Monday, September 1, 2008

Stylish, Not Fashionable

What’s the difference you would say? A lot actually!

Let’s see what these terms really mean. Fashionable is someone who wears what is trendy at the moment and wouldn’t be caught dead wearing something that is so yesterday. Most of the wannabe crowd at Page 3 parties falls into this set. Which is not a bad thing at all, except that you could go wrong. Think about a situation where you saw many people wearing something, you know it’s in vogue and you have to buy it. But there’s always a risk that by the time you buy it’s already out of fashion.

So then what’s being stylish? Stylish is carrying off what defines you the best. And it might not be the whole ensemble but even an accessory that becomes your trademark. Like Theresa Carneiro, BSc (IT) student says, “Think about these people, Prahlad Kakkad, Sonia Gandhi, Navjot Sidhu and you cannot think about them without their hat, bindi, khadi saris, or matching tie and turban respectively. Not one from the fashion industry yet they have a style.”

Priyanka Gandhi Vadhera (actually the whole Nehru parivaar has a unique style of dressing!) who can look as good and comfortable in a sari as she is in her trousers and shirts but there’s still a sense of continuum in everything that she wears. It could be her hair or her attitude can’t put your finger on it. That’s style!

Style icons like Madonna are rare to come by. She can carry off the any look, even the trashy, loud, look she had in the 80s with equal panache. But that is diva concern. For you, common sense like realising wearing a kaftan when you are dead skinny or wearing fitting jeans when you are plump, just doesn’t work is enough. And that is the best thing, with your own style you can never go wrong. It also saves a lot of your ETM (energy, time and money) of following what’s ‘in’ (unless that’s your hobby). You can have a collection of what goes well on you and your body type, and mix n match it.

Anushri Savanur, FY JC Commerce student puts the fashion and style debate in her words, “Most elders say we all look alike. But that is true about every generation. Why else was the Retro look or 80s look called so? It was popular among youngsters. People want to belong to the peers so they do look at each other, and movies, of course, for inspiration. But still we have our own style, the minis wearing prom queen does look different from the FabIndia khadi-stuff-wearing wannabe journalist or writer, and so does your girl-next-door. Some of us follow the trend, some have their own. Our dressing does say something about us!”

It is true people do wear their state-of-mind. You might look for inspiration but eventually you develop a taste that is true to yourself, then that is what becomes your style.

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