A quick smart go to day look. A satin blouse with an intense print–here I have houndstooth and polka dots, in black and white. Black pump sling backs. Deep indigo skinny fit. Small sized sunglasses. Good to go for lunch or just a day of work meetings, you could substitute the denim with fitted black ankle cropped trousers if you want to get a wee bit more formal.
I have a soft corner for detailed prints, even though they’re really very tricky to carry off. This dress from Stylista is one from a collection designed by Monica Dogra and is in a comfortable soft crepe, with an intricate paisley print. The front slit that goes right up to well above the knees is paired with two side slits of the same length and I tackle this with a pair of brown or grey leggings within for the sake of modesty. Wore this with a wonderful ethnic neckpiece and a plain white quilted bag, and very high heels. Sorted.
A style that you are comfortable in, is what I think is fashionable for you or your age. At forty, it’s time to move beyond just adapting the current trends blindly but smartly pick up elements that you can carry and then merge it with your own style. See what suits your body shape and profession and then carry it with elan. Maybe it’s time to even discover and have your own style because that will never fade. For me it’s Indo ethnics. I just love carrying it off. I usually pair it with one statement jewellery, be it a Jhumka or a statement necklace. Here I am wearing a long maroon dress with pockets( pockets are very important for me). I like the fact that it’s stylish and still very comfortable.
Namita is seen here in a handwoven pink benaras katan kurta from Industhana that can be worn for a formal evening out. It is handcrafted and the golden motifs add to the entire look. It can be paired with palazzos in beige, light brown golden or even hot pink.
Namita is wearing a comfortable and chic, flowy blended jute cowl neck dress in green. This organic asymmetrical dress in jute shows her love for all things nature has bestowed on us and can be worn on any evening out with friends or even a Sunday brunch soirée.
( Namita Gupta has worked with Femina, Mid Day, Deccan Chronicle, TOI, Explocity, Art of Jewellery magazine and other publications for 18 years now. She is currently the regional editor, Karnataka for RITZ magazine- south India’s #1 premiere Uber lifestyle magazine. She also likes to travel and explore various cultures and countries that she chronicles in her writings on @namionthemove both on Instagram and on Facebook page Namionthemove )
A black kurta and churidar, a lovely Phulkari dupatta in an interesting taupe with a very untypical pattern gifted to me by my fab editor at Amaryllis, Rashmi Menon, pearl and ruby square drop earrings and loads of kajal. Works?
My husband took this picture of me standing on the very top of Jodhpur Fort. We were with our son Anand on our very first proper holiday (all arranged and financed by him) –staying at fancy hotels and being squired around in a plush private car. If I look a little smug, it is because I guess I was. There is something amazing about seeing your children grow up and do so well that they want to thank their parents by taking them on a deluxe tour of Rajasthan, with no expense spared. I’m 60 and with the white hair to prove it. I love being old in India where I get respect, admiration and half price on the train. And I chose this outfit to celebrate it all. The jeans, a gift from my daughter, are Curve Appeal. (Super tight but possible because of the magic of lycra). The t-shirt (also from Cathleen) is a Workshop label. The sweater is a Dehradun special with no label anyone would recognise. The look comes from a combination of the gorgeous Michael Kors sunglasses that my sister gave me, and the knee-high Cole Haan boots you can’t see. The confidence I get from stomping around in them.
(Jo Chopra McGowan is the Executive Director of the Latika Roy Foundation).
I have great admiration for celebs who land up at airports looking straight off the pages of a fashion mag, skin impeccable, hair impeccable, clothes designer. Me? I’m a ragtag of what is warm, comfortable and clothes with enough, err, give, considering I’m going to be sitting for a while. So here’s me with black lycra enhanced ankle cropped jeans, a black turtleneck pullover, grey oversized handbag, patent leather camouflage print jacket, my old, old, retinal damage inflicting neon orange Nike shoes, but with the best accessory ever, my latest bestseller, #13StepsToBloodyGoodParenting co-authored with Ashwin Sanghi in my hand. No label can ever top that.
