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October 03, 2015

Do The 40s Usher In A New You?

Text by Nisha Jhangiani

A new decade, a new mindset and for many, like me, a new way of life

It started a couple of years ago, actually. There was an emotional sifting process taking over my system, a silent voice guiding my subconscious. I was slowly but surely distancing myself from a few friends I had considered lifelong partners for lying-on-sunbeds-guzzling-champagne jaunts. Other, newer acquaintances were inching closer, seamlessly gliding from occasional distress phone calls to frenzied daily discussions that could veer within seconds from idle gossip to future-altering epiphanies. Today, I feel guilt-free when categorising people into slots that will determine my level of intimacy with them. I’m 40 and I’m taking stock. Finally.

There’s still dependence, interdependence and independence. But now, I decide whether I want to portray childlike enthusiasm followed by a hormonal tantrum. Whether I want to frantically dial daddy/boyfriend/any-guy-I-know when I spot a spider in my house, or I choose to be a grown-up instead and swat the bugger to death. Do I get my zodiac sign tattooed on to my tail bone; do I teach myself to swim again? (I’m a scared-of-water victim of the Jaws film syndrome.) It’s a lot of pressure to be solely responsible for your choices but I have to admit, I’m learning to enjoy the heady freedom of growing up.

My personal style has undergone a transformation as well. Gone are the ashy blonde highlights, to be replaced by a dark, rich brunette vibe. Heels are giving way to luxe flat sandals — I can’t be bothered with trying to achieve that 5’.7” silhouette. I’m shortish, I’m curvy and I’ll be damned if I refuse to be myself anymore.

Those ridiculous body-con sheaths should have been burnt when I touched my 30s, but it’s never too late for sense to prevail like it has at present. It’s free-flowing over form-fitting, neutrals over brights, subtle texture over out-and-out bling, trousers over jeans, midis over minis, classic over trend. Accessories, the crucial highlight that defines any ensemble choice of mine, remain mood-dependent as always.

Then there are those countless icons whose style we all make note of and my list of these women is undergoing an amendment along with almost everything else. Instead of Beyoncé at the Met Gala, I look forward to Cate Blanchett at the Oscars. While I still find Anushka Manchanda cool and grungy, it’s Tina Tahiliani Parikh’s effortless ease that I connect more to.

Elegance over fashion is my motto for the next 20 years. I’ve got my armour of Chanel pearls. Bring on the 40s!

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