So yesterday night I happened to watch the episode of the Indian version of BBC/TLC show ‘What not to Wear’. As the name suggests it is a style show for girls who are confused about their style, or are unaware of what suits them and what not. For people who have no idea about body types and the cloths that would look good on them, who cannot devote time and energy on thinking about buying cloths, who buy cloths on their whims and fancies or whats in the fashion irrespective of how it would look on them, a sort of quick fashion guide.
Per episode they choose a contestant, observe her or her cloths for some time, talk to her about her likings and what kind of cloths she should go for, and also award some shopping credits for a wardrobe makeover.
And in the process of wardrobe makeover, they also have a good look on the contestant’s existing wardrobe and brutally trash some cloths that should be totally abandoned. May be it was just done to create some drama but that got me thinking, how many from us, specially the girls have the guts to just throw away our unusable but favourite pieces of cloths ?
Goonj, an organisation I completely abide by works on this principle, Clothing with dignity, ‘VastraSamman’ as they call it. Even the poorest of the people want to dress well, so this organisation works for providing cloths to the needy. The founder Anshu Gupta has a simple funda, open your closet and look for the cloths you haven’t worn in last three months that means you don’t need them, pack them and give away. I do it quite often, I support this organisation through all means, but I must confess I apply this three months funda more on the better half’s Almira than my own. Yes, the guys are not at all attached to the pieces of cloths like we are. Except for some random T-shirt or a cap which they wore when the country won the World Cup and swear by it in all important matches.
Reasons many, I hardly get to touch my Indian cloths, and I just can’t give them away even when I haven’t worn them since my marriage some months back. I wait for the right occasions; the fact that by the time the apt occasions come, they will be out of fashion and I would look for newer alternatives, should be overlooked here.
Then I have few denim, shirts, tops etc which no longer fit me. I have grown bigger than them but I wistfully wait for a time I will be able to reduce the extra flab and get into my old cloths.
Then there are those very fancy pieces that were bought with a lot of hard work and I just don’t feel like giving away, I assume that the fashion trend would take a reverse trend and I would be able to flaunt them again.
Few pieces are kept to see the designer in me, if I can alter them or get them altered and give a new life to them and my wardrobe.
And then there are those favourite pieces, I just can’t bring myself to be part with. They are torn, worn, stained but I carry them everywhere I have lived like a favourite family picture. A couple of plain black – white T-shirts; A very old but comfortable pyjama; my favourite green kurta; a lukhnawi kurta gifted by my friends; a stylish cut sleeves jacket; a couple of old stoles.
I still remember a very smart brown checkered plated skirt I owned when I was in 4th standard or so and despite my mom’s best effort I did not let it go. Only to get the material converted into an element of the cushions my Dadi stitched some 8 years later. So that somehow they were in-house, and I could feel the material whenever I wanted.
Till this day, I get furious that how my mom gave one of my favourite dress to a distant cousin, it was a denim align knee-length frock, yup that time it was called as a frock, and similarly some more including a camel colour dungaree pants got vanished from our home.
And there are so many other stories related to cloths, and I just could not bring myself to trash some of them even now. It’s surprising to see how we get attached to such materialistic things but this is the way it is, at least for now.
So how is it with you guys? Are you attached to your cloths like me, or you hardly care, you are above such worldly affairs? Do share and if you plan to give away, or already do that in an directionless way, do refer to Goonj once.