Entrepreneurs, Are You Confused About What To Wear? Here's Your One-Stop Style Guide Know how important is the role of appearance in the business world.

By Priyadarshini Patwa

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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American Writer and Entrepreneur Mark Taiwan often made some serious points, but one thing that always stayed with us was “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.”

While you might argue, let’s be honest appearance matters. At the end of the day, you are a brand of yourself.

What an entrepreneur wear says a lot their persona and most importantly how they want to be perceived by others. Give it a thought and you would understand how significant is styling even in the business world.

But styling can get tricky and tough, isn’t it? But not if you understand that vogue is all about clubbing your demeanour with that perfect couture that will make or break the deal. Be it a tailored made suit, a casual linen dress, your crisp shirt or picking a pair of socks, we have got you covered. 

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Istayak Ansari, Co-founder & Director Lloyds Luxuries

Be it formal or casual, Istayak Ansari has a very impressive collection from popular designer brands across the globe that defines his style. However, the man is a big fan of bespoke suits.  

Common Misses:

1. Mix match between shoes and belt.

2. Teaming a jacket with basic attire for a meeting is the biggest blunder.  

Go to Attire: Sleek and comfortable suit and a polo t-shirt with a pair of denim for casual days.

Favourite Accessories: Montblanc pen (Limited Edition Mont Guard)

What and When to Wear: For Casual meetings team I often team up my denim with a shirt and put on a plain Nehru jacket. And when it comes for a formal one a shirt and a trouser coupled with good accessories is the best.

A Recommendation: When in doubt just keep it simple.

Style Mantra: Finding the perfect balance. Too much or too less does not work for me.

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Siddharth Upadhyaya, Founding Partner & Chief Strategy Officer, OurHealthMate

For Siddharth Upadhyaya, it is all about playing with solids colours and thin strips. And one can’t help but notice his love for a simple clean cut jacket made in herringbone, basket weave or twill weave.

A Recommendation: I think one can make a great statement with a herringbone, basket weave or canvas feel attires for an evening or weekend meetings.

Common Misses: The biggest mistake is thinking that a white shirt or white socks can be matched with anything and everything. The only time it works is when you are planning to attend a Michael Jackson themed event. Another no-no is mixing the browns and blacks - like a brown belt and black shoe/trouser.

Go to Attire: Clean cut denim with tucked-in shirt and jacket. Say no to a belt when opting for a tucked in shirt or t-shirts. The right shoes define the right mood.

Colour Palette: Neon it is! I love experimenting but never go overboard with any colour, not even black for that instance.

Fear to Experiment? Begin with a silhouette that makes you comfortable. Add a dash of colour or texture through the bag you carry, the belt you wear or the wristwatch you are adorning. Start slow; don't be conscious of what you wearing because it will reflect in your body language and you don’t want that.

Most Expensive Possession: A six-decade-old working condition analogue wristwatch of my grandpa. I wear it on rare occasions.

5 Things to Carry for the Best Look: (1) Aesthetically appealing and apt size bag (could be leather, could be canvas) to carry your device, diary, wallet and power bank. (2) Well ironed shirt/tee paired with chinos/ denim (3) Smart, light-coloured clean-cut jacket, ideally in cotton fabric (4) Laced shoes in the matte leather finish and (5) Leather-canvas blend thin belt.

Style Mantra: Comfort is the numero-uno guiding force around any form of styling. What you wear in the morning stays with you till the evening so it better be comforting. Your clothes and your fashion reflect the mood around you and running a start-up is so much about FUN.

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Malini Saba, Founder, Saba Family Foundations & Saba Industries

Malini Saba is a woman of taste who precisely knows what she wants, is it in work or wardrobe. Chanel and Dior are her chosen ones and a scarf for her is a must have. If this is what you are looking for, here’s her style quotient.

Go to Attire: Keep is simple, kurta top always.

Common Misses: Mixing up to many colours.

 Favourite Accessories: Diamond Earrings.

What and When to Wear: When it’s a date night pick a lovely dress. While for casual meeting one can go with a knee-length dress and a matching jacket.

Colour Palette: Make a bold statement with Reds and black because it can never go wrong.

Style Mantra: Everything, to me is fashion but I never like to follow the herd. You want to have your own style always.

Most Expensive Possession: A Ritu Kumar collection.

What to Buy and What Not To: Shell some bucks on a good expensive suit for an important meeting they can be your saviour and try not be overspend on real jewels.

