Do you know how to choose clothes? Have you figured the right fabric for your body type? Clothes and fabric need to select according to weather and fashion and should be in tune with your personal style. Mumbai-based fashion designer Anjali Bhosle offers some handy tips:
The summers, quite naturally, call for cottons. Linens too are good for this season. You could try out bamboo linen — a linen with a small percentage of bamboo in it. It is a summer cool fabric. In the monsoons, synthetics are your best bet. They are easy to manage and will not get droopy and wilt like cotton does if hit by a few showers. They dry fast too. During winters, apart from the woollens, you can also experiment with synthetics, satins, crepe and chiffons.
How can you tell if a fabric is genuine? When you are buying cotton, feel the fabric first. Then crush it in your hand. If it stays crushed, the percentage of cotton in it is high. If you want to purchase fabrics of the highest quality, head to branded stores/ chains.
You can spot quality in crepes and chiffons from merely the touch and feel of the fabric. It should be soft, smooth and lightweight. If crepes or chiffons become bulky on folding, it indicates they are not pure i.e. they have a mix of fabrics.
Cuts and fittings
Are you lucky enough to have a tailor whose work has a good fit? When you give him further work, take care to tell him/ her how you want the outfit to look and the occasion for which it is meant. In short, invest time in your tailor.
You also get the best designs and fabrics these days at department stores and chains. The prices may be slightly steep but the cuts can make you look good.
Maintenance of fabrics
Tips for maintaining your clothes:
~ Always dry clean your silks — be it saris or salwar-kurta sets.
~ Heavily embroidered kurtas/ kurtis should also be dry cleaned, as the yarn used for embroidery can bleed if washed at home.
~ Wash delicate clothes in mild washing soaps. Never machine wash delicates. Wash them separately, by hand.
~ Always wash clothes which have vegetable dyes used on them, separately.
~ Wrap your silk saris and other silks in paper and ensure your cupboard has a room freshener/ mothballs.
~ Always roller press your cotton/ silk saris.
Good fabrics and cuts need good poise and style. Wear your clothes confidently and show them off. Don’t ever look embarrassed about what you wear. Go ahead and look great!
For Rediff.com, 14th December 2006.