Revamp your wardrobe & style for a "New You" post lockdown by Pragadish Kalaivanan

Apart from being a fashion enthusiast, Pragadish is an engineer turned marketer, who uses self-deprecating humour to be his sassy self.

For the first time in years, I have the time to do a proper spring cleaning. It is all thanks to the mandatory quarantine. My version of spring cleaning is decluttering my clothes to keep the essentials and give away pieces that I keep for the sole purpose of nostalgia. It doesn’t sound like a lot of work for a normal person but I have three closets with pieces dating back to 2011. Through this process, I have learnt a lot about myself than I intended to.

I always wanted to stand out in a crowd, be different and turn heads. So when I got the opportunity to shed the mundane school uniform in college, I took the bait. Starting off like a peacock I wore every flashy colour I could get my hands on. I wore a neon orange t-shirt with a bright yellow emoji on it for crying out loud. It got me attention for sure, just not the type I was looking for. I had to up my game. The solution was the accessories.

Imagine this: a grey plaid fedora with a purple shark-tooth sweatshirt. If that does not give you nightmares, imagine a charcoal waistcoat coupled with studded leather bracelets over a patterned tee and blue jeans. As a walking fashion faux pas, I was feeling my oats.

College lasted for 4 years and there were only so many accessory combinations I could think of, so I ended up permanently straightening my hair.

Thankfully, it was just a phase. Stylistically I now understand how to dress myself to not only get attention but also be presentable enough to stay confident and repeatedly garner genuine compliments from a wide demographic of people. I always keep 5 rules in mind while getting ready at all times.

1. Don’t Wear More than 3 Colors.

When I say three colours that include shoes and accessories. Too many colours swallow you up, making you look like a walking rainbow. It might be a cliche, but you should wear clothes, don’t let them wear you. A tried-and-tested formula in two muted colours along with one that pops. In this way, you feature the best parts of the outfits without overpowering the senses.

2. Color Block.

Use your preferred pop of colour to highlight your favourite body part and hide the ones you don’t like. I want to look skinner and taller while taking attention away from my noodle arms. So I wear a black tee with black jeans and pair it with a coloured bomber jacket that has bigger sleeves. This ensures that I am more confident about my own body.

3. Pick Colors that Compliment

Remember your skin tone while buying clothes. Pastels look best on light skin with a pink undertone. Yellow shines on dusky skin filled with melanin. White make you look darker than you are. No one can pull off Brown.

4. Minimize Patterns.

Unless you have an exquisite eye for pattern matching, stick to one or none. Very few people can match different patterns in various colours and manage to not look like a hot mess. Unfortunately, I am not one of them.

Not all patterns are created equal. Its easier to incorporate a smaller, symmetric one compared to large prints that could take over your outfit completely. Start with a plaid or small florals and move up from there.

5. Take It Off

Unless an accessory is essential, try the outfit both ways. First without it and then with it. If you don’t feel magical more superior with the accessory on, you don’t need it.

Never use something just because you paid for it or because you haven’t used it in a long time. It is better to be a hoarder than ruin an outfit.

Now that I have picked out the outfits that I don’t like anymore, I am using the quarantine time to transform them into something I would wear. I made a cropped hoodie and shorts from a sweatshirt. Combined two t-shirts to make a half and half romper and am painting basic boring clothes with my most used phrases.

Clothes exist to make you feel confident and secure. It is not just clothes, its armour that makes you ready to take on any change thrown at you. It brightens up your day and gives you a new perspective on things. If you don’t believe me try dressing up for dinner or for working on your couch during this quarantine and see for yourself. Cheers!

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