Monday, October 22, 2007

Powerless dressing

This is one of my favorites. Why are Chennai’s youngsters so insensitive about dressing and personal grooming? No, please don’t wear the ‘we are born conservatives’ turban right away. Not yet. And no, don’t jump into the conclusion that I’m drawing parallels between Chennai and Paris. I’m not that Utopian. Ever wondered why dressing and Chennai just doesn’t even try to go hand in hand? Why do people (for the most part) have such a pathetic dressing and presentation sense?

First, allow me clear my points. I’m absolutely open to the idea of conservative dressing. I’m totally fine with people wearing what they like. My argument is why the selection has to be so bad? Why should the end presentation be so awful? Why do most guys appear out with uncut and uncombed and near-ruffian looks even to office and hi-fidelity shopping zones? Why would they choose apparel that just doesn’t suit their complexion and physique? Why do most young women (or should I say girls) choose to wear Tetra-large apparel given the first chance? And what’s with that awful so-called ‘natural’ hair? The bitter reality is that most of us aren’t blessed with a wavy, silvery silky hair and - let’s face it - we need to give it some treatment to make it look presentable. And, to quote one of my friends, why do so many young folks choose clothes a person from most other metropolitan cities wouldn’t even bother trying as curtain cloth?

Mind you, ‘presentation’ is not about the complexion or height or physique. Why do people just give a damn about their shapes and sizes? Being out of shape is ok to an extent, but being distorted isn’t – if I’m making my point clear. Half an hour of exercising or taking the stairs as opposed to lifts would certainly help.

I’m not against simplicity. I’m not for spending what everybody earns in their neighborhood boutique. It’s not about looking extra fashionable and stylish, a la people in the European capitals. It’s just about looking professional and cultured. I’m not all for western dressing and tight fitting clothes, but there is a way to present yourself as well-groomed in whatever you wear, and Chennai, most unfortunately, and in my opinion, just doesn’t give a damn. Most awful, young people in the IT and ITES sectors in Chennai with loads of disposable cash are also among the awfully dressed ones. Talk about missing the boat by a mile!

Of course, one needs to give credit to some parts of the city. Most people in the likes of Nungambakkam shopping zones, Ascendas and Citi Centers know to carry themselves well. On the other side, people - even the old couples - who visit the temples in Mylapore look fabulous in their dhotis and colorful saris. I think the problem lies with the careless youth, the ones who migrate from the remote towns in TamilNadu who refuse to pick up the better bits and pieces of big city life.

Add-ons: There's power in your dressing.


At Tuesday, October 23, 2007 11:15:00 AM, Blogger vignesh said...

Surprising.I always thought chennai girls are amongst the best when it comes to dressing given that 'we are born conservative' i think many are creative enough .May be as you said its due to the migration from remote towns as you said

At Tuesday, October 23, 2007 1:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right. Am pretty sure guys and gals brought up in chennai know how to carry themselves well. But like I said, there are a large number of migrants who haven't adapted to the better pieces of city life.

At Tuesday, October 23, 2007 8:11:00 PM, Blogger Vivek Malewar said...

I have a thing against Chennai's dresses and their colours. I mean, bright reddish-maroonish something with dark strong green and dull yellow. Or may be, orange with some heavy pink and voilet. Man!! Gives pain to my eyes. :)

And I totally agree with the 'natural hair' description :)

At Wednesday, October 24, 2007 1:38:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Freedom of speech!!Appreciated..but I just don't get the "It’s just about looking professional and cultured." I have seen I.T folks dressed up in awful shorts and a sweat-shirt to office in U.S. Again, "I’m not all for western dressing and tight fitting clothes, but there is a way to present yourself as well-groomed in whatever you wear,"..well-groomed doesn't begin with the dress you wear. Give me a break, I am just roaming around on weekends in Citicenter, y should I care about my dress. If you have got a good dressing sense and a huge disposable income, then go on and give a well-groomed presentation. Its kinda weird how suddenly the management folks begin to see the normal masses as inferior to them, both intellectually and in so-called well-groomed presentation. If you 've got gud taste and money enjoy dude, y do u bother about others?-- Prabhakar

At Wednesday, October 24, 2007 11:28:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

Hmm. That's very interesting coz that's the first time I've been told that looks and the way you dress *don't matter*. What about interviews? Would you just be who you are because you are who you are? It's not about money dude. And I don't have any idea in heaven how management comes into this picture. I've been saying similar things even before completing my engineering degree, for heaven's sake!

