LBD – The Little Black Dress

Written By

Chitra Doraiswami

LBD – The Little Black Dress Loading

New York…I am watching the world go by from the 13th floor window. I see a sea of humanity heading towards Grand Central and it, regularly, spewing out more humans. All people, more or less, dressed in black. Those who are not, are dressed in beige, some in dark brown or navy blue. The odd pop of colour turns out to be an Asian or African woman in her ethnic clothes.

Cleopatra isn’t going to be jealous of me any time soon and no movie mogul is going to plead with me to star in his next biopic. Yet, I was showered with compliments in Europe and America. It was thanks to my ethnic clothes – the sari and the salwar kameez.

I have nothing against dresses and jeans (they have something against my big butt) but if you want to make an impact, the much touted ‘LBD’ is not the way to go.

I know, I know, Indian designers all give the thumbs up to the LBD. But they, quite often, just mouth what Paris or Milan decrees. And, where, pray do they make LBDs? They all create heavily gold covered thingummybobs that one must have Arnold Schwarzenegger’s muscles to carry.

I will give you my cogent arguments. Yes, I know — that model, this star, look ‘knock ‘em dead’ gorgeous, but are you a model or a fillum star? No, I didn’t think so! Face facts, sister, most of us Indian women do not have the long legs the Westerners have. Our legs normally look like two bananas. Add to this, our figure type is a bit hippy and a bit busty not to mention thunder-thighed (is there such a word?)…not the kind you would willingly display.

Our complexion ranges from ivory to brown with most of us in the olive range. (Not the nicest with unrelieved black: a touch of jaundice is what the black gives us).

The other day I attended a hip birthday bash and all the ladies wore LBDs!  The girls who were grabbing all the eyeballs were two young women in saris. I kid you not! The chiffon sari in a jewel shade, worn low with a seductive blouse, not too much bling, with tantalizing glimpses of a slender waist, a toned back, etc, had all the guys hanging around them.

So, if you want to knock his socks off (or just look your best for yourself), wear colour; it shows off your warm skin. Wear a sari and be a circe!

Go, get ’em, tiger!




Chitra Doraiswami, 69, is from Bangalore. She has written for many publications such as the Deccan Herald, The Times, Femina, Eve’s Weekly, etc. Chitra has many an interesting tale to tell including the one about finishing her Masters along with her son; sadly “only” getting a First Class, where her son got a rank. She joined CMR, NPS as Headmistress two decades ago and is now known as the Associate Principal of the institution. She also has a sixteen year old grandson. Chitra is an avid dancer, reader and drama-enthusiast. She's traveled extensively with her husband who was in the IAF. She taught wherever they were posted. Chitra enjoys teaching people innovative ways of helping children learn, but she is definitely not the prototypical fluffy grandma!

See all Siya Writers




Let great stories find you.

Write for Siya

If you can write, you should do so on SiyaWoman.
Send us a note on