In my earlier office, one never had to worry in the morning about what to wear to work. Since there was no dress code and not too many people who cared what they wore, I was comfortable. I would slouch into office almost everyday in jeans and sometimes flip-flops to be extra daring.
Now Monday to Thursday one is expected to be in formals, and on Friday --‘smart casuals’. So though a lot of the time I manage to plan enough ahead to have both the the kameez and its corresponding salwar washed and ironed at the same time, it sometimes happens, usually by mid-week, that the whole process goes awry and falls out of sync. So I’ll have a reasonably unwrinkled kameez but its salwar will be dripping sadly on the clothesline outside. Those are the days you sigh deeply and prepare yourself for the ordeal ahead.
For one thing, the sight of the wet salwar outside is a signal for you to start trying on your formal trousers again, in the hope that you have miraculously lost weight since last Thursday and/or the button has miraculously attached itself to the front of your pants while it lay in the closet.
You try on your other outfits –you look too fat, too squat, too poor, too much like a cow in all of them. So you eye the one decent kameez (note to the men in my audience—a kameez is the top and salwar is the bottom in a salwar-kameez set) lying on your bed and you decide that it will just have to do. So you start trying on different salwars on the off chance that one of them matches your kameez but you’d just never noticed earlier. After trying on an appalling array of clashing bottoms you finally settle on the one that clashes the least.
By that time you’re late and tired -- and have just seen the most horrible color combinations in your mirror. So you pick the least offensive one.
Of course by the time you’ve walked into office your indifference to how bad your outfit is has worn off. And it doesn’t help that people keep darting alarmed glances at your legs and hurry away as though bad dress sense is catching.
So you spend the day writhing with embarrassment, darting behind tables and potted palms to avoid the inevitable shocked gaze from colleagues. You swear you will plan all five outfits over the weekend, and dazzle all with your sartorial elegance henceforth.
That is of course till Wednesday morning comes along again and you trudge wearily to the closet to try on those trousers.