The tote bags, the kurtas, the jhumkas, the sandals, the Sarojini of it all!

Diversity is possibly the primary thing that counts as a niche when it comes to DU. While it is claimed proudly, the inherent urge of wanting to belong and recognize another as one of your own has quite conveniently led to one of the most diverse and heterogeneous institutions developing its own separate, sense of style.

Beginning with the one that has aesthetic pages in a universal chokehold, the tote bag. While, in my own humble opinion, backpacks are more convenient, tote bags have gained popularity by targeting the need to be seen as individuals. Instead of a generic-looking backpack of primary colors and zips, tote bags can be customized to reflect your politics, your interests, or your favorite Taylor Swift lyric. (Also, for us introverts, isn’t it convenient to have something to hold?)

This arm accessory, which goes well with everything, is frequently paired with a kurta. It can be simplistic or bold, plain or intricate, and not expensive. From Sarojini to Lajpat, shops abound in every color and design you can think of, all for a low price (lower still, if you know how to haggle).

And of course, no good outfit is complete until it is complemented by the right footwear. Flip-flops, sandals, and sports shoes are the most prevalent kinds on any varsity, and with good reason. People often underestimate just how much of college life is essentially just walking. And as much as I’d like to show up in fabulous boots, just the idea of having to endure that pain that excruciating is enough to make me reconsider. Style loses yet another battleground to comfort and sandals reign as the supremely preferred and situationally appropriate choice of shoes.

Once your basics are good to go, in comes jewelry. Rings, bangles, oxidized jhumkas, the works. Just pop on one (or all) before leaving your house and you will have succeeded in guising yourself as a DU student.

And despite all these, the best part of the DU aesthetic is its affordability. Of course, you’re free to turn up in your Louis Vuitton but know that Sarojini is going to the showstopper. While money doesn’t dim entirely here (or anywhere), any judgement you might get from strangers in the corridors does not exist.

It’s impressive how the massive student body has found a style in which they can all come together and exist as one, while also retaining their individual identities and celebrating them as often as they can.

Naina Priyadarshi Mishra

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Power dressing and its impact can be incorporated in our everyday college wardrobe. Read on to know more.

Power dressing emerged as an alternate style of dressing that allows you to convey that you are in a position of power. Its whole purpose is to emit authority, confidence, and strength. The main motive is to dress smart, and feel like it. Now, what does power dressing look like? Giving patriarchy its due credit, now power dressing focuses on putting the well-dressed in the position of power and that position has been enjoyed by men since time immemorial.

Hence, power dressing is masculine in its foundation. It comprises of suits as it is basically workplace dressing. However, based on the concept of “dress to thrive”, power dressing is now evolving to be about more than just clothes. It’s your body language, posture, confidence, and even your hair.

Even though power dressing focuses highly upon corporate culture, there are ways to incorporate it into our daily style, especially with winters right around the corner.

Strive on structure:

Tight silhouettes with broad jackets make you look more uptight, improving your body structure, and give you the needed curves, making the outfit provide you a sense of self-confidence and alertness.

Choose matte: 

Power dressing is formal in its origin, hence, it fails when paired with bright textures. The entire point of power dressing is to look calm while emitting your authority. Therefore, matte textures in black, brown, blue, and burgundy go a long way.

A-line kurtas are A-plus: 

A-line kurtas provide you the perfect tight structure you are longing for. Choose vertical patterns over horizontal ones to add height to your outfit. Stay away from anarkalis and patiala suits, and you will be good to go.

Choose the right fabric: 

Choose fabrics like cotton, silk, chanderi, etc, rather than fabrics like chiffon and georgette. The stiffer and  tighter the fabric, more formal the attire will be.

Layering is the key: 

Any mundane t-shirt can be made edgy with just wearing an old shirt over it. Power dressing has great emphasis on layering as it’s the easiest way to add structure. Go for jackets, shrugs, and even t-shirt over t-shirt layering for a more concluded look.
Power dressing may provide external strength, but always remember what really matters is how you feel in what you wear, so if a long t-shirt with shorts is your thing, wear it with confidence!

Featured Image Credits: Lavanya Topa for DU Beat

Chhavi Bahmba
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This festival season, opt for outfits that do not compromise your comfort for style. 

