For me to dress up – and how much – has always been a question to be debated. It all depends on the day, the occasion, the mood and the moment.
‘Look good, feel good’ has been a mantra for many, for generations, but when we become overly obsessed with the ‘names’ of what we carry or wear is when we should raise a flag of alert. When I think of ‘dressing up’, The Emperor’s New Clothes comes to mind. Ah vanity, thy name is both men and women.
To tell you a truth, I am an impulsive, instant and often reluctant shopper. I dash in and out of shops as if it were a 100 m dash – often picking up the first or second choice that grabs my eye. But for most of my friends talk of dressing up and a shopping expedition at the right places for the ‘perfect’ clothes and accessories is a must. It does not matter how many outfits hang — almost brand new — in your wardrobe.
A few months ago when I walked into and around one of the malls and I was not on a shopping expedition then but God bless their size, I get my best exercise there as I stroll around peering into windows and chatting with some very interesting people, I discovered that I was perhaps the only one on the floor in Indian attire. And, this in the capital of India, mind you!
The shoppers, at 11.30 am, were all togged up from head to toe, hair well-coiffeured, make-up in place, their heels leaving their staccato imprints on well-polished marble floors. After all, first appearances are lasting ones.
I watch amused, when I walk fearlessly into A-list events, doing the social required rounds and rub shoulders with divas in LBDs, carrying bags with every name of the fashion firmament, each eyeing what the other has worn. This game of one-upmanship leaves me untouched and unstirred.
In fact, one night, in a hurry for a do on the rooftop of a tony hotel, I was running late and had just thrown together a mix and match of what was in my wardrobe – a chunky necklace, drops on my ears and a simple kurti coupled with a printed Patiala. And, my little black clutch! I took one quick look at myself as I dabbed on my nude lipstick (the only shade I love), whisked my hand through my short curls, rushed out and talked the night away.
At the risk of being termed a heretic — and even though my world is peopled with the well-turned out — I am honestly happy that I am not a fashion victim. I would never sport a rip-off and try to pass it off as one of the Big Brand Daddies! Talking of names, yes, I do have some (of course, Indian or fusion outfits) in my closet that I do pull out, topping them with a bindi or a bangle, stuff that I love!
And I wear heels only when I really have to lest I totter over on my second step. (The last time I wore stilettos – slim golden ones – were years ago at my wedding.) In my world, flats are forever!
It took me a few years to find out what I like. Tags don’t bother me, names not at all, and most of all, I do not have to spend hours browsing the net for new offerings every time I have to step out – my ‘collection’, already in my wardrobe, gets supplement on my whims and whimsy.
My time is my own, to read, write, watch a play… work and party!