I still remember this childhood friend’s wedding in November 2009. Now, that particular wedding is memorable for several reasons, but I especially remember the reaction of some of my other school friends. “You surely have a girlfriend now”, was their refrain, for apparently they had never seen me so well dressed.
Pinky still makes fun of the way I looked on the day I met her. I was wearing a blue polo T-shirt over khaki cargoes. On one occasion when I bent down to tie my shoelaces, she saw my blue socks and couldn’t stop laughing that I had such poor fashion sense to wear them with my khaki pants and white sneakers. I’d told her that I’d worn those socks to match my T-shirt, to which she continued laughing further. A couple of months later, she’d started her efforts to “improve” the way I look.
Since early 2010, she’s been conducting regular “clothes audits” for me, where clothes that don’t look good on me are discarded or put away. She keeps track of the trends for me, so that I don’t end up looking like an old fogey. She’s occasionally critical, but largely encouraging, and never fails to tell me that I look good (when I look that way).
Back in the late 2000s, I had a penchant for wearing loose clothes, which made my then heavy frame look even heavier. I liked wearing colourful shirts (I once turned up at a friend’s wedding in a bright purple shirt), and loose fitting jeans (Lee Chicago being my favourite fit). I would seldom be seen with my shirt untucked (speaking of which, have you heard about this company that’s now supposed to be the hot thing in the startup world?).
Pinky changed all that. She taught me how a white shirt can be so versatile that I shouldn’t reserve it for official use. She made me understand how better fitting clothes can make me look so much better. She made me realise how I look so much younger without my spectacles (which I wore daily since I was 7 until 2010 when I started wearing contact lenses). She carefully selected perfumes and aftershaves for me. I stopped wearing sneakers wherever I went (like I used to). Perhaps the only thing in which she’s not been able to make an impact on is my receding hairline!
It’s over seven years since Pinky started her “project” to make me look good, and I continue to look up to her when it comes to fashion. I continually pester her to accompany me on my clothes shopping trips, often driving her insane. Recently she cried how she’s herself been unable to shop because all our such trips end up being hijacked by me, asking for her opinion on one thing or the other. I admit my fashion sense has improved, and I decide better on what clothes I want to wear. Yet, I constantly seek her approval!
PS: I’m writing this wearing a floral print shirt