Of a wardrobe crisis…

I should have seen this coming, I really should have. It is, after all, the festive season looming large, and coupled with this the wedding season right bang ahead. So what does one have? A calendar that is dotted with invites for religious functions, festive events and weddings of the kind that make your toes curl because the damn card is something that comes with a huge sack full of handmade chocolates and brocade boxes with trinkets and such like, and multiple event cards in gold print with embossed lettering, all guaranteed to make one look at the sad sarees one has languishing in one’s wardrobe in a state of increasing panic that escalates to hyperventilation.

In the society premises, we have three to four religious functions being held at various homes. One at mine own. All promise to be big shindigs which need the bling to be piled on with a shovel. Then there is the Navratri function, down in the premises which will need more blingy outfit. Folks are making chaniya choli noises, the kind with the cowries and the mirrors and the sequins. It scares me. I am a simple jeans and tshirt kind of girl. I am my worst in ethnic wear. I manage to get saree pallavs and dupattas stuck in fans and wheels of two wheelers with unfailing regularity. The first time I ever wore a saree in my life, twas borrowed off the mater, and the to be spouse took me for a ride on his scooter, I ended up almost getting choked and passing out because I didnt realise that saree pallavs gravitate naturally to the wheel and then strangulate you so swiftly that you don’t even get a chance to cry out for the driver to slam on the brakes. I wonder if the man sometimes curses his swift reflexes today, especially when the credit card bills arrive, and I see him gasping in shock.

Anyway, my ethnic wear collection is sad, limited and very dated. The natural solution to this wardrobe crisis would be naturally to go screaming into the stores waving the credit card aloft, and returning home laden with parcels which would need a staff of five to extricate me from under. Not this time. I have a credit limit that is maxed out. A wardrobe that is already full with clothes I’d rather wear everyday.Β  Jeans of every shape, cut, fit, label, and black tops of every persuasion. Ethnic wear forms but a small component of my wardrobe and is confined to deep dank corners where I reach with much difficulty and acrobatics, necessitating the use of stools, and determination and admonishments to the child to steer clear or risk being crushed to pulp should I fall down. I dug out my small stash of formal ethnic wear over the weekend. Wedding trousseau sarees which were now begging for euthanasia or being converted to cushions and table runners. Some polyester stuff with the jhintak work on them which I had obviously bought while under the influence, and which you wouldnt find me dead in. A couple of crepes and tissues with interesting and tasteful embroidery on them, but with blouses which were obviouslyaltered by elves working in secret when the cupboard was closed so that they now dont even go beyond my elbow, and forget the buttons even coming together at the chest, even if they do manage to go beyond the elbow. No, its not me, I’m the same size I was when they were stitched. It is a criminal conspiracy to ensure that I never use these sarees and will need to give them away. I dug out the few fancy salwar kameezes I have, the ones in fancy silks and tissues and realise that even if I try to pat myself inch by inch into them, I will have to have some inches of me spilling out from either the top or the bottom. Therefore Operation Salvage is currently underway. Existing wearable stuff, which only needs stitches to be let out is getting priority. Salwar kameezes which might still be usable with a little alteration are being taken to tailors where I beg and plead with them to work their magic and contemporarise the styling, which also involves clever strategising as to how to put in extra fabric to match the expanded girth since said garment was stitched. Tent like tops are being looked at with a quizzical eye to check for suitability if paired with churidar and dupatta for them minor functions.

This thriftiness is making my halo glow. Maybe I can save some more, and switch off some lights. The glow from the halo would do for light enough to dine and not bump into the furniture in.


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral published her first book, The Reluctant Detective in 2011. Since then, she has published eight books across genres till date. Her books include romance and chicklit with Once Upon A Crush (2014), All Aboard (2015), Saving Maya (2017); horror with The Face at the Window (2016) and nonfiction with Karmic Kids (2015), A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up (2016) and True Love Stories (2017). Her short stories have been published on Juggernaut, in magazines like Verve and Cosmopolitan, and have been part of anthologies like Chicken Soup for the Soul, Have a Safe Journey (2017) and Boo (2017). Her articles and columns have appeared in the Times of India, Tehelka, DNA, Yowoto, Shethepeople, New Woman, Femina, Verve, Elle, Cosmopolitan, Conde Nast Traveller, DB Post, The Telegraph, the Asian Age, iDiva, TheDailyO and more. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards 2017 for Literary Contribution. She is a TEDx speaker and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Mentoring Walk 2017.
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15 Responses to Of a wardrobe crisis…

  1. Deej says:

    You? Fat? bwahahaha!


  2. pinksocks says:

    Lovely read πŸ™‚ Keep them coming!


  3. Pepper says:

    Ethnic wear forms a small component of my wardrobe too. But fortunately you live in India, where most tailors are wizards. They spin their machines and create wonderful looking outfits out of the old junk you give them.

    And long tops with churidars and dupattas go well too. So I guess you should be ok πŸ™‚


    • Kiran Manral says:

      Pepper: err, no the look is short tops with churidars these days, so running to crop everything below knee length to just above the knee and converting the A line flare to a straight cut.


  4. Fat ??? Who you ???? The latest pic of you in the Ganesh-Chaturthi celebrations in the other blog, said a different story πŸ™‚


  5. V says:

    1.Steal some sarees from mom
    2.Find genius tailor
    3.Get him/her to whip it into a lovely latest-fashion outfit
    You are all set πŸ™‚


  6. R's Mom says:

    Gosh I can so relate to this…its so so bugging not to be able to fit into old clothes especially when they are so expensive..and bling is so much in now that attending a wedding needs an insurance against blindness due to extra bright light!!!and since you have already started wearing Kurti…just top up a jeans with one of those fab india kurtis and add a bright shiny stole for the dazzling effect!


  7. Sonia says:

    Kiran! You are not fat, you are so beautiful! But I cant imagine India mein kya hota hoga, even here people come dressed up in the latest fashions and everything at religious events/weddings! Its like some women live for these parties….I need to donate all my salwar kameezs from the past ten years and buy a fresh stock when I visit next year, I was actually thinking of asking you if I could donate my gently used clothes to charity and if you could recommend something?


  8. dipali says:

    As for the good sarees with unwearable blouses- new blouses made from silk dyed to match, or new contrast blouses or gold or silver brocade blouses. much can be done.


  9. Anu says:

    Hi Kiran

    I have been following both your blogs. Love reading them. (But I guess you must be so used to hearing this, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

    Not fitting into clothes, especially the ones meant for occasions which call for “dress up like a Christmas Tree”… oh I feel for you. Feel every bit of it.

    Would Dipali’s suggestion work for you? It seemed like a GREAT idea. Sorry, am not of much help here.

    Till later

    take care



  10. πŸ™‚ all the best with the wardrobe and tailors πŸ™‚


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