Teresa Rehman shares her comfort looks

everyday style, fashion

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I look for quiet and calm amidst chaos. Therefore, comfort rules my dress code.
And my wardrobe consists mostly of sober cotton, handloom and silk kurtas. I end
up wearing black more often especially when I don’t want to think through colour
schemes. My collection of traditional dupattas/stoles from all over India blends
perfectly with my salwar suits. And the latest addition to my collection is an
Assamese handwoven ‘tongali’ (worn by the farmer as a waistcloth). In this
picture, with a plain silver coloured kurta, I have wrapped a stole embellished with
kantha work around my neck. This stole is from Bengal.

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For any kind of meetings and get-togethers, I prefer the Assamese mekhela sador
(mostly the handwoven ones). And for formal gatherings I prefer a paat silk
mekhela sador. Paat silk is probably one of the lightest silks. In this photograph
clicked on the streets of New York, I am wearing a white cotton mekhela sador
with blue and purple flowers. The flower motif is a traditional design called king
khap. The Halloween pumpkins in the backdrop almost seem like an art
installation.

(Teresa Rehman is an award-winning journalist and author based in Assam. She
loves collecting ethnic accessories from different corners of India and the world.)

Pattern and denim- a classic combo

everyday style, fashion, Flat lay

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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.

Of Paisleys and prints

everyday style, fashion

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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.

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)

Jeans and shirt-style

everyday style, fashion
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Of all the looks I love, jeans and a shirt must be right at the top. I find it a style that can be dressed up or dressed down as you wish, and is good to go everywhere possible, except perhaps formal work situations and black tie events.

Here I am, at an edition of SheThePeople.TV’s Bombaywaali last year, where I was chatting with the very fab Richa Chadha (Catch her in the forthcoming biopic Shakeela, where she plays the title role based on the life of the sultry siren from the South). A bright orangey red Zara crepe shirt with gold buttons, a pair of old Gap jeans, in a completely unfashionable NOW straight leg fit, so prehistoric that I am surely we’d all just climbed out of the primordial sludge when this came off the assembly line, not in picture but had worn these with my old fave brown platform heels, and of course, my ever favourite gold and stone choker which I have now realised I WEAR WITH EVERYTHING. And it was a rasta find! Talk about VFM, I’ve sure extracted that from this choker. What is your go to look with jeans?

Oh, for a dress with pockets…

everyday style, fashion

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I’m not much of a Biba fan, and haven’t really bought or worn anything from the brand, but this dress with its lovely print, and the fact that it had pockets changed my mind.

I love long dresses, as I’ve said before, and I have a particular soft spot for florals. I particularly fell in love with the flare and the colour combination of this one. I had already packed another outfit for the Women Writers Fest Bangalore, in 2018, but a flight delay meant extra time at the airport and this is what happens. Picked this up on an impulse and loved how comfortable it was. Yes, it is a size larger. In other circumstances, I would have preferred a higher heel with this, but had packed these trusted beige Tstrap Bata wedges so these are what I wore.

Here with the very wonderful Anuja Chauhan whom I was chatting with about her books at the event.

Photo courtesy: Fandom at Gilly’s

How Monika Manchanda aces the plus size fashion game

everyday style, fashion, Uncategorized

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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)

Why Sudha Menon loves her sarees

everyday style, fashion

There is something about turning Fifty that empowers and liberates you. I
don’t know about others but for me crossing the Big 5-Oh was the turning
point, the defining moment when I decided to shed my inhibitions, stop
worrying about judgements and wear what I want.
I have been wearing sarees for the last decade or more of my life and I love
how it makes me feel all elegant, poised and confident. I walk differently when
I wear a saree and I am convinced the world communicates with me differently
when I wear one.
In 2018 I significantly upped my saree quotient by moving away from my near-
addiction to block printed Tussar-my designer friend Indira Broker has made
me feel like a goddess in them for the last 2 decades- and decided to
experiment a bit. The result is a wardrobe full of sarees, most of them
handloom, from Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal , Jharkhand and
many other parts of the country.
I also gave up my traditional blouses for funkier ones, many of them bought
on-line, featuring bell sleeves, embroidery, three quarters sleeves, some of
them crop tops and one with a Chinese collar. It made all the difference and
gave my saree a contemporary, fun new avatar.
2018 is also when I got myself a few trendy, smart western outfits- LBDs, smart
linen casuals and gifted myself burgundy highlights in my hair, all of which has
lifted my spirits and given me my mojo back. I love the changed woman I see in
the mirror.
Change is always good and even though we need not be fashion victims,
tweaking our sartorial choices is a great way to reinvent your look.

