She was wearing a plain purple fitted T-shirt with blue jeans. Her bun had made a valiant effort to hold in all her curly hair but failed in most part. She wore no accessories besides simple strappy flats and chudas on her wrists. A newlywed with her husband out to get a honeymoon visa, I mused, since they were outside the VFS offices in Delhi. Her face was bare; she wore no makeup – a minimalistic style statement. And yet, walking past slightly perturbed on a sunny summer morning, she looked the epitome of fashion.
It struck me that there are three fashion accessories money can’t buy. You either have ‘em, or you spend all your time buying stuff to make up for the lack of ‘em.
Youth: The cosmetic-surgery industry in India isn’t valued at Rs 460 crores for nothing. There is nothing like the glow and bounce of youth when it comes to your overall style statement. As we grow older, marry, or begin to make our own money, fashion accessories load our dresser drawers and wardrobe corners with greater alacrity – covering up for the wrinkles or age spots on our neck and hands, brightening up what we think is our dimming light. But the young need no embellishment. Their youth is sparkling enough.
Hourglass figure: No matter what we may say to defend plus-size fashion and naturally skinny women, and no matter how many ways we may try to cover up for our heavy busts or narrow legs, the truth is, when it comes to women’s fashion, there’s nothing more alluring than an hourglass figure. Defined as one where the chest and hips are proportionately full and the waist is narrow, this was the shape hailed by ancient Greek sculptors and the artisans of Khajuraho. Everything looks good on a balanced, curved feminine figure. Everyone else may hold their Spanx underwear or padded bras in peace.
Clear skin: It’s considered the mark of good health and only do you lose it do you realize its importance in your life. No amount of concealer can cover up for unsightly age spots, moles and acne scars – and trying too hard will only make you look like a caked-up horror. There’s nothing like a fresh, unlined, unmarked face when it comes to being truly fashionable – no wonder advertisers for beauty products pay lakhs of Rupees in Photoshop charges; to them, even plastic-like, unrealistically clear skin is better than normally aged or sun-exposed skin.
So how do you accessorize your look and add the ultimate check-mark of style? None of the above is available in stores. No matter what Maybelline will have you believe, you have to be born with it. Those who still have it should make the most of it. Those who don’t can continue with their retail therapy.