Five Things to Wear When You have Nothing To Wear – #Wardrobe SOS


Yes… we are women who have overflowing wardrobes, yet every morning we have “NOTHING TO WEAR” . This is the story of my life whether it is a weekday or the week end. Sigh!

This melodramatic situation has plagued me since the day I joined College, until over a period of time I decided I had to put together an SOS plan. After having barely made it to office in the nick of time (Who want’s to lose leave because they are late and still end up spending the day in office, I want that attendance!!!), or turning up late for lunch dates, or getting in to arguments with the husband because I am “ALWAYS” late, I decided enough is enough and I need to have an SOS Wardrobe. These are my go to wardrobe essentials, when I need to get ready really quick. It barely takes me 2 minutes (after I have decided which of these I am going with)

Be it a Fat Day, Bad Day, Don’t know what others are wearing day, I realize that this SOS list has got me through many a time On Time! Most of these are No Brainers and probably on your list too, but it’s always nice to put out a List because we are so in to “Those Top 5 things” … Right?

1. The Dependable LBD OR LWD 

Do I need to say anything here at all… ? I cannot resist buying both these colours because they are so easy to slip in to, accessorize and dress up. I don’t think anyone has ever looked bad in a black dress or a white dress and this has always been a lifesaver.

Avoid a Body Con Dress for an SOS situation unless you are feeling super awesome about your body. I typically need to be REALLY SURE about Body Con even after a 12 km run. The most imperative point about these dresses is FIT. I prefer a straight Cut, because you don’t have to worry about any bumps and you can step out with barely a glance in the mirror and be completely sure that you are going to rock that day!

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black dress

LWD

2. Coloured Pants / Favorite Skirts with a Nice Contrast Scarf or Jacket 

I’m not a Jeans person at all, which is why I have jeans that last me for over 7-8 years and look as good as new. I prefer pants or skirts any day. I have about 3-4 pants that I love and a few go to skirts that make life easy for me. Personally I love the colors and the fit of Cotton World Pants. I like to team them up with a top in a solid colour and a Nice Scarf.or a Jacket.. I have a couple of favorites and that always perks things up.

Skirt 5

skirt 4

Skirt

3. A Shift Dress  

We owe Givenchy a lot! He has been credited with designing the shift dress in the 1960s . If the average poet in me ever attempts a eulogy it will be to the Shift Dress. I feel I can never have too many of them and give in to temptation most of them time as I buy them. I like the fabric of the shift dress to have a little bit of elastic mixed with the cotton or simply cotton, unless it’s a completely dressy outfit. I personally hate the terrible polyester fabrics that Zara and Mango are churning out these days. Believe me that’s not SOS, cos it’s going to stick to you.

Shift Dress

Shift dress 2

I loved this article… Here you go, if you want to read more about  the erstwhile shift dress…  http://www.thecrispycorner.com/love-shift-dress/

4. A Saree

I know I know… it’s not really a remedy, because for most people wearing a saree is a pre-meditated excercise. I love wearing sarees, and can wear them all day with decent amount of ease. Cotton and Kota fabrics work well for the day. I don’t wear them too often though because they end up being too dramatic. I think because most people are used to seeing me in more casual clothes.  But that’s no excuse, but the rest of my SOS has come to the rescue and I have used this less often.

saree 1

saree 2

5. A Nice Pair of Shoes 

Shoes… Shoes… Shoes. Doesn’t matter what you are wearing but if you are wearing shoes that you love, you can get through feeling unstoppable! So when you are not sure about what you are wearing, simply slip on a pair that you love and believe me you should have a good day.

Nude Pumps

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I hope my list was fun for you to read, would love to hear what’s on your list. Maybe the next time I will have a list of 10! Talk to me Girls.. 🙂

My Experiments with Shoes – #Goodbye Shoe Rage


You will always find me staring a bit longer at pumps than at other shoes. I love shoes, but pumps set my heart racing just a little bit faster. I saw all my fashion icons wear them all the time, and I think at a sub conscious level I am highly influenced by them.

My earliest memory of pumps is from my childhood. My neighbor’s dad used to work in the “gelf” in the 80’s and he always came back with fancy phoren maal. This one time, he brought her yellow pumps. We all went gaga over them. We would have been 7 or 8, and she obviously had nowhere to wear them so we spent a good part of one summer holiday, simply taking turns wearing those yellow pumps and walking around her house and mine.

