What women must learn from 'What Kate Wore' stories

Keep it classy and minimal.

 |  3-minute read |   18-04-2016
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Scared of stepping out in the blistering Delhi heat, I was aimlessly sifting through my Twitter feed when I came across Daily Mail's tweet on Kate Middleton's wardrobe choices in India. Right below it was a tweet by someone I used to work with. (We never really kept in touch, but Twitter courtesy demanded that I follow her back when she followed me.) Her tweet was a link to an Instagram picture that she had just posted. I tapped on to the link and was horrified by what I saw. And I am not exaggerating. It was a collage of pictures of her dressed in a bright yellow sari, wearing bright pink lipstick, bright gold choker and matching earrings.

It was all very BRIGHT. Her winged eyeliner would've made Cleopatra go green with envy and her style of bangs were so outdated that even the early 2000s wouldn't remember them. And for perverse perfection, she was pouting.

690jenny-packham_041816011029.jpg In a Jenny Packham outfit.

690kate-middleton-ha_041816011924.jpg In a Top Shop mini-dress at Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary.

The contrast between the two pictures could not be more stark. There was Kate, elegant in her Zara pants, a Top Shop dress and Temperly London gowns. No winged eyeliner, no red lips, no monogrammed bags, no oversized, crystallised sunglasses, no hideous heels; just nude stilettos and wedges. And there was my former colleague. I couldn't help compare. Despite the obvious royalty-commoner difference, and that's not the point here, it was clear that both these modern women had put in a lot of thought into their looks. Their outfits were carefully put together. But where one knew where to stop, the other didn't.

Much has been written, spoken and discussed about Kate Middleton's clothes. Some said her sartorial choices were too safe and boring. Others rued why should anything be said about her clothes at all. But the fact was that everyone was talking about it. A Mumbai socialite's column on Kate drew flak for body-shaming her.

What I found even more hypocritical was that this self-proclaimed commentator who often came across as sheep dressed as lamb in her chunky, blingy jewellery and strappy blouses was finding fault in Kate's classy Jenny Packham outfit, even comparing it to abayas worn by women in Abu Dhabi. What she thought of Shilpa Shetty, half of Bollywood's and her own "chaka chak" outfits at the dinner, we don't know. And that's the problem here.

While there are many pulling down Kate for being "dowdy", there is hardly anyone telling women here to go easy on the make-up, to give the red lipstick a break, to stop tottering in heels if you can't manage them, to not pick out clothes from your teenage daughter's closet, to not look like clones of each other and to choose elegance over seasonal trends.

So here's what we can take from the scores of "What Kate Wore" pieces. Keep it classy and minimal. And for god's sake, don't go elbowing other women to grab Kate Middleton's Zara biker pants and then struggle to fit your size 16 derrière into a size 8. And don't, please don't encourage women who bombard us with horrific made up, "fashionable" pictures of themselves pouting, by doling out likes.

Writer

Tarini Kumar Tarini Kumar @tarini28

Dessert ninja, lover of all things fancy, Producer @HeadlinesToday.

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