From Durga Pujo to Diwali, October remains a month of celebration, of sweets, of lights and beautifully dressed people. From the bold sarees and big bindis to ghagra-choli and stilettoes, it is the month where everyone goes all-out to show their best fashion game.

However, when you are visiting your fifth relative of the night, and have to laugh through the pain of your tightly tied lehenga, you cannot help but wish that you were at home, in your comfiest pair of pyjamas instead.

Since fashion gets a little overbearing and tiring in the season, here are a few tips for you to look your best with comfort:

Lighter Fabrics 

Opt for lighter fabrics like chiffon, linen and cotton-silk, instead of your usual heavier silks. Kurtis and sarees in linen and chiffon are the epitome of being breezy with style. Lehengas and kurtis paired with statement accessories and a catchy hairdo make your outfit different and your day a lot better.

Drop thrints instead of embellishments 

Look for clothes that are heavy in print instead of one with embellishments, such as sequins or embroidery. this not only makes your outfit softer to wear but also makes it eye catching. You can choose from prints such as kalamkari, batik, indigo and ikat. Batik sarees and skirts, indigo kurtis with palazzos, kalamkari kurtas with churidars and ikat shirts are some of the most popular outfit choices. The best way to style them is to let your print stand out on their own.

Go wild with accessories

Choose outfits that are simpler on clothes and heavier on accessories. You can pair plain white or coloured kurtis with big earrings, or a simple saree with a statement necklace. Nose rings have also become a popular accessory these says as hey can help enhance your face. Whatever you choose, let your accessories become the highlight of the outfit.

Drop the chunni

This Diwali, style your salwar kurtas and lehenga cholis without the dupattas and let your hand be free for that extra gol gappa or diya. In most cases, dupatta becomes a burden to carry and does not adsd alot to ones outfit. Outfits sans chunnis has become a a popular choice esp among the younger crowd.

So this October, bring out your festive spirit in outfits that don’t make you lose out on your comfort. Experiment with your looks, enjoy your celebrations in a better oood and let your body and feet thank you later.

Featured Image Credits: Maumil Mehraj

Satviki Sanjay 

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Education is meant to liberate the educated. Read on to know what happens when there exists a polarity between the two.

Recently, a video of St. Francis College, Hyderabad, had made rounds on the internet. The video was received with widespread outrage across different social media platforms. The protesting students alleged that a faculty member had shamed a student for wearing a sleeveless dress. “The head of my department gave the example of actors who are paid to wear ‘such clothes’. That statement affected me. I have written down this incident verbatim in my book,” an enraged student said. “Sr. Sandra announced a new dress code change in the middle of the year and her colleagues told our representatives that a long kurta would get us good marriage proposals. They told our representatives that standing up for a cause is blasphemous, raising your voice is blasphemous.

This went against the very grain of our values as millennials of the 21st Century. Things got worse, every day we were all humiliated for wearing a kurta that was just an inch or less above the knee, we were made to stand outside the college, losing out on classes and tests. Things did not stop there, the college went ahead and hired female security guards in the pretext of security, these female guards were checking the length of our kurtas, they went ahead and pulled girls by their ID (identity) cards and even pulled their kurtas,” Zanobia Tumbi, who is a student at St. Francis, posted on her Facebook profile, along with the video. Eventually, the women decided to protest and were finally allowed to wear “long tops” to college. But that does not even begin to end the discourse. The Indian education system, specifically talking about higher education, has a way of putting unnecessary obligations on students.

Be it a certain way of dressing, a mandatory minimum attendance, or a particular way of writing the papers to fetch more marks, they all contribute to cease the liberty of students. What is worrying is that the students of these institutions have internalised this behaviour, and do not really seem to have a problem with it. When I asked a few students studying in a reputed college which followed the same practice, their answers ranged from, “I have never given it a thought,” to “No, I don’t have anything to say about it.” When humans are fed a diet of entirely problematic substances, they stop dissecting the reality to find out the truth.

