This post is being written as part of the Women’s Web – Trishla eMart ‘A Style of My Own!’ campaign.
GRAB, PULL, RUN –was my style mantra as a carefree teenager. I just grabbed something out of my cupboard, pulled it over my head and ran out of the door. As long as it was clean who cared? That is the goodness of youth- when you can walk out the door wearing a rag and still rock it! Alas, years have rolled on and no longer can I rock anything unless I make an effort. It doesn’t mean I’ve given up on myself and go out the door looking a mess. In fact, now, I spend a few extra minutes while shopping, planning, preparing and wearing my clothes. I actually enjoy dressing up more than I ever did before. They say ‘Clothes maketh a man’…… and I think ‘Style maketh a woman’……yes, mere clothes are not enough, you need to know how to wear them. You can make yourself smile with your own personal style! Here are 9 style mantras that make ‘ME’ appear better than I really look, keep me true to ‘MYSELF’, without pretending to be something ‘I’ am not.
- COMFORT: Comfort is everything, discomfort a complete no-no. A pair of tight jeans where I struggle to sit down, a revealing top which I have to tug at to cover my modesty or a pair of obnoxiously high heels are definitely out. If it’s comfortable, I know it’s a winner. So whether it’s a loose kurti that I’ve worn for more than a decade, that everyone want me throw out or a worn soft old pair of pyjamas, comfort is my number one style mantra.
- WELL-FITTING BRAS: Nothing be embarrassed about! It’s a must to wear a bra that is well-fitting and well-supporting. Not only does it look good if you wear a fitted dress or T-shirt but it makes you look taller, more upright and less droopy. There was a time in my teenage when bra shopping was a torture. Back in those days, they were called’ bodies’ by the older generation and I still remember standing in one of those little, stuffy shops to ask for a ‘body’ of unknown size. You just bashfully guessed what your approximate size was, paid for it and ran out with it. But now at least in the cities you can get measured and fitted for one. If not, go on the internet and figure how the sizing works and then buy one, after trying it on. The internet guides also tell you what to look for when deciding if it does indeed fit well. An ill-fitting bra can spoil an otherwise perfect dress, so it’s well worth investing in some good bras which last years and years if you care for them.
- BUY ONLY AFTER TRYING ON: So many times I have regretted buying something because I did not try it on. It may have looked wonderful on the hanger or mannequin but looked hideous on me. Or vice versa. It always helps to have an honest opinion from someone who you trust. May not always be the husband who is standing impatiently outside the changing room and says ‘yes’ only because he wants you to get on with it! Generally I find a child’s answer very honest; actually, too honest! Also it is great to buy something that is exchangeable so if on coming home the colour doesn’t look right on you in daylight, you can return or exchange.
- DRESS YOUR AGE: I feel one has to dress one’s age. If at my age I wear Barbie pink and frills, it just won’t feel or look right. So out go the T-shirts with word texts and cartoons, likewise for bold stripes, big polka dots, neons, psychedelic prints[ unless toned down considerably], big bows, bright animal prints, suede,velvet, leather, lycra and so on. This is my personal list of no-nos. Your’s could be something else.
- BUY LESS BUT MIX AND MATCH: In the past especially when funds were limited I bought lots of cheap clothes. Yes, lots. They looked cheap, wore out quicker and it was money down the drain. Now I buy less, but good quality clothes but I know they will last me a long time and probably outlive me. Also if I combine traditional with modern,swap different coloured leggings with different kurtas; basically mix and match, i get a different look each time. This way, I don’t spend a fortune on clothes which are after all, only clothes! I have clothes that go back to many years and I still love them; my loving kurti comes to mind yet again!
- EARMARK CLOTHES FOR OCCASIONS: All my clothes are designated for specific purposes; home, work, going out to do grocery shopping, going out with my child to the park, going out somewhere nice for dinner. That way, I don’t spoil my nicer clothes with cooking stains, sand in the park and so on. I have clothes that I wear on ‘those’ days too; nice loose, comfy, bright cheerful ones with prints. And yes, when I need cheering up but I’m not going anywhere nice in particular, I just pull out the nice clothes, a pair of long earrings and glam up to go pick up my child from school. This is such a booster that it peps me up in no time at all.
- IF NOTHING WORKS, A SLICK OF LIPSTICK WILL:There will of course be days when you can’t motivate yourself to dress up or cannot find a single thing that is ironed The one thing I know that always works in these situations is a dash of lipstick of the brightest kind you can pull off. You can dress up a boring outfit and pep up a plain dress with a slick of lipstick and absolutely nothing else.
- SHOWER, POWDER, DEO AND BRUSH: No clothes will look stylish on a body that is not clean and fresh, So my favourite accessories with my clothes are a shower, a good sprinkling of talc, a spray of deodorant and a quick toothbrushing routine.
- DRESS FOR YOURSELF : It was a ‘EUREKA’ moment when I realised that if I dressed well to impress myself, it was sure to make me happy. So my biggest style mantra is to dress for myself and only myself, first. When that girl in the mirror is pleased I know I have a stylish winner.