Back in 2014, I saw a bag in Ibn-e-Batuta mall. It was at a kiosk close to the entrance, with buttery black faux leather on the outside and hints of sunshine yellow on the inside. It was your usual tote, without any clasp or zipper. Upon enquiry, the lady told me, “it’s a reversible bag. You can just flip it to have a yellow bag one day, and back again for good ol’ black one.”
Of course I bought it. And used it until it’s straps all but came undone and begged to be let go. I loved that bag so much.
So reversible isn’t exactly a 2020 trend. In fact, it dates back to the 16th century for South Asia, when the art of minakari was applied to jewellery for queens in Jaipur darbar. With kundan on top and minakari at the base, it could have been reversible pieces (but they ruled kingdoms and making a jewellery piece work in 2 different ways probably wasn’t a priority).
Back to present times, when awareness about mindful consumption is at an all time high, and we are already living through consequences of past negligence, it is worth looking at things that last longer, slow down consumption (and production), and invest in items that can be used in more ways than one. Making a penny last longer, as they say.
It may have been just jewellery back in the 16th century, but today, there are more than a few options of multi-functional fashion wares, from bags to coats, and with benefits aplenty. Reversible items are precious when travelling, and save you a lot of space, even if that travelling is from office to happy hour (hashtag life if Corona times)! Also, reversible is difficult to construct, so when you buy a reversible item, it is more likely that the item is well made, using quality materials. Multi-functional fashion is also eco-friendly (when made with consideration) and offers best value.
These are reasons enough to give it a shot, don’t you think?
Side note: When I say reversible, I don’t mean items that will look the same even when worn inside out, like some skirts and shirts with invisible stitch. I am talking about items that look different, can make two unique outfits, with one item.
Time to reveal your reversible fashion options!
Not for the life of me can I pull off a bucket hat but maybe some people can?