Kammi, like her style, is sweet yet spectacular.
By Mahmood Hossain
Kamal ‘Kammi’ Sethi, an early-years educator for the past seven years, has a penchant for styling and profiling when the opportunity arises. While the weekdays consist of careful consideration and attention to kindergartners, off-hours are for Kammi to express herself to the fullest, depending on the occasion. Her perception of style also differs from others. How she sees casual wear is how others deem it to be semi-formal.
At first glance, Kammi was warm and welcoming, traits that transition into her personal style. Her looks aren’t just aesthetically pleasing, they are playful by nature, just as she is. She is someone who is approachable, easy to talk to, and as time goes on, you’ll realise there is untapped potential in the fashion she desires to explore and exhibit. I had the pleasure of conversing with her and unravelling her stylistic layers.
Have you always had this sense of style?
As far as I can remember, no. Because when I was growing up, I was a pretty chubby kid. So, finding clothes here (in Bangkok) for someone who wasn’t petite was very difficult. However, when I went abroad to do my Master’s in England, I found plenty of midsize clothing shops and clothes in bigger sizes. Only then was I able to dress the way I wanted. Here, there is this notion that the smaller you are, the prettier you are. Naturally, it’s difficult to find clothes I like that actually fit me. A lot of what I wear now are either clothes from abroad or tailormade, with a few chosen from Instagram.
Do you believe your time in England helped develop your sense of style?
I was able to implement my style. If it was here, the odds would be that I wouldn’t be able to find a specific item of clothing my size. In the UK, sizes obviously range from zero to 22 or 24; things were easier to find. It was challenging because I’m right at the cusp between plus size and average size clothing. I’m what they call midsize now. I did have a sense of style before, but I wasn’t able to implement it as freely as I do now. Equally important to my sense of style are my parents. They were both always very well-dressed. They had always prioritised looking presentable or looking good, and that was quite influential on how I approach fashion and style.
When you finally got the chance to develop and implement your style, did it come naturally to you or did it take time?
It definitely took time! If you look at pictures of me around 2017, I wouldn’t look at me again. I am definitely inspired by social media today, but I pick and choose who I like to follow. I don’t like to follow big trends, however. I try to find things that are evergreen; you know, find pieces that I can mix and match through multiple combinations. They should last me for a certain amount of years. I have built this over time and I’m always interchanging my wardrobe. So, I try to change my style a bit but also keep true to what I like.
From your style journey experience, what advice can you give to women who are going through similar challenges in fashion?
Don’t be afraid to express yourself. Don’t be scared of showing off your body. I know that’s something many women struggle with, and understandably so. We’ve heard things like, “I need to wear long sleeves because I need to cover up my arms, I can’t wear a crop top because I’ve got a bit of a tummy, or can’t wear certain bottoms because my legs are too big.” In the grand scheme of things, no one really cares about that. They are more focused on the clothes that you are wearing. For me, it’s “go big or go home.” If you want to go casual, add a standout piece. Feathers, glitter, sequins; an element that spices up your look. Ultimately, dressing well is a form of respect for your surroundings and the people you meet, and I think you should never underdress. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.