Photo#1 Whenever there is a program or event where I need to go on stage the first thing that strikes my mind is the question, “what should I wear?”. I feel that once the dress appropriate to the program is fixed the rest would fall into place smoothly. Though the façade doesn’t carry more weightage than the core, but it surely aids in boosting my confidence. This was an award function where lots of eminent people were coming. Formal dressing looks good in such functions. Being a lazy saree dresser, I prefer wearing stitched dresses or suits making it easy to wear, travel and rush for the program. The milky ivory hues of this anarkali suit allured me instantly when I saw it in a nearby boutique and ushered the boutique assistant for trial. Fortunately, it fitted me perfectly without a single alteration and fitted the bill of my urgent requirement. It had a big organza dupatta which was seeming a big hassle as I prefer to keep my hands free, nothing to handle than the books, award, miscellaneous stuff. and which helps me to walk fast on stage etc. I asked to convert the dupatta into a sleeveless long jacket and the outcome was brilliant. This is a floor length anarkali with a dupatta converted into a sheer jacket/cape. I accessorized this look with a pearl necklace my husband brought from somewhere in South Africa, a blue bindi and a statement ring bought from Dilli Haat to complete the look.
Photo #2 This look has a little story behind it. In my daughters’ school function, students performed on a song “Makeba “composed by Jain. The song influenced me and sounded quite cool to me. Inspired by Jain’s B&W look in the song on YouTube, I searched for a collared black and white dress. I am not a brand conscious person as the quality and the look matters to me more than any label. I found this on a popular online site either Romwe or Shein costing remarkably less than Rs 1000. I didn’t mind that. White pumps, golden sunglasses, a multi-layered silver necklace, a pale pink sturdy handbag shopped from USA, a white stone ring bought for Rs. 100 from the stall outside Beatles café’ in Rishikesh and my smile completed the look for a lunch date at Impromptu café with my best friends.
Photo #3 This was clicked in City Palace of Udaipur during the winter vacations. This is a dress from “AND”, Anita Dongre’ special collection and the fit is awesome. I have worn this dress in summer without the leggings and jacket as well as in winters and it does brighten up my look. Wearing it with a jacket bought from an exhibition in Gurgaon, long black leather boots from H&M, and a LAVIE sling bag gifted by a friend on my birthday. Since hoops are in vogue these days, I wore big ones in silver from H&M realizing it later that almost 5 out of 10 girls were wearing hoops. Hoops were in fashion in 2005-2006 and again this trend bounced back. Since the dress has a pastel pink beaded neckline, necklace wasn’t required. Wearing “Relentless Red” lipstick from Mac and my smile again to reflect my happiness when I am a traveller.
(Meenakshi M Singh is an author, poet, a software professional, director of ShetheShakti – women empowerment centre and a mother. She is based in Gurgaon with her husband, raising herself with her daughters.)
A popular or latest style of clothing or a manner of doing things, what is your definition of fashion? I have never been the type for whom the latest style or cuts work perfectly. For me, fashion was and is defined by clothes in which one feels comfortable in one’s skin, confident to take on the world and challenging situations, and feeling that I look my best without worrying about unsightly curves on display or seams that could burst anytime. It is not just about high-priced labels but also about quality, workmanship and the right fit. My fashion choices have always been safer, hesitant and predictable so far.The forties, however opened the floodgates. I began to think bold splashes of colour, explore racks that I would have never stepped close to in the previous decade and experimented with different kinds of attire like skirts and dresses that I had not worn for nearly 10 years. Look 1
The all-forgiving, ubiquitous sari. Saris to me was about if there is no matching blouse I cannot wear that sari. It was something that one wears on special occasions and only the fancy silk variety that looks grand and well-set on the body.In my forties, I learnt to step out in a sari that boldly draped over shoulders that showed a blouse with colours that had no connection with the sari. In fact I rebelled in the blouse does not match proclamation! I got a selection of blouses stitched in bold hues that could work with saris of colours that were either bright and flashy or dull. Blouses that lit up the sari in a manner in which the attached blouse we buyers are so fond of, would never do. This look is put together with a bright rani pink Bengal cotton sari. which is buttery soft and cocoons the wearer in the folds. Nothing describes fuchsia as well as rani pink, a colour so named because it was a combination of rare purple fit for royalty and pink. This is worn with a yellow blouse that doesn’t really match exactly with the borders but still works. I teamed it with a chunky silver floral filigree necklace, an antique finish bracelet a setting of fuchsia stones, from GRT jewels, white gold and diamond hoops from Carat Lane and silver sandals from Clark’s. After years of snobbishly wearing only gold, I hesitatingly moved to rose gold and then white gold to try whether I could work with colours that only the fair-skinned people seem to feel confident with. One day, I graduated to silver- a metal I fell in love with all over again when I discovered the variety I could play with in accessories and style without draining my savings. I also discovered that I could no longer rely on flimsy footwear that gave up on me on the second wear and have permanently moved to sturdy brands like Clark’s and Hush Puppies.
