They say you are what you wear. Each one of us has a distinct style when it comes to clothes. For some its comfort over fashion while for others it's the other way round. Some like to be formally dressed while some prefer to keep it casual.
There's no right or wrong way to dress up because none of us have the right to judge another's style or sense of fashion. But yes, on certain occasions and in certain places decency, sobriety and decorum must be maintained.
One of the things which always held the ultimate attraction for me was 'the uniform'! Probably because of Daddy being in the Army.....
The image of my handsome Daddy in his crisp OG uniform instilled in me a sense of pride which shone in my eyes! I wanted to follow his footsteps and don the uniform but couldn't. Daddy was known among his peers for his impeccable dressing sense. He is remembered for his trademark Himachali cap, Modi jacket and his smiling face, by everyone who has known him.
The mere sight of 'men in uniform' is a headturner as far as I'm concerned! Be it the earthy Olive green of our bravehearts or the pristine white of our sea sentinels or the blue of our sky Warriors! It doesn't matter which uniform of which Forces and from which country, the uniform will attract attention!
During our school days, as students we never really liked our uniforms! We found the 'uniformity' and the 'repitition' monotonous. Remember how we cribbed about it! But going to college made me appreciate uniforms big time because I hated having to think every morning what to wear to college!!!🙄 I thought it was mental agony to decide on a dress every time I opened my wardrobe!
Believe me, I had 6 salwar suits in my first year of college and I wore one every day of the week! Although my wardrobe expanded in the next few years, rather than buying new clothes, I would exchange clothes with my sisters every time I went back home.
Post marriage, my mekhlas and sarees filled up box after box because I got so many from my mother, sisters, mother in law, sister in law and also from hubby every time we visited a new place.
My mother is a very simple person who believes one's conduct and attitude is more important than one's looks. She wasn't interested in make up or fancy hairstyles but she always loved to dress up in silk. She had an enviable collection of Mekhla chadar and silk sarees from all over the country.
I did inherit her love for beautiful sarees/ mekhlas and have an impressive collection of my own but I'm proud to say that I haven't bought a single saree/ Mekhla in the past 2 years!!! Needless to say hubby is the happiest- a woman who has no liking for jewellery or expensive clothes or bags or shoes or make up happens to be his wife!! Lucky guy😎
However my style has changed radically in the past 2-3 years. I literally live in my tees and capris/ jeans/ trousers while my Indian clothes come out only on special occasions.
One item that I totally dig is long coats. I absolutely love wearing coats and that's why I wait for the winters! As the mercury drops, I snuggle into my warm coats alongwith woollen caps and scarves, which is stylish and comfortable! Best part about these coats being they look equally fashionable with Indian ethnic wear!
Also, having a teenaged daughter means she and I share our tee shirts and hoodies! I find myself dressing up more casually unless the occasion demands formal attire.
Daddy's untimely demise also changed me in a lot of ways. I suddenly find myself questioning if I really 'need' something. I loved dressing up in beautiful sarees/ Mekhlas and fancy long earrings and chunky neckpieces. Lately, I have no interest in either.
I came across a very interesting article in the papers recently about how the Fashion industry really needs to find a remedy for the wastage it generates and to create 'sustainable fashion'.
A welcome trend among celebrities the world over nowadays is to 'repeat' their outfits. It's a well known fact that the biggest designers and fashion houses sponsor the outfits worn by celebrities on the red carpet/ award ceremonies/ stage performances etc. No one wanted to be caught 'repeating' an outfit because it just wasn't the done thing and it meant you aren't relevant anymore! The celebrities and fashion icons were constantly competing for attention through their designer outfits which was basically just a one time wear.
But with young celebrities, like Billie Eilish and a host of others, who wear 'old clothes' and 'repeat' their outfits with pride, the change is evident.
This reminds me of the hand- me- downs we all wore so proudly as kids! My sisters wore my clothes and all 3 of us wore Daddy's shirts/ sweaters etc. Even my girls wore clothes that belonged to their older cousin brother! Clothes have no gender!
The younger celebrities are increasingly leaning towards a gender neutral look which is more in keeping with the times. Baggy and loose clothes are totally IN. Accessories like earrings, bandanas, hair extensions, bracelets, delicate chains and rings, tattoos are sported by male and female celebrities alike.
BTS and other KPop idols have shattered all stereotypes with their gender neutral fashion. Lace, net, satin, velvet, faux fur, faux leather - there's nothing these guys shy away from. They even have their unique make up and perfume brands. They can nail the suave look in their formal suits and can rock long hair and every hairstyle in vibrant colours !
Basically with the boundaries of feminine and masculine being blurred and stereotypes being broken, fashion is becoming more 'inclusive' and 'universal'.
While women are rocking the corporate and boardroom look with their sharp power Suits, men are opening up to flowing lines, floral prints and pastel shades instead of just grays and blues.
When asked by Vanity Fair what great style is, according to Jeon Jungkook of my favourite band BTS, it is wearing anything you like regardless of gender. Ranvir Singh who isn't just a talented, versatile actor but also a confident man, is the best example of genderless fashion, who totally lives on his own terms and cares two hoots about other people's opinions!
Jungkook, my favourite BTS singer, has peculiar habits. His closet has about 6-7 identical black tees, white shirts, blue and black jeans, bucket hats and baseball caps. He basically lives in these clothes! So, instead of variety which creates confusion every time, he follows the strategy of buying identical clothing for daily wear!
What a great idea! Minimalistic. Utilitarian. Saves me the trouble of standing in front of my cupboard everyday and wondering what to wear!!!!! Who knows I might just end up doing the same because I have already begun Mission Downsizing!