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Chaitanya V Cotha, Executive Director, C Krishniah Chetty Group of Jewellers

You name a brand and he owns it. No matter what the price is, Chaitanya V Cotha has a bespoke tailored made suit collection that suits his body type and style. The man believes in keeping up with fashion and revamping his wardrobe ever six to twelve months.

The Must Haves:  Apart from the suits you must have accessories to accent the whole look. I am a huge fan of colourful and printed pocket squares, belts and socks.

Common Misses: Major mistakes that people make are with the colour palettes and print on the shirts. It is advised to go with hues that match your skin tone.

What and When to Wear: Have an important meeting? Formals with leather personal fitted shoes it is. For other days opt for a casual beach short with a polo t-shirt or khaki pants with a shirt.

Favourite Accessories: Pocket square, belt, Maybach frames and a good watch on your wrist

Style Mantra: Trust yourself, and you will look good it is all about self-confidence.

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Kajal Jain, Co-founder- Studio Meso

What is Kajal Jain’s style statement? For her fashion is all about fits and comfort. She is an ardent believer of what you wear speaks a volume about your character. Remember a loosely fit suit might give a lousy impression.

Colour Palette: Go solid and a strict no to large prints. Feel free to play with the shades of black, blue and nudes.

Must haves: A black Blazer, knee-length black dress, Black/ Blue Trousers, White Shirt

Common Misses: Bright Coloured clothes, Open feet shoes with formal wear, Black Belt – Brown Shoes, White Socks with Black Shoes.

Style Mantra: Buy clothes that comfortable you instead of replicating someone else’s style.

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Harsh Shah, Co-founder Fynd

While majority thinks that it is what you wear on the top that matters, Harsh Shah, on the other hand, is obsessed with the material visible on your feet. If socks never played an important role in your life, Shah is here to change your outlooks. Plus who said an entrepreneur always had to deck up in a two-piece tailored made accoutre? Shah believes in going bold with style.

Must Haves: A ripped pair of denim!

Collection: At any given point, I will have a single digit number of bottom wear and shoes. However, I have a huge socks collection in every colour and every pattern to match up with any shirt and any mood!

Common Misses: Not matching your socks to your shirt or tie colour! I hate flip-flops with jeans and always prefer to wear socks with shoes.

Favourite Accessories: My watch and my edgy socks

A Recommendation: Simple and smart. Pick your favourite ripped denim, pair it with a crisp shirt (tucked in, but folded sleeves) and just team it up with a shoe and the perfect socks.

Most Expensive Possession: My Apple watch, it comes close enough to my Massimo Dutti suit.

What to Buy and What Not to: Never ever buy a blingy buckle belt just has to show off the brand. And try to buy at least one thing of every colour and pattern.


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Prarthana Kochhar, Founder of Kovet.in

Prarthana Kocchar believes that the primary work of styling is to represent you in the most powerful manner possible.

Go to Attire: A black trouser, white cotton crisp shirt, a perfect body fit suit is here go-to options.

A Recommendation: All in for wearing something revealing for the meetings but keep it moderate. Remember you want to be taken seriously.

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Nishant Pitti, CEO of EaseMyTrip

Owning around some 50 to 60 suits Nishant has a major suit collection that meets all his needs and wants. Well, that’s quite some number, but Pitti is obsessed with white suits.

Must Haves: Black and brown shoes, flat front trousers, buckled belt, crisp white shirts, silk ties, and metal strap wrist watches.

White is Love: I love white as it goes with my personality and makes me feel more calm and sober. On special occasions of life, I love to wear.

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Jyoti Agarwal, Founder & COO, Maa2Mom

When it comes to Jyoti Agarwal, unlike many she is a true lover of fabrics and its feel. From linen, cotton, chiffon, georgette to crape, give her anything in its purest form that that’s enough to make her delighted.

Must Haves: Casual and semi-casual dresses. Cotton hand printed sarees, something many female entrepreneurs in India prefer.

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Priyadarshini Patwa

Former Features Editor, Entrepreneur India

Priyadarshini Patwa is the Former Features Editors of Entrepreneur India and hosted an Instagram show every Friday named ‘Lighten Up’, about people from different walks of life and talk about their work and beyond. She handled the lifestyle, features, technology, entertainment segments and was also responsible for the Digital Covers. Previously she has worked with MensXP, a Times of India entity and Deccan Chronicle. 

She’s @Priyanka_Patwa on Twitter and @priyadarshinipatwa on Instagram.

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