If there exist a lot among Indian women who is ever conscious of its style and panache it is got to be Army wives. The styling of hairs,the flawless make up on the face,the matching of their stilettos to their bangles and neatly pressed dresses are a few distinct features that can easily be marked on this extraordinary lot of women tagged as army wife. The glitterati of social evenings, the panache of a ladies meet, the sobriety of a welfare, fun at a pagal gymkhana or the vying of an sports tournaments drive Army wives to present themselves at the best of their capacities only to epitomise the grace of this Army world. And you know the secret behind their ever ready Avatar? They keep a few dresses always handy in their wardrobes. They are like staples that would always be washed,pressed and neatly hanged in their wardrobes. Let’s just explore these epic pieces of clothing in any Army wife wardrobe.
The chart is unanimously topped by this age old piece of clothing. Saree! Some five to nine yard drape which can be worn in at least 30 different ways teaming it up with the most trendy pieces like a halter or even a printed tee to the most olden existing cloth pieces that ever existed on this planet like a traditional zardosi blouse! And may be that is the beauty of a saree. It instantly glams you up only to transform you into a diva any day. Silks and crepes are most preferable during winters for all those mess parties which are perfectly teamed up with cardigans or a trench coat by wrapping the palla around the neck. It has become like a trade mark of an army wife. While the georgettes and cottons are the favoured types during summers adorned with all type of blouses. Sarees are considered as the safest dress in army and strictly worn during Army welfares or official mess parties like dining in or dining out.
The salwar suits hold the place quite traditionally in the army and considered as second safe option after a saree. The cigarette pants or straight churidars are the most prefered types but patiala or Anarkalis can also be seen around. The house visits to a senior or to a jawans house are often accompanied by this loyal friend of an Army wife. Juttis to high heels are generously thrown along with the salwar suits to add that zing into this ethnic wear. These days mostly at peace stations during a casual welfare the suits are among the preferred attires. The leggings and kurtis are not counted as suits here in Army they are among the most casual wears. The salwar suit should be stitched and be at least knee length to qualify the wearable criteria.
Well right when you thought the Army world to be full of ethnic traditional wears the jeans dropped in there for the rescue. So yes, the Army wives do wear westerns too but the minis and shorts does not fit the criteria and here the jeans easily slip into the battle for right kind of western wears among Army Wives. The jeans is usually teamed up with a kurta or a fully covered feminine fancy top or at the max it can be stretched to a simple printed tee. That is it don’t push the limits of casualness here. This is worn during team discussion among the army wives or during the army works ranging from shopping for the mess to decorating a flower vase lovingly.
The sports wear
It is a must have piece of cloth into an Army wife wardrobe. And they all own at least two pair of these Adidas or Reebok babies. Sometimes bought from the Army canteen or may be from a retail outlet. The sports shoes preferably running or walking types are adoringly part of their little sports gears. The gym or workout clothes include a simple tee along with a track pant. The army wives are natural sports enthusiast given the sports facilities they get inside the fitness freaky cantonment. Apart from the personal workout or running they also wear it to sports events (which always goes on) like a cricket tournament or a squash championship or may be to the opening of a sports complex.
So this entire time you actually thought Army wives wear some really dull pieces of clothing? Really? then take it, every army wife has at least one swimming costume which they adoringly use for swimming once the swimming pools are opened during summers. The swimming costume is accompanied by the silicone head cap and eye goggles. And army wife is totally ready to dip into the fauji pool and achieve that momentary Nirvana.
Army world is very particular about the dress codes.The wrong choices are capable of causing storms in this compact world. Faujis are pretty particular about their lifestyle choices (from simple cutlery to the menu is taken seriously). There are some sort of unwritten rules and some are written too. So for the new birds here come the handy tips from the pro.
Always wear saree with sleeved blouses for welfares.
The salwar suits are worn in the welfares only if the COs wife wears it or you are an OC wife with an independent workshop.
Any function that involve presence of jawans demands graceful covered and ethnic wear and mostly saree.
The dining outs and dining ins are some highly official events and saree is the code though you can go a bit casual with the blouses.
The social evenings are the events where you can adopt a casual dressing depending upon the dress code mentioned. A few even prefer western wears like gowns or skirts depending upon the theme but usual ones are limited to your designer gaudy sarees to suits.
The corp day events range over two three days in most units and dress codes are pretty defined for the events. Stick to that!
The swimming costume is a must if you want to get into the pool. The choice can be yours but in any shape it should be a swimming wear.
Ladies meets have themes from western wears to hats to cowboy costumes to diva like clothing but remember that there would always be the senior so don’t insist on too much showing of skin there too.
At last always remember its not the end of the world and you can wear whatever you want once you step out of the cantonments. So no harm in following to community rules.
so this is the army wife dress saga and as you are so interested into army life then my debut fiction Soldier’s Girl : Love story of a para commando is a must for you as it is the story of every woman who choose to support the men in uniforms and make them a man beyond being war machines. The interesting Army life glimpses, the dreaded war,cold start doctrine,nuclear bombings and a passionate romance of a fauji amidst all make it super interesting.