A friend posted this on FB.
A site with the amazing name of 99labels.com has compiled a list of must-have fashion items for men and women . And they then ask you to indicate what you have and what you don't have , or are dying to acquire or whatever.....
My already open mouth kept getting bigger and bigger (along with the eyes), while the brain gets into a fast reverse mode. I don't even know some of the things.
Till a few years ago, a single pair of chappals was just fine; sturdy enough for daily skirmishes to get a foothold on the steps of the Mumbai buses, and beautiful enough to wear on "occasions". Fashion magazines were what you saw at an upmarket dentist's before he delved deep into the recesses of your mouth, and you ignored all those women shown wearing sarees the wrong way, mostly in what was considered a shameless manner.
The list kind of puts me in my place, socially.
Here is my take on the stuff.
1. Little Black Dress : Never had one. Little would be a misnomer.
2. Black Flats : But I've always worn flat black chappals or sandals. No heels, mostly out of consideration for other folks, possibly walking alongside. Teetering on heels is not considered smart.
3. Gold Hoop Earrings : The last time I wore them was in class VI. At that time they were not called hoops, but rings. I lost one that year carelessly, and then the earring variety changed in class VII. I now wear them as bangles.
4. Mac Waterproof Mascara : Not that I swim with full make up, but I wear glasses, which actually have a hidden benefit. People on the other side (in front) see my eyelashes automatically bigger due to the lens curvature.
5. A Black Clutch : I don't understand this fuss. Why a clutch ? Why not a decent shoulder purse? And why make a fuss about "hands-free" phones and stuff, when you ignore "hands-free" shoulder-hanging purses ? We always use a clutch when we go buying vegetables, so that we have one less bag to carry, and its easy to use it frequently at the various fruit and veggie stalls. And you can always stuff it amidst the beans and tomatoes.
6. Sling Bag : This is my eternal fashion statement. I have tons of these, in various sizes, and once even lugged a chutney stone by train , from Pune to Mumbai in one such bag, to the amazement and delight of the ladies in the second class ladies compartment of the Deccan Queen Express....
7. Gucci /Hermes-Berkin/Chanel/Prada Bag : Are these the guys who have been copying Linking Rd stuff and selling it in air conditioned shops, with uniformed security, and heavily accented two dimensional sales women ?
8. Light-Colored Cotton Saree : Is this anything to ask ? This is like asking if I have potatoes in the house. Just for the record, I have several. Sarees as well as potatoes.
9. Summer Scarf : In my childhood, this always meant something tightly wrapped around your hair and ears, when you cycled for early morning 6 am PE classes in college. But mostly in winter. While I can see , why someone tearing through Pune's two wheeler infested polluted traffic on a hot day might need one, I've realized today, that loosely throwing one or tying it fancily around your neck, for no particular reason , probably classifies you as smart.
10. Bright Colored Umbrella : We never match our umbrellas to our clothes. Tough and sturdy black umbrellas that fold once, are the ultimate fashion statement , amenable for use as protection from rain, and occasionally as a weapon, in Mumbai. Colored, beautiful umbrellas are OK, but have been known to be stolen from dripping buckets, kept outside Xerox shops, when you go in to get some important work done.
11. A Red/Purple/Blue Handbag - Why not orange and green ? Be patriotic, folks.
12. Over-Sized T-Shirt : Actually , 40 years ago, we started this fashion, when extremely tight fitting tees were considered hurtful to their eyes, by the elders. And we , naturally obeyed. Today this is being abused by folks wearing undersized tees and showing bare midriffs.
13. Pencil Skirt : What an amazing name for a short saree petticoat !
14. Black Crepe/Georgette Saree : I don't know about the "black", but I have an old one that goes under the name of "Binny's Georgette", which was avidly aspired for 30 years ago, and bought on some special occasion. Currently faced with the danger of being recycled into a kurta.
15. Louboutin Shoes/High Heels : Suffice it to say, I don't move in high circles, Louboutin or otherwise. I am so very down to earth, sometimes I even sink.
16. Le Smoking Jacket/Suit By YSL : Please. I don't smoke. Even if I did, I wouldn't need a jacket for that; shirts on which ashes fall can always be washed in Surf Ultra/Ariel.... And no suits, YSL or Raymonds or whatever, .....
17. Trench-Coat : NO. NO. NO. We have enough trenches dug on the road outside. Wearing a coat to fall inside them is a totally bad idea. Besides sweating buckets in the trench, you wont be able to climb out , using the girders.
18. Crisp White Cotton Button-Down Blouse/Shirt : Contrary to what folks at 99 labels say, my mother and mother-in-law actually had a monopoly on that , and it almost became a fashion statement since you wore it on just about any Kanjevaram silk saree, with a great disdain for "matching" . While shirts are not my kind of style, crisp white cotton kurtas may be seen in my part of the cupboard......
