Riddhima Kapoor Sahni column: What’s age got to do with it?

Fashion keeps changing through the season, trends keep changing, people try and experiment with all kinds of clothes – whether it looks good on them or not, despite their age. Age isn’t the only thing to keep in mind, but also the importance of dressing according to one’s figure, physique, style and personality.

You could be 40 but look like you’re 16 or 20. But I feel that it’s appropriate for one to dress according to not only age but according to what suits you and what you can carry off. People try and ape other people. ‘Oh, she’s wearing this and I’m going to try and wear the same and maybe look better’.

But whatever the other person wears may not suit you or go with your style or you may not carry it off. It’s very important to dress according to your own personality, what suits you, what looks good on you. Always wear whatever you like, but with confidence. If you lack the confidence to carry off something, don’t wear it—it’s as simple as that. You can look good even wearing a potato sack, as long as you can carry it off.

I see a lot of people trying to ape one another. Fashion has always been competitive and people try and outdo each other. Whether at weddings or social events and parties, everyone wants to look their best. But they forget that whatever they wear needs to suit them. When we ape someone’s look, it’s one thing to be inspired, and another to blatantly copy a look. If you see an actor and her ensemble looks gorgeous, adapt the look into your own. It has to suit you. Keep several factors in mind when copying someone’s look – body structure, the colour choice, your personality. Have your own style. Even if you want to emulate a certain look, just do it according to how you would carry it off.

I may be open minded but I don’t expect my mother or mother-in-law to wear shorts or mini-skirts and go around the place. I wouldn’t like that personally. But there are ‘aunties’ who wear shorts and skirts and look fab. I’m not stereotyping or categorising my mother and saying that she can’t wear something like that because she’s my mom.

If she is comfortable and she can carry it off, I think that’s amazing. It’s quite debatable, really. I see so many women around me, some of them grandmothers, with fabulous bodies who can pull off shorts or minis or leather pants and they look fab. Age has got nothing to do with the way you dress. Sometimes I hope that when I’m at that age, I could carry it off as well. Times have changed, people are dressing the way they want.

Speaking about dressing, for a working mother, if she’s juggling between a job and family life, the fashion advice I can give her is to dress elegantly, but most importantly, dress comfortably. Wear a pair of jeans or trousers or a knee length skirt with a nice blouse and comfortable shoes. She can wear it through the day and won’t need to keep changing. She can wear it at work and continue wearing it to an evening party. It saves the hassle of switching between clothes.

I always say ‘Wear your smile, wear your confidence’. In so many places across the world, people go to work in shorts, jeans and sneakers. There is no dress code as such, you wear whatever you’re comfortable in and what your personality allows you. In India, we are seeing a change in our way of dressing as well. If a person wants to dress differently, experiment with different clothing, hats off to them! As long as you can pull off that look and, at the same time, be comfortable and not fidgety, who cares what anyone thinks?

For example, presently, I've gone and got a few strands of hair streaked white. As long as it goes well with me and my personality, I don’t have to care about what people have to say at the end of the day. One should respect everyone’s choices.

— Co-ordinated by Pearl Mathias

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