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Rock in a frock

Pants have given way to frocks and this feminine garment is the epitome of modernity these days, writes Jaydeep Ghosh.

india Updated: Aug 04, 2008 15:41 IST
Jaydeep ghosh

In the 90s, getting into pants or a pair of denims marked the line that made a so-called ‘behenji’ cross over to being ‘mod’. Delhi has always been the victim of this behenji versus mod race. But as we all know that change is the only constant in life, this behenji-turning-mod route has changed. Now it is all about the ‘frock’.

Frock queens are the reigning divas of Delhi’s social circuit. Every Indian knows what a frock is, but the majority thinks it’s a dress for children. I grew up in a small city and there everyone from the milkman to the pheriwala (hawker) to the salesman at ‘Readymade Garment’ store knew about frocks.

The milkman asked my mother if he could have some of my sister’s hand-me-down frocks for his daughter; the pheriwala bartered steel utensils for old frocks; and the salesman boasted about latest styles from Bombay by laying out printed polyester frocks. Then, I knew that frocks were for adolescent girls. Now, I know that frocks are for women, irrespective of age.

Yes, frocks — or if you say so, dresses — are the things that modern women wear. Pants have given way to frocks and this feminine garment is the epitome of modernity. Until and unless a woman can carry off a frock, she isn’t modern enough. Sorry, trousers are the stuff behenjis wear now. If I take an adult-size frock back to my old milkman, he will die of shock or would hate my guts at expecting his grown-up daughter to wear it. But that’s smalltown mentality and Delhi definitely doesn’t suffer from it.

I personally feel that women look great in frocks or those feminine dresses that move over womanly curves. But hey, women of any shape and size cannot take to a frock. The problem was there with pants, too. When women succumbed to peer pressure and traded in their salwars for pants to appear hip, they forgot that all body types don’t look great in pants. Still, they wore them and looked like baby elephants.

You may have seen women police officers in pants, their uniform. Unfortunately, the trousers are stitched like men’s trousers and it looks like the officer has borrowed her husband’s pants. Nowadays, I see plenty of women in dresses or frocks but it ain’t a good sight to see a big lady wearing a dress that ends a few inches above her pudgy knees. Oh, and the bubble dresses — they make even an anorexic woman look pregnant. Imagine how a well-fed auntie would look in one. Off-shoulder dresses, frocks with plunging necklines or trapeze dresses are definitely not for women not confident about their body. But just to be fashionable, they wear them and make a fool of themselves.

I saw this lady pulling up her off-shoulder dress every five seconds and in the bargain she couldn’t even hold a drink or shake hands. But please don’t get me wrong; I don’t mean that a big woman shouldn’t wear dresses. A crinkled calf-length dress would make her look voluptuous and desirable and so would a belted coatdress that hangs a little below the knee. Dresses or frocks are more feminine than pants, but don’t get swayed by trends.

Don’t wear something that makes you look like you’re trying too hard to fit in. Style is an individual thing and is not a slave to fashion, remember that!