This Wednesday I had a civil wedding to go to and I had what was a most confusing predicament: I wanted to wear a lengha, but no-one else (that I knew of at the time) was, they were wearing a saree.
When I first considered outfits, the beautiful red lengha sitting in my cupboard seemed like the obvious choice. But when I heard everyone else was wearing a saree, I started to consider other options. I got worried that I would stand out and look odd. I was scared that the aunties would make comments that I was trying to ‘show off’ or that people would think that I was trying too hard.
The night before the wedding I tried on 3 different sarees, none of which I was feeling and let’s not even get into how bad my pleating game was. I’m assuming that this was because my heart wasn’t into wearing a saree. I wanted to wear the lengha, but pressure to look similar to other people was driving me to pick a saree. So I did what any girl would: tried the sarees on, took a picture and sent it to some people on whatsapp to get opinions and then threw the outfits on the bed while they awaited judgement.
I have some pretty awesome people two of whom I’m going to quote – who were real game changers in my choice of outfit.
Shaan: ‘Wear what you want to wear. Don’t look at what other people are wearing.’
Suna: ‘Since when does Shiyaa conform to what is ‘supposed’ to be worn?’
They both struck a chord with me and I felt empowered to just halt, breathe, stop caring about what other people MIGHT say or think and just do what I KNEW I wanted to.
The day of the wedding
I threw on my lengha and looked in the mirror. I have not worn a lengha since I was like 8 years old and have always felt self conscious about wearing one (showing stomach, looking like a kid etc), so this was a big deal. But I felt confident with what I was wearing, and I felt bloody happy to be wearing what I wanted.
When I got to the wedding and met other people I wasn’t even thinking about the fact that I was wearing something different. I was so content with what I was wearing and how confident it made me feel I didn’t even wonder what other people could be saying or thinking. Truthfully though, the only only thing that I did hear about my outfit was compliments (yaay)!
So what did I learn:
a. It’s okay to stand out, it’s not always a bad thing. It’s possible to stand out in a good way.
b. Wearing some thing you feel happy and comfortable with is much more important than trying to dress to fit in