UK-based designer Ayush Kejriwal explores the rules of summer dressing
Trying to decide what one is going to wear first thing in the morning with only 50 per cent of the usable brain is hard enough. Doing it with the vision of one looking like a frizzled peach drenched in salty sweat, the moment one steps out of the air-conditioned abode during summer, is enough to make one want to give up, go back to bed and tuck into a massive tub of ice cream. I know dressing up for summers can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be. Trust me, a bit of strategic thinking and investment in curating some key pieces can make dressing up for summers feel like style nirvana. Hear me out before you start rolling your eyes and cursing me — I promise you, I am trying to help!
One is expected to take on a whole new persona, and there is a presumption that just because it’s summer, we all want to don bright colours and wear clashing prints. There’s nothing wrong in that, but summer is not just about looking like a blooming flower garden! The urge to adopt a completely different way of dressing isn’t the only dilemma surrounding summer style. The need to be practically naked is another prerequisite that is hard to ignore. Apparently, summers are liberating, and they give us the freedom to flaunt our wonderful bodies.
I have often commented on one’s desire to look and feel like someone else, which I feel is prevalent even when it comes to dressing up for this season. What we think we ought to wear seems to take precedence over what we may actually prefer to wear, and that is where the problem is — a very uncomfortable compromise, which makes dressing up for any occasion or season an absolute and utter pain. For what it’s worth, here are a few suggestions from me that I hope you may find helpful.
To make it easier, I have divided it into three sections: Indian and ethnic wear, Western wear and accessories.
Indian and ethnic wear
● Investing in some key pieces that can be worn all around the year always does the trick. I don’t think one needs to specifically buy for a particular season. It’s more about having a varied and versatile wardrobe that can be used to one’s best advantage.
● Lightweight saris with deep-cut or sleeveless blouses are always a good option. I recommend khadi and cotton tussar-based kalamkari, Bengal jamdani, chanderi, muslin, printed silks and lightweight tussars.
● Flowy kalidars, palazzos, short kurtis with churidars, long skirts with tank tops, lace shirts with baggy salwars and full-length kaftans with high slits are equally very breathable and stylish.
● Bold blouses with clashing colours and prints always help in adding allure, and can be easily be teamed up with a sari or worn under a sheer kurti with a palazzo. Pattern and prints with hippy-inspired enthusiasm can be a good option on a sunny holiday. Just don’t overdo it.
A capsule wardrobe of around eight to 10 pieces that includes skirts, dresses, tops and tights that one can combine well with each other is the way to go.
Some possible options could be:
● Frocks and dresses in various lengths and colours. Mind you, they do not all have to be floral or prints. One can even wear block-coloured garments with statement accessories to create a bold, stylish look.
● Sheer tops layered with tank tops and shorts or skirts are my favourite.
● You can’t go wrong with a pajama set!
● I personally love printed shorts and matching shirts.
● Balloon pants in linen or cotton are always fun.
● A long knee-length oversized shirt can make quite a statement, try it.
● You can go for several pairs of sunglasses in different colours and shapes. They do not need to be expensive, there are plenty of affordable options available in the high street. You just need to know where to look.
● Comfortable shoes, flip-flops and slippers. No boots, please!
● A small sling bag — an absolute must-have.
● You can’t be ready for summer without hats! Try and pick as many as you possibly can, one cannot have enough hats. I have 13 hats in different shapes, colours and sizes. Yes! 13, I am not kidding.
Key points to note
● Choose light and loose garments that will allow proper airflow. Remember, breathing is important. If you don’t breathe, you cease to exist.
● Stick with light colours to deflect the sun’s rays.
● Check the materials tag for light, breathable fabrics that will keep you cool (cotton, linen, silk, rayon, jersey and chambray).
● Wear structured pieces that keep their shape and won’t cling to your body when it gets hot. Don’t let the urge to show off your sexy body let you turn to spandex. No way!
● Don’t try to look like a glittering Christmas tree. Try and be subtle with make-up. Less is always more.
● Do not forget to invest in a good deodorant. Body odour is a major put-off at any time of the year. Oh yes, the most important thing — don’t forget your smile and confidence. No matter what you wear, without the sparkle in your eyes, the summer glow will not be bright enough. Have a great summer and enjoy yourself !
You can connect with Ayush via mail at designerayushkejriwal @hotmail.com and follow him on Instagram @designerayush kejriwal