19. Solid Wash Jeans : While I haven't worn some for quite a few years, I must emphasize that they were always solidly washed. It surprises me that people don't wash their jeans, and they finally develop slits and tears, which are then flashed as fashion by shameless girls and aging heroes who should know better.
20. Leather Jacket : Are you mad ? Decent, God-fearing, law abiding ladies driving 38 year old Fiat cars, don't need leather jackets.
21. Pair Of Black Pumps : In my time, these were installed in gardens , and water gushed out of them. Maybe some can wear it in the Mumbai monsoon, and enjoy the water that will gush out as they walk. I have nothing more to say about this totally unnecessary footwear..
22. Knee-Length Boots : I give up. You will never understand the need to scratch the feet, and remove footwear so many times a day, when you visit folks, temples , kitchens etc. If all you do is oscillate in discos, then I can understand the need to have a weighted base.
23. Silver Earrings/Baalis : These are pretty, and always so delicate. I like to see them on younger folks, who carry them so well. But I am from the old-is-gold generation.
24. Leather Gloves : See item no 20. And no, I don't garden. because there isn't one.
25. Sexy Black/Red Stilettos : I always thought stilettos were weapons. Umbrellas are so much better. Besides, I challenge anyone to notice and describe my footwear in a general crowd. My one-of-a-kind chappals stand tall.
26. Turquoise Stone Bangles : I do have an antique one, from my late mother, which also has some other shades.
27. Ipod : Personally , no. Though the children always have one of these stuck in their years, to avoid hearing when I call....:-)
28. Platform Shoes : No. God has given me such a wonderful natural platform, I don't need these shoes. Then there is always the nearest suburban train station, and I am hoping they soon have the new Metro station near us...
29. Sexy Swimsuit : Hanging on to sides of the pool, drinking stuff, making eyes at similarly behaving men, and being photographed at stretching angles necessitates this item. One swims, but in decent Speedos (conservative cut), and once in the water, no one knows what style you wear. And one must have consideration for what other folks see. Cant inflict shocking visuals .
30. Toe Ring : This isn't fashion, it is tradition. Next question.
31. Tattoo : No. My obsessions are in my head.
32. Black Tank-Top : It occurs to me that sometimes a shorter version may pass off as a saree blouse, but haven't tried that as yet.
33. Hot-Pants : Hot or cold, an emphatic NO.
34. Kajal : Of course . Since childhood, Though folks keep saying it doesn't suit light typical Chitpavan hazel eyes.....
35. Banarsee/Kanjivaram Saree : Now you are asking ! Finally , something I love. I have many.
36. Beach Sarong - I think you got my name spelling wrong. And forget the beach.
37. Oversized Sunglasses : No. An oversize person must economize with photo sensitive prescription glasses of normal style.
38. White Salwar Kameez : Again, now you are asking ....yes of course...
39. An Evening Gown : You mean a night one ?
40. Classic Leather Belt : Belts imply waists . I think they are , in my case, also a waste.
41. Lingerie By Victoria'S Secret : You mean so many years after the East India Company, they still haven't figured out her Secret ?
42. Summer-Hat : A few of these. Some saying Indusladies, some saying Cricket India, and one panama style cap. There used to be a wide brim straw hat, but someone stepped on it in the rush once.
43. Chanel/Hugo Boss/Dior/Ysl Perfume : I have some stuff from Bath and Body Works. I don't really go for those mentioned here....
44. Silk Stockings : Pointless.
45. Iphone : All you grammatically challenged folks, it's My Phone. And mine is a basic Nokia. And it is just fine.
46. Kundan Choker - I have an heirloom thing from my late mother. Could be classified as Kundan, I don't know. It doesn't matter, too.
47. Pearl Necklace : Yes of course. In various traditional styles.
48. Faux-Fur Outerwear : Are you serious ?
49. Halterneck Dress/Halter Top : Contrary to what you think, I have sufficient blouse material.
50. Body-Piercing : We stop at ears. Might go as low as nose. No further.
51. Silver /Junk Anklet/Bracelet/Armlet : I don't wear these, but the daughter maintains a collection which I admire from a distance.
52. Clinique Set : Yeh kya hai ? Isn't besan and ambe-haldi the thing ?
53. Churidaar Kameez : the cupboard is full ....
54. Platinum Band/Ring : Like I said, old is gold. Or should I say Gold is old ?
55. Bracelet Watch : I have a wonderful one, belonging to my late mother, which is like 60 years old. and Swiss. I keep it in a box and admire it since it doesn't go around the wrist anymore....:-(
(fatigued from explaining....)
.....I've just realized that I am probably likely to be classified as Poverty Stricken, by these 99label folks.
It is so much more fun being rich in ideas ...:-)