved on it. Get the conversation started people! Walk the line but let them also feel the positive vibe, let them see a halo. Send out the message that not only you understand your place and obligations, but are also someone who aspires to rise and make a mark.
This is your mantra in two scenarios. One, If the bait was a sell out and two, if your workplace is considerably open to the idea, that to do the serious work, one doesn’t necessarily need to dress up like Men in Black. Top boss is still allowed to stay in grays but main floor bustles with seasonal vines and overflowing frills. That my friend, makes it a lot more challenging too. With such liberties and rich soil, it takes no time for the whole lawn to turn into Area-X (ref: Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer). As many lavenders as dandelions out there. Let that not scare you though. Put the thought of the mower aside for now. “Cultivate”. Bring in the context in everything you wear. Share the workplace spirit; yet make use of a moderate Bohemian palette. Combine different elements to shape one Bohemian spirit. Make combinations and contrasts with leather, hemp, beads, bone, linen, cotton and denim. Make sure all departments are attended well. From neck to toe; different elements with moderation, but carrying a single Bohemian theme.
That brings us to this last hypothetical category, where everything is allowed, yet never enough. This also brings back our hypothetical character to square one, with a quest to settle and shine in an office environment. This is the place She/he/they left before we started to fish (remember the boss who took a skinny dip and never grew old?). Here you can unleash your true Bohemian Spirit, get Artsy, be Hip(-py). Does not mean that the loudest uttered words are always true(er). Be the Niagara fall of a statement or a rainbow doubling down on sparkling water- the context of the contents should always be the most important thing in the message. It is a workplace. There’s a team following a hierarchy with a top guy and loads of competition for the best spot. Make sure you always look presentable. Workplace attire and attitude is getting increasingly scrutinized in the modern work environment. With your Bohemian Spirit, you look professional, approachable, and ready to help.
You can wear Wide sleeves Boho top or Wide Linen bohemian trousers. The touch of casual should carry the professional elegance. A long beaded necklace with earthy top and wide pants instills freshness into your professional outlook. Do not scramble the blings that fight for attention and space. If you decide to wear a hemp necklace, try to stick with the raw fabric theme. If natural stone is your mood of the day, think of a thin metal string or chain it hangs with. Overcrowding takes away fun! If you chose to wear a heavy or busy looking metal necklace, your sweet t little hemp string on the wrist might feel neglected. Different elements should be ‘talking” to each other when you dress up and not looking piled up in an effort to balance things upward.
Office environment has changed for good in the last decade. You don’t have to wait for the weekend to release your Bohemian Spirit. Pay no heed if someone tells you that only top buck can buy top bohemian style.School them about the best spots in the city, or away- full of artisans who can craft a look a millionaire can envy without costing you an arm and a leg. Visit Woodstock Lodge for a wide range of handpicked clothing and accessories where the choicest stuff is availed to you and it’s just a click (or two) away...and It is That easy!
- June 02, 2020
- Mrityunjay Awasthy