Look 2 Simple, Smart and Comfortable The Kurta revamped.In my previous life, I always went with simple, straight cuts with side slits that in my opinion gave me the illusion of a better figure. I never touched those in which the side slits were given a miss. Fab India was my friend because of their cuts, prints and overall looks. I felt comfortable in their silks on formal occasions because of their no-nonsense cuts with three-fourth sleeves and sometimes high necks and prince collars. It made me feel in command in official meetings. Then I stepped into Sanginee, a boutique that works with bold cuts; I have noticed inspirations from places one would not have imagined taking. I learnt to wear Anarkalis after 25 years and worked with bolder necklines and patterns.This mustard and red cotton number has been on my to-buy list for almost six months. I loved it yet never felt I could carry it off. In fact I bought it when other pieces of the same or similar cut were already sold.The kurta has pleats that are similar to box-pleated sports skirts of my school. I had instantly seen the possibilities of traversing this look to a dress however to do that I needed to live in the dress. I am glad I bought this, even though it needed a few tucks and stitches to get the cut lengths of the box pleats to my liking.The Kalamkari print also was not the run-off-the-mill kind and the material hugged the body well without being stiff in places. Bright red churidars completed the look.The wooden beads necklace is my go-to necklace for attires of all kinds – western or Indian. Yes, I graduated to wood, seed and cloth jewellery even, in my forties though I did team it up with a gold jhumka and bracelet because it was Diwali and the mood was celebratory.
Do you know what your body shape is? Well, broadly speaking (pun so not intended), they are apple, banana, pear and hourglass. As you might have guessed, the hourglass is the one to aspire to quite simply because it doesn’t make you feel like one of the key ingredients in a fruit salad.
Now, depending on hormones, The Bloat, last night’s all-you-can-eat-buffet and whatever evil, twisted mirror is fat-shaming my near-naked body, I alternate between apple and pear. In plain speak, that means “very fat” and “how are you not a meme yet”.
So, as you can guess, finding clothes which I look presentable in is a tremendous challenge. Lately, thanks to our Calcutta winters, I have been hiding my layers under layers. You know, shawls, ponchos, jackets, and the like.
However, as winter fades, the warm woollies must slowly start to make their way back to their hideaways, rooming with neem leaves and sandlewood sachets.
This Sunday, the husband and I had organised a garden party for friends. A winter lunch in the outdoors while it was still possible before the sweltering starts. Deciding the lunch menu wasn’t as difficult as deciding what to wear!
Luckily it is EOSS time, and I was able to lay my hands on this fabulous boxy dress from Zara. Perfect for my shapeless shape. Good for days when I’m an apple, a pear or a prickly pear-apple. Definitely good for all those days when I’m a pumpkin too!
So I wore this lovely, brown, boxy, checked number with tan shoes. I carried my red, handloom (Kesh) bag from Shantiniketan to add a pop of colour (and also because I’m as lazy as a sun-bathing pig when it comes to changing my bags — but luckily, this worked!)
So there you have it! Fruit salad wrapped up in a checked napkin