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Accessories: Statement of Personality

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Hand BagMy bag can be termed as colossal. It represents a personal revolution in the sense of being made of leather - something I had avoided using completely for close to eight years. It is also embellished with many pockets and shiny buttons, the whole tough buffalo skin exterior giving off an air of hard working professionalism (even when I am napping in the afternoon!). Needless to say, it has drawn its fair share of comment and appreciation from people I have met.

An absolute sucker for bags, I have another gem made of silvery gilded leather with brass buckles and zips. This very noticeable designer accessory makes me feel all ‘dressed up’ for parties even when I am wearing quite ordinary clothes and make-up. Bags, shoes, jewellery and other accessories can be a great way to boosting one’s confidence in one’s appearance. In their own way, they are statements of one’s personal style, and must not be ignored when we are trying to enhance our effect on others.

My husband’s grandmother will always stay in my memory as a very dignified and stylish individual. She wore blouses with her sarees that had embroidered necks and sleeves, or a little crochet on the edges. Her pearls, or discreet necklaces of semi-precious stones, were beautifully co-ordinated with the colours of her clothes. With her silver hair, she presented a picture of not-quite-faded charm till very late in her life. If the power of accessories is to be understood, it is through such examples, a few of which will be present in nearly everyone’s life.

The remarkable thing about accessories is that they can be used to evoke or create a particular image. The Marlboro man remains the most successful icon of advertising history. Take away his cowboy hat, the cigarette dangling from his lips, and the lasso coiled and carried on his horse, and what will he be? A poor emblem of chastened manhood. He needs all the other props to lend their weight. Similarly, the amount of gold chains that ‘Circuit’ wears in the Munnabhai films caricatures the gangster, as well as makes his own character more memorable. Films have to depend a lot on accessories to define characters - a lot of silver rings, a pan-stained mouth represents a man from the Hindi belt. A pair of dark glasses, a folded shawl thrown over the shoulders, and white clothing instantly evokes MGR.

When we become attached to someone, every thing about them becomes dear - their bag, or perfume, or sunglasses. Sometimes even after a relationship is over, we remember our former loves every time we see similar accessories with other people. At such times, the objects themselves may not be important, but the memories they trigger are surely so.

Perhaps the best thing about seeing accessories as a statement of one’s personality is that we do not have to be fashion-driven or fad crazy to the extreme. We can have just a few important things, perhaps expensive and exclusive ones, that give us confidence and allow us to operate with style in most circumstances.

Want to treat yourself to something really cool and costly? Go ahead, indulge!

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