As I grew up, and my feet grew broader, it was bloody hard to find pumps that fit. Many an embarrassing “Cinderella’s wicked sister” moment has been spent at shoe stores, forcing my foot in, and finally resigning to the fact that, ALL pumps were not made for me. I have bought myself a few, but they rarely favor in my “choice to wear” shoes. While I have indulged in some designer shoes, I have not had the mindset to invest in iconic pumps, for fear of ending up with one that I will NEVER wear. Most of them, lie in my closet, and I wear it when I have the luxury of wearing it only for a few hours. My friend and I put “Shoe Rage” way above “Hunger”, “Road” and Fat Day Rage. I don’t know what is worse that they don’t fit, or I buy them and refrain from wearing some of them.

I discovered Shoe stretchers in a store in New York and I bought it, hoping that it would work it’s magic. I had nothing to lose right?  So Ladies, this is what I did a few days ago. I Chose my favorite, yet most painful pair of pumps. fixed the shoe stretcher on and left the shoe stretcher on them for about 2 days. I did this because the leather on the pump is stiff, so takes more time to stretch, a pump with patent leather, I would assume would take lesser time.

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The ultimate test!

I chose to wear my favorite pumps out for an evening and let me tell you that they were a lot more comfortable than they had been before. They are really high so I couldn’t experiment with wearing them to work, though I think the ultimate experiment would be to get through a work day in those shoes. Excuse to buy one no? After all experiments are serious work. I’m hoping that these Shoe Stretchers are the answer to my “make my feet narrow” prayers.

Where can you buy these beauties?

Fear not, you do not have to wait for your next trip abroad to get your hands on these beauties. They are available online, but they are expensive, Would cost you about 1600 + . I bought the same thing at  — $ which is a fraction of the cost

http://www.amazon.in/Step-2-47021-Shoe-Stretchers/dp/B00JYE2OA2

Do let me know how this experiment goes with you, either because of this blog or if you have used this before. Would love to hear about it!

It’s all about the silk


Where Do I Begin… the sweet love story, of my love for sarees? I think most Indian girls would share these sentiments. No Matter how much I lust for designer wear, the happiness that a saree brings remains unparalleled.

For me, Childhood memories are filled with me playing house and trying to drape a dupatta as a saree, pretending to be a house guest, that my sister would have painstakingly dressed up in my mom’s saree, or many a boring afternoon spent simply browsing silks and staking claim, that you would wear it at some distant cousin’s wedding, looking forward to the sarees that I received as gifts every year during the festivals. All I can decipher it’s difficult to pin a moment when the affair started.

Having spent my formative years in Chennai, my favorite saree is the Kanjivaram saree. While I love Chanderi’s, Banarasis, Tussar’s and Cottons, I do have a special affinity for the Queen of Sarees, as I like to call them. As I delved into the history, it came as no surprise that it boasts of one that is very rich with an interesting mix of fact and mythology. I would like to believe that it is my natural eye for style and exclusivity (ahem) that makes me love them so.

The first Kanjivaram’s were apparently woven during the time of the Chola Dynasty around 985 -1014. Weavers from Andhra Migrated to Tamil Nadu at the time and the intuitive skill until this day, is passed down through training, and no explanations or theories. If one were to trace it’s origins before that as well, then legend has it that the fabric was also Lord Vishnu’s favorite fabric and the weavers are descendants of Sage Markanda, the master weaver of God, who wove the fabric from Lotus fibre. At South Indian Weddings, and festivals, it is considered auspicious to wear the saree. My guess is because of it’s rich history. It is after all the favorite fabric of the gods 🙂

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A Kanjivaram saree takes about 7 -10 days to weave by hand if it’s basic, and those that have intricate work can take weeks or months.  The sarees always feature traditional motifs, and are inspired by , the gods, temple motifs like flowers, leaves, lamps, temples, graceful birds like swans, peacocks, parrots and even Lions. The designs tend to be very traditional, because the first sarees were woven for temple deities.

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 The better the quality of the saree, the heavier it will be. The reason is that in a Kanjivaram sari is the silk yarn is “double warp”. It means that one thread is made up of three single threads twisted together and therefore it is heavier than a normal saree. A regular saree is anywhere between 500gms – 1 kg. Classic Kanjivarams have intricately woven  zari.  The zari is a silk thread that has silver wire twisted around it and then dipped in gold.

Needless to say, the saree has the dignified air of a queen and below are a few things to keep in mind, if you are planning to buy yourself a gorgeous piece of silk heaven.Though I am no expert, I thought it would be useful to share, what I know about buying a Kanjivaram.

