Oh, for a dress with pockets…

everyday style, fashion

anujanandme

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

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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)

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.

And its a wrap

everyday style, fashion

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(Photo courtesy: Mansi Zaveri)

I have this terrible weak spot for wrap dresses. They are comfortable, forgiving and hide a multitude of sins. God bless Diane Von Furstenberg for having elevated them to cult status with her pioneering wrap dress brought into the high fashion scene way back in 1974. While I don’t have a DVF wrap dress yet (someday, someday, is the Universe listening in, with ear wax cleaned out? ), I do have a couple of others that I keep going back to over and over.

A different kind of wrap dress, this chocolate and rust version from Label by Ritu Kumar was perhaps one of the most comfortable dresses I’ve ever worn. I teamed it with a grey camisole, for modesty, because, erm, well. My shoes are a pair of trusted old really ugly but very comfortable chocolate block heels which I wore over and over till they finally collapsed on me mid event, I forget which brand though. Teamed this with a simple silver ethnic choker and red lips. Works?

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And yes, I was chatting with the gorgeous Tisca Chopra at this BackToTheFront Career Konneckt event a couple of years ago. Isn’t she absolutely lovely?

 

 

Long, flowing and so, so, comfortable

everyday style, fashion

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A million thanks to the kind soul who clicