Today’s woman is constantly pursued by dreams.

Some of them are big while others relate to everyday things – like clothes, lingerie, even kitchenware. We are inundated with pursuing a dream when it comes to dressing, skincare and make up, travel and everything else in between. Seeing the clotheshorses on the catwalk is a dream, watching our favourite TV show and its cast dressed up is a dream. Can we expect these dreams to become reality?

Like millions of other women, I too have been lured by the dream the retailers sell. I remember once being mesmerized by the clothes on display at a retail outlet – a fashion show in this case – and being driven by a desire, almost primitive, to acquire the ‘look’. I am wiser today, although the lure still gets me, especially when it comes to state-of-the-art skincare and make up. Today, I know and understand that clothes don’t look the same on me or millions of other women the way the hang on the models, with the long torsos and buffed midriffs. Today, I understand my body type and know what looks best on me but not before the mistakes that of course cost me a lot of money.

Retail therapy is always driven by the dreams they sell in the glossy magazines and the dressed up shop windows. Now, on line too. It’s like the scent of the prey – you just can’t rest when it wafts over. The accessories that make the outfit look sharp. The chic hand bag or the shoes. We are all suckers for hand bags and shoes and nothing beats cruising the shops looking for the next acquisition.

The beautifully staged fashion shows, the exquisitely laid out outfits on the models are placed there to take our breath away. They are the points that drive impulse buying, fueled by a desire to get the look. No matter how rational we try to become or tell ourselves we don’t need this, we will always succumb. In some department or the other.

I can never get too many sharp, black pencil skirts. I simply love a well cut pencil skirt in black that hangs well.  The pencil skirt is one of the classic acquisitions that can make anyone look chic any day. Every time I spot one, I will go the extra length to try it on. Always.

You can be intelligent, smart and able to deal with tougher and bigger things of the world but when it comes to retail therapy and the dream wagon, almost all of us fall into the trap. The trap of looking the part, getting the feel of the era, capture the mood.

One of my favourite TV shows is Mad Men – one of the reasons I watch it is for the killer Sixties wardrobe with its prim foundation garments that lend the clothes the perfect finish. Mad Men makes you feel dressed and prim and proper – no one on the show wears shoddy clothes that sometimes pass for clothes on modern TV shows. Even at night time, the actresses are dressed in beautiful nighties and dressing gowns. The same goes for the wonderful Twenties on the Downton Abbey, where everyone dresses to suit the occasion. Dressing for dinner is a joy to behold, even though it was not always in company. One of the shows I loved best was the one that featured the garden show – the entire Crawley clan were dressed in impeccable summer clothing, in soft linens and dainty needle worked gloves that looked so elegant. It was indeed a dream to behold, just to be able to watch the swirling skirts and the parasols floating.

Clothes to women mean many things. Not just dressing well or dressing to reflect one’s image but clothes also set us into moods and make us feel elegant and sophisticated. I recently read on line about a woman in the UK who dressed and decorated her home to refect the Forties era. She found it charming and enchanting and believed she was in some sort of a time warp – the pictures of her in curlers and A line dresses with nipped in waists looked very elegant although period.

The reality maybe jogging tracks and t shirts but we do not have to be defined by that. Reality may stare us in the face and laugh at the make believe elegance and sartorial finesse, but we can always live the dream, act the part and enable ourselves to let the clothes create the mood. I personally believe that back then, less people dressed bad and everyone took an interest in keeping up a neat and tidy if not sophisticated as much as possible, appearance. It mattered then and it matters now, no matter how much we may try to tell ourselves it is ok to dress down.

Fashion will always be a dream than we can live – if only we understand where and how it relates to us. Which is why it is important to know and understand what suits you best.


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