Saturday, June 27, 2009

Attire Satire!

I have been fighting with myself since a couple of months. Should I write about it or not? Its a very touchy topic, do I invite wrath, debate, criticism, flak? Whatever. I finally decided to write. It so happens that I get into a discussion on this particular topic with my friends, my mentor or simply my peers at work; more often than not, I am amused and appalled at the views of few people, shocked at their ideas; specially when it comes from learned, educated and exposed "I know the world" types.

Its nothing other than the choice of dress women wear. Let me dig the dirt here. What I learnt from all the discussions I have had is certain people have some mindset, they are stereoscopic and don't want to change. They stick to the thought and don't want to listen.

Many people have the opinion that Saree is the most elegant and 'respectable' attire that a woman should wear. Salwars and chudidhars are acceptable and are traditional. Jeans and shirts are vulgar and must be banned.

I and my mentor started a discussion few days back when I was asked 'Why do women wear transparent shirts?' He was of the view that it was not in good taste when women wear light shirts. I absolutely agreed with that. I added that as long as they made proper arrangement with the inner wears, it should be elegant enough. How can you expect all the shirts that are manufactured to be thick and opaque?

Lets take a light colored shirt, a crispy white one. Its an elegant, official costume anyone would want to wear to work. But, there's a problem. There can be no white shirt which would not be transparent. Does it mean women must forget white shirts altogether? Or should it always be paired with a thick jacket?

To support my statement, Saree is the most elegant attire you can ever find. But wont you agree if I said that it was the most sexiest attire too? Imagine a situation where a voluptuous lady is wearing a pair of trousers and a T shirt. She is seated and as she gets up, her T shirt raises up and reveals a bit of skin near the hip. Its so disgusting isn't it? We would all complain, "What an awkward situation. Why do they dress so vulgar?"

What if the lady was in a Saree. A blouse that has a deep neck, the blouse material transparent enough to tell the whole world the color of her inner wear, the neck level way too deep and the back way too deep almost revealing her upper shoulders. And the width of cloth covering her shoulders too narrow to reveal her waist, her belly and her flab; her chest improperly covered!!!

This sight is so common if you see around. Yet people don't feel any sick about it. It doesn't draw the same flak that a T shirt raised to reveal teeny-weeny skin. Is it because its a Saree after all and its a 'respectable' attire at any cost? Compare that with the trouser and a decent shirt which completely covers a women's body to a half-naked Saree. Its absurd.

The same with a salwar kameez. The notion here is that a Salwar-Kameez is a big no-no or is revealing if its not teamed with a veil/dupatta. A friend recently asked me "Didn't they give you a dupatta with this?" This question raised in spite of the fact that the kurta was an appropriate official attire and was in no way in bad taste or revealing. I had to explain him that it was a kurta and it doesn't require a dupatta and its not meant to be worn with a dupatta anyway!!

Talk about fashion absence. Another question I often get asked is "Why do girls wear such tight trousers". A friend frequently asks me. What would I answer him? I tried explaining the anatomy of a women's body, and how wearing a loose pant would look sloppy and awkward. A loose trouser would not fit right and would look funny. And also with these things, there was something more rampant called fashion sense; that there were different styles available - skinny, boot cut, curvy, flared.....and they are all designed to fit a women's body and that it was OK unless it was not vulgar and revealing; which then turns out to be awkward situation for all. But to no effect. His idea is just bland - they are tight.

And to think how people map the attire a lady wears to her character is just unacceptable and outrageous. A decent disciplined lady in a pair of trousers would invite cat calls and whistles than a women in a Saree or a Salwar - yeah paired with a dupatta. That's the mindset. A women in a pair of trousers is always open and available, promiscuous types. What the heck!

When people(I must mention mostly guys, but don't want to create a debate in here) throw their view points, its really shocking to hear just out-dated and narrow views; from guys who are educated, who spend most of their times with women at work, otherwise who are forward and open to other ideas. Some ideas like these are implanted in their brains and they don't want to change, they would rather stick to their stupid views.

