So it seems just like yesterday that we were identifying sneaking changes all around us and not just fluctuations in the weather at that, the full package included. We ranted, rooted and raved about the winter that was: the chapped skin, the musty clothes, the steaming pithas, the seasonal flowers, the evening soirees, the weekend getaways-good and bad combined. We stretched our arms as wide as they would open to welcome the season that swept us off our feet, unleashed a mad rush of weddings and then just when we were settling in to it, snuck off just as stealthily as it approached.
That was borrowed heaven, but lesson not learnt, we are gearing ourselves up to scream, shout and holler again. Only now we're doing it with twice the force of the previous season, for this time around, we may not have pithas, but we have mangoes and we may not have soirees but we've found our answer in siestas. Sure, we may not be able to enjoy slivers of the season that always lasts too little, but since we are none the better to point fingers at Mother Nature, submitting to the raging beauty that is summer and lounging in to her as comfortably as we can for the season that is going to see us through the largest part of the year seems to be the wisest alternative at hand.
That being said, in deciding to dial up our hospitality guide books and embrace, arms outstretched once again, we might as well be fully equipped before we settle down to the welcoming end of the table. Light fabrics, soothing materials, smart capris and breezy skirts-you know the drill already so this year, we will spare you the majors (i.e clothes) and waltz you through those tiny little add-ons that may very well shy in terms of volume but add masses in terms of fun and flair.
From the bottom up
First up, we'll start from the bottom. With the heat already bearing down, the mere recollection of certain images is enough to enliven a sense of external oppression and by that, not just heavy jackets and woollen gloves. If we are thinking restrictive anyways, then even the feet have head enough to feel their own sense of suffocation or conversely, liberty. Sure the boots were chic and the formal shoes completely at par with the weddings that were us for a good month or two, but come a change of season, the feet plead to breathe. So stow away all the leather for future matrimonial ties and succumb to the all-so-enticing trend of flip-flops. Dhaka has a been a combination of Burma and Bangkok recently with heavy inclination towards the genre of footwear recommended above and you would do well to drop by either Almas or Priyo to simultaneously subscribe to recent fashions as well as give your feet some room and air. Their range of flip-flops knows little limit in terms of colour or comfort and for only Tk 150 a pair, you can pick up several at one go. After all, however long they last, they will be well worth their amount.
Head a little higher
One sharp rise and on the completely contrasting end of our anatomy, an important liberation of summer is just how many different types of headgear it allows us to flaunt. From wide brimmed hats (God save the Queen) to neatly tucked bandanas to athletic caps to cute berets, the choice is all yours. If 18th century England seems too alien a concept, then do opt for either bandanas or berets that are neither too outrageous nor too mundane. And if all else fails, you can of course never go wrong in deciding to give sports brands favourable outcomes to all that marketing and advertising- caps are still in and looks like they're here to stay.
And in maintaining proximity, we now move on to our prescriptions for the face. On the very basic level, this is the season to go all out on face wash, face scrubs, orange peels, cucumber masks or whatever other fruit or vegetable you may have (he who said wastage was wrong spoke so true). Whatever serves your skin in terms of coolness and cleanliness and allows your pores a breath of fresh air as well, works. But once you have gone that extra mile to get that fresh glow, the prospect of greasy make-up and glaring tones will probably make you cringe. This is not to dare to suggest that you steer clear of make-up for months on end, we are just calling for simple alterations in type. Over all else, opt for oil-free make-up that leaves your skin feeling and looking fresh, clean and light. At the end of the day, this season is all for subtlety so go for brands and shades that are deceptive as to how much you actually have on.
Come to think of all that is truly exclusive about summer and close in suit behind fruits and flowers is sunscreen. This is an added routine to your make-up regime that only summer commands and rightly so as well if you harbour even casual distaste for sun burn and skin diseases. Belonging to a high-temperature climatic region should be reason enough to make sunscreen an integral part of your summer shopping list and if it isn't, you can always draw on the fact that this is one element that centres more on health than it does on fashion.
Blast from the past
Swooping right back to fashion (let the topic subside long enough!), summer is the perfect excuse to wear your head a little higher (everyone does that with sunglasses) and bring on a completely different look with just one rim, two handles and two helpings of tinted glass. Welcome back to the yesteryears with almost large-as-your-face shades that drip all the fun and hip of generations and eras bygone.
Mary Poppins...back on track
If you are one of those people (and there are people like that) who know not what to do with their hands and adopt very queer postures to somehow settle the dilemma, umbrellas are just the thing for you-to hold, poke, prod and lean against to no ends. And if you do not suffer such insecurities, get one anyways because bold and bright umbrellas this season will be the perfect topper to your ensemble. And of course they are occasionally capable of providing cover from rain and shine, but that hardly matters.
In our belief that we have given you enough to choose from, we can only hope that you will opt for one or a combination of the above to add colour, comfort and character to the summer-you. After all, the only sure way to beat the heat and humidity is to be obnoxious enough to feel that you look good in it!
By Subhi Shama Reehu
Photo: Zahedul I Khan
Make-up:Farzana Shakil’s Makeover Salon