The journey of a thousand miles sometimes begins with a stumble. It was a rather hectic day at work for me and I left my desk in a hurry to quickly grab lunch with my colleague. She left her mobile phone on the desk and in hindsight I could have done the same as I did many times (because our trouser pockets weren’t deep enough to hold them properly). But that day I absent-mindedly took it with me and to my horror as I was reaching out to grab my food with one hand while holding the phone in the other, I fumbled and dropped it into a bowl of lentil soup (sambar)! Needless to say my phone met it’s untimely demise and the entire serving bowl of soup had to be thrown away. This mistake proved expensive and highly embarrassing and I got irksome looks from people who were looking forward to eating the soup that day.
I quickly gobbled up my food and ran back to my desk to avoid further embarrassment. Later in the day I thought about what I could have done to avoid this incident. Maybe there was something I could learn from this bad experience. I shared this story with other colleagues and found that I was not the only one to have had such an embarrassing incident and some women had dropped their phones in worse places! Men on the other hand hadn’t experienced this issue. The root cause was that women’s apparel is mostly designed to appeal to the eye and a simple thing like deep pockets to hold mobile phones had missed the evolution of even women’s office wear!
This incident got me thinking about my struggles to find well fitted office wear during my ten year corporate life. I always had a passion for clothing and I thought I was a shopaholic but in fact I was buying a lot of clothes from various brand shops in order to find something that was of good quality and decent fit. ‘I have so many clothes but nothing to wear’ – does that sound familiar? Most women have lots of clothes in their wardrobe but many of them would not be wearable because of some issue or the other. Before long we feel guilty of keeping them and then end up throwing them away only to replace them with similar outfits. Sometimes I bought random prints just because the size was somewhat passable. I realized that cheap fabrics, weird cuts, extra-long lengths and ill-fitting garments are being sold under the garb of trending fashion.
And then I started my mission to overhaul my wardrobe. I took professional courses where I learnt to design and draft patterns, take measurements, cut fabric, and stitch as well. My first very own tailored shirt gave me more joy than an entire day’s shopping! I shared my designs and outfits with friends, family and colleagues and found that they were facing similar challenges with their office wear. Before long I left my job and launched THE WORK LABEL – an on-line platform which provides complete work wear solutions, exclusively for women. It is a clothing label dedicated to all working women who have little time to visit brick-and-mortar stores. It is for women who want to defy stereotypes about fashion. It is for women who love easy-to-wear, well-fitted good quality clothes !