What they don't understand is the choice of attire is mostly got to do with the comfort and ease in everyday life and the routine; with more women working and spending time commuting and being at office. A Saree is definitely good, but is it feasible to wear a 9-yard to work each day, commute and manage?

Ultimately, its not about the attire but the way you wear it. Any attire can turn out to be a disgusting one, or turn the women to an elegant mannequin, depending on how they have chose to wear it.


  1. Nice blog. We can have intellectual discussions on this subject. But let us come to the real world and face the fact. Certain dress, worn by a woman, invites trouble. Also, only very few people in this world think that the sexiest part of a woman's body is her brain.

  2. hii
    nice topic taken up

    it depends upon the lady wearing the attire...i have seen women carrying western wear with utmost grace and also the Indian wear in the most disgusting manner depends upon the lady.

  3. Hi Mano,

    Again as I said, its not certain dress but certain way a dress is worn. A woman can be modern yet decent, or she can drape a saree yet be vulgar. It depends on the way she dresses.

    Very very few people who would think the sexiest part of a women's body is her brain and he who thinks that way, has seen it all!!! and has attained nirvana.

  4. Hi AS,

    Thanks dear. True. We see it each day, a western cloth worn graciously and a traditional worn in a vulgar manner. As I said, its all how one wears it and has got nothing to do with the dress.

  5. Usually I agree with you. Anyway, the attire should be appropriate for the occasion too. A swim suit is perfectly alright for a pool party. But it is not ok to go to office. If someone does, don't blame the others.

  6. Hi Vivek,

    Long time no see. Glad to have your comments. I agree with you. There is a thin line between being modern and being vulgar.

    Some work places have dress codes. Some dont, such organizations trust their people to be mature enough to know things and expect people to be dressed appropriately. But unfortunately, not everyone know how NOT to dress to work.

    Its really disgusting, and such people(women) are not taken seriously and become an object of ridicule; not to forget the nasty comments passed by their co-workers.

  7. i feel that every person should really do a reality check and understand what suits their body type. just to keep with latest trends in hollywood and bollywood, one should not wear anything that makes them look like a clown.

  8. Hi Gayathri,

    Bang on it!! Right.
    Thats one thing - Updating your fashion sense and see what suits you.

    Even though one is not up to date, its fine as long as they are dressed appropriately.

  9. Please ask those guys to wear sherwanis, dhothis and kurtas to office everyday to office please. Only whose minds are corrupt, and those who immediately start imagining the everything (what not!?) about woman at the very first glance would be the ones complaining about her attire. It is their fault that their minds are corrupt. Poor buggers. It is not the fault of the dress. They just have the license to ogle at women when they are in sarees and in salwar, kameez. Lying mules... LOL.

  10. I feel beauty not only lies in the brain, but in the timely innocence and cuteness of the woman. :-p That is seriously my opinion. :-)

  11. Too much of brain can make people very selfish.

  12. Hi Gautam,

    I agree with you. And your opinion that beauty not only lies with the brain, but also the cuteness and innocence within the women - Clap..clap..clap

  13. Hey nice article. But let me tell you one thing, Only an Indian can pull off a saree:P

  14. Hey kish,

    Thank you. Well said :-) I have the same thought. Even though and Indian lady gets audacious when in Jeans, the shyness and grace automatically pops up when draped a saree. I always think how could that be possible :-)

  15. Hello, Insignia!

    I read the post with great interest. Especially, as it came from an intelligent, practical, impartial, balanced and broadminded person.

    I per se, have no 'problems' with a western dress. Here, by 'problem' I mean, it will not draw my attention as something 'exotic' or 'different'. Neither would it make me 'think' why would someone wear a western dress. Here, I stress on 'think' only because many feel why should I think about what others wear. It's their choice after all.

