stuff that should be mainstream but isn’t: part 1

And by this, I don’t mean The Mindy Project (the show), or Chitrangada Singh (the actor), or Mother Dairy Mishti Doi (the dessert), all of which we should be seeing/ eating more of. Their non-mainstreamness bothers me. Hang in there, you three. Your day will come, and I will celebrate it with a crude but Pinterest-y homemade banner, confetti bombs, and a smug post on this blog.

At the moment, I’m talking fashion- the stuff you wear, and in this case, don’t. The next time you turn into a shopperbot and reach with your metal claw for a skater dress, think. Do you really need a skirt that fans out and lifts even on windless days, or is the TVbot live-streaming some Sochi figure skating into your brain? Gotcha!

Here’s my pick of STSBMBI (What? Acronyms are efficient!)

1. The Bow Tie

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You can slap a bow tie on to anything- a dog, some fabric, your hair– and it will class it up instantly. But my favourite thing about the bow tie isn’t this- it’s the fact that it completely eliminates the need for any neck jewellery (yay! no chafing!) and the fact that it makes a cheeky  statement. You’re appropriating a key aspect of upper class male attire, thus calling out the inherent impracticality and unfairness of gendered clothing for women and winning hearts all around.

Who does this best? Alexa Chung, of course. In the lovingly-assembled collage I’ve made of her random appearances, you will see that she’s quite the bow tie-addict. She’s elevated bow tie-wearing to an art, fashioning her’s out of silk, felt, ribbon, felted ribbon, even wool, and what-have-you. Sometimes, it droops limply but stylishly in a nod to English peasant women’s blouses, at others, it references the styles most seen around gentlemen’s clubs in London. But her thing is wearing oversize ties that bring to mind the loosely-knotted cloth of the sailor uniforms from the first World War. Verdict: WIN! If you’re a DIY person, you could make yours out of leftover cloth scraps. If you’re not, any place that sells these will do. 🙂

2. The Petticoat That Does More

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This isn’t my favourite Sabyasachi look, but I chose it to illustrate his smart re-imagining of the petticoat, which is Mumspeak for underskirt. The petticoat is usually a drab, monochrome garment that gives structure and support to your sari- the most unglamorous and under-credited aspect of your ensemble. Sabyasachi sexes it up by putting a print on it and letting it peek seductively through your nine yards, letting it have it its own moment of glory. Playing around with different textures and colours could let your white mul sari blush, thanks to a pink underskirt. Or your light green kota cotton sari be exciting and mysterious with an underskirt patterned all over with a Henri Rousseau jungle print. Just saying.

Thanks for reading! Parts 2 and 3 will follow after I’m watered and rested. 🙂

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