The easiest go to look at work for me is a jacket over trousers–with me make those jeans. I seem to be wearing jeans with everything, regardless of appropriateness of occasion and coordination–I don’t recommend it, but I am guilty. The formal trousers that came with this jacket languish in the cupboard, unloved and neglected, calling my name every time I open the door.
But, what the hell, if you’re comfortable with jeans, go right ahead. I’ve worn jeans to wedding receptions and earned the steely disapproving eye from some matrons, and sharp censure from my embarrassed mother, but I milk the eccentric author tag to the fullest in such situations. Here I have on a pair of comfort fit mid wash denims, worn with a formal long line grey striped jacket, with those dratted things, shoulder pads, and my trusted old Bata tan wedges that I seem to be wearing with everything regardless of whether it goes with it or not. In retrospect, I should have worn a pair of black pumps, but I think it was a grab what is immediately visible on the shoe rack kind of rushing out of the door that day.
Here I am with the very fabulous Tara Kaushal, she of the sharp repartee and the never ending legs, for an interview we did for the BOLD series of interviews on SheThePeople.
And yes, this is the bespectacled look, now that the LASIK I had done all those years ago has given up on me and my number has come back in all its glory–this means I either go for vanity and end up not recognising anyone (dry eye syndrome cannot wear contact lenses anymore) or wear my specs and have people come up to me and ask if Kiran Manral is around somewhere.
One of my favourite impulse purchases, spurred on by the offspring has been this camouflage jacket, which has a nice sheen to it. I saw it and baulked a bit, but the offspring was insistent and had me buy it. And this was last year before the camouflage trend really hit us here in India.
I paired this here with a long sheath dress with a turtleneck that falls straight to the ankles and my all time favourite chocolate brown platform shoes. In fact, this jacket is such that I tend to wear it with everything. Jeans. Black trousers. Tan trousers. A solid long dress. A long tunic and tights.
God help me if I can remember where we bought it from, though. Some store in Infinity 2 in Mumbai is all I can remember and the label I chopped off, like I do most labels because they annoy me!
Look1 – Blue Saree
I love Sarees, have loved them since childhood. They are my comfort garments in many
ways. I picked up this blue Cotton saree from Vana Handlooms popup in Gurgaon a while
ago. The colors and simplicity of this was what attracted and it is great for corporatish formal saree too. I paired the saree with an old peach blouse and a fabric and papier mache neck piece I picked up from @barefootceylon, SriLanka.
Look 2 – LBD
Three Words – Little. Black. Dress. Said to light up most women’s eyes. Red lipstick and the Little Black Dress have been long associated with sensuality and looking what we call as “Sexy”. It is the ultimate in femininity, considered essential for every woman to complete her wardrobe. It’s also easy and simple to dress up. And as always, larger women have had a tough time taking to it…short lengths n all. Could we really wear anything that is called Sexy? Me, I care a damn and embrace the LBD with the love it deserves.
Here I am wearing a bespoke LBD by @sharmisthabr of Kallidora but in India, you can find the little black dress in larger sizes at brands 109F, M&S, Latin Quarters and sometimes AND and Westside. I do own a few. And oh yes the red lipstick is Red supreme by Avon. Red Shoes from @bata.india (yes you heard that right)
Look 3 – Striped Dress
I love stripes and the fun dimension they add to dressing. As a large woman, I have stayed away from stripes for a long time. Before I finally made peace with them and realised if you accessorize well, they do not add bulk contrary to what people normally think. This fun stripped dress is from Bangkok. I think I bought it from one of the shops in Paradise mall. Paired it with the iconic Ruby Woo by @maccosmetics , because there is nothing like red lipstick to cheer one up. Simple silver loops completed the look.
Look 4 – Floral Dress
Is there anything better than dress with pockets?
Yes, floral dress with pockets ♥️♥️♥️ . Dress with pockets have all my heart and if they have
florals in it, nothing can keep me away. Also I love love the maxi dress, they are omfortable and get me going through a working day at ease.
