Saturday, October 10, 2009

A pajama by any other name is still a pajama

The mysteries of fashion were never intended to feature on this blog – it having some pretense to address the weighty matters of the business world. But completely flattering comments went to my head and I converted the Sunday post into a somewhat irreverent one on less weighty matters. Matters sartorial crept in here because of numerous girlie tags that addressed the famous question – what are you wearing , in all earnestness.

Last week was a tough one and the good doctor has prescribed a large dose of humour and a solid rant as a remedy. But it must take a seriously unbalanced mind to tease the female of the species , as I am about to do. But what the heck; I need a rant; so here goes.

Of all the dresses in the world that the fair(er) sex are obsessed with, the hijaab is surely the most awful one. The second most awful contraption has to be the salwaar kameez, especially in an office.

Now, Indian women have two real options for formal dressing – the wonderful sari, which must rank amongst the very top in the most graceful, elegant, suave outfits in the world. Or the western trouser or skirt and the jacket. Both look lovely and are very professional . But, what does our Rajalakshmi do ? Wear that horrible salwar kameez to work.

A shapeless and more unglamorous outfit is hard to find. A baggy pajama that is still a baggy pajama even if anointed with the name of salwar. And another equally shapeless kameez, whose fashion variances are connected to where they extend upto; from the waist to the knee. And the worst of all – the dupatta which flaps around, gives you a swat in the face when you trail the wearer, and is left around in meeting rooms.

To add insult to injury this is usually worn in colours like deep red, bright yellow or fluorescent green. Many a first time visitor to an Indian office has gently sidled upto me to enquire whether it is normal to see such colours in an office setting. After two washes, the deep red has faded and then – UGH !

Oh yes, I have heard the arguments. It’s the most practical dress in the world . Try wearing a sari and commuting to work. And a western dress is often not appropriate for ladies of, ahem, ample proportions. Fantastic. So these are arguments for wearing what should be a nightdress to an office ?? And anglicising its name to a "suit" doesn't make it any more acceptable.

Right. Now that I have said it, I am quivering in fright. Whatever possessed me to take such grievous risks with my life. Can I be any match for an irate wearer of the dreaded dress. Bash on the head ? Maybe. Constriction of the trachea with the dupatta ? Would be poetic justice. Either way I am ducking for cover. I shall remain strictly in bed; head under the blanket for the next twenty four hours. HELP !