Dressed to impress in Dubai

Our features ed realises her wardrobe isn't quite up to scratch

Last word, The Knowledge

Swept into a fashionable new social circle, Holly Sands mulls the sorry state of her wardrobe.

If you’ve ever been to a cinema in this city, you know it’s pretty chilly. Heck, you’re probably still defrosting the icicles hanging from your nostrils.

But despite these inexplicably arctic conditions so close to the equator, I’m yet to see a single person wearing jogging bottoms and a hoodie to the movies – except, that is, for me and my significant other. People like to dress well in Dubai – and never mind five-star bars, the fashion stakes are high enough at my local supermarket.

Like most people, I have certain aspirations when it comes to my image. But over the festive period, between preparing for different parties, I was confronted with the harsh reality that simply looking glamorous – even for a special occasion – is well beyond my reach. I’d always known that my day-to-day style is about as chic and refined as a streetside shawarma, but the realisation that I couldn’t even look the part for the biggest night of the year took the tahina.

I can do casual very well – I live in flip-flops and have an impressive collection of denim shorts in various stages of falling-apart-at-the-seams – and most of my best and oldest friends share the same style. They also share my loathing of being subjected to other people’s musings about what to get done at the hairdressers, and my less-than-ladylike penchant for profanity. Recently, however, I’ve found myself in new and vastly more intimidating company. Somehow, an army of the most sophisticated-looking women I’ve ever seen appear to have mistaken me for one of their own. Suddenly, I’m out of my depth. I’m in group emails where the big topic up for debate is whether black heels are too drab for a night out in Downtown, and phrases such as ‘ohemgee’ and ‘eeeeeek’ bookend every new message that pings through. The kind of excitement most people reserve for winning the lottery is being splashed about over a new pair of earrings, and the notion of going shopping with anything less than three friends in tow is nothing short of bonkers.

Desperate to up my sartorial standing, I’ve thrown myself into this new social group and rummaged frantically through their wardrobes. My new rallying cry of, ‘Let’s hit the sales, girlieeeees,’ and willingness to take style tips from the entire retail-addicted entourage has earned me much approval from my email crew in the form of winky faces and heart-shaped emoticons.

Now two weeks in, my other half enjoys pointing out that I still look like a five year old wearing her mother’s heels whenever I slip on anything higher than three inches, but at least I’ve finally worked out how to use the iron. And never again will I wear jogging bottoms and a hoodie to the cinema. Well, not together.

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