“Do I Look Like A Makcik In This?”

Where do you draw the line between dressing comfortably and inappropriately at work? Fashion writer and stylist Nadhirah Othman ponders this question.
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Image: Depositphotos

I was getting ready for work one day when my mum rushed in. “Do I look like a makcik?” she asked, clearly in a panic. She was dressed in a floral, cotton baju kurung – she usually wears a modern version of it that’s more figure-hugging, with fancier fabrics and cuts. “Not really, maybe you’re just not used to it,” was my reply. And it’s probably because I said “not really” – didn’t sound so convincing now, did I? – but my mum actually went and changed her outfit.

What comes to your mind when someone asks you that? How does one define the style of a makcik? And why do they get such a bad reputation?! Maybe it’s the cut or an outdated printed blouse paired with a maxi skirt – or maybe it’s a disregard for proportion, paired with the wrong pair of shoes. It doesn’t matter where you work, nailing that smart yet comfortable look can be quite tricky. More so when there’s a strict dress code. So where do you draw the line?

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