As I’m typing this up, I keep looking at the picture above and hope that’s not how I’ll be dressed tomorrow. Is snow on Christmas Day during global warming too much to ask for?? But for now, let’s take a small break from the serious posts and focus on something more fun - Fashion. As you may have read in my last post, I went to San Jose over Thanksgiving break for a wedding, and you know what that means. NON-STOP DRESSING UP. Don’t get me wrong, while I like the idea of dressing up, it takes a lot of time and effort, especially if you’re going to an Indian/Punjabi event.
Just a heads up, if you don’t already know about the different types and parts of Indian outfits, be prepared to learn about a few...
Over the years, I’ve become “innovative” in dressing up for formal occasions. While in Vancouver this summer, it dawned on me that since I don’t walk, it really doesn’t matter what I wear under my anarkali suit, so I wore jeans and socks because it got colder at night. But of course I couldn’t cut too many corners, so I balanced this out by wearing 4-inch, gold heels. I’ve also been known to wear pleather pants at formal Indian events (hey, if leather lehengas can be a thing, I don’t see why I can’t wear pleather). Going shopping for Indian outfits is quite an undertaking. If you’re not satisfied with something that’s pre-made, you always have the option of buying something that can be stitched to your size. But finding the perfect outfit can take a long time and it also means endless visits to a tailor, at the end of which you still may not feel totally satisfied with how the “custom- fitted” outfit fits you and then you have to ask The Mother to tailor it even more. As you can tell, I speak from A LOT experience. There ultimately came a point where I came to terms with the idea that Indian outfits must not be meant to sit in, because even though my measurements would always be taken while I was sitting, I felt like those outfits would fit and look much better if I could stand. Which is when I came up with the idea to wear Western dresses as the kameez (or top) for Indian suits- I could try on a bunch of different sizes within a single shopping trip, there’s usually a wide variety to choose from, they actually fit well when I’m sitting, and no one else would be as lazy innovative as me to do something like this.
So now, whenever I go shopping I try to look for things that can work for both Western and Indian outfits. For our trip to San Jose, I decided I’d wear a floral skirt as a contemporary, East meets West, lehenga. But I also knew that I wanted to be as comfortable as possible wearing it, which meant I was not going to wear a fitted blouse. So while on a shopping trip in SoHo, I came across a great, loose fitting satin top, which was a hue of purple found in the flowers on the skirt. Super excited with my find, I came back home with the top, tried it on with the skirt, looked into the mirror and saw an amorphous blob sitting on a wheelchair looking back at me. With no time left to buy anything else, the only thing that could bring some dimension to this disaster was a good old-fashioned belt. So I went into my drawer and found a gold leaf buckle belt that I bought a while ago, which happened to perfectly match the leaves on my skirt. This left me with deciding on jewelry and since I was going for a contemporary look, I chose a collar necklace with small stud earrings. Although I was a bit nervous about wearing this because it wasn’t a “traditional” outfit, it was hit and was very “sitting-friendly”.
Most importantly however, I need to be able to quickly change into something even more comfortable once any event is over. After the party in San Jose was done, we had to drive for about an hour and half to a relative’s house. Since I didn’t feel like going to their house fully decked out, I planned ahead and wore leggings under my skirt. Once the car hit Interstate 580 (which explains the blurry pic below), I took off my belt and skirt, put on a blazer and slept the rest of the trip while keeping my heels on, because why not??
I still have a soft spot for traditional Indian outfits, and I’ll never end my search for a perfectly tailored outfit. But even if I do find one, I’ll continue to fuse my love for Eastern and Western fashion and will share my innovations with you. If you’re interested in finding out where I got each part of my outfit (except for my skirt and dupatta, all I know is that they came from somewhere in India), please visit my Instagram page, @themusicalchairschampion, and tap on the first image above to see the tags.
With that, I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season and I wish all of you an amazing 2019!! See ya next year! :)
Originally published on December 24, 2018 at https://themusicalchairsch.wixsite.com/website/post/the-best-of-both-fashion-worlds