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Beauty for everyone

CALL OF FASHION

Beauty for everyone
What do Vidya Balan, Nargis, Sonakshi Sinha, Huma Qureshi and Madhubala have in common? They are not only acclaimed Bollywood actors, but they are also known for being ‘real women’. 

Yes, ‘real women’ is the term apt for those who don’t flaunt their skeletons or boast of squeezing into three to four-sized (American) clothes. Or according to Indian market, XS or XXS sizes! These sizes belonged to those ladies of romance novels of the 20th century, authored by the likes of Barbara Cartland, Georgette Heyer, Bertrice Small et al, in which the handsome hero could encircle his lady love’s waist within his two palms!  
Fashion today is for everyone. No matter what your size, you can look trendy, charming, and happy! Being curvaceous is the new mantra.

Around the turn of this century, terms such as food, weight and medium to large-sized clothes became an anathema for ordinary women, be it a teenager or a 50-plus women. Princess Diana is known to have gone on a starving spree and become bulimic,  to control her weight. Closer home, Bollywood actors such as Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra have led the team of those chasing the mythical and unhealthy size zero. Somewhere it had to halt and who better than the fashion and Bollywood celebrities to do the needful!

Changing attitudes

In the past few years, fashion shows, print and broadcast advertisements, as well as the entertainment industry, have been helping to shape our attitudes. Fashion designers today are happily flaunting attires made for curves. Earlier they shied away from designing clothes for normal-sized women.

Mumbai-based designer Swapnil Shinde declares that designers have always been styling for plus-sized women as well, even during size-zero’s popularity. “After all, it’s commerce! Money is in these sizes and not in extra-small sizes, which are patronised by teenagers and really thin girls who can’t afford to buy designer or couture wear. It’s just that now designers have started admitting to making clothes for larger sizes, and don’t mind showing them off as the current buzz is curves!’’ he says.

Not taboo

Plus size is no longer being considered a ‘taboo’. Take 29-year-old Tess Holiday from the U S, for example. She has become the world’s first plus-size model, weighing more than 114 kilos and has been signed on by a major modeling agency in London. The heavily-tattooed model loves to flaunt her curves and says,“Being overweight can be sexy too!’’
Nagpur-based designer and founder of the brand Pinnacle, Shruti Sancheti explains that she has always catered to women of all sizes. “In India, especially in the north and south, more women are plus-sized. Body size and shape should never deter a woman from enjoying her clothes.

May be big-built women can avoid wearing very large prints or very tight clothes. Anyway very tight clothes don’t look good on thin people also!” she avers.

Designers are of the opinion that plus-sized women should not shy away from any kind of clothes - Western or ethnic. It’s erroneous to consider that plumper women should avoid clothes such as jeans and trousers, t-shirts and gowns.

Remember that Aishwarya Rai Bachchan flaunted her post-pregnancy weight in a gorgeous black net gown at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. She radiated confidence, and soon became an icon for those who were always in a hurry to lose the post-pregnancy kilos.

Delhi-based designer Vandy Mehra of Study by Janak, agrees, “Earlier though designers created big-sized clothes, they didn’t display them as the clothes don’t look attractive on the hangers. In fact, even big-sized women hesitated to look at them. Interestingly, now things are changing.’’

Style tips

Saris are the eternal classic for every women; but why stop there? There are options galore for women who willing to experiment with style. Here are some tips for you to get started:

For an evening out, try good textured track pants with a tank top and wear sexy heels or some comfort footwear, which is now the raging norm.

Layering is a good option during summer or monsoon, for those who are fashion conscious. Sheer and other see-through fabrics are popular this season - the best buddies of plus-sized women for layering. 

Try some printed clothing, especially those with lots of flowers splattered all over the clothes. Floral and plaid dresses can make you look like a diva.­ But remember to go in for small prints.

The best part of wearing plus-sized clothes, designers agree, is that you don’t have to worry about the type of fabric. Everything like textures, fringe, block prints, mixed fabric and unique cuts looks great.

A word of caution: Just avoid lycra, brocades, net saris (they reveal bulges), A-line clothes (they make one look heavier on the hips) and corsets, say the experts. As far as men are concerned, they are advised to keep away from very bright colours. So, love yourself and start counting the compliments!

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