You consider yourself a fashionista. Coco Chanel quotes grace your social media cover page, and you believe in them wholeheartedly. A lady should be two things — classy and fabulous, is your mantra in life.
Style is your middle name and you are always well turned out, whatever the occasion. You are incredibly sure of yourself, and very confident of your style, but lately something very trivial has been gnawing at your mind.
It may have a little something to do with a comment someone wrote on that splendid selfie you posted the other day. It was taken at a wedding, naturally. “A Christmas tree would be jealous of you”, the comment read.
What a horrid thing to say, you thought! It was your best friend's cousin's wedding after all.
It was perfectly acceptable to deck up and be fabulous for it. Surely, not as much as a Christmas tree, you wonder, and you regard yourself in the mirror with a touch of self-consciousness. Could it be that unbeknownst to you, your style has taken a flight of fancy and does not know where to land?
I am not talking about a poorly-chosen outfit that would immediately alert the fashion police. It's the small, everyday things that make way into our style without realisation, and caching up with us eventually. Confidence is key to look fashionable, but we all need to hit the refresh mode time to time to truly refine ourselves.
Take it easy ladies
Going gaga with bling is second nature to Bengalis; attending a wedding and trowelling eight different kinds of jewellery is a major faux pas, unless you are planning to upstage the poor bride. Less is more ladies. And it also goes for everyday life. You don't need the earrings for multiple piercings, nose ring, chains, pendants, rings, bracelets and bangles every morning before leaving the house!
Choose one element and let it stand out instead of wearing multiple items and look like a bejewelled tree at a store. Even for grand parties like weddings choose one area to focus on. A chunky 'shithi paati' does not have to compete for attention with a bib necklace.
Makeup, without a doubt is an area where we could all need some help. Bloggers and makeup artists on YouTube and Instagram make wearing layers of makeup perfectly normal for daily life, but in reality it is not like that at all.
You do not need a primer, a correcting concealer, a lightening concealer then a layer of foundation followed by banana powder and then a spritz of setting spray just to grab coffee with your high school friends. And the case of contouring deserves its very own therapy session.
Cream contouring does not even look right in real life, and hence should be avoided at all cost unless one is fabulous at making it look natural. Some poor girls walk around with dark lines around their nose and cheeks and it is not a good look. Enhance your best features in a subtle way for you are beautiful just the way you are.
Bengali belles are known for their dark black tresses and magical dark eyes. But it can sometimes seem boring. Women in many parts of the world have different colours of hair and eyes and naturally we want to emulate them in order to seek diversity. Going a few shades lighter is perfectly acceptable; fashion is about being playful and experimental. But going honey blonde completely, or rocking bright blue contacts is anything but stylish. It neither complements the skin tone, nor does it look real. In a pursuit of beauty and perfection some women truly lose their sense of self.
So, in a collective effort to be truly classy and fabulous, take a good long look at yourself in the mirror. There is an interesting personality staring back at you who is worth knowing, regardless of how she looks. Revive your style by avoiding these faux pas and emerge a newer, better you, classy and fabulous all the same.
Forget the Internet
These days logging onto social media can be rather intimidating. On Facebook, the newsfeed is littered with updates about the latest trends, the shoes you cannot live without, the mascara you need to breathe — it's an endless stream of meaningless nonsense that eats up our bandwidth, phone battery, time and energy, and not necessarily in that order!
We are constantly being bombarded with information on how to become our best possible selves, live in the most beautifully decorated spaces wearing the latest blouse while biting on an avocado toast and sipping on Matcha latte!
There is an invisible pressure to attain perfection in every aspect of life, and the bloggers on YouTube are not helping much. And it is a fact well known that in order to attract more followers and subscribers every single detail in a picture or a video must look ideal beyond belief. Said bloggers (or should I say influencers?) are enjoying a day in wearing $300 silk robes and rhinestone-studded fuzzy slippers.
Watching these people and following their lives is addictive, simply put. You want their robes, those slippers, and that whole lifestyle he or she is promoting. What they wear and do has a deep impact on your psyche and you know it.
Amidst this mayhem take a step back and just ponder for a moment — is it truly who you want to be? Achieving an unexpected level of perfection in real life is not only time consuming it is hardly ever practical. The fashion and the beauty industry have a direct control over bloggers and influencers who in turn promote the products by incorporating it in their lives. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying to become your best possible self, losing one's own personality in the process is hardly ever worth it.
Bloggers and influencers on social media do what they do for a living and receive tons of free goodies. A carefully curated wardrobe that consists of a few great tops in solid colours, some great bottoms, a couple of printed blouses and dresses can be easily tweaked with one or two new accessory every season.
Being a slave to latest trends is not considered fashionable; women who have timeless, classic style and jazz things up now and then with a couple of fun touches are the ones who truly look chic. The same rule applies to makeup as well. Just because sunset eyes and grey lips are in does not mean they will translate well into everyday life.
Have fun with makeup by all means but learn to distinguish the line between fantasy and reality. Doing a heavily contoured makeup look with tons of highlighters is not practical for daily life, even though your favourite beauty blogger's everyday makeup tutorial shows so.
The bottom line is, learning ways to improve your life is by all means great. Knowledge is power when used in the right way, so embrace your own self and let her shine through. Take ideas, get inspired from all directions and do not be afraid to take chances. Just do not lose yourself in the process.
Photo: LS Archive/Sazzad Ibne Sayed