I don’t know why I do this to myself every now and then.
Be adventurous in shopping for clothes I mean.
Blame it on a drunken marathon of Sex and The City few nights ago- but suddenly I got inspired to shop for flimsy, sequined clothes. For my younger brother’s upcoming marriage reception. In which the groom will be wearing a retro-trouser-styles DENIM!! Doesn’t matter that it cost a bomb and looks like something hobo people wore in 1800s. DENIM. ON HIS OWN WEDDING. I LOVE MY BROTHER.
Sequins.. sequins… those glittery little darlings..I went to shop for something with sequins. Not too gaudy but not my usual monochrome either, flowy material but not too sticky, dressy enough for the evening but not too loud, little sexy but not slutty ( not that I have something against it, but I am not comfy in revealing clothes, that too AT a family function). In nutshell, something like a Gucci but on a budget of Linking Road.
Because I do not want to spend money on clothes that I will wear maybe once in my life. My wardrobe primarily consists of:
Comfortable casuals- oh yes!! Working as a creative in media in Mumbai means you spend 90% of your day in virtually ganjee-chaddi- khakis attire where the maximum dress code is to keep your crotch covered.
Chikankari Kurtas, dupattas, salwars- I am crazy about Chikankari and husband’s frequent trips to Lucknow in the last couple of years has brought home some really stunning pieces.
Smart formals- Requirement for media markets and conferences. And buying them in Europe is a delight- since they do make great formals for women whose boobs are not lemon sized.
Shoes:Oh yes, my inner Carrie Bradshaw!
But come wedding season and even my dredlocked and chaddi-ganji wearing colleagues would go all Masaba Gupta and Rohit Bal. What is it about Indian weddings that forces otherwise carefree people to go all humph humph?
My principle is to spend on things which you would use at least 10 times in the first year, then after at least 5 times a year.
Yes, the middle class desi frugal mentality of squeezing the maximum value for money you get.
Plus it is not the typical Indian wedding, with a groom wearing a DENIM!! I wore a simple silk kurta for my own marriage so why even bother shopping for glitter wear now?
But the sequins beckoned me. I was dragged to the fancy designer stores by friends and if it was not for the excellent iced mint teas offered everywhere ( in tiny lovely glasses, ah so elegant) , I would have fainted at the price. I mean hullo, how much time/effort/money/ ideas go into a flimsy slip adorned with a line of sequins for it to cost 30 thousand rs?
So I decided to hunt for cheap and cheerful alternatives by going indie designers in the backlanes of Bandra.
Needless to say, my shopping trip to find the cheap but elegant sequined wear was washed down by disappointment and severe body image issues, that I am not proud of.
Remember that scene of Tarts and Vicars party in Bridget Jones Diary? I made a similar faux pas with my friend, when I laughed off a netty-mirrory Anarkali suit that I was trying out ( on her recommendation) by saying I look like a poor man’s Rakhi Savant- only for her to retort icily that she bought the exact same model for her sister’s reception. I felt like a sexist prick or Mayank Gandhi at his worst.
I decided to be very fashioniasta and buy a western dress ( sequined!!) and pair it with some unconventional bottoms ( also sequined). Well, everything sequined was either made for figures like 12 year old boys or had me looking like a giant lit tent trying to attract customers for a tarot card reading.
The clothes were too pricy. I worried that the cloth would rip. I realised how high maintenance they were. The sheer number and variety staggered me in a bad way. With all that lush around, no way would I be able to make up my mind.
I realized, too late, that my love for my brother doesn’t extend to shopping for clothes in tiny Bandra boutiques, sweating in April Mumbai heat, accompanied by an ever enthusiastic shopoholic friend who was giving me a headache with her experimental attitude. She ended up buying stuff while I slowly realised how much work goes into wearing those seemingly innocent simple clothes.
Maybe it is my face, maybe it is not having the ‘right’ attitude, but anything which is outside my comfort zone looks awful on me. And by awful I mean I look so conscious and so uncomfortable that the clothes look silly. I have no patience to work hard to ‘put a look together’.
I finally passed one window only to see a lovely thing- only to realise that costed my non-existing month’s salary. Desi calculation- am I going to wear the sequined beauty 10 times a year? Nope. So why spend on it when I can buy a lovely Chanel jacket that I can wear every day for work. Well, not every day, but for important meetings and stuff.
I even entertained a wild idea to go off sequins and get into some nice saree. I imagined myself all Rekha ethnic. But Remembered my mother politely pointing out that I have a history of tripping on the pleats and generally making a fool of myself- so maybe I want to get into something more comfy since there will be a lot of running around required?
It was hot. Hours of shopping with chatty chatty friend in refined environment had fried my nerves. I would have bombed Bandra if one more aspiring designer enthused about how this piece will look great with right amount of make-up and done up hair and accessories. I had three beers. SANS CHITTY CHATTY FRIEND.
I am so not cut out for this. Why haven’t I realised this before?
So I played safe, again, and bought a long silk kurta in Beige which I am sure looks more like a mid-level political party worker celebrating her party’s win, than wedding attire. But I had had enough of fashion torture and it was a relief to slip into something familiar and comfortable.
Familiar and comfortable- ah. These are my watchwords. I have decided not to get into these experimental attacks which never end well.
Although it will sure give me a pang next time I dig in SATC..