Women Can’t Be Contained in Stereotypes

Women are oppressed in India, and have been for as long as recorded history serves us. With the advent of Islam in India in the Mughal period, several notions of ‘purda’ and ‘hijab’ made its way to the local Indian women. It happened in the form of clothes such as salwar-kurta and dupatta. It became the most preferred attire for women. Earlier, hindu women were known to let their bosoms remain uncovered as they often wore sarees which were mostly wrapped around their waists with one end going over the shoulder. As the time progressed, so did the fashion and rights of women. For a long time, in the patriarchal order under the Islamic rulers, women were given little freedom to do as appeased them, but now in the year 2016, times have changed remarkably, however, a ghost of the previous restrictions still exist for the women in our country.

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‘Don’t go out after sunset’, ‘Don’t talk to boys’, ‘Don’t wear short clothes’, ‘Get married quickly or what will the society think?’…these kind of oppressive words are still being spoken every day to women along with countless other small tidbits which put a question of the extent of freedom granted to women. To break such stereotypes which shackle the modern Indian women, several media platforms are being used to promote education for girls, equality in the work space, and women empowerment.

Anouk by Myntra is one such venture which utilizes digital media to shed light on such issues while promoting their apparel which are created for the modern Indian women. ‘Bold is Beautiful’ is one such campaign which focuses solely on issues relating to inequality between men and women, showcasing how a powerful message can be communicated by a woman who is confident in her demeanor and unstoppable in her pursuits.  Anouk offers a variety of bold, ethnic wear for women who do not give into external pressures and stand up for themselves in a world that is frequently learning to respect people who do.

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Ethnic side of ‘All about you’

Ethnicity –how does one describe it? Is it the summation of everything that is found, invented, evolved or existing in our motherland? Or is it simply what has captured our hearts for so long (for centuries) that it has become a part of us? Ethnicity is what remains when the rest has moved on through the sands of time. So what is our inheritance as Indian of modern age? One thing comes to mind before anything else: Our clothes.

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Ethnic fashion is big in India, even today when there are no limits of trading (because of globalization) and western clothing is just as readily available. Much of the textile market in India deals with the manufacturing of Indian clothes or ethnic wear such as Kurta-Pajama, Salwar-Kameez, Sarees etc. and it is because of the popularity of such items all over the world that Indians are reputed to be brightly-dressed in beautifully embroidered clothes. However that international image is not exactly on the mark as even the ethnic fashion has been going through a continuous evolution. With Bollywood helping greatly in the propagation of trends since its inception, ethnic fashion clearly outshines western fashion in the films.

Deepika Padukone –the young, vibrant superstar, has similar thoughts on ethnic wear, as she has ventured into fashion with her brand ‘All About You’ with Myntra. Offering a vibrant collection of ethnic wear, she is set to take the trend-setting crowd by their brightly-colored dupattas and introduce her own natural style into the mix. Offering a variety of sober, subtle and breezy-cutted attires, ‘All About You’ offers you grandeur in minimalism.

Ethnic Wear In The Office Space

When it comes to choosing an appropriate dress for work most women in the world will stick to an officious look; maybe a pencil skirt with an airy blouse or perhaps trousers in darker shades paired with a loose shirt but ethnic garments do not frequently make the list. Bold colors and trendy cuts do not exactly scream ‘office girl’ for the world but we live in India and in our country the pot of fashion is not so restricted. We have a tradition of vibrant fashion dating back to centuries and all those centuries worth of fashion still exists today, in small forms or details. The mix-n-match option is ever present to be availed with just some creativity and confidence.

It is rightly said that confidence is the best outfit to wear, for if you wear anything with enough jazz in your step, you come off looking good or at least as close to being aesthetically appealing as is possible if you’re wearing a jute bag. Indians however are not limited in this regard, and can brag about having distinct fashion styles originating from all corners of our great and vast nation.

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Especially in India, It is not out of the ordinary to see office-going women sporting traditional attires. Salwar-kameez with a dupatta and, on special events, wearing sarees in the office space is mostly preferred over western-style suit and pants. Under the basking light of such an environment, it is absolutely viable to pick out a fashionable, yet classy, ethnic look for office space.

Only a few things are a complete no-no in the office spaces at our end of the world such as going for an over-the-top style which is distracting in all the wrong ways. Your clothes project your persona to the people around you; your clothes communicate far more efficiently your position, personality and preferences than any other non-verbal cues so it is very important to dress according to how you want to be perceived.

But if you do not know what you should pick out from the avalanche of options in the market, here’s our guide to the trends that are making a round around the office joints nowadays:

  1. Straight-fit kurta- that silhouette adds more to your personality than you might know. In colors such as indigo, a straight-fit kurta is likely to come off as the perfect outfit to project confidence with a hint of royal classiness.
  2. Kalamkari printed short kurta- from the heart of South India, this print paves the way for you to communicate your inbred source of aesthetic appeal.
  3. Printed palazzos- If you haven’t seen this baggy number making the rounds in the office area then you must be living under a rock. Palazzos make for the perfect blend of class and coy. A must-have item in the present decade.
  4. Phulkari jackets and pattachitra stoles- Adding these small details in your outfit can make or break the statement you intend to make, especially when paired with other items in the list, so mix n’ match accordingly.

These trends have taken over the game this season with their classy demeanor coupled with a hint of that-feminine-factor which really makes women stand out, especially in positions of power. Going with ethnic wear for work is a way to make a statement about yourself and the whole female community. Clothes exhibit power so tap into the inexhaustible flow of ethnic wear that is omniscient in India and set a benchmark to be followed in the office space.