Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fashionably yours

Not me, that’s for sure. Not that I'm a fashion disaster or a walking catastrophe, I just don’t go crazy with clothes, is all. Nothing wrong with being fashionable, in fact I would encourage it. If you can afford it and are comfortable in it, I don’t care if you wear a beehive, or papier-mâché, or antlers à la Lady Gaga. But the point, ladies and gentlemen, is you should afford it.

Yesterday I went hunting for a pair of shoes for my niece. Found the thing, and since it was still a bit early decided to look for something for myself. Visited a couple of shops, even picked a few items, but being a Saturday there were zillions of people and at the trial room there were at least ten people in front of me. And you know how it is with the fairer sex and trial rooms. A female walks in with an armful of clothes, and everything she tries on has to be inspected and approved by her friend/sister/mother who is waiting outside. And poor you who is waiting for her to finish is so tired of it all that you want to shout “Nothing looks good on you and why in heaven’s name would anyone ever manufacture that atrocious thing in the first place?” and you dump all the stuff you have chosen in the basket they put outside trial rooms, much to the delight of the person behind you who is happy to move forward to try on her hideous selection.

So I ended up buying one scarf for myself because I could try it on right there at the display without anyone raising any disapproving eyebrow. And went to Crossword and there was a sale going on, so bought the latest Dan Brown and two other books and an illustrated Sherlock Holmes for my brother’s kids.

The strange thing with me is, everyday when I look as my dismal wardrobe I would say “I have nothing to wear, must go shopping and buy something nice.” I would then go to the store, look at all the beautiful things that fall within my price range, try them on and my thoughts would run like “Do I need this? I still have that black & white top I have worn only a few times” and again would leave the store empty handed. I see people wearing beautiful things and when I go to the store to buy the same thing somehow it never works out right for me. Maybe the good Lord didn’t intend for me to be the next Jackie O.

Every year when I go home to Aizawl and see the beautifully dressed citizens my dormant fashion sense would wake up and what follows is a mad shopping spree - from the expensive stuff at Millenium Centre to the second hand stuff at Electric Bus Stand. If it is winter I have to buy some warm clothes and wear them once or twice, and that would be the end of it. It would see daylight again only after a year, and by then it would be outdated. This summer I went home and everyone was wearing skirts so I too bought two of them, and I am yet to wear them even as I write this. I want to wear them, I do, I want to look and feel feminine and dainty, but I guess that’s just not me.

The other day as a part of the Independence Day celebrations at work the women were all required to dress up in saris and the men in dhotis, and I dutifully participated, with a lot of help from my friends. Everyone oohed and aahed and it felt nice wearing something different. But it wasn’t long before a friend said “Walk a bit more graceful, why are you stomping as if you are wearing jeans?” Well I guess some of us are just not meant to be fashionistas.


  1. What is it with girls and clothes I sometimes wonder.. of course an occasional new outfit always makes my day.. but there are some shopaholics intent on buying anything 'in' especially an expensive one.. no no, something cheap but pretty won't do.. I totally understand your impatience in lining up for the trial room.. helping girls shop is something I avoid because I'm not the kind to inspect every small thing or look at pieces I have no intention of buying.. I sometimes become so agitated and frustrated that none of my female relatives and friends want me around while they're out shopping... like as if I want to tag along in the first place ya know..

  2. Haha, I so get you. Fashion seems to be the one of biggest concerns among Aizawl youths. Me and my friends have perfected bargain shopping to an art form. Women's fashion being so arbitrary, I think its dumb to spend too much on an item of clothing that you'll prolly discard the next season. And money sure dont buy good taste either.
    That said, my wardrobe is also filled with clothes that are "interesting" and "cool" (albeit cheap) but which I have absolutely no idea what to do with :D

  3. Was half expecting a pic of you in a saree. Then I thought all the self style culture police would come down heavily on you for being anti Mizo!! Seems to be a favourite pass time for many people this days.

