I love to shop. Especially on holiday. In a mall. Trying on armfuls of clothes/shoes/bags/accessories/etc etc and then walking out of the store with that one perfect dress that you know will make you feel like a million bucks is especially satisfying. Few things can beat a nice, hectic day of shopping.
My ongoing tryst with fashion started on a not so happy note. I was seventeen and clueless. I remember looking on in awe at a classmate’s shiny, pink lipsticked mouth and wishing I could look as pretty. Not a happy place to be. Luckily college brought much-needed respite and through the sheer process of osmosis – just by being surrounded by smartly dressed girls – I found a style which I was happy with.
I had an unchanging pattern at work. The formality of my clothes was in inverse proportion to my comfort level at work. I would start off with formal salwar kameezes and pants and shirts and then steadily progress to jeans and tops as I settled in. So much so that one job eventually saw me in track pants and tees!
This is because I am inherently a lazy dresser. I have come to love (at least like) dressing up for a party or a wedding. But day-to-day smartness is beyond me. My sister, mum-in-law and a few friends are just the opposite. Even a visit to the parlour sees them looking great, effortlessly. A scarf casually thrown around the neck, chunky beads or a stack of colourful bangles is all that is takes to liven up a simple top. But the spirit must be willing. That is the key.
It also costs money to look good. Two kids have taken a toll and I need to find clothes that camouflage various parts of my being. So I have come to realise that if I really want to feel happy and confident, I need to buy things that suit me, even if they cost a little more than what I was hoping to spend.
Fashion changes constantly. A few years ago I found myself in need of an urgent upgrade. Suddenly my favourite ‘party’ jeans and a nice top just didn’t cut it. Dresses rescued me. So did fashion magazines like Grazia, which de-construct trends and explain that, no, you’re not expected to wear that space-suit like dress, a silver belt or chunky bracelet is a simpler way to work the ‘Clean-lines’ trend. Zara, Mango, Esprit are my new best friends. Highheelconfidential.com lets me enjoy a good laugh at someone else’s expense, while trying to point out what works and what doesn’t.
Dressing up is fun. It is also erratic. You tog up in your new dress, but don’t get quite the response you imagined,which can be quite a humbling experience.
So is it all worth it? Who cares what other people think right? And btw as every woman knows – all women dress up to impress other women. It’s never about the men. So if the ladies don’t approve it doesn’t count.
The only reason good enough to make all this effort is for that million dollar feeling you get when you know you’re got it right and can see it in the eyes of everyone you meet.
Every woman needs to feel like a princess. Fashion is one way to make it happen.