Let me begin by saying that I believe you are free to wear whatever you want and however you want it as long as your husband approves of it and as long as you are not violating your religious boundaries. Similarly, you are free to wear bold makeup to nude makeup and you are free to follow any fashion trend and get inspired by any fashion icon you like, given that both the above-mentioned conditions apply.
This is my personal view and yours might differ. However, if the fashion debate is being made while living in a joint family system a.k.a susral, then the key would be if the daughter-in-law is accepted with open arms upon wearing a certain attire or following a certain trend or will the in-laws criticize her and impose restrictions upon her dressing and style. Also, if you want to look trendy without triggering your in-laws keep reading till the end because we have some tips for you.
The reaction brigade
Every susral (in-laws) is full of reactionless and people who tend to show extreme reactions. Let’s say, you wore a jumpsuit to a certain family gathering. Let’s keep in mind the dress is not revealing at all. Some aunties and mothers-in-law might go, “Haw haye, astaghfirullah! ye kaisa zaamaana agaya hai? Qiyamat ki nishaani hai bhai,” while others may try schooling you decently that your clothes and dressing sense is not as per their traditional norms and that you shouldn’t dress up that way. A certain number of people might start asking you for the dress because they want to show it to their tailor. Some jealous deweranis might comment on how this certain fashion does not suit someone your age or of your physique. The list goes on! Be ready and mentally prepared to receive any kind of remark.
Deriving conclusions based on your looks
You will be surprised by how much desi aunties can deduce just by noticing what you wear and how you look. They can infer whatever they want from anything. For example, just because the bahu wasn’t dolled up at 10:00 am in the morning the in-laws may infer that she must have been in a fight with her spouse, and hence she was looking sick.
Let me share something from my personal experience. My husband and I used to twin our dresses and we naturally ran out of clothes that would match. On one occasion, he didn’t feel like following the trend but I wanted to flaunt a green saarhi without making him look all green just for the sake of my twinning. So, the next day I started hearing whispers and gossip that we didn’t twin because we had some kind of trouble in paradise.
Beti vs Bahu (in regards to fashion)
While talking about fashion another issue is, would the daughter-in-law be judged with the same eye as the daughters? After conducting certain surveys and talking to different women about fashion in susral, the conclusion we have derived is that for almost 80 percent of mothers-in-law it is okay for the daughter of the house to wear western dresses and not okay for their daughters-in-law to wear western dresses. A very upset daughter-in-law, in her interview, shared a very poetic line, “Bahu karay tou chugli ke liye phone ghumao, aur beti kare tou fakhar se status lagao.” And somewhere in our lives, we all have seen those kinds of mothers-in-law, but this particular behavior of mothers-in-law drastically arises in regards to fashion.
Ignore the paparazzi. “Kuch toh log kahainge, logo’n ka kaam hai kehna!” People will always have an opinion, if you want to make your own inner diva happy and free, ignore what they say and follow your inner stylist. Wear what you feel suits you. Western or Desi – wear what you feel would make you satisfied. But if you are doing that make sure to completely learn to filter your opinionated in-laws. And just slay with your dressing as well as your satisfaction. Keep in mind, nobody has any right to judge you or talk about you. If they are talking about you, you are definitely doing something either very wrong, very right, something that they have an issue with, or simply because it’s a habitual gossip for them. Being unapologetic is wrong; however, forcing someone to feel apologetic just for following a harmless trend is wrong and is something only susralwalay can enforce on you, so learn to ignore and as Poo from Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham used to say, “Take a chill pill!”
Some fashion 101
Here are some tips you can follow without violating your susral’s sentiments and without triggering the reaction brigade. You want to look trendy and not get taunted by your in-laws and avoid susrali controversies at the same time? Here is how you can do just that and how to look fashionably presentable in susral without being targeted.
- If your susralis make you feel uncomfortable for being all dapper and you feel shy about doing makeup because of them, always wear a no-makeup look. Like nude lips and no fancy eyeshades. Just define the brows, apply some mascara, some blush or cheek tint along with some nude lip tint.
- Do your nails regularly, they are the key to make you look presentable even if you don’t realize it. Trust me, it matters.
- Take care of your feet. Men notice, and ever since Atif Aslam has passed the statement that feet are the first thing he notices in a lady, even the men who didn’t use to notice feet have now started paying close attention to them.
- Own whatever you are wearing. If you look uncomfortable, you won’t look trendy in whatever you are wearing. Even if it’s something trendy, western wear or desi wear.
- Just because it’s in trend doesn’t mean you have to adopt it. Not everything suits everyone.
To conclude, susralis can conspire on anything from fashion to what you cook. Don’t ever be surprised. What conspiracies and difficulties have you faced while wanting to be a bit fashionable in susral? Let us know in the comments.