Fashion dictums

It’s increasingly hard to be a woman nowadays. Not only must you wear make-up when you go to gatherings (how many times have you opened FB to find your face included in a party pic?),   one is also bombarded everywhere by fashion trends that are so-o-o appealing were not one a middle-aged matron with flab on her belly. The sad part is here nearly every holiday is reason for the shops to have a sale. With Eid Al Fitr (the Muslim equivalent to Christmas) just over, yours truly once again had an opportunity to save $$$ while shopping for clothes.

I keep thinking “Did my mom have this pressure to always wear make-up, er, look good?” Then I remember – she wore make-up each time she went out! Even when buying fish at the wet market. It probably made her feel good. According to Tiger Daughter, one of Tiger Mom’s sayings was “If you feel bad, look good.” That makes sense alright. Because if one looks good, one feels good.

Ahem! So how does one look good nowadays? Definitely not by following fashion trends. Because if I do, not only will the hubby become bankrupt, I’ll become the laughingstock of our street. So now, I’ll let you in on a secret list that I’ve been adhering to ever since I was a teenager. They’re my fashion dictums.

1   Wear clothes fit for the weather.
So it’s summer right now. It’s the time of year to wear sleeveless tops and shorts. But. Don’t show off everything. If it’s not for sale, don’t display – ever wonder why beauty pageants are also called meat displays? Wearing summer clothes does not translate to giving strangers an opportunity to lambast one’s fashion sense.

2   Wear clothes fit for your age.
This gets me, it really does. Because. There were many, many clothes that I was not able to buy when I was younger. Still. I refuse to indulge in what so many nowadays do – push the boundaries. If you’re over fifty, why show off the signs of ageing that are apparent to everyone but you? I had ample evidence of this at our recent staycation in Dubai where tanned fashionistas wore strapless clothes while shopping at the Mall of the Emirates. Really, it’s ugly to see such self-delusional peeps.

3  Wear clothes fit for the occasion.
Methinks this is self-explanatory. You wouldn’t wear a bikini to a graduation ceremony, would you? If one is in a quandary, opt for the middle ground and wear something loosely formal.

4   Wear clothes that are comfortable in any position.
The hubby hates seeing gals wearing short skirts who cover up their knees while riding public transportation. C’mon, if you’re traveling in public, why wear short skirts and shorts that show off your butt (I had ample evidence of these when I returned home last year) only to pull them lower again and again? For me, being a breastfeeding mother made this rule number one on my list for a couple of years.

5   Wear clothes appropriate for the culture you’re in.
This one makes it to the list because of a personal experience. The first time I flew to the UAE, I had two toddlers and a baby. Thus, I had no thoughts of being in fashion while transitioning between airports. All I knew back then was the UAE was desert country. So. I wore a spaghetti -strap shirt and trousers (fortunately I didn’t wear a mini-skirt which was what I pair spaghetti-strap tops with!) while flying. Imagine my dismay when I arrived and saw nearly all the women at the airport covered up in an abaya. I felt nude.

To this day, I ask the hubby why he said nothing to me about my get-up, why he gave no advice about covering up. To him, it didn’t matter. But. Believe me, it does. Unless you want men to stare at you, be culturally sensitive. As the old saying goes, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

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