Something similar seems to be happening with the Indian youth, and this is a cause of concern. Education is supposed to make them distinguish between real and false virtues, but in such cases, it is robbing them of it. When there is an imposition of uncalled-for rules, it tends to hamper with the real issues plaguing the country and the world as communities. India lags behind when it comes to research, innovations, and modifications in education. Instead of sanitising the post-millenials of their ungodly ways, the system should take a long, critical look within its cracks and make amends to the damage. While the whole world is progressing to form a more holistic approach towards education, actions such as these put a big question mark on the system.

There is also a debate about what the parents’ reaction is. According to the management of St. Francis, most of the parents had received this decision of their daughters wearing a kurta in a positive light. In this situation, dissent, and not the narrative of “disobedience” that we have been fed, is necessary. Across colleges, and especially in women’s educational institutions, patriarchy or moral policing should have no space. Such places in Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, or across smaller cities, have given the country women that the world is proud of. If we limit them to, and define them by what they wear, these places will stop producing the kind of talent that they have. In an educational institution of the present time, moral policing on women’s bodies and clothing should be the topic of criticism and not a notice issued by the authorities who hold power. When it comes to learning, steps like these comply with the misogyny and sexism women in our country, and from all over the world, have actively been fighting to put in the past.

Feature Image Credits: The Hindu

Maumil Mehraj

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We all have days where merely getting out of bed is a mammoth task, let alone doing your makeup or getting dressed. Unfortunately, we do not have the luxury of switching-off life and responsibilities, and have to show up. Here is a little support.

“Accept that someday what pains you now will surely pain you less.” – Cheryl Strayed.

The first thing we have to realise is that it is okay to have bad days. We are emotional beings, sensitive to feelings, and have a direct reaction to the situation that surrounds us. While there are so many stimuli, almost constantly tugging at our brains, it becomes impossible for us to always feel good. Flipside, this is actually a phase where we discover ourselves, get to know us better. We must cherish it as much as we cherish our good days, because these have more educational value in them.
Be it stress because of college, a change in relationships, or how your body is feeling, we may not necessarily want to dress up. For the people who menstruate, it may get especially uncomfortable and undesirable to get dressed while they are on their period. But we have places to go to, lectures to attend, schedules to follow, and can’t let go of all our responsibilities completely.
On such days, a little self-care can go a long way. When we put in just a little effort to look presentable, it instantly improves our mood and makes us feel better about ourselves.
“Getting up and getting ready isn’t about masking whatever it is that I am going through, it is really an outlet for me,” says Ingrid Nilsin, fashion and beauty guru. “It allows me to take care of myself in a way that feels good and allows me to invest time in myself.”
We all need to take care of ourselves on days only we can help us. Listed below are tips that could help you:
1. On such days, the best way to go is to stick to basics. Anything new or crazy could wait till a sunnier day comes. Psychology suggests wearing clothes that have good memories attached to them lifts you mood. Be it a T-shirt that you got at a concert, the sweater that reminds you of home, or the shoes that you wore on a particular picnic, wear them.

2. I would like to make it very clear that period, within itself, isn’t a reason to not wear white tights. There is absolutely no shame in staining your clothes. And a pair of black tights will stain just as well as their white counterparts, even if the world can’t see that. The real question here is that of comfort. I know there are people who are most comfortable in skinny jeans, and high heels. But if somebody makes it imperative for you to wear a certain type of clothing on your period, that becomes a problem. Wear whatever feels good to you, listen to what your body is telling you, and go from there.

3. We all have a ‘uniform’. These are the type of clothes we subconsciously gravitate towards, based on how they look and feel on you. According to Harper’s Bazaar, “Everyone should make the most of the knowledge of what suits (them), all stylish people have a uniform.” On days like these, it is best to stick to our uniform because that is a familiar and tested method of looking good.

4. It is best to keep the makeup minimal on these days, but paying attention to skincare. Most people do not sleep well or enough in such days, making their skin dry and dull. A hydrating face mask, a lotion that smells good, these are things that will make you feel better, and allow your skin to breathe.

Dressing up and doing your makeup is a privilege, and it should bring you nothing but joy. Taking the smallest of steps on down-days will make you feel infinitely better, and there is no reason for that to not happen. Apart from all this, eat healthy, stay hydrated, and remember that this, too, shall pass.

Image credits: Business World
Image caption: Bad days don’t mean the end of the world

Maumil Mehraj
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