Archana Pai Kulkarni on her personal style

everyday style, fashion

The wonderful Archana Pai Kulkarni on her personal style.


About yourself: I am a dreamer. Over the years, I have moved from dreaming of the improbable to dreaming of the doable. I was a homemaker by choice for fifteen years, during which I wrote poems, fiction and features, and freelanced a bit. I taught English privately, to the students of grade nine and ten for about six years, during which I was also Book Advisor with Time Life Books. Later, I joined New Woman, and edited the women’s magazine for 17 years. Quitting in 2015, I went on to learn yoga and am a certified yoga teacher. I also completed a nutrition re-education programme and familiarised myself with natural living. Currently, I’m Consulting Books Editor with SheThePeople, and an independent editor of books and content. I’m struggling with the last draft of my first proposed novel. I’m a nature-walk addict, and I type with one finger.

Personal style: I have never been a blind follower of trends. My accent has always been on comfort first. I tend to wear bright colours. Of late, my style has evolved into a bohemian, free-spirited one. The dash of colour stays. So also the focus on natural fabrics and simplicity.

Signature style statement: Blue denim jeans or ankle length jeans and a white shirt, or an oversized shirt (which my mother and mother in law think is three sizes too big; they are sure I have bought the wrong size) with a cross body bag, and canvas trainers or sandals with a low heel. Give me a sling bag any day, over a handbag. There was a time when I carried the world in a large bag with umpteen compartments. Not anymore. I have begun travelling light. On regular days, my face is scrubbed clean. On days when I go out, I apply some Evion moisturiser, a dash of lip balm, and some kohl. For an event or social occasion, it’s MAC Studio Tech foundation, MAC Lust lip gloss, some blush, and Maybelline Kohl.

Closet favourites: My AND cuff, a 35-year-old silver Ganesha ring, my worn-out canary yellow sling bag, my oversized striped Zara shirt (it’s my uniform), cotton knee-length palazzos, and a couple of bright Fabindia skirts.

Favourite brands: I’m not into brands. I root for affordable chic. Having said that, I combine roadside finds with cloths from Zara, Westside, Anokhi, AND (by far, my favourite. Fits perfectly), Global Desi, Lifestyle, Fabindia, W, Biba, OMO, and some online stores. The jeans are mostly cigarette jeans of brands that fit well. My best find was a white chikankari AND shirt which I hope to get back into, and two self-embroidered export surplus shirts I bought on the pavement at Khodadad Circle, years ago.

A particular dressing hack that you find yourself using all the time: An ankle-length dress with a scarf or stole. I wear stoles all the time. Blue denim jeans and a
shirt.

Your biggest fashion faux pas you’ve ever made:  I’m a safe dresser, not given to too much experimenting. But once, I got too adventurous, and ventured out in a brand new pair of stilettos. It was an insane idea. Needless to say, it was like walking on a tightrope with my ankles protesting and wobbling and the shoe straps silently eating into my skin, leaving red welts. I was flashing a fake smile through it all till the shoes decided to dislodge me from my six-inch pedestal. That was one nasty fall. I haven’t ventured
anywhere near a pair of stilettos ever since!
Fashion philosophy: Comfort, good fit, clean lines, simple, and vibrant—that does it for me. It should take me through the day without incident, and with ease. And yes, it must make me feel happy.

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Swati Rai decodes her preferred evening looks

everyday style, fashion
As a blogger, a corporate trainer, Teacher-trainer I have events , workshops and commitments that require me to dress according to the occasion on multiple events. I am a great believer in dressing according to the event and mostly, the dress depends on my moodboard!
Fashion for me is inherent happiness and physical fitness, vigour or call it what you will- boils down to how you carry yourself, be it in the plainest of garment. It is a definite plus if a touch of your personality is reflected in your sartorial selections!
look 1
Look 1
An evening with a slight nip in the air mandated a cover up- a royal blue ensemble was chosen with a warm poncho over it but not without my touch of buckling up with a wide leather belt. I found, the drape worked well for contouring, without compromising  the warmth or the style quotient- easy-peasy look for a cold Delhi formal do! Threw in extra blue liner and mascara, left the neck bare and slapped on some danglers for a little bling!
look 2
Look 2
Who and how can you go wrong with a saree? A regular concoction of different textures of chantilly lace, net, in the baroque vintage style, got me a saree innovatively put together that gave it a designer look, without costing me a bomb! Black and grey is also  combination that I heart- finished with a  silver choker and I was ready, as ready can be!
(Swati Rai blogs at http://theinsiderviews.com)

The Journey Begins

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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