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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

In style

Update : 19 Apr 2014, 07:45 PM

“Never, ever, ever wear anything you are uncomfortable in. Because that is what you’ll project: I look like a fool,” said Tom Ford.

The morning staring sessions in front of the vanity mirror, the art of makeup applied in the most meticulous manner, the magnificent lot of dresses hung for anyone to view with pleasure, accessories galore and overpriced pieces – all of this means nothing unless you are completely and full-heartedly comfortable in your own skin.

There is undoubtedly a huge misconception when it comes to fashion and style. Let’s first state an obvious fact: We, as Bangladeshis, have never been known to be fashion-forward. But this isn’t about fashion itself. This is about the lack of thought and effort that goes into improving our image – style. The general public sees something fashionable to be expensive, lavish, and are left with their jaws dropping because they could never imagine donning something so elegant.

Before all the pricey items and the endless grooming sessions, there is the individual. Everyone has a set of characteristics. Some are similar while others are vastly different, but never exactly the same. Individuality in this country is a rare find. The majority, however, play a familiar role in the stage that is a masquerade. Surely, we’d put Carnevale in Venice to shame. We’ve become too worrisome living on the expectations of others. Presenting a façade is now a lifelong obligation.

We now live in a world of a more sophisticated audience. As much as we want to act a fool on certain days, we wish to remain as professional as possible. The best example of that is at a high-profile job or a significant event. What you are wearing is the tell-tale sign of how you are feeling – the mood changes with the outfits. Again, it’s what lies beneath. How you feel is how you will dress. The moment you decide to genuinely give an effort to look better, you start feeling better. This satisfaction should fall on you as this isn’t completely focused on aesthetics.

The true essence of style is the most alluring representation of your personality. It’s through the attitude and efforts of an individual. Those who practise this are influenced by multiple sources. The runway, celebrities, or others who possess an immaculate street style are all wonderful to be inspired by. There is no shame in borrowing certain features from certain individuals to cook up a recipe of your own. Emptying our pockets is unnecessary – those designer tags we can do without.

We lack the confidence as a nation. Rather than being ourselves, we try too hard to be like others. There should be more pride taken to how we look. No one said wearing Westernised clothing would deem you as popular or stylish. Tradition shouldn’t be swept aside over the belief that foreign is always better. However, there is a perfect balance set by the men and women in our society, albeit a very tiny portion, who pull off the fusion quite well. This is a sign of hope – a sign of progress.

Ultimately, our working middle-class is fooled into thinking Bollywood onset costumes are the must-haves – cheap knockoffs of anything is unflattering. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the truth. We educate ourselves in medicine, business, and engineering, yet disregard how we present ourselves to the rest of the world. This is where fashion takes its place; it is where style should become the priority. We should be prepared in all fronts.

We deserve better. We can achieve greater things but don’t allow ourselves to enrich our lifestyles. We aim for the quick fix and that’s what halts the progress. With all due respect to our neighbours, we don’t need to imitate them. We live in a country with factories that churn out items for high-street fashion in Europe and all over the world. It’s a statement that should be made very clear. It’s not a matter of inferiority if we seek not to compete. Our presence simply has to be known. If we’re able to produce quality through rigorous labour, why not show the rest of the world we are equally stylish.

We have the ability to rub elbows with the best, but it depends on how much we really care, and how much effort we’re willing to put in. It’s time to open our minds completely and embrace ourselves. Let’s not worry about what others are doing or what they think is acceptable. It’s not only about what you are wearing, it’s how you are wearing it. If you’re doing right by you and yours, everything else falls into place. It’s not about outdoing any opponent; it’s about going toe-to-toe with the best and earning respect – the respect that comes from conduct (how we behave in society), and how we dress for the occasion.

And the secret to all of this – to an admirable style – is simple. Don’t try too hard.

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