This week I made use of the sales season and went shopping.
Every time I go shopping, I think of the same exact thing. My buying choices have changed a lot after moving to Amman.
Even at the peak of my teenage years, I was not much of a shopper. Don’t misunderstand me, I always have and always will enjoy the very capitalistic act of buying. But when it came to shopping for clothing, I was happy to leave the choice to my mother, who understands the style business so much better than I do.
The lifestyle in Saudi Arabia is that of what is hot and what is not. Fashion plays a big role in society, and people are comfortable looking like they walked straight out of the catwalk. The shops stock a very diverse array of styles and tastes, ranging from the absurdly fashionable to the very basic. Everything will find a buyer.
I always found myself wondering who the hell will wear that dress or those shoes when browsing the stores in Riyadh, something I never think of here in Amman, although the stores I shop at are the same.
It was not that I was timid with my choices. My closet then was quite funky, if I may so myself. My shirts often were a rainbow of colors and patterns, and my skirts and pants were experiments in texture-mixture. Lace, leather, faux fur, glitter, studs, feathers and other kinds of material that I would not be caught dead in today lived in perfect harmony. I can very easily spot a woman who lives in the Gulf today from the way she’s dressed.
My closet first started going through changes as my local friends made comments over my white-on-white outfits (how khaleeji), or floral tops. My taste gradually became more and more subtle, until my closet turned into a feat of solid colors, cotton, and jeans. These days, the farthest I’m willing to go is stripes.
It’s amazing how this city forces you to indulge the drab. What I bought this week had my mother look at me and shake her head; “Roobee, they’re all the same color.”
Ammani girl, indeed.