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The mustard linen saree is from Anavila, teamed with a traditional Maharashtrian Khan blouse. The peace/ orange saree is from bai lou and I have teamed it with a lime green raw silk closed neck princess cut blouse. I teamed up the mustard sleevless kurta from Plantation House with a raw silk, multi-colored checked stole I picked up at Dastakari Haat.
I love silver jewelry and have been collecting them for a few years now. I find silver much more versatile and easier to dress up an outfit or to even step out casually with friends for chai or a girl’s lunch out.

(Sudha Menon is the author of five non fiction books including Feisty At Fifty and Legacy. She is the founder of the writing workshop series Get Writing and Writing With Women. She is a saree addict and loves silver jewelry and photo shoots.)

Animal print aficionados, raise your hands

everyday style, fashion

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One of my easiest go to looks is incorporating animal print into a solid palette. Here is what I turn to very often, my all time favourite, in fact at any given point I have at least three to four leopard print elements in my wardrobe

I can wear head to toe leopard print, I love it so, never mind the shocked folk who might keel over and pass on in shock if I do ever dare to emerge in public dressed so. This is a love that has existed down the decades and is not one that I have discovered right now when leopard print seems to be all the rage across the fashion centres of the world, specially in street style. The high fashion catwalks are a land one does not visit.

Here’s one of my favourite no thought, get dressed and go versions when I want to make an impact and don’t have the bandwidth to think long and hard about what I should wear. A soft suede cropped black jacket, black fitted trousers, (yes, black is slimming and an instant upper of your game, head to toe black even better!) a Zara body fit leopard print camisole, or a black camisole, jazzed up by high Lulu & Sky leopard print block heels with safety pin details. Only one element of animal print in the entire look when worn, never two, it just gets too overwhelming. If I feel like it, a delicate neck piece, or nothing at all in terms of accessories, except a bold red lip, and some judiciously applied highlighter if the skin is channeling morgue chic. The leopard print is fierce enough.

Author Harshali Singh decodes her fave looks

everyday style, fashion

If God asks me on judgement day, ‘Name your vice?’

I would unabashedly answer, ‘Buying sarees…’

That is how crazy in love I am with them. They are like a six yard comfort zone. Just wrap yourself around in it …pin …tuck and one is set for the day. I watched my mother wear one, as far back as I can remember so it is pulls at my heartstrings as I do the same.

From a Jeans and shirt kind of girl, marrying into a Sikh family meant the advent of the struggle with the Dupatta. Refusing to rest on my shoulders it chose instead to play truant with my heavy, top side. For several months it flipped and flopped as if taunting my inability to control its willfulness till I would fume and wrap it around my neck…noose like.

It was in my late twenties  that I found my comfort zone. Without feeling awkward, one day I donned the saree and empowered myself. I don’t know whether it was the saree or the confident tilt of my head but I realized that day that the saree was my best friend, never once judging my waxing and waving weight, wrapping me in its embrace with the same enthusiasm each time.

Slowly I found myself in its folds, experimented with fabric with colour with drape. I had found my style. Now the Satya Paul store staff can sense me a mile away. Masaba’s fusion of two distinct and natural fabrics fueled my love for the quirky. I still zealously guard the heavy silks of my trousseau.

Here, I drape a favorite Satya Paul from their Om collection.

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 This sense of understanding what I liked was freeing.

And then Marks and Spencer happened. There was finally a store that carried elegance and sizes that fit this unrepentant foodie who loves her curves. Pet peeve… brands that stalk only Small, Medium and Large sizes. May I just say, even to some of the Indian designers, there are women of this country who can afford to wear you and are above size 12 and equally well dressed. Get real.   

Wearing my M&S Size 14 body con dress proudly, as I walk the cobbled streets of Paris.

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Recently however I discovered the elegance of Indo Western attire. I am of course still in nascent experimental stages, extremely wary of anything that does not ‘fall right’ but I am trying my best to step out of my comfort zone.

This Anita Dongre long Jacket with trousers was what made me come full circle to my troubled relationship with suits.

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As did this traditional Patan Patola in the colour that defines me.

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(Harshali Singh is a New Delhi based Author, former member at the Consumer Forum, an academician, a teacher trainer, a trained Occupational Therapist, an avid reader and a passionate Painter. ‘A Window to her Dreams’, a contemporary Adult fiction was her first novel published by ‘Readomania’ in 2016. It is a series of eight books, called the ‘Haveli Series’. Her second book in this Series ‘The Anatomy of Choice’ has been launched in January 2019. Her poems are part of a woman centric bilingual anthology of poems called ‘She The Shakti’. She has also won the Write India 2018 chapter for the erudite author, Ms Chitra Devakaruni’s prompt. )