Wo(e)mens’ Wear


I’m very organized when it comes to dressing. On college days, I wear the clothes from the front of my cupboard. When I have to go out, I rummage in my sister’s cupboard [she’s getting to be as big as me]. On weekends, it’s normally the first thing that catches my eye.

Recently, mum and sis were of the opinion that I should stop dressing like a Grunge wannabe. So there we were, getting me and sis some glad rags.

As organized as I am where dressing is concerned, I am very picky-choosy when it comes to buying clothes. Clothes mean comfort. And comfort means roomy clothes for someone who spent fifteen years of her life in clothes a size too big, with her mum hoping she grows into them [I never did].

Me and sis walked the length and breadth of the store looking at all the clothes as if we were windowshopping [which we are, most of the time we are by ourselves]. Dad was beginning to get impatient, so we decided to get started on the dirty work.

We decided to start easy. With tops. They fell into two categories: too short and too long. They were also distinguishable into jing-jang and faded-rag colors. I don’t know for the heck of me why designers think women like floral patterns, or multicolored circles on filmy fabric. And for the minority who are assumed to be all masculine and Bips-in Corporate-like, the designers have allotted watered-down shades of ugly grays, blues and some faded version of beige.

Sis picked the best few out of the mire, and left me with the rest. The nightmare had just begun.

Why are females supposed to wear clingy sweaty material that need regular care and ironing? Why sequins and flimsy buttons and labels that say ‘hand wash only’? And why, for God’s sake, WHY do i have to be in between two consecutive sizes, which means I’d have to wear clothes that are either too tight for comfort or loose enough to fit both me and my sis?

I finally lowered my standards and was stuck on which to choose – the blue one or the black one? Everyone was starting to get impatient, and I made a flash decision: to take them both. [Aside: I’m reminded of this episode of Little Lulu where she gets to be the Maytor for the day, and there are two groups of administrators fighting about whether they should plant begonias or tulips on sidewalks, when she walks in and says “Why don’t you plant them both?” leading to loads of hype about how a little girl resolved and issue which the whole city couldn’t.]

The next part of the nightmare. Pants. Obscene color scheme again. Pink denim? *puke*. If I ever saw anyone wearing those, I’d take to nicknaming them ‘Pink Pant-her’. To be safe, I looked at the denim collection. Yeah, there were the usual blues and blacks, but I prefer destroying my jeans on my own. No, I wouldn’t do any fancy work with a razor blade and vials of acid, but would manage my own geeky style with ball-pen ink, conc. HNO3 from accidents in the chem lab, phenolphthaelin to indicate if I’m using too much soap to wash my clothes [okay, I’m kidding here, the concentration of soap would give a temporary jatang pink color, which I could do without, and here, I’m not implying that I’m a feminist, or any other pink-hater], and also the handy clothes-brush that’s responsible for the clean, faded look.  

And yes, since I use a clothes-brush like Jack the Ripper [I really need to. I am very finicky about having my clothes clean], I can do without little-little seashells stitched on my clothes, and I would prefer not to have fancy buttons in places where they serve no purpose.

Why isn’t there a collection of Chinos just for women? And why don’t women’s clothing have wrinkle-free labels? And the worst of them all, WHY aren’t womens’ formals supposed to have spacious pockets [and if they do, they’re always on one of those acid-green-with-flowers-all-over ones]? The last one is a nightmare for me, a real bad nightmare, coz I am one of those who live out of their pockets.

Well, anyway, I did manage to find clothes to my expectations, but I’ve become aware of a conspiracy to keep men and women discrete. Yeah, there’s the metrosexual look, and then there’s the contrasexual look, but as far as I’m concerned, they are just media tags for yet another fad. Girls are still seen to be the ‘sugar-n-spice-n-ev’rything-nice’ types, who always wear bright colours with patterns that look right out of the Garden of Eden. Girls are also supposed to dress more for style than comfort, and are supposed to take better care of their clothes and everything else in that perspective. 

No, I am not one of those bra-burning feminists or anything, and I don’t say I am facing a dearth of good clothes [if you want, you can call me plain choosy], but I would prefer it if the market weren’t divided into Men’s Clothing and Womens’ Clothing. Yeah, there are things like pink-for-gals-and-blue-for-boys, and there are those who think they are doing something different [just like we hear “this is going to be a different film”] by dressing men in pink, but I hope clothes evolve into functional utilitarian objects and don’t just remain something you make a fashion statement by.

ps: I hate Bipasha’s oh-look-im-a-working-woman-im-wearing-tailored-formals-and-high-pony look.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
This entry was posted in Priya's Travails, Rants. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Wo(e)mens’ Wear

  1. pragu says:

    its a nice analytical post..
    clothes ARE for comfort,let them be just tat…
    and i hate the stereotypes of guys not wearing girlie colours(well .. these are the ones who do not wear pink,violet n orange).
    anyways gud work priya.

  2. wanderlust says:

    ah, im glad to hear that from you, you who are highly organized, and not in the sense i am.
    btw, men-in-pink arent really cool-looking, judging by nitk, what say? [you know what im talking about..]

  3. Sheena says:

    U dont like clingy clothes? U dont like fancy shells? Lemme guess…Ure an ugly bitch who just wanna continue lookin like a slob. Slob for life. And yeah…they dont make clothes like the way u want them..coz luckily..women like u are a minority!

  4. azeera says:

    hey
    amazing aticle and total agreement with wat u say … hey and the “handwash only” and “dryclean only” tags are seriously irritating .. pink pant-her thts a gud dg .. real gud work with nice sarcasm.
    just a little disagreement on ” I hate Bipasha’s oh-look-im-a-working-woman-im-wearing-tailored-formals-and-high-pony look.”

  5. wanderlust says:

    woman-clingyclothes-fancyshells=slob? wotalogic.
    stay stuck in your rut of similar stereotypical ideas, and let your clothing define who you are, and not the other way ’round.
    well, no use blaming you. it’s all due to the way you’ve been conditioned to believe that there are certain ‘man-things’ and ‘woman-things’ which forms the basis of whatever you think [now, is that a woman-thing for you?], do and speak.

  6. jayanth says:

    Hmmm…understandable predicament. I hate it when there is just not enough enough variety in the clothes of my size. Which is generally the last available one in most shops:( And the one pair of jeans which fit me perfectly had to be ruined by sulphuric acid in the chem lab :((

    Chill priya. keep hnting you will get thse perfect clothes. Oh and btw, bips looks quite good in the corp thingy, personal opinions of course 🙂

  7. Abhilash says:

    Ha! Good one! And yeah, I remember the Little Lulu episode too 😉

  8. Nisha says:

    Nice post…funny…n must say shopping is a pain in the neck…

  9. the Monk says:

    I have a pink shirt. Very subtle pink, but pink all the same. Does that make me metrosexual? Hey, speaking of which what do you think retrosexual would mean if such a term did exist?

  10. deepti says:

    well the pink clothes issue reminded me of another…..girl’s bikes.
    why the heck do they have to have names like ms.whoever,what was the necessity that urged the manufacturers to forbid any other colour except cotton candy pink?? and a pink basket to complete the effect!!
    PS:shopping at any mall means having to undergo this torture…i agree.

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