1. Kanjivaram sarees are broader in width than regular sarees, so wear them with heels or be prepared to tuck in quite a bit, if you are short and decide to wear it with no heels

2. When you are buying a Kanjivaram, make sure to check if it is a Handwoven saree or a Power Loom. The obvious distinction between the two is that the latter is mechanised, and will lack the sheen and lustre of a handwoven saree. Even Zari options exist, so you can opt for a sari that’s not made with genuine zari, but of course that’s not going down as heirloom for sure.

A Kanjivaram with intricately woven designs with Zari.

A Kanjivaram with intricately woven designs with Zari.

3. The best way of checking for purity of silk saree is to take a few threads and burn them. Pure silk will coagulate and leave a black powdery residue and will also emit an unpleasant odour.  Or else simply buy it from a genuine seller and save yourself experiments

4. A genuine Kanjivaram will cost you 6000 Rupees upwards. You could get something that is a bit cheaper around 4000- 5000 Rupees, but then there will be absolutely no Zari. If it is any cheaper, in all probability you are not buying a handwoven Kanjivaram.

5. If you want a saree that looks rich and like it has a lot of work , then you could opt for a Kanjivaram along with a Jacquard weave. You can enjoy the richness of an intricate Kanjivaram without it being too expensive and also heavy. The Jacquard weave looks through the body of the saree, makes it look very rich.

A Kanjivaram saree with a Jacquard weave in the body and zari on the border

A Kanjivaram saree with a Jacquard weave in the body and zari on the border

6. If you don’t want to do a traditional saree, where the body and border are in contrast, today weavers are moving with the times and doing Modern Kanjivarams. The designs tend to be more contemporary and they play around with the designs, not limiting it to simple contrasts.

A modern Kanjivaram, playing with colour

A modern Kanjivaram, playing with colour

7. Kanjivarams stand the test of time, my MIL actually draped me in her mother’s 10 yard saree, before my wedding, when I wanted to do a dress rehearsal before D-Day, when I was going to wear a 9 yard saree. Needless to say, the saree was in Tip Top Condition. This is heirloom no doubt.

8. If you see a Richly Woven Kanjivaram without Zari, buy it! I’ve been told by people at the store, that the weavers are doing a lot more of the ones with Zari and lesser of the ones without it, because the demand is less. But believe me when I say it, it looks gorgeous and it being less in demand has only made it more expensive.

A Kanjivaram with no zari at all. Simple and plain and exclusive

8. I also recommend keeping the blouse interesting, as I love wearing those that I have taken care to get stitched

9. The best place to buy them is of course Kancheepuram itself, but one has several options today – my favorite stores are Tulsi Silks, Sarangi, and Sundari Silks, of course all based out of Chennai.

I love my sarees, so much so that I am contemplating a vintage wooden cupboard to store them in,but I live in Bombay and even contemplating more furniture may give my husband some serious sleepless nights 😛

I hope that this blog does help you revive or kindle an interest in the glorious Kanjivaram and you share the love for them, as I do 🙂

Celebration of Ancient Indian Art, with a twist – MiMaMo


I think India is one of those countries who have an incredibly Rich History in Art, Literature and Music. In most of our homes, Art is so unassumingly woven that I think, we tend to simply overlook. But I guess with Global Desi’s new Collection it may just be impossible to do that.

While so many Art forms exist in India. It is imperative that from time to time we celebrate it, and enjoy it and be proud of it. What better way to Celebrate it, than to wear it in some exquisite manner!

Global Desi’s new collection MIMAMO, hits the spot doing just that. I was very very curious, to know what the name of the collection stood for. So named after the three art forms that have inspired the collection
MIthila, MAdhubani and MOsaic .

The Autumn Winter collection is a comfortable twist of Indian, Contemporary and definitely comfortable fashion. The usual favorite suspects – Crop Tops, Maxis, Pallazzo Pants stand out. Some of the prints do get very busy, but you are sure to catch many a eye, in almost anything that you may pick from the collection as there is nothing ordinary about it.

The other thing I loved about it – It has something for everybody. No matter what kind of dressing style one may be comfortable with – Pallazos for a casual day out, Maxis for brunch, Dresses for a date, Kurtis for office, Shirts for a movie or Crop Tops and Shorts to simply lounge in.

What cannot be denied is of course the comfort and convenience factor that stood out in every piece of clothing. For instance while most of us love layering as a look, very few of us can do it effortlessly. Voila, Global Desi has sorted that out. There are tunics and dresses that come with pre-stitched layering, so that you can look effortlessly chic, with NO EFFORT. That had to be my favorite part of the collection! The fabrics are primarily cotton and chiffon, easy to maintain and light!

