I am repetitively praised for my “dressing sense.” Few fashion enthusiasts have come up with a handful of adjectives to describe my “fashion sense”; which include quirky, sassy, funky, elegant, raunchy, etc. One fine evening, I just got thinking about it. Although I make a conscious effort to be “fashionable”, some things just fall out of notice. I have always maintained that fashion fades, but style is eternal. I wouldn’t be exaggerating if I say fashion is one of the reasons why I’m alive and value life like nothing else.
Of course it is not the sole reason, but it is privileged to have a steady position in my priorities. Tourism and literature are the other too. I believe 3 to be my lucky number so anything I claim has to amount for 3 by default. So my three-stage life model is comprised of travel, literature and fashion (in whichever order). What is it like to be fashionable then? Is it to patronize branded clothes? Is it to follow the latest fashion “trends”? Or is it to read fashion blogs or magazines? Interestingly, the answer is none of the above. Being fashionable never comes with a rulebook of “Dos” and “Don’ts”, it is simply because it is there why it is.
Here, I am trying my level best to overlook what most designers claim about what is the “right thing” about fashion. Because you know, it doesn’t exist. It is something abstract. I am not a fashion designing student, nor officially into the fashion merchandise business. But just by taking an advantage of all the precious remarks I have been receiving about style and fashion, I’m going to continue this advice-giving further. This might sound like a fairytale, but the liking of “dressing up” was inborn in me. I remember my mom telling me stories of how choosy I was even then, when it came to clothes. I could match the right accessories with clothes when I was not even colour-trained.
This is very humorous I know, but I swear I am not making things up just to make the article more readable. I grew up into an adolescent, and like the age commanded, I would spend more time before the mirror than anywhere else. Narcissism was at its peak and I valued the self the most. Not that I don’t do now, but adolescence is the time period when it makes you think just about yourself while you’re blinded by everything else. It is like being in love, maybe. The difference is just that in adolescence, you fall in love with yourself like never before (or maybe with others too). Speaking of fashion now, you don’t have to really let ‘being fashionable’ get into your nerves because it is not that big a deal.
Keep it simple, silly. Most girls have an irrational fear of wearing tacky clothes. Now for one, clothes don’t define how fashionable you are. Let’s get rid of the term fashionable here, and let’s stick to stylish. Because calling something or somebody “fashionable” limits things to clothes or accessories which is just not the case. For being stylish, you have to have a command over whatever you wear. Trust me, even the simplest clothes rock your look then. I have been swearing by “mix and match” strategy. Besides anything, that makes people be amused about how many clothes I have. For the world, this phenomenon is “stylish”.
The reality is, I’m recycling clothes. Now you get there! Style is no hard work, it is smart work. You don’t have to have Guccis, Armanis, Pradas and Vero Modas in your closet to be stylish. A simple garment picked from Colaba Causeway or Hill road would also do. Because, ultimately, you are the mastermind of how you want to look. Don’t let your clothes dominate you, let it be the other way round. The golden rule here is, you can wear anything that you can carry off. Any guesses for what is the sexiest thing a woman can wear? Confidence. And oodles of it. And you thought I would say an LBD (little black dress) or ripped jeans.
Let go off all the preconceived notions you have of fashion. Because, my dear readers, you have to admire style here, not fashion. They say fashion is like a vicious circle. The same kind of clothes come back into picture after having been in glory. This could be true but not to the extent that the same clothes lose their charm meanwhile. Not being in vogue, doesn’t necessarily mean fading away altogether. So what if bell-bottom pants pertain to the 50s and 60s fashion, and that they have to still “reborn”, I can still wear them if I want to, right?
In my understanding of human nature, I have come to believe that a girl fears things ranging from heartbreaks, betrayals and of being a fashion faux pas. Well, just for the record, that weird looking and sounding term there, means a fashion blunder or disaster. Precisely meaning ending up wearing something which is not currently “in style.” I find this too absurd and shallow because who really sets the rules for fashion? You should be equally confident about wearing a mini-skirt or a crop top or a salwar kameez suit. Nobody is going to judge you for whatever you wear. At least keep telling yourself that.
Another greatest fear a woman poses is that of the ideal body type. Most are worried about the extra calories which they think might not do justice to their look. Ladies, stop worrying, and be happy. Just scroll up a little and gauge at the sexiest thing I claimed which a woman can wear, again. Being slim is silver, confidence is golden. Be a sport to don the backless choli look or something similar. Also, don’t be under an impression that being stylish means skin-show. No. Had that been the case, for all the conservative women that we have in India, there would be no scope to be stylish. And it is unfair to deprive any female (young or old) of style.
Fashion should happen to them; it is their birthright. Every woman wants to look beautiful. Not necessarily to get praised by others but to treat her own eyes every time she looks in the mirror. That is a thing about women. They’re self-made. Considering that a useful quality here, style is bound to develop. I’m one of those many fashion fanatics, who read fashion magazines religiously. I make it a point to follow some of the greatest designers on Instagram and Twitter too, so I don’t miss any chance to be updated. Fashion magazines don’t teach me what to wear, they instill in me “how to wear”.
Vogue, Grazia, Femina, Stylista, GQ are my regular loyal companions. I recall Carrie Bradshaw quote in Sex and the City “You don’t need a diamond ring when you can have a really big closet” and “A squirrel is just a rat with a cuter outfit.” Not just her, many other “style icons” have come up with their own “theories” of fashion. What do you have to say about Lady Gaga? Sure her style is eccentric and for a commoner, it might not be a good idea to be that flashy; but once in a while, it’s ok. Remember that by taking Lady Gaga’s example into consideration, you are admiring her courage of experimentation and not always the look.
In India, Sonam Kapoor has undisputedly won the “best dressed” label at all times. She is bold enough to wear clothes that fall under the “unconventional” category. Another thing about fashion, which Kim Kardashian rightly quotes is that, “Fashion is so subjective; you cannot listen to everyone’s opinions.” If something feels right for you, go ahead with it. Along with your clothes and accessories, wear an attitude that says, “I can carry it off!” You don’t have to stress yourself too much about it, just be yourselves. Your ensemble will only be in a sync if you are in your best selves. You have to feel good to look good. Like many other things, your look is one of those psychosomatic phenomena. It’s not just physical, but something that comes from the within. Even an ordinary white chiffon Kurta will stand out if you pair it up with the right choice of accessories.
And yes! Don’t overdo anything. Just because you have recently bought plenty of accessories and are longing to show them off, don’t end up overloading the same dress with them. Be very selective. Have grace in your look, get that poise, be somebody who is as charismatic as ever. Style is not just about “getting noticed”; you have to be comfortable in whatever you wear. Don’t fall for things which easily attract attention, like a mandatory crop top or a deep neck blouse or a pair of hot shorts unless you think you are prepared to flaunt the look.
Fashion is no cleavage show, or exposure to your perfect Abs or flaunting that thigh gap. Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn are not the icons that they are, for nothing. They have just come the right way along. And trust me, it is not very hard to be stylish if you give into it. And by that I don’t mean thereby disturbing your work schedule. This should be one of the many chores you perform in your everyday life. Play with colours, patterns, textures, fabrics; be a sport to buy something that you don’t generally wear and don’t be ashamed of buying non-branded things. Coco Chanel quotes, “a girl should be two things: classy and fabulous!”
You don’t have to necessarily buy Coco Chanels to be classy and fabulous, just shape your personality that way and you’re good to go. Finally, Note that you may be stressed or depressed, but don’t ever forget to be well-dressed!