  4. Funny thing about girls shopping is that they don't know what they want, don't want what they see, and don't see what they can afford, so they mentally compromise and increase their budget and the whole process starts all over again... hehe.. NOI
    I usually know what I want and the approximate price I want to pay before I buy something, so I go in, check it out and buy it.. or not. Simple algorithm. You should try it sometime. :P

  5. dean - Yes there are people who wear only expensive stuff because according to them a low price tag equals inferior quality and cheapness. And I don't know many guys who would willingly go shopping with girls. I take along a guy only if I have no other choice or if I am buying stuff for some other guy and I want a male opinion. I guess the male sex is yet to comprehend the joy of window shopping, trying out stuff you cannot afford and have no intention of buying, or simply roaming around admiring the beautiful things.

    kuku - Right-o. Don't spend too much on something that will be outdated in a year, unless of course you're rolling in money.

    daniel - The same culture police who would criticize us wearing a sari will be the same people who would ogle until their eyes pop if we put up pics of us wearing a bikini or some other scanty clothing.

    blackestred - hahaha took me some time to understand your comment, but you are so right. We go shopping without any concrete plans and once in the store we cannot make up our minds.
    I know that algorithm, even tried to test it but once we see other stuff we get distracted and everything goes haywire.

  6. Just yesterday evening I went out to get something xeroxed and buy some copy paper. The xerox people didn't have paper to buy so I wended my way to the place where I usually get my paper. On the way I popped in at this little clothes shop. Got caught up, tried on some 4 or 5 tops, bought one that didn't even actually fit - the length needs shortening. Back home, I realised I'd forgotten all about the paper. No problem, I bought some today :D

  7. The secondhand 'puan than' saves me. A blouse costs Rs 1800 upwards here, and you can simply buy a few meters of cloth and go get a similar blouse made for below 500/-. El cheapo, I know, but you'll see dozens of people all wearing the same overpriced clothes. People who, frankly, don't look like they earn much either, and you'll be glad you're not one of those clones wearing the same thing!

  8. J - the xerox people not having paper.. hahaha I guess that is so typical of our shops/businesses in Aizawl. Once I went to get my watch repaired and the shopkeeper was eating his lunch and asked me to come back later.. as if I have nothing else to do other than wait for him. I went to a different shop.

    diary - thank God for secondhand puanthans, I don't know what we wore before them. And the expensive blouses you mentioned, I don't own a single one. Maybe when I am some hotshot high earning somebody with no commitments, maybe then I would think about owning one.

  9. I LOLed at "“Nothing looks good on you and why in heaven’s name would anyone ever manufacture that atrocious thing in the first place?” hehe The exact same passes through my head many times over in my head every time I go shopping.

    Hyderabad is not a good shopping place, we're unlucky that way I think. You just get two options - affordable and ugly, or pretty but unaffordable.

    I love saris but I hate wearing them to work. Independence day I feigned ignorance and turned up in jeans and tees. But weddings! I love weddings for the saris. There's one coming up in Oct, and I'm already planning my sari shopping schedule :)

  10. hey, am not in misual, so gotta tell you here, looved that post (ti ve teh ang) :D
    Especially loved the wording- i ex te hming a naranin sawi suh :D :D

  11. Jerusha - I have to physically restrain myself from giving out advice when I see aunties and uncles and their teenaged children trying out clothes I wouldn't want my worst enemy to wear. And this sight is very common in the new shopping malls, sometimes I'd think - Are they trying to show that they can afford to buy all these expensive stuff?

    kuku - Thank you dear. And why are you not in misual? Come join pronto. We need women like you - young, educated, and smart.

  12. The problem with malls is that they have too much stuff which are not worth buying. I guess thats why they have showrooms. :P
    OT:Good post on I don't read many posts in Mizo, but that was an exception.

  13. OMG.. do you think I'm a guy? LOL ...

  14. blackestred - Yes showrooms are more exclusive when you compare them with malls. But you feel guilty when you walk into showrooms, try on a million things and leave without buying, which is not the case with malls where nobody really cares what you try on or what you look at.
    And thank you for taking the time to read my post over there.

    dean - Isn't dean a man's name? Traditionally speaking that is. And the way you write is very guy-ish. So, what's the verdict?

  15. Save the best for the last. Fashion, i think it was simplier when we wear whatever our parents bought.
    Ah1 one time in my life i cared about what i wear and when, does the colour match? whew that was long gone. Now i can wear blue shirt with brown cotton jeans.

  16. Vana- Totally agree with you. Now it's all about what fits you best and what's comfortable, and of course what you can afford.