Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 25, Tuesday June 26, 2007



Style Files

Summer Trail

Everything will have to move if not at a regular pace, then slower this time of the year. It is truly the height of a Bengali summer. We find it to be just ideal for the mangoes to ripen and I suppose we might as well also thaw out in this heat. Mercury has risen, exceeding all previous records and it appears to be abnormally high. Those of us who don't have the luxury of being or working in controlled temperatured rooms are consumed by its power. We are now generally tired and over-worked. Everything we do takes an effort. Therefore it is only appropriate that the clothes we wear should be effortless. We need to wear less and dress lightly.

Consider the following tips for summer:
Stick to natural fabrics that breathe well in a sleeveless or cap sleeves. If you must wear long sleeves then finish it off below your elbows.

For comfort consider trying slightly looser garments. This way your clothes are not going to stick to your body in case you happen to be outdoors or in a non air-conditioned room.

Please try to avoid collars. Go crew neck, scoop or boat neck. They provide open spaces for your comfort. Front slits, or even better, open fronts work very well as they provide you with the leverage of button up or button down options.

Please put aside your dangly earrings and instead try hoops or rings when you want to go big or consider smaller earrings. This is because it is just one less thing to deal with when you have to wipe, sponge, and dab.

Salwars- short, fitted at the ankle- are good instead of churidars. If you wear western then try to wear knee length skirts or slightly longer ones but only in light gossamer fabrics.

Saris in light cotton Tangail are perfect. Elegant and timeless, you always look splendid in them. Work your blouses. They can deliver the punch even on the simplest saris.

Petticoats can also weave magic under light chiffons and organzas. Wear textured or embroidered pieces, maybe even in contrasting colours. This will state instant high fashion.

Avoid large dupattas; instead wear medium to shorter lengths that are easier to handle.

Reconsider wearing coats or closed shoes. Open toed sandals in flat or elevated styles are very feminine in summer.

Men also need to look light in summer. Reflect upon juicy colours for your dress shirts at work. In a more casual environment short punjabis on aligars are neat. T-shirts paired with shorts work too.

Children must also jump on the summer wagon. Light voile shorts or flowing long dresses are great for hot summer days. And during sports activities tanks with shorts are idyllic.

Summer is the season where fashion forecasters make clear predictions on styles that are then adopted on individual levels. Forecasters also make predictions based on geographical locations and weather. So when creating your own style for the season, make sure you consider these factors as well.

Dear Ms Khan,
I am a lecturer at a private university. I would like some suggestions on summer clothing that I can wear to work. I am in my mid-twenties, five-feet one-inch tall and am slim with slightly heavy arms. I would appreciate it if you could suggest some sober yet trendy outfits and colours for this summer. I should mention here that I prefer sticking to salwar-kameez and saris mostly although I am thinking of maybe including fatuas with scarves for work this summer. What do you suggest?

I think I may have covered the answers to some of your queries on fashion this summer. I hope my tips will be applicable to your style. Solve your colour palette with light pastels. Since you are a salwar suit or sari person your comfort level lies there. You are in the teaching profession- therefore you are exposed to public scrutiny more than others. So you need to be more careful. I would not like to see you drastically change your fashion by donning on fatuas just because it is hipper. You need to gradually change your style.

Beauty Dissected

Dr. Firdous Quader Minu M.B.B.S, D.L.O ENT, Head-Neck & Cosmetic Surgeon Consultant, Cosmetic Surgery Centre

I am a 46-year-old woman working for an NGO. I have to go on a lot of fieldtrips. Lately I have noticed that my skin is getting really rough and it also looks loose around the cheek area. I think all of this makes me look older than I am. Can you help me?

Yes, definitely all of this can be improved. First you need to take basic care of your skin. As you need to go out a lot you need to use a sunscreen that suits your skin at least twice a day. Also avoid the sun as much as possible by using a hat or umbrella. For your rough skin you may need microdermabrasion but that needs to be decided by a cosmetic surgeon. If you think your facial skin is getting loose you can opt for rejuvenation laser treatment- this will brighten it and also make it tighter. Or you may need a facelift; this can be a thread facelift that is nonsurgical or a proper facelift. All of this can be decided by consulting a good and experienced cosmetic surgeon.

