HOW I CREATED ‘MY INTENTIONAL WARDROBE’
There are days when I want to dress up. I plan the previous evening, or maybe even weeks in advance. I ensure the clothes are washed and ironed and so on. The days I want to feel great, I prefer to wear sarees. I have always maintained that my best version is in a saree. There are days, I feel like wearing a salwar kameez because it just makes sense. And then there are days I want to wear a dress with slippers. Just slip them on and you are fine.
Clothes (and fashion) are a mode of self-expression and how I come across externally is a reflection how I feel inside. And I am sure you resonate with this idea a hundred percent.
In different outfits, I feel different. In a saree, I feel more in control. More authoritative. Often determined by whom I am meeting. In a salwar kameez also the same effect can be had but dialed down considerably. Decent and smart, but nothing special. I feel like just about anyone else. But the sheer functionality of it makes it a winner. I can just blend in with the crowd.
Another brick in the wall type feeling.
In dresses, it’s more casual and easy-breezy. I wear it mainly on weekends. When I don’t care about making an impression. Or when I am just too lazy to make an effort.
But then there are days, I just don’t want to make that kind of time investment. Even though I am a decisive in things, I just don’t care about the clothes I wear.
I am more consumed in what I am thinking or feeling and treating my clothes just as a means to cover myself. I just prefer to throw something on and head out. I really don’t want my clothing decisions to take too much of my time and probably that is why I don’t understand girls who take hours to decide what they want wear.
Do you remember that scene in Friends, when Rachel made the whole group wait while she chose her outfit for the evening? Isn’t the process exhausting?
I want my clothes to reflect my personality. My clothes should make me feel comfortable inside and out. Regardless of who the audience is. And the same time, it should be a reflection of who I am, what I stand for, my tastes and aesthetics. Aesthetics has always been a driver in my clothing choices, irrespective of whether they are in trend or not.
The thing is that I started understanding my body type pretty early on in my life. I knew I wasn’t thin. I wanted clothes that gave me a longer frame and of course, covered my rolls of fat underneath the fabric, and yet allowed me to swan around confidently. Salwar Kameezes, dupattas, long flowy skirts, palazzos, loose tops formed a part of my wardrobe. My objective was simple: cover the rolls.
I liked clothes which fit me well, made me look less big.
Comfort fit is crucial for me to feel good in.
Not too loose, but also not tight.
Many of you have been following my blog and on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest know that I am from Advertising. Long hours, frequent Client meetings necessitate a certain outfit that’s comfortable and formal.
A well-tailored salwar kameez always makes a good impression in a corporate setting. A safe option. Coupled with interesting colour combinations, prints, fabrics and textures brought alive the aesthetic appeal of my outfit.
My wardrobe is made around all these vital parameters: my body type, what makes me feel and look better, what fits me better and what suits my lifestyle. And thus, unintentionally, my “Intentional Wardrobe was formed’.
This purposeful and mindful closet formation simplified my life a great deal. I bought clothes from my own money and hence it was very important to me to be smart about it. My purchase decisions were targeted.
My buys were efficient, rather than relying on trends that were/are unworkable on me. I depended heavily on mixes and matches. My selection of clothes needed to work for the office and weekends. So, I started defining and staying within these parameters. Did it feel limiting? Not at all. It, in fact, pruned my wardrobe from unnecessary items. And yes I did experiment, but with prints, bold patterns, colour palettes and so on.
I invested in high-quality pieces, the long-lasting and sophisticated pieces. I didn’t purchase anything that I didn’t see myself wearing over the long term. Till date, some of the clothes I have, are nearly a decade old.
One tip or trick that I exercise is that I try on clothes before buying. I often purchased my kurtas from Fabindia. Getting the fit right is quite imperative to me. Even though they have tons of clothes that are pretty and cute, and if I realise upon trying, that I am even a teensy bit uncomfortable, I steer clear from it. However, I stopped shopping at Fabindia years ago because of its durability issues. I realized the quality of their fabrics had deteriorated considerably, and I switched to tailor-made clothes entirely.
Over the years I realized that a style genre was emerging, and my clothing choices were beginning to articulate that style genre. I am not a fashion expert on fashion and style. But I do like to be envisioned as ‘Elegant and Artsy’ and gradually my wardrobe choices have had those leanings. And my style mantra has always been to look and feel effortless. Only those who are viewing me will be able to qualify whether I am doing any justice to these adjectives, but I am going strong in that direction.
I am so happy I wrote this piece the way I wanted to, because it has spawned a few ideas on my next post, so stay tuned. I would love to hear from you on what triggered you to start creating your ‘Intentional Wardrobe’. Comment below or write on email@example.com