Yes, I love to buy clothes! take care when I dress up! Even the Non Chalant Casual look has a deliberate air (at least in my head) I have clothes compartmentalised in my head – Home clothes + Office Clothes + Weekday Dinner Clothes + Weekend Casual Clothes + Weekend Brunch Clothes + Party Clothes and Sarees(these have their own classification too!!!). Now before I start sounding like a crazy fashionista with a “to die for wardrobe”- I must clarify my wardrobe is not that extensive or intense, one category spills in to the other. Having said this, over the years I have realized that I am hardly trendy. Oxymoron? Not really…
So, My clothes from 10 years ago are still relevant and in good condition to be worn, and I am sure my wardrobe will be relevant 10 years from now too!While I love my clothes, and love buying new ones, I am not someone who experiments. I will not go and buy what is completely in vogue that season simply because it is “the next big thing”.
I’ve been wondering why I steer to a classic style instead of being “In fashion” all the time. All this pondering led to some revelations which I feel the need to put down and would also love to know if others of similar mind set identify . I think I may have cracked, why I dress the way that I do!
To begin with I thought back to who my fashion icons are. Growing up on a steady diet of films watched on the VCR in the 80s, we watched a lot of old films, because the only piracy possible then was if someone brought you a tape or you recorded a Movie from television. I was heavily influenced by Gina LoloBrigida, in Come September – I think I have coveted every outfit she wore in that movie and may have pounced on buying anything that looked even remotely like any that she wore. Elizabeth Taylor’s white dress in a “Cat on A Hot Tin Roof” , Marilyn Monroe when she said that Diamonds are a girl’s best friend (I believed), Sharmila Tagore, in An Evening in Paris with her bouffant, sarees, tights and sweaters and, Jaclyn Smith in Charlie’s Angels, so stlylishly being bad ass, Audrey Hepburn telling us How to Steal a Million, Doris Day, Parveen Babi and of course Rekhaji in her sarees and for her make up.Perhaps having idolised how these stylish women dressed may sub consciously govern my choices even now. I will always be the girl who loves the Classic Cuts, Flowers, the bling, the rustle of silk and sheen of glitter and thanks to all those lovely women.
Being born in the early 80s, I think my generation has had the best of both worlds. We have seen the communication and entertainment revolution happen right before us. Being in this cusp has allowed me to see the best of both. A large influence influence of course comes from the west of the 60s and 70s, because we had a lot of dated content, here I do not refer to the classics which will be dated no matter what. At least in the library that we went to we had a whole host of old books, along with the new ones. The new ones were always ridiculously expensive to borrow. So, whether it was Mills and Boons, Nancy Drew or even the Archies comics we read. I must sheepishly confess, I sometimes tell myself that some clothes I now own look like what Betty and Veronica wore.
Over the years I tend to look at the timelessness of anything that I may be buying. The timeless quality of a fabric that comes from when it is carefully woven or created cannot be matched. Almost every part of the world has fabrics and skills that local artisans literally toil over, and the end product is left for generations to see. Whether it be Silks from the little town on Kancheepuram, or Banarsi’s from Varanasi, Chanderi Sarees from MP, Chantilly Lace in France or even Sri Lanka. I only wish, a little bit of this toiling finds place in my wardrobe 😀 I have some of my Mom’s Chikan Sarees which are at least 25 years old. They drape with the same grace as they did on her. In fact some of them are hand embroidered and that tends to be more of a rarity today than the norm. On another occassion I have had a 10 yard kanjivram, draped around me as a dress rehearsal before I wore my traditional 9 yard at the wedding. This gorgeous saree was my husband’s great grand mother’s and it was in pristine condition when it was draped around me, and I reckon that it still is.
I think classic designs are also very kind to Curvy bodies, which my body definitely is. It can do with a bit of camouflage and a bit of accentuation and classic cuts seem to understand this better than anyone else. They slim you down, and can make one look bloody good. The saree is a keeper, and I cannot reiterate the importance of the right blouse with it. Apart from that some of the designs that I will swear by are below. I think the rules are simple – Attention away from the hips, ensure the arms are cut the right way whether with sleeves or without , avoid pleated pants under all circumstances, unless they make you look like an androgynous goddess.
1. Shift Dress – the Shift Dress is a Blessing and I love it’s versatality and the fact that it can do it’s time as a Brunch Dress, Evening Out, Night Out and even office! Belted, accessorized or worn just like that! It is a Fat Day Friend!
2. The Wrap Dress – So Diane Von Furstenberg the “inventor” of the wrap dress, also said that “Wear a dress, feel like a woman” and that probably is my get dressed up mantra. In this style You wrap one side of the dress around the other side of the body with a knot, and the dress accentuates the decolletage which everyone can flaunt 😉
3. The Swing Dress – This dress, while worn extensively in the 1940s was called the Swing Dress, because while it was fitted at the waist, while dancing the dress would swing with the dancer. Today I guess we are more familiar with the term “Fit and Flare”. Few styles I believe match the feminine grace and old world charm of this one
4. The Shirt Dress – I confess, I am extremely partial to the shirt dress, various colours, prints and styles, they all find place in my wardrobe. I love the edginess of the shirt being extended to a dress!
5. A Line – The A Line in a skirt or a dress always works. It always exudes a feminine charm
6. The Pencil Skirt – It’s a no brainer, as to the good things it does for you, though this could soon become a Kim Kardashian patent. Though it would be wise to invest in spanx before any flaunting begins
As I grow older, I think I hang on more to my classic roots, I doubt I will be the woman running behind the latest trends or looks. Though I do hope at least a part of my wardrobe stands the test of time