I have noticed that you're designation also reads as an ENT specialist. So I would like to ask a question concerning my ear. My left ear is always itchy and there is discharge present most of the time when I use cotton buds. I have consulted an ENT specialist who told me that I have a perforated membrane. How can I solve this problem permanently?

First of all you need to keep your ear dry. This can be done by using earplugs during your bath. Also if you get a lot of colds you need to get that checked and treated. Once your ear is dry for a couple of weeks you can get a tympanoplasty done. This is a surgery where a graft is put in the place of your original membrane and it seals the perforation. This will let you have a dry ear and also improve your hearing.

By The Way

Make sure you clean your computer hardware. Enough has been said about heightening speed, disk cleanups and anti-viruses, but all fails if the outside looks like something out of Jurassic Park. Pay special attention to difficult-to-reach spots, like the ridged surfaces behind the CPU and the gaps between the keyboard keys. While dusters and paintbrushes work just fine, you may wrap the end of a fork handle with a wet piece of cloth for easier access to these areas.

Under A Different Sky

By Iffat Nawaz

My long days and nights

I woke up knowing exactly where I was- early morning with the sound of air conditioning which can never make up for the comforting sound of a revolving fan up above. There were no searching hands and bewildered eyes, there were no “Where am I?”s. I knew I was still in Istanbul and right then like magic a few men and their microphones confirmed my thought; the sound of Azan filled my dark room and it was beautiful. I never realised how much I missed these taken-for-granted background noises, the lack of them in DC, how even in their unsubtle repetitive ways they are beautiful…even if I never answer their call for prayer.

My days were long, they were long with experiences that made me realise I was not unique and neither was the place I come from, at least not as unique as I claimed it to be. I always do, and still will stay true my claim, but inside something had changed. And still there were the familiarities, by which I find Dhaka in every place I go and I wanted to believe they might not be an error of my eyes and heart but something more…maybe a combined similarity of all people and the lives that run together racing, and the familiarity remains.

My days were long, long because I wanted them to be. I didn't want them to end. I walked from the old town to the new. With the moisture in the air and the humidity setting in my hair, the feeling that layered inside my mouth and my throat was of a want for raw green mangoes. I wanted something terribly sour, tamarind. I wanted people around me to speak Bangla, but Turkish was just fine too and I walked.

My days were long, so were my nights and I couldn't sleep, not always and not often. I wanted to, my tired feet wanted to stay still, not moved by my legs any longer, neither by my wishes. The sea was always in sight, always glimmering, the moon not always full but shining. I watched from behind the old wall of Istanbul. Walls from 1700 years ago, so strong, they made all my desires grow stronger for everything invincible.

My days were long, long trying to walk over ancient footsteps. The Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace, even with all their tourists coming in and out of the front doors, are still holding dust. Not dust from yesterday but from hundreds of years ago and they are still holding walls between which Sultans decided fates of people, of countries and they are still holding the same mosaic floors over which princesses walked in love and in sorrow.

My days were long, long trying to bargain, the grand bazaar in all its grand ways gave me enough negotiate with. The Turkish carpets sellers' lemonade and apple tea never melted my heart and the jewellery shop guys agreed Bangladeshis are the best bargainers when it comes to getting the best deal. There is no such thing called a fixed price, not in the East, and I was not to be fooled. I walked away with things that seemed exotic, maybe not right there but now here in my living room, because exotic is everything from far away, and I love the word for all its vagueness.

My days were long, long watching women. Staring at them like a little schoolboy who just reached an age to appreciate beauty. The ones wearing hijabs with only their faces showing, the older ones with black, brown and even jeans burkahs and the young ones with the head scarves yet tight tops and jeans and next to them other women wearing next to nothing. It made me happy. I felt a sense of acceptance, not the way I do in the West, it was a new feeling and from my limited thinking I felt like here I will not be judged.

My days are long, still, even though I am back in DC. Istanbul is a far away memory and a far away land that I am not quite sure if I really ever visited. While I was still in my Turkey haze, the day after arriving in USA, 104 degrees of fever hit me. They call it Ataturk's revenge, apparently many first timers are sufferers and I rested in bed between hallucinating and dreaming I was found. And when the fever left a day later, with my cold body and dry mouth I cried for more long days and long nights.


home | Issues | The Daily Star Home

2007 The Daily Star