Last weekend, we booked our tickets to Colorado to attend a wedding. I started going through my closet to figure out what to wear. Black is considered un-auspicious by Indians for wedding attire. Blue – I wear everyday and wanted something a tad more festive. I pulled out my ASOS red dress to see if it’s suitable for a wedding. And it looked rather sloppy. Time, wear-tear and lack of quality caught up with it. It made me wonder why I held on to it for years. The answer : My only red item of clothing. I then poured myself a glass of wine, sat on my bed, went on RealReal.com and purchased a silk red dress. I broke my shopping fast. I think I lasted 3 month without buying anything. Time went by quickly and it was not hard at all. 

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Diderot effect

It is a term commonly used in reference to sustainable consumption. You buy something new and everything else you own pales by comparison. The invisible standard has been raised. You have the itch to replace your old things. And it’s a spiral pattern. Since I started shopping second hand, I have gotten my hands on some extremely well made items.  I may be the fashion victim of the Diderot Effect. My oldest item of clothing – the ASOS red dress looks like crap next to all the good things I have been buying in the subsequent years. I bought a silk red dress and let the old one go.

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This Little Red Dress

It is rude to not acknowledge the maker of an item just because I don’t like including shoppable links in my posts. The dress is by Burberry purchased second hand. It has a silk lining. I suck at outfit posts but I am not selling an outfit or clothes. I am selling the idea of the red dress perhaps ? “A man should look as if he has bought his clothes with intelligence, put them on with care and then forgotten all about them”, said Sir Hardy Aimes. Applies to both genders. I did climb a fence while carrying my bike and go on a bike ride. Well made clothing is reliable and will disappear into the background while you get on with life, in my opinion.

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The Little Red Dress

Red makes me feel powerful in lots of ways. It has a seductive, ferocious, dark, romantic and cheerful side to it. A red lip. Red lingerie well hidden or not so well hidden. A glass of red wine in the hand of a woman having a good time. An Indian bride on her wedding day in a traditional red saree. Red umbrella on a gloomy rainy day. Red shoes with all black outfit on long work days. A flamenco dancer in her flowing red gown. ….. A red dress needs no fuss styling. You buy the simplest one in a red that flatters. And let it do all the work. My ‘right’ red is burgundy. The less you add to it, the better. I intend to keep it that way. I will not go viral on Pinterest or become tumblr popular or win awards for my dressing, but it makes me really happy to dress the way I see fit. The husband loved it so much that he offered to wear a red tie to become the ‘matching couple’ at the wedding. We poured and shared a glass of Portuguese port wine to celebrate my finding the perfect red dress.


Do you feel this way about the color red ? Do you own a red item of clothing that you wear and feel powerful ? Have you ever been a victim of the Diderot effect after you weaned off of fast fashion ? Will anyone read if I wrote an essay on the power of the color red ? Do share your perspective. Collective wisdom is greater than one person writing. #dataScientist