More than just clothes
Women’s clothing has history, politics, art, all of it woven into its fabric. What they wear, how they accessorise, how they carry the garment has a lot to do with how they are perceived and how they feel. The society has had rules and conventions for years and it is in recent decades that we have started talking about body autonomy and the deeper meaning behind the clothes openly.
We asked a group of randomly selected people what they think about women’s wear. Do they prefer it when women wear ethnic wear or Western wear? As always, these were anonymous contributions.
The adoring boyfriend
I don’t care what my girl is wearing, you know why? Because she looks amazing, no matter what! Whether it’s a saree, a skirt or just PJs, she takes my breath away every time, so I don’t have a preference.
The conservative household
I was brought up in the old city. The area was safe but pretty conservative so wearing Western clothes wasn’t an option. I grew up wearing sarees and salwar kameez and while I don’t have a problem with Western clothes, I personally prefer wearing a saree.
I went to a convent school, so we had a very strict dress code. The hair had to be perfect, the skirts couldn’t be short. I think I rebelled against this for the longest time by wearing Western clothing. I know not all Western clothing is revealing, but for me, it was a big old ‘fuck you’ to the codes I grew up with. That is until my grandmother moved into a new house and gave me a bunch of her sarees that she didn’t wear anymore. I had always loved sarees but wore them only on festivals and stuff. But my Nani’s sarees are so special to me that I pretty much shifted to wearing them daily. I have even gone to clubs wearing a saree. It acts as a statement, I think. So many people have such conflicting views about the saree and I feel like by wearing them I’m just showing that they are in fact just an outfit. And don’t have to be connected to any political idea.
Ethnic is better
Look, I’m not saying I tell my girlfriend what to wear. She can do as she pleases, it’s not my place to speak. But I think she looks best in ethnic wear. A saree or a salwar kameez shows off her figure perfectly. I prefer it to Western wear because, I dunno, Western wear just doesn’t have that same level of connection, I feel.
Comfort is prime
I think I’m an anomaly in my group of friends but I love wearing a saree. I think it’s the most comfortable garment in a subtropical climate like ours. You know? There’s enough ventilation if it’s our cotton, it’s the softest one. It feels like a hug. I know it can be a bit much to maintain, but I think that is a matter of habit. Girls of our mothers and grandmothers generation used to wear sarees daily. I don’t wear it daily, but I prefer them over all other ethnic or Western wear.
I like Western wear
I dunno whether it’s because my mother and aunts and everyone at home only wear sarees or because my girlfriend wears only Western clothes, but I prefer Western clothes on her. The connotation is different, I think. I wouldn’t care if she wore anything, but I think I’m just used to seeing her wear trousers and skirts with tops so I find it odd when she wears other things.
She can wear whatever she wants
Look, I don’t think I have a preference, but even if I did, I wouldn’t comment as a man. I’ve never been reprimanded for wearing shorts when going outside. My sister has been and I think that’s bullshit. You have to dress per occasion of course, but that’s common sense for everyone and I think it’s unfair that women tend to get the majority of the scrutiny. I don’t think it’s anyone’s business what women should or should not wear and we have to leave the choice to them.
I can’t wear sarees for too long
I love how I look while wearing a saree, but I get so tired of making sure I don’t trip on the fabric and keeping everything together. I’m just not used to wearing them and the whole experience just stresses me out. I am the most comfortable in a pair of jeans and a kurta. I like to mix it up. But sarees, in spite of being pretty, are a point of stress.