Cynosure syndrome: Kangana Ranaut walks the ramp for Manav Gangwani. Photo credit: APH Images
I have come to accept that I will never look like the girl on the cover of a glossy fashion magazine. That doesn’t mean, however, that I consider myself defeated! I believe we’re on stage each day, every day, no matter who we are and what we do. So the least we can do is give it our best shot. Those of you who read my blog know that I’m fairly opinionated when it comes to dressing and presenting oneself. Although I’m no fashion purist, I like to stick to certain dos and don’ts.
Nothing I’m about to tell you is necessarily new or mind-blowing but it seems to be easily forgotten because I see daily offenders.
Dress for your body – Part I. Dress for the body you HAVE, not for the body you WISH you had. Accept your body as it is and embrace it. Or, if you really want to make a change, go for it. Style is not about size. It’s about finding what works best for you and carrying it with ease and grace. That’s when you carve your individual style. You may love leather pants but, let’s face it, leather pants may never love you back. The key is being mature enough to let go. For instance, I have made peace with the fact that the jumpsuit / romper and I will never be in a relationship. But the good news is, I can flirt with several other styles.
Dress for your body – Part II. There are too many people in the world wearing clothing that doesn’t fit them right. It’s either too tight or too loose. Tight people, please, buy a size bigger. If the number on the tag is what’s holding you back, cut it off. But please, please, please don’t wear clothes that are too small on you; they only make you look bigger. Again, style is not about size. Now on to the ‘too-loose’ crowd, go find a tailor. Clothes that are too big make you look sloppy and unkempt. Those who live in India, there are darzis available by the dozen, become friends with ‘masterji’ (yes the masterji got a makeover too). Tailoring makes a huge difference.
Dimple Kapadia and Twinkle Khanna at Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla's winter-festive 2015 show. Photo credit: Viral Bhayani
Dress for your age. This is an important one. While we all like to partake on a trend, we need to ensure we are age-appropriate. Age-appropriate does not mean that you dress boring, it means you’re tasteful and elegant in the way you do so. Think Dimple Kapadia or Twinkle Khanna. Both are always impeccable and stand a class apart from their contemporaries. I am particularly bothered when I see a group of kitty party aunties dressing considerably younger than they are; and all of them look the same, in almost a uniform of sorts. Sorry aunties, I am not being mean, I really do love you.
Phone a friend. When you’re unsure of a new look, a new dress, lipstick shade etc., take a selfie and send it to someone you know will not mince their words. Fortunately or unfortunately, I have too many of these in my life, and I make full use of them! And vice versa, if friends ask me for my opinion, I am forthright… I would never let a loved one leave the house looking less than stellar.
When in doubt, don’t. Trust your instinct. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not meant to be. Let it go, move on, there will be others.
Lastly, be yourself. Each of us is unique and our dressing style needs to echo that. Don’t copy your bestie’s style; that wouldn’t be authentic for you. Embrace yourself, with all your assets, imperfections and flaws. That’s the most important rule of all.
When not working on leadership development for an engineering company, Priyanka Khanna scouts the mall for new buys. She lives in Dallas, USA, with her husband and twin boys. She's on Instagram @browngirldiaries. Read her posts on her Fashion101 Blog.