    Again, my response is that what dresses in, usually represents a choice. And just like my comments on the 'lift'-post, I believe one's choice of dressing reveals a lot, if not about their character and personality, definitely, their transient mood and outlook on life. :)

    For instance, there would definitely be some difference between a person wearing a bright orange short shirt, and someone wearing a light shirt with vertical linings/stripes. Likewise, the choice of one's footwear reveals the relative importance people give to comfort v/s elegance of appearance.

    I'm a person whose fashion sense totally sucks, really. So, I agree with everything that you've said, except, possibly that all the white clothes are transparent. But again, I could be wrong. To verify your assertion, I'll have to check not many persons (women) wearing white, and not sure, if that would be good for my long term health. :) ...

  16. ...I'd done a post touching upon similar issue, and not sure if that one of the posts that would've driven you away when you had not commented. :)

    Though superficially, the post would seem to dealing with same thing as your this post, but the distinction is yours deals with practical aspects of dressing of a woman, whereas mine dwells on what factors go into someone deciding upon a particular dress to buy.

    And it is possible, the post might anger/irritate/provoke you, my only request is, please do read the disclaimers within the post carefully. They were not at all perfunctory. And also that, I would also apply the same standards to dressing by a male.

    Here's the post:

    Do I deserve pink chaddis? (click)

    And after you read it, and irrespective of whether you get angered or not, you must read the following parody guest post by Sioneve. It makes fun of me and my unborn SON (of course, I'm unmarried)!">Sequel to My Post 'Do I deserve pink chaddis?'--Guest post by Sioneve (click).

    And I forgot to mention in my previous post, that when I leave links for you, it is with total understanding that you might not have time to go through them. So, do not feel obliged. But I try to leave only those links that would be somehow relevant to our discussion.

    And if you read any of my posts, please do leave comments, especially, if you disagree! Surprisingly, we have hardly disagreed on anything up till now, and that somehow scares me, as our first disagreement could be a huge one! :)

    But then, don't worry, I judge people not by the fact that they disagree with me, but what reasons they offer for disagreeing. And yet, at a basal level, I would actually respect them, for firstly having opinion, secondly, to have the right ethics to disagree when an assertion would be contrary to their conviction, and thirdly for (if so apparent) having a well-thought and informed opinion of their own.

    Likewise, you could tell me when you would not understand a post. I might try to put it in a different perspective for you.

    A well analyzed, and well written post, most importantly devoid of senseless rhetoric! Seriously!


  17. Sorry for so many typos above. But I believe, with some effort you would be able to make out what I had meant. :)

  18. Hi Ketan,

    Ooooohhh....all those adjectives to describe me? I am way too honored. :-)

    Dressing depends on choice, but sometimes the choice of dress is stereotyped. Like sarees are always conservative. Are they? If they are draped in a revealing and vulgar way? Thats what my point here is.

    Yeah, most white crisp shirts, trousers, sarees, salwars are all transparent; even denims for that matter. Unless it is woolen, they are transparent. Please check when you have a chance :-P but dont make it too obvious :-P

  19. Thanks for the links Ketan.
    I will definitely read them all.

    Yours fictions are also pending. But I am a bit occupied with work; so I am not able to read archives.

    But will sure dig; and will leave comments. :-) Yeah I would love to disagree with you. Waiting for an opportunity seriously :-)

  20. Jeans and shirts are vulgar and must be banned.

    Who ever said it is really stupid.


    Personally I feel, its none of any ones business to dictate dress code for any one. Level transparency of shirt of size of trouser around thighs.
    I agree that dressing properly makes a difference to one's personality.

    but its prerogative of individual to decide what to wear.

    As far as remarks and comments are concerned..
    Sick person will comment on even a burqa clad and vice-a- versa.

    Change in mind set takes time and I dont think any one should wait for that to live life.

    Just one should know how to make a commenter realize what is he doing?

    when I see some cute, innocent looking girl...nothing is more refreshing..

  21. Makk,

    Thank you. Women need understanding and broad minded person as you.

    thank you for your views :-)


I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!