You Are What You Wear

Whoever said “clothes make a man” had the right idea about people perceive each other on the first look. Whether you like it or not, a big part of the first impression that we make when you meet someone depends on how you look – which is basically how you’re dressed. Looking good is an obsession with people these days.
We love to keep up on the latest trends and make sure we’re sporting the latest fashion. Just take a look around you. Bangalis seem to be really catching up with the rest of the globe when it comes to fashion trends these days.The fashion industry is rapidly carving itself a sizable niche here. Compared to even a few years back, boutiques and fashion houses are popping up everywhere. There’s more opportunities opening up for the fashion junkies with school offering degrees in fashion designing to help people unleash their creativity when it comes to showcasing their sense of style. In our frenzy to become more fashion forward, there’s always a little collateral damage that comes with the territory whenever you try to keep the pace.
In a society that’s undergoing a major transition, we seem to have missed the mark on a few trends that we adopted from our neighbors. Trying to adjust them into our own way of doing things, some The other day I was sitting at the cafeteria of my university campus and realized that there’s a lot of people who just put things on because it’s in fashion. Not to sound completely judgmental, but if you show up to school with a 80’s style bouffant ending in a long braid, wearing a highly embroidered shalwar kameez with very dressy jewelry, people will wonder about the occasion.It’s fun to browse through people’s varying tastes, but some ensembles make you really wonder what brought it on. When asked what the occasion was, my very dressed up classmate replied, “the 80’s are in…

don’t you watch movies and soaps?! ” I got a similar reply from another person when asked about the new style of kameez that look a lot like frocks. These frock-dresses worn with churidar shalwars are tagged the “Anarkali Kameez”, and are rather popular amongst people. How appropriate they are for day at the university, or at work even is a question I want to ask but really can’t. The most ridiculous of all modified desi fashion trends, in my opinion, is however the “short” trend. There are some that take the ankle length shalwar trend so seriously that they gave birth to a new phenomenon. Lo and behold, it is the “three quarter” shalwar which ends an inch or two inch above your ankle. It looks nice in summer when short fashions are in.
Personally I think it’s a great way to incorporate the cropped look into desi clothes.On the downside though when you’re all wrapped up in warm shawls in winter, cropped shalwars really don’t make a very good fashion statement. Incidentally, if you really want to wear a short kameez, make sure it’s a kameez and not a kurta or a fatua you’re sporting over a shalwar. Put on an actual fatua with a traditional shalwar and try on the look. It kind of looks odd. Then there are the western trends that we try to emulate and sometimes end up looking rather odd. Come winter, everyone brings out the jackets and jeans.
It’s the one season in the whole year when you can sport western fashions without being called “inappropriately dressed”. Then again, if you decide on a jacket with a fur lined hood for a day out in the Bangali winter, I would like to ask why. I mean, when it’s still sunny all day in the middle of November do you really need a fur lined hooded coat? I’m sure Beyonce wore something similar in a video last week, but she lives in Northern America where it snows. Also, boots in Bangladesh are a little ridiculous if you ask me. They are cute, but honestly…
what occasion could possibly call for boots, even in winter?The closest thing to boots one might even want in this country are probably rubber boots in monsoon when the streets are water logged and you have to wade through muck anytime you decide to walk. Sadly enough though, the thing that really brings out the worst in people is when you put on clothes regardless of whether they look good on you. Like my afore-mentioned classmate, there are way too many people who wear clothes just because they are in fashion. One of my closest friends showed up to class the other day wearing super tight skinny jeans with a short shirt.Catch was, she’s on the heavier end of the scales. Her excuse, “everyone wears them”. Yet, upon a good look in a full length mirror she admitted it did nothing for the extra pounds she added on during the last eid holidays.
Recently though, besides bollywood trends and soap opera fashions, a lot of people seem to be picking up on western fashion trends. The “emo” trends seem to have really made a mark on the younger crowd in Dhaka. Everywhere you look, there’s a kid with the side swept bangs and dark clothes with a brooding attitude.But, here too are those that get the look right and the ones who couldn’t decide halfway between Emo, Hannah Montana and Beyonce. The effect I must say is rather alarming when you mix the three. Needless to say, thank god they haven’t discovered Lady Gaga. What you wear, really does define who you are the first time someone looks at you.
The best way to make a good impression is to make sure you look well-dressed – which means you are appropriately dressed for the occasion and look good in what you wear. Showing up at a job interview looking like you’re on your way to a wedding is hardly the best way to present yourself.While a lot of people would write off fashion as something fickle and not worth wasting too much time on, I personally think it’s important to put a bit of effort on how you look. Although, while keeping up on the latest fashions and looking good is important, it’s also good to know what look works for you. If you cannot pull it off, don’t put it on. Nine out of ten time’s you will end up looking rather out of character. It’s good to experiment and have a look that sets you apart from the rest.
On the other, it’s good to bear in mind – not everyone is Lady Gaga.

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