Does the topic sound clichéd but being a ‘concerned’ woman of ‘some substance’, I do feel people are wrongly attired in summer?
What irks me is the 5 ½ metre long saree that is wrapped for elegance does portend to be quite irksome. Be it at home or office or outdoor work. Oh, yes! We have cotton sarees that need to be pampered a lot before wear. Starched and ironed, I mean. The product has undergone a change these days. More and more women use netted fabric for letting in air to get easy movement of limbs. Then there is the silk and cotton blended fabric that looks crispy and glossy available in delightful shades.
Loin fabric always
So much for sarees but not to forget the less privileged women who have to make do with a make do fabric. Generally ‘loin’ with close knit prints to eliminate the translucent effect. The length and breadth too is reduced to give enough scope for limb movements.
The best state in India to offer summer clothing is Kerala. They have a white or off-white ‘Settu Mundu’ which divides a saree into two parts. The portion meant for the lower part of the body is more like a dhoti and the upper half has thick and coloured or zari stripes to make it attractive. This garment is adapted by all communities – Hindu, Christian and Muslim. The Muslims generally opt for long-sleeved blouses for modesty.This doesn't mean the other two communities are immodest!
Women: they are generally shorts (long and mini), skirts/frocks or long-pleated petticoats in colourful prints, harem pants or Patiala salwar and palazzos. The top garments are chosen depending on the fashion conscious women from teenage to grandmas. Kaftans and sleeveless tops are always in vogue.
Men: they are conscious these days of formal and informal looks. The informal wear starts from Bermudas, cargos, dungarees or pajamas as made of thin fabric. A strict no-no to tights, jeans or corduroys – nothing to beat Lungis or Dhotis, that is convenient and classy. Also shirts or tops for men and women should be invariably in pastel shades only. The bright shades must be avoided for protecting the eyes of the wearer.
Diet.....Eats and drinks
First, the eats should be discretely chosen between digestible food like a daily dose of grain with fleshy vegetables that can be quickly cooked.
Eggs and non-vegetarian food must be avoided as they generate a lot of heat and tax the sweat gland which can result in prickly heat problems.
Lots of fruits and fruit juices are recommended. Better to avoid aerated drinks. Ice creams and jellies from regular shops recommended.
Please cut down on sugar and calories in summer as they invariably thwart the air conditioning of the body.
Choice of fabric
The right fabric will eventually makes one feel cooler in summer. The males can opt for short trousers or pyjamas, loose and convenient. The trendy jogging pants available in synthetic material should be a No-No for those who have a tendency to sweat from the hips down to the feet. Lungis are best for home-wear or a white dhoti for the refined man.
Women can wear clothes in light shades preferably not sticking to the legs as the skin does breathe with the body. However, culottes in Khadi, Muslin or light cotton material or in organdy would be ideal for outdoor wear or get togethers during summer.
Hobbies like swimming and wearing trendy sunglasses for walks are a must. Tops with or without sleeves, halter-necked tops for kids are ideal wear.
In the good old days, young girls (kids) used to wear a half-sleeved cotton dress in white under a formal frock. It used to be called ‘chemise’; today, chemise refers to tops worn on skirts or pants.
Frills, heavy buttons and showy buckles must be avoided as summer wear for kids.
Footwear can be slippers or light sandals or dainty shoes covering heels and toes are available in floral prints and are colourful and attractive. The same applies for boys (kids) without floral prints for those who prefer canvas shoes or slippers.
Stay cool, stay trendy.
Enjoy the summer.
Happy summer do not simmer!