December Reflections 7: On My Wish List

I don’t really have a Wish List. I am a contented kind of a person and rarely have ambitions for more or better or different or whatever.

I could write about my wishes for the World: Peace, Love, Equality, an end to Famine, a working Covid vaccine…

I might also write about my wishes for my Self; more positivity, less pain in my joints, eyes that work a little better, a little weight reduction…

Let us face it, there are going to be umpteen posts of that nature, so I am going to cheat a little. I cannot claim that this is a Wish List item, not really, but I see in today’s prompt a place to hang a post that I have been intending to write for a little while – and it’s all about Skirts.

Yes, apologies to regular readers, who must be sick to death of skirts by now!

A quick summary for anybody who hasn’t been keeping up: I recently bought some Sari Wrap Skirts. I had been pondering them for a while and then a Buy 2 Get 3 Free offer turned up. I now have five beautiful silk skirts, Of course I fell for them and hard. I might have had a Wish List item for further skirts but that actually already has a tick on it and I have five more coming (a Black Friday deal at 60% off).

I decided to document my skirts here and have been so busy doing that (for four of them, I have the last one to do yet), that I haven’t yet found time to fully explain this lunacy.

I have worn all four documented skirts so far and have the fourth of them on today. The fifth I am keeping back to wear on Mr L’s birthday. It’s really rather special.

That’s where we are up to. What follows now may appear fanciful.

When I was havering over whether or not to buy a sari skirt, I joined a few associated Facebook Groups. These skirts have some real fans. I mean absolute fanatics. Some ladies are obsessed and have skirt collections that number into three figures, That sounds crazy in itself but the things that skirt owners have to say about their skirts sounded even crazier. To read some of the comments might lead one to suppose that these skirts have mystical qualities.

So, what is it about them?

What attracted me was the fact that they are made from reclaimed sari materials, both used and manufacturer’s seconds and repurposing the fabric keeps it from landfill. Additionally, the skirts are made by women’s cooperatives in India. Furthermore, the company selling them donates skirts to victims of domestic violence.

These skirts are not for every woman. Some might flinch at the idea of wearing fabric that has been pre-loved. Others will not like the fact that they can’t choose the colour or design or that they can appear positively garish to western eyes. Some will simply hate the way that the layers sometimes don’t “go” together. There may even be some women who don’t wish to be unique and actually prefer to slip into the background by wearing similar clothes to everyone else. Others still might feel repelled by the fact that the skirts can be a little smelly on arrival…

Yet some buyers say how much they enjoy the sense of continuity; that their skirt has been worn and had a life as a sari in India and that they feel in some way connected with its previous owner. My skirts arrived smelling a little dank and musty – a warehouse kind of smell, similar to charity shop or jumble sale garments. It washed out readily and wasn’t an issue for me. I have seen somebody comment that their skirt smelled of curry and that she really liked the awareness that her skirt came from a sari that had been in everyday use.

Any lover of colour would probably relish these skirts, even if disinclined to wear second-hand. I have discovered that some skirt lovers do display their collections of skirts in preference to putting them away in a wardrobe. I can identify with this – when my five arrived they looked so pretty hanging together in full view.

All the pretties

After spending a large chunk of my life hiding in mousey colours, it makes me very happy that not only did I emerge (in the not too distant past) successfully into my butterfly phase but now I seem to be positively gaudy. And that brings me at long last to what is the point of this ramble…

Time and time again I read comments in the skirt groups about what a positive experience it has been to wear these sari skirts. It made sense to me that colour should be uplifting. I also read about the comfort of these skirts. Being a wrap style and designed to cover a range of dress sizes in one garment they are very forgiving to those of us who tend to vary a little in size from time to time. That too made intuitive sense but then I came across comments from ladies undergoing chemo who find the skirts both cheering and comfortable and who make a point of donning a sari skirt for their chemo sessions. Post-op ladies love them for the ease of wear; there is no squirming in and out of awkward garments, no fiddly fasteners.

There are many reports of “becoming somebody else” when wearing a sari skirt. Women with body issues, size or otherwise, begin to see themselves differently and more positively. Shy and retiring types blossom. Depression is lifted a little…

I get it. I might not have understood but the moment that I wore one of my skirts I just got it. I swear that I grew taller by a couple of inches. I noticed that my deportment improved. My heart sang with the simple joy of wearing exuberant colour and sensual fibres. Honestly, I wanted never to take that skirt off; I just wanted to inhabit it forever. And that’s just me. I see how living might well improve for someone with troubles, just by wearing a simple skirt. It sounds crazy but it’s perhaps something that one has to try out for oneself.

That’s not all. These skirts come with an inbuilt support system. There is a large community of sari skirt sisters – that’s how they label themselves. They share, support, advise, comfort, admire and also buy/sell/trade skirts online with each other and some lucky ladies have local communities. The Facebook Group that I stumbled upon has to be one of the happiest and most supportive places on the Internet; it has Kindness as its guiding principle and there is Positivity bursting out all over the place.

I’m not writing this very well and not really covering the ground that I wished to. It’s difficult to find the right words with which to convey some nebulous concepts.

To return to the prompt: my Wish List item may be that every person should be able to experience something akin to the uplifting experience of wearing one of these skirts and the life-enhancing affirmation that comes from being a member of such a community.

Here’s where I get mine: (that’s a referral link that gives a discount to a buyer plus loyalty points to me)

I am trying very hard not to have a Wish List item that says “more skirts please!”

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