Below are some of the covetable pieces from the collection MIMAMO

 

For a Casual Day out

For a Casual Day out

Movie Date

Movie Date

 

Casual Friday at work, teemed with leggings

Casual Friday at work, teemed with leggings

 

Iksha Bomber Jacket Rs 2399

Definitely teemed with jeans!

Leola blouse Rs 1699

This Can go from Brunch-To Party-To Beach! My absolute favorite!

 

Reva Crop Top Rs 1299

This can be worn with a skirt, or a jeans- maybe even a saree!

So what do you think of this collection?

 
(Source -Wikipedia)

Mithila / Madhubani – Mithila painting is a style of Indian painting, practiced in the Mithila region of Bihar state, India, and the adjoining parts of Terai in Nepal. Painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and is characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns.[1] There are paintings for each occasion and festival such as birth, marriage, Holi, Surya Shasti, kali puja, Upanayanam, Durga Puja etc.

Mosaic – Mosaic is the art of creating images with an assemblage of small pieces of colored glass, stone, or other materials. It is a technique of decorative art or interior decoration. Most mosaics are made of small, flat, roughly square, pieces of stone or glass of different colors,

Why the Classic Style of dressing makes sense…to me :)


Surprise Surprise!!!

Yes, I love to buy clothes! take care when I dress up! Even the Non Chalant Casual look has a deliberate air (at least in my head) I have clothes compartmentalised in my head  – Home clothes + Office Clothes + Weekday Dinner Clothes + Weekend Casual Clothes + Weekend Brunch Clothes + Party Clothes and Sarees(these have their own classification too!!!). Now before I start sounding like a crazy fashionista with a “to die for wardrobe”- I must clarify my wardrobe is not that extensive or intense, one category spills in to the other. Having said this, over the years I have realized that I am hardly trendy. Oxymoron? Not really…

So, My clothes from 10 years ago are still relevant  and in good condition to be worn, and I am sure my wardrobe will be relevant 10 years from now too!While I love my clothes, and love buying new ones, I am not someone who experiments. I will not go and buy what is completely in vogue that season simply because it is “the next big thing”.

I’ve been wondering why I steer to a classic style instead of being “In fashion” all the time. All this pondering led to some revelations which I feel the need to put down and would also love to know if others of similar mind set identify . I think I may have cracked, why I  dress the way that I do!

To begin with I thought back to who my fashion icons are. Growing up on a steady diet of films watched on the VCR in the 80s, we watched a lot of old films, because the only piracy possible then was if someone brought you a tape or you recorded a Movie from television.  I was heavily influenced by Gina LoloBrigida, in Come September – I think I have coveted every outfit she wore in that movie and may have pounced on buying anything that looked even remotely like any that she wore. Elizabeth Taylor’s white dress in a “Cat on A Hot Tin Roof” , Marilyn Monroe when she said that Diamonds are a girl’s best friend (I believed), Sharmila Tagore, in An Evening in Paris with her bouffant, sarees, tights and sweaters and, Jaclyn Smith in Charlie’s Angels, so stlylishly being bad ass, Audrey Hepburn telling us How to Steal a Million, Doris Day, Parveen Babi and of course Rekhaji in her sarees and for her make up.Perhaps having idolised how these stylish women dressed may sub consciously govern my choices even now.  I will always be the girl who loves the Classic Cuts, Flowers, the bling, the rustle of silk and sheen of glitter and thanks to all those lovely women.

Gina sharmilaelizabeth-taylor-cat-on-a-hot-tin-roof

Marilyn-Monroe PINK DRESS rekha

photo1 Audrey

Being born in the early 80s, I think my generation has had the best of both worlds. We have seen the communication and entertainment revolution happen right before us. Being in this cusp has allowed me to see the best of both.  A large influence influence of course comes from the west of the 60s and 70s, because we had a lot of dated content, here I do not refer to the classics which will be dated no matter what. At least in the library that we went to we had a whole host of old books, along with the new ones. The new ones were always ridiculously expensive to borrow. So, whether it was Mills and Boons, Nancy Drew  or even the Archies comics we read. I must sheepishly confess, I sometimes tell myself that some clothes I now own look like what Betty and Veronica wore.

