Floods and Fashion
The idea of floods often covers our mind with the thoughts of knee deep water clogging the streets and vehicles honking to get way. Worse still, getting stuck and vehicles being turned off in between the rising water. For Delhiites, constant rain turns into a nightmare when one must travel for work. The pedestrians often face the brunt with dirty water being splashed mercilessly on their ironed dresses or salwar suits while heading to work. Surely, enjoying monsoon is not a way of life for them. But what about places like Mumbai which not only receive constant downpour for most months of the summer but the city being the business capital is also a home to a workaholic population. The city which never sleeps is also the city which relishes monsoon in a way most other cities miss. Where monsoon is a way of life or should I say that people have adopted their lifestyle accordingly, our fashion trends follow the same.
Monsoon may not affect the rich and middle class alike. The middle-class people who walk through the monsoon and use public transport become the trendsetters. Ever thought of clothing your phone for making it monsoon resilient? Yes, the market innovates as per the needs and hence comes up with rain covers for your smart phones which allows you to use the phone under the tinkling raindrops.
The costumes get innovated too. With short sarees, just below the knees becoming a statement by the fisher folk women, while its just to keep the outfit dry while navigating through the tidal waters of the beach.
While it rains 24 hours, those riding the two wheelers may not find one piece raincoat enough. Hence, the innovative two-piece raincoat with rain pants, rain jackets and rain cap. Another thing common for Mumbaikars is changing the clothes after reaching office. Since, people travel from as far as Navi Mumbai or Kurla to reach the Central Mumbai offices, the crisply ironed shirt travels being inside the bag and only worn after reaching the office premises.
Another trend statement during monsoon is the rain-proofing of the bags of school children as well as other bags. Almost every article of bag is first kept in a polythene bag and then put inside the bag. And much to your amusement, this rain-proofing includes keeping the paper currency as well in a transparent plastic bag and then inside the wallet.
Let’s come to the wrist watch. Most of the Mumbaikars who can afford just one wrist watch would have the metal watch as leather would go off during the long rainfall and humid months.
Most importantly, the shoe shopping, the options stay limited to wearing crocs or rubber slippers while on the move and of course changing to those leather shoes only once one reached the office premises. But the adaptive measures have brought in the rain covers for your stylist shoes as well as those lovely heels. Walk outside free from the worry of spoiling your shoes due to wetness.
Adaptation and capacity building to any hazard is the key and Mumbai has surely shown us the way in the classic fashion trends. Cheers to the rainfall and monsoon !