�� @westsidestores �� – Blazing Orange by Chambor.
(Monika Manchanda is a Food Consultant & Writer, Baker and Culinary Trainer)
I’ve always been a little wary of the little black dress, because though it hides a multitude of sins, it also requires a great deal of panache and confidence to pull off. The offspring though has his own eye for fashion and for my 46th birthday bought me this wrap styled black Van Heusen dress. Wrap dresses hide a multitude of sins and work well for my body type, which is, erm, rather generous, to put it politely. This one in a nice giving fabric, was well draped to fit where needed and flare out where not.
Wore it to the launch of Project Eve’s Andheri store, where I was invited by Femina for a panel discussion with other kickass ladies. Paired it with tan slip on stilettoes and a gold choker. Yes, I had the offspring at hand at the this event to hold onto if I wobbled too much, which is the only reason I dared slip into those shoes, which though are lovely to look at, are completely impractical for any amount of standing or walking up and down stairs, of which I realised when I landed at the venue, there were a few I had to navigate, and yes, I had my slippers in my handbag, (not in picture) which I slipped into the moment I exited venue with a long drawn sigh of relief. I think the look worked, thanks to its no fuss dress that was statement enough. What do you think? Do you have a little black dress or two in your wardrobe?
I don’t do it well, and I have the very rare outings where I need to, but this was one of them. At the launch of Saransh Goila’s wonderful book India On My Platter a couple of years ago, this was me trying to figure out where I needed to stand and how I needed to angle myself three fourth as the kind photographers shouted out helpful instructions. Not a very good pic but the only one I have of only myself of that evening, heaven knows where the pics the paps clicked are.
What I wore : fitted tan trousers, a biscuit coloured satin shirt and golden Catwalk wedges with a bronze envelope clutch. What I love most about this shirt is that it is fitted and it has these generous bishop sleeves. And yes, wedges, as I’ve said before, I’ve quite given up tottering around on stilettos and half cricking my ankle every single time. I find staying in the same colour family is a safe bet most times when you’re confused about what to wear, and a touch of shine in the accessories adds all the glamour you need.
Edited to add: Here, found a couple of the pics the photographers took. Due credit to Hamara Photos.com and SantaBanta.com.
Here’s what I wore to Gul Panag and Shruti Seth’s fabulous drinks and dinner evening to celebrate Festivelle some weeks ago.
The dress is a simple shift dress from AND by Anita Dongre, shifts are safe choices on them damned “I feel fat” days and when you know your waist is no longer the version that supports a fitted dress.
The bag is an old Guess I’d forgotten about and was languishing in the upper reaches of the wardrobe. In retrospect, a clutch would have been nicer, but I always have so much I need to carry in the bag, wallet, phone, charger, a lipper and a compact, and yes, my spectacles because I’m blind as a bat and don’t trust myself without my spectacles when night falls. I paired this with a rasta shopping find neckpiece from Lokhandwala market and blingiest pair of golden slides. Comfort uber alles, what say ladies? I find I’ve lost my patience to mince my way through the world wearing really high stilettoes. And I’ve finally made my peace with the fact that I’m going to be one of the tiniest people around if I don’t wear high heels. Perhaps this comes only with age and acceptance? What do you think?
This blog begins a journey for me, where one ended recently. I began my blogging journey back in 2004, with a parenting blog, Karmickids and a personal blog, Thirtysixandcounting. I stopped both a few years ago. The offspring had grown up. And I’d begun writing books and lucky for me, they got published. I now have nine books out and a couple I’m writing and count my blessings everyday for this journey that blogging set me off on.
This is a different journey. This is a journey in a knee jerk response to becoming invisible once one hits forty as a woman. I refuse to become invisible. I am a real, tangible, breathing, dreaming, wonderful woman and I will through this blog, fiercely champion and advocate forty plus fashion and beauty.
Thanks for joining me!
Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton
Photo credit: Pooja Dhingra