Nancy Drew B&V

Over the years I tend to look at the timelessness of anything that I may be buying. The timeless quality of  a  fabric that comes from when it is carefully woven or created cannot be matched. Almost every part of the world has fabrics and skills that local artisans literally toil over, and the end product is left for generations to see. Whether it be Silks from the little town on Kancheepuram, or Banarsi’s from Varanasi, Chanderi Sarees from MP,  Chantilly Lace in France or even Sri Lanka. I only wish, a little bit of this toiling finds place in my wardrobe 😀 I have some of my Mom’s  Chikan Sarees which are at least 25 years old. They drape with the same grace as they did on her. In fact some of them are hand embroidered and that tends to be more of a rarity today than the norm. On another occassion  I have had a 10 yard kanjivram, draped around me as a dress rehearsal before I wore my traditional 9 yard at the wedding. This gorgeous saree was my husband’s great grand mother’s and it was in pristine condition when it was draped around me, and I reckon that it still is.

I think classic designs are also very kind to Curvy bodies, which my body definitely is. It can do with a bit of camouflage and a bit of accentuation and classic cuts seem to understand this better than anyone else. They slim you down, and can make one look bloody  good. The saree is a keeper, and I cannot reiterate the importance of the right blouse with it. Apart from that  some of the designs that I will swear by are below. I think the rules are simple  – Attention away from the hips, ensure the arms are cut the right way whether with sleeves or without , avoid pleated pants under all circumstances, unless they make you look like an androgynous goddess.

1. Shift Dress – the Shift Dress is a Blessing and I love it’s versatality and the fact that it can do it’s time as a Brunch Dress, Evening Out, Night Out and even office! Belted, accessorized or worn just like that! It is a Fat Day Friend!

Shift Dress

2. The Wrap Dress –  So Diane Von Furstenberg the “inventor” of the wrap dress, also said that “Wear a dress, feel like a woman” and that probably is my get dressed up mantra. In this style You wrap one side of the  dress  around the other side of the body with a knot, and the dress accentuates the decolletage which everyone can flaunt 😉

Womens-Wrap-Dress-Pattern

3. The Swing Dress – This dress, while worn extensively in the 1940s was called the Swing Dress, because while it was fitted at the waist, while dancing the dress would swing with the dancer. Today I guess we are more familiar with the term “Fit and Flare”. Few styles I believe match the feminine grace and old world charm of this one

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4. The Shirt Dress – I confess, I am extremely partial to the shirt dress, various colours, prints and styles, they all find place in my wardrobe. I love the edginess of the shirt being extended to a dress!

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5. A Line  – The A Line in a skirt or a dress always works. It always exudes a feminine charm

6. The Pencil Skirt –  It’s a no brainer, as to the good things it does for you, though this could soon become a Kim Kardashian patent. Though it would be wise to invest in spanx before any flaunting begins

pencil skirt

As I grow older, I think I hang on more to my classic roots, I doubt I will be the woman running behind the latest trends or looks. Though I do hope at least a part of my wardrobe stands the test of time

Changing Times – Coffee Houses & Medieval Town Squares


So I’m an avid tweeter, If I can call myself that. It’s like I have so much to say! From being told by my grand dad that he would give me 10 rupees if I shut up for 15 minutes (back in 85 that was a fortune, and I never got it, cos in 5 mins I would ask him if 15 mins was up) to now, where Im either  actually tweeting or mind -blogging with my thoughts.

But going beyond, the me and myself of twitter these last few weeks Ive been amazed with being part of a community that one can reach out to and get an immediate response. its raining and the fashionista in me had been coveting a nice pair of gum boots! The one’s available just cannot be worn! Just then I set my eyes on these gorgeous ones  in Vero Moda- Pink, yellow and blue. it was like being in a Candy Store – except my bubble burst. They were only available in Size 40 & 41.Damn You girls with normal feet who discovered this before! Went to two of their stores of course it wasn’t available and got some vague replies like “madam abhi nahi aayega, agle hafte se sale hai” – whatever that means. Step 2. Found them on twitter, wrote about it and bang the reply, next day was that it was available in two of their stores, in my size right down to which colour, which store! I was the girl with my yellow gum boots by the end of the day!

On a more serious note, a friend has just begun a crusade fighting for the cause of  Dignified Security Norms for the Differently Abled. Read More of the story here on.fb.me/130Sebl . Was trying to  create awareness about it, was overwhelmed  with the support and of course going beyond that in a couple of hours almost 70 people had read that note, from my tweet and subsequent retweets. Her Note got close to 120+ shares.

I love the idea of the Social Network community, and how easy it is to be able to come together  to communicate – It’s Like one part of the world is one Big Community and you are out there and can reach out for just about anything. Its the 2.0 version of the Coffee House or the Medieval Town square.

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