Saturday, August 4, 2012

Formal Trouble

What can an elderly woman wear at a wedding?

 When i was teaching in a Bangalore college, the dress code for women lecturers was the saree. It was tough going for the likes of me who weren’t born into it. But i did manage somehow. Once we moved to Mumbai and i took up a non-teaching job, dressing became free and easy. We don’t deal with customers; we don’t have to impress anybody. So we can wear what we please—within a level of decency and common sense, of course! A pair of corduroy pants, bought from the men’s clothing section at a mall, became my favourite wear. [It’s hard to get women’s casual trousers since they come in tights and slim fits, which i don’t want to wear. Same is the case with footwear, men’s section has interesting sandals and things while the women’s side is filled with silly, icky designs. Isn’t this part of gender harassment?]

But then, thinking of clothes for formal functions is such a headache! Some time back, we went for a Northeast hill folks wedding. Wanting to highlight regional solidarity, i went dressed in ‘puan’. But most of the other guests were in Westerns, and i felt so conspicuous in my ethnic. There’s another wedding coming in a few weeks. Someone is telling me to wear a silk saree. But i don’t want to, especially in this wet season. The situation reminds me of the lines from TS Eliot’s ‘The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock’: Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare eat a peach? I have heard the mermaids singing each to each. I do not think that they will sing to me.

Well, what does a female Prufrock do? Any suggestion?

9 comments:

ku2 said...

I think the female Prufrock would dare to wear mismatched clothes, hair parted haphazardly, and non-sensible shoes :)

Aduhi Chawngthu said...

Wear a smart dress that ends somewhere just below the knees, and comfy but nice shoes. Match it with a beautiful bag/clutch and diamond studs and you are good to go.

Look at me giving fashion advice haha! Me, the most unfashionable of them all! Neways, wear what you are comfortable in, end of story.

The corduroy pants and the men's shoes is so Annie Hall-y. One of my favourite movies.

mesjay said...

Kuku, [lol] that's too risky at my age, i'm afraid.

Aduh, thanks for the tip. Let me try if i can get the dress...

Gauri Gharpure said...

A smart silk blouse, dark pants and a nice string of pearls.
Just dropped by to say hello:-)

mesjay said...

Hi Gauri, how are you? Thanks...

baruk said...

i am now allowed to wear jeans to weddings. grin. much enjoyness i have.

Calliopia said...

A lot of older women I know wear smart pants which are loose but not overly so that they sag, and flare out slightly. Teamed with one or two inched slingback heels, I think they look just formal enough without being too uncomfortable to wear. On top a light, smart jacket or sth? And I don't think puans are overdone. Most of my colleagues wear puans to formal dos - they're politically correct wear and look so dignified (zahawm) too.

mesjay said...

Calliopia, thanks for the sound advice.

DayDreamBeliever said...

So, since I arrived at this very late stage, my question is: what DID you wear? And you would look good in anything - honestly.