While the life in loungepants and PJs have been very comfortable, the pandemic resultant ‘stay-at-home, work-from-home’ lifestyle has dampened the joy and desire of dressing-up. But after surveying the many albums of my childhood photos, I realized that the good old game of dressing-up was my sole ‘fashion’ connection while growing up. I didn’t grow up flipping through the pages of fashion magazines, but I did spend quite a bit of time flipping through clothes at home or in stores, courtesy my mothership. To be honest, I have never come across a single outfit in those photos that I didn’t love (or wished for a repeat with a grown-up twist!) – just one of the many things I’m thankful for to my mother.
Oh! And spending all that time looking through the photos turned out to be really beneficial since it reminded me about the important accompaniments of every dress-up session i.e. joy, comfort, impulse, emotion, and fun. Well, there couldn’t be a better time than now to rediscover these absolute essentials of the game of dress-up to help shrug off that quarantine wardrobe fatigue and engage in some style therapy, after all, the daily routine of getting dressed is actually just a never-ending version of the dressing-up game from our childhood. So, while I indulge in a much-needed game of dress-up, you can scroll down to read about the favourite dress-up sessions from the childhood of four truly amazing fashion mavens along with the style cues they are taking from their younger selves.
P.S. Feel free to share the style tips you would take from your childhood in the comments below.
Sumiran Kashyap, Freelance Lifestyle & Brand Writer
“This look represents my favourite ‘dress-up session’ memory because such sessions were spontaneous and never-ending. A saree would be fashioned out of a dupatta, throw blanket, or any free-flowing drape that was around. The end result would delight me beyond measure, because to my mind, a saree was only a ‘grown-up’s outfit’ and like many children, I was fascinated at the idea of being a grown-up! In the present time, this look is replicated often. In fact, my love for vibrant jewel tones is still strong, and as is my attraction to red as a colour. What I can do though, taking inspiration from this younger version of myself, is smile for the camera more often!”
Sujata Assomull, Fashion Journalist
“Growing up in London, I used to love seeing my mom dressed up for the evenings in her soft chiffon and colourful tanchoi saris – they seemed so vibrant to the boring clothes I would wear to school and that I saw other mothers wore. So, every year when we came to Mumbai, I would make my mom pick me up one lehenga and it had to be something bright and bold. She used to take me to the stores of Breach Candy and the markets of Bhuleshwar, and it was like being lost in a candy store for me. The fabrics, the trimmings, and sequins all caught my eye. And I think this is where my love of Indian crafts came from. To date, if I think of being dressed up, it is always in a beautiful sari. While I tend to veer towards cocktail versions of this drape, nothing still makes me feel more special than a sari. Even in this photo, I am wearing a lehenga when I am just six years old and we are on board the luxury cruise liner, Queen Elizabeth II for their Gala Night. All the other young girls wore pretty frocks, but not me.”
Aiana Jain, Style Coach & Content Creator
“My Mom used to make our birthdays (me and my siblings) a big occasion. She would call our friends, her friends, and sometimes I think friends of friends – my memory is a huge room full of people and always a 3-4-tiered cake that she baked herself. My outfit every year was special and my mom used to sew it herself. This one in particular was her rendition of Little Red Riding Hood meets the Princess. She made me this beautiful dress in silk with big statement sleeves and net details and even made a cap to go with it. I used to love this dress and wore it to all birthday parties I went to thereafter until it fit me. I love the colour red and the drama on the sleeves. So, if I had to recreate an outfit inspired by this outfit, it would be almost similar – a silk midi dress with big dramatic sleeves and styled with dainty stilettos. One can say that I got my style sense from my mama; her fashion ideals from then are still oh so fashionable today.”
Sonam Babani, Luxury Consultant & Content Creator
“This was an outfit my mum had made for me inspired by Anarkali – it had a hat and everything, but I couldn’t find the pic with the hat at the moment. But what I love about the outfit is the simplicity of the pattern and fabric and the great construction. And the super classy jacket vibe and the zari lace. If I had to wear this today, I’d add a tonne of kalis to make it more dramatic and keep the rest as is. Oh, and definitely wear that hat.”
Karishma is a science nerd turned fashion and beauty writer who loves talking about trends as much as eating desserts. Gucci, salted caramel ice-cream, jewels, and Simba (her dog) make up four chambers of her heart. Like Karishma’s story? Drop her a line in the comments section below.