Sunday, August 31, 2008

For Want of Better Dress Sense!

Something happened a few days ago that reinforced my belief that women don’t have a dress sense, at least, Indian women. Before being branded the male version of the bra-burning feminist, i.e., the underwear and crotch adjusting, nose digging Indian male, let me also affirm that Indian men, too, don’t have much of dress sense. You find all types of dresses on men/women in office. Power dressing is a concept that is lost on Indian women/men executives and those who do not wear the graceful sari/dhoti and salwar kameez to office, wear just anything – jeans, miniskirts, denim skirts, tank tops, cute tops with bold prints, large checked shirts, capris, just about anything.

So imagine my surprise at a meeting with an event management agency, the account manager came wearing a Capri that showed most of her legs, and a top with short sleeve that afforded a peek, I mean a very deep, shameless peek, into her plunging cleavage. Oh, God, not in a business meeting. I was ill at ease in the narrow room, and didn’t know where to look and finally decided to keep my eyes riveted at the ceiling and at the walls, lest my eyes wander in the direction of all the exposure of flesh.

Another senior executive came into the reception area – would you believe this? – with her sari held hitched up to her calves. Ho, oh, it was raining alright, but up to the calves? A very senior executive always wears checked shirts to office, that too, checks as big as the ones Dharmendra used to (still does) sport on his shirts. Have some semblance of formality, ni, pachi, soo karvano? What to do? No, nathi, even my friend wealth-enjoying-brother Dhansukhbhai wouldn’t approve. So what if he has a private jet and a helipad on top of his own building? He, too, has no dress sense. He is always dressed in ill-fitting suits (I guess he keeps things in his shirt pocket and that’s why his suit always sags and bulges in the wrong places.) and crumpled safari suits; and his wife is always seen in gaudy saris. They are one badly dressed couple who destroy my confidence in Indian dress sense.

Oh, by the way, I have taken to wearing ties in the new office. Office rules and etiquette, you see, and I comply. But, I feel I get more respect with a tie around my neck, you know, it’s a big hit with the girls in the office. Oh, if only I had known this earlier!

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