More money than sense
Being a journalist is not easy on my pocket. Bad enough they pay my tribe badly, even though for most of relevant history, people couldn't dream of beginning their day without a newspaper. We should have just gone on strike long ago and said the IT guys are coming, so start paying us well or go find your own news. But because most of us have a social conscience and an ego the height of Burj Khalifa, we still continue to wear the badge of news hunters, gatherers and providers (even though increasingly, journalism is hardly that anymore) first and a tax payer later.
These days, I go out to many events that I shouldn't be going to because of the simple reason that I am vain and believe I should dress nicely when I go out to meet people and perhaps network with them. In my carefree, worse-paid days in India, I used to not care a bit about being badly dressed. But 30 did something to me and if I step out, I gotta have nice things on me. I don't know why.
As I've left behind the inverted snobbery I used to indulge in where I'll deliberately dress bad and look down upon the well-heeled, I feel the need to own a few good pieces that will hold me in good stead these days when I go out on events.
And this post is not about those pieces.
This post is about a little advice I'd like to dish out for whoever is listening or cares. You see, most of these events I've been to astound me with their clutches of similarity. Almost always I can look at a woman and say what bag she'll be carrying, what perfume she's doused in or whose watch she's wearing.
Older women will invariably wear Dior, more so if they're Indian. Omani women are a little difficult to figure out fragrancewise because a lot of them carry a hint of the frankincense that some of them use at home. But my guess is a preference of Givenchy, Boucheron and some Dior. The younger women, across race, I've discovered, are usually bathed in Davidoff's Cool Water Woman. I am SO tired of that scent, it's not funny. The Lebanese/Egyptian/Moroccan women tend to lean towards Gucci some, especially Envy. Or something just as aqua smelling.
The shoes, strangely, are something a lot of women this part of the world give little importance to. Sure, they've gotta be nice. But it doesn't have to be designer. Maybe it's because it all disappears under the abaya or if they're Indian, the sari, I can't tell for sure, but the shoes almost always are unbrandable.
Which brings me to watches. Omega, Omega, Omega. The grossly underrated Raymond Weil has some really nice pieces but Omega it is on most the wrists of most women I see at these dos. But if they aren't the corporate type big, flashy Guccis, very imaginative DKNYs and Tag Heuer are de rigueur.
Honestly. It may sound like generalising to you but you'd be very hardpressed to find something that doesn't fit this profile. The rest that goes with this image are: A French manicure and pedicure, rebonded-straight hair (which for the life of me I cannot understand or appreciate because I love curly hair), a BB or iPhone.
And all of it is so boringly predictable it makes me want to yank my nails out from their beds without anaesthesia and get salt sprinkled on the bare wounds. Really, isn't there a strong case for originality already out there?
For example, I've never seen a woman wear a Hublot. I love those things. Even though some of it has gold in it. Agreed they're mostly made for men and agreed I'd have to spend 7 years working 48 hours a day and not spending a baiza of my salary to afford one of those. But hey, almost all things meant for men look really nice on us. And not all women are paid like journalists, correct? There are some women there who can afford them.
Speaking of affording, I keep wondering why people seem to have more money than sense. If I see one more really ugly Louis Vuitton bag, I am going to make it my life's mission to meet the head of LVMH (the handbag section) and dance naked in front of them to My amma say you love me, your Papa say you love me, Love me Love me, till they admit that every time someone buys one of their bags, they fall over laughing because their joke of selling seriously ugly bags at prices for which you can buy an African village is really working.
Seriously. Who they hell comes up with those terrible designs? And if the colours and structures weren't bad enough, they go and splash the entire thing with their logo. Why is it cool to flaunt LV in sequins and why is it not cool to show off Naidu Hall? If you really like designer handbags and insist that the only way you'll get value out if it is by spending what is one month's pay for me, then what's stopping you from going for a Marc by Marc Jacobs, or a Marni. They do it SO much better than LV and in such subtle style.
While we are on the subject, can the dissenters point out the good in LV, please? Just so that I am better informed when I meet the handbag section guy.