At Thursday, October 25, 2007 1:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry that I generalized the issue with management. I apologize for that. But I have seen people attending interviews with stubble, normal slippers, a worn-out t-shirt. I am talking about a $100 billion company. You management and consultant guys need to dress well becoz you will be meeting ur clients and other business contacts. Since u r representing ur company, u need to give a neat and professional look. But if u r just going to be sitting at ur cubical for 14 hours and staring at you monitor, y do u bother about dressing. To an extent dressing professionally is ok. But I am not able to accept ur citicenter dress code. No offence.. Happy dressing!!!---Prabhakar

At Thursday, October 25, 2007 2:03:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair enough Prabhkar. You are right in that people need to dress well when representing clients or a company and they can do whatever they want if they have no such obligation. But you'd expect some level of dressing sense. I mean, how difficuly is it to wear a size X dress instead of size X+2. How difficult is to wear a yellow shirt and black denim instead of yellow shirt and white&light blue striped denim? I'm talking about, you know, the finer things. End of the day, my point is that it's ok not to be a turn-on, but why would anyone want to be a turn-off? I think it's just different opinions.

At Thursday, October 25, 2007 4:24:00 PM, Blogger Jam said...

Hey Govar,

No offence to the nerdy,geeky type IT guys, the ones who actually code in all the wonderful applications that you and me actually get to use, but the fact still remains that these are the people who are content remaining in the background, behind the curtain.

In fact, I actully know of a few Project Managers who are simply brilliant technically, but cannot speak English for nuts, dress like they are auditioning for a Govinda lookalike, and have absolutely no regard for facial hair or regular hair, for that matter.

I guess it is a mindset. You and me, and I guess a few others, actually feel that they have to look 'presentable' whenever they come in to office, whereas there are loads of others who feel that their work speaks for them and they don't have to 'present' anything else.

Surprising how the fact that "in today's world presentation is king" somehow doesn't register in the minds of the masses. More so in IT and ITES.


At Thursday, October 25, 2007 4:41:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right. And I think I became really *conscious* and started taking notice during my client visits. God, I really wished some of these folks were more presentable. I mean, they were in Mumbai and I started wondering what's wrong down here. Ultimately, like you said, you take notice if you think it matters, and I did notice coz it mattered during a client visit.

At Saturday, November 03, 2007 8:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Regarding your reference to people from "remote" parts of the state:

It's great that you "urbanites" have been able to ape the western culture and style of dressing successfully. But it's a shame that you have not adoptead either their humility (atleast outward) and concern for the less fortunate. Perhaps those are christian values which do not carry well to the oppressive hindu society.

At Saturday, November 03, 2007 11:59:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Shyam: I could start punching holes in your 'argument' at multiple levels. First off, I had clearly mentioned that what you wear does not matter. I had also mentioned clearly that people can and should wear stuff that they are comfortable. It's the choice of color/texture etc within the dress that is odd. Like I mentioned several times in the post and the comments, I don't see any reason why you could call 'getting a nice haircut' and wearning colors that suits you as aping western culture. If this is aping western culture, then good dressing per se is aping western culture, and am totally fine with it. And how did religion come into the picture, for God's sake?

At Monday, November 05, 2007 4:58:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seems like my comments over the top.
Actually, I found some of your tips to be useful. ('x size' instead of 'xx size', haircut) Maybe I have been bit lazy in the grooming part.

At Friday, November 16, 2007 12:30:00 AM, Blogger q said...


well firstly i think born chennaites/coimbatoreans are better than the people the rest of Tamil Nadu (ROTN) migrants. These ROTN ppl have this mindset that its the required thing to not stand out in a fact for them those that stand out are abnormal. For example, in Most IT cos.. people dont speak their mind, they dont flaunt any idiosyncrasy, they are extremely parochial so that they literally turn off their brains to fall in line with the bosses expectations not to mention even dress really drab so that they dont stand out.

ROTN's women all the more dont take the effort maybe because 1. most of them dont like to stand out and be eve teased and 2. they are all a little chubby - too much rice and potato me thinks. 3. lack of exposure to anything cosmo 4. they dont know what a beauty parlour is - or even waxing

I could go to the extent to say that the ROTN's IT folks are even teased by their friends if they begin to depict cosmopolitan mannerisms. The entire situation thus get exacerbated until and unless these people are placed in front of a client. (Which is contingent to the fact that they are sent onsite by their bosses). As for those that come back as villagers from onsite as well.. (u know who) .. you can imagine what they must have been like before!


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