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  Life   More Features  27 Jun 2018  In favour of the comfortable option

In favour of the comfortable option

THE ASIAN AGE. | PRIYANKA CHANDANI
Published : Jun 27, 2018, 12:10 am IST
Updated : Jun 27, 2018, 12:10 am IST

Is it fair to expect public personalities to always be looking their fashionable best?

Aahana Kumra
 Aahana Kumra

There’s a perpetual struggle between the comfortable option and the fashionable one when it comes to picking an outfit. Few manage to balance the two with panache. But for celebrities, the choice is obvious — you must be dressed to the nines every time you step out, especially if it’s a special occasion, or risk being trolled to no end.

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The latest to be ridiculed for her fashion choices is none other than Meghan Markle, who sent the world into a tizzy with her impeccable minimalistic bridal look, a little over a month ago. And the Duchess of Sussex got people talking once again last week when she attended the wedding of Princess Diana’s niece Celia McCorquodale, but not for the right reasons.

The royal’s floral Oscar de la Renta wrap dress worth $7,000 (Rs 3,53,236) was considered “ill-fitting” and “baggy”, with some people even comparing it to their tablecloths and bedsheets. With this fashion faux pass, Meghan joins the ranks of celebs who have been trolled for wearing too-large clothes — a list that includes Victoria Beckham and Games of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie.

The media attention that her outfit has been getting, begs the question — are celebs not permitted to choose comfort over style? At a time when we all are talking about embracing our authentic self, why are we so quick to criticize others for what they wear?

According to fashion designer Ritu Kumar, it is unfair to equate ill-fitted with comfort; people can be stylish without compromising on how they feel. “If something is comfortable, it doesn’t necessarily have to be ill-fitted. Now, people are opting for flat shoes and comfortable clothing — outfits that facilitate travel, rather than clothes that are not suitable,” she says.

She adds that since public personalities are expected to be fashion icons, they should stick to their own styles. “By keeping your fashion choices organic and adding your own dash to them, you can pretty much make up own style statement,” explains Ritu.

Fashion designer Narendra Kumar believes it’s important to take a person’s background into consideration while evaluating their style choices. “Unlike the women who come from a life of leisure, Meghan is someone who has worked all her life. She comes from a different background, and her focus is not on stuff like this,” he says.

Meanwhile, not everyone is hating the Duchess’ outfit. Stylist Dhara Prajapati gives Meghan a 100 marks for being herself, and not trying to seek attention. “Meghan’s dress was a simple yet comfortable choice for the occasion. She may have consciously chosen it in order to avoid grabbing attention given the fact that she was recently titled, and she could have wanted all eyes to remain on the bride and the groom. It’s ok to dress it down a notch even if you are a well-known celebrity,” she says.

However, Dhara is a bit sick of people always playing the fashion police, but she also believes that times are changing, slowly. “Despite stylists creating a massive amount of awareness about self-love, we still look at celebrities through a magnifying glass. Gone are the days when women would wear heels all the time, now they’re putting their comfort first. This is new territory for us, and it will take time to sink in,” she says.

“A lot of people find sarees very comfortable, but some don’t. Nobody can sit and pass judgment on what people should wear and how,” agrees Ritu.

Meghan has been at the receiving end of criticism ever since she became a member of the royal family. The outfit worn by her for Trooping the Colour 2018 was deemed “inappropriate” and “in violation of royal protocol”.  

“Celebrities are aware of the scrutiny they’re constantly subjected to. So they do make a conscious effort to break norms and be more real and comfortable,” Dhara says.

Another example of a star who’s been breaking rules and challenging the fashion police at every opportunity is actress Kristen Stewart, who happily ditches her heels for sneakers on the red carpet.

Lipstick Under My Burkha actress Aahana Kumra asserts that it’s time for the scrutiny to stop. “People should mind their own business. I guess they don’t have any work to do, and this is all the unemployment speaking. They should keep their negative opinions to themselves. How one dresses is a very individual choice,” she says.

“No one should judge anyone,” concludes Narendra.

Tags: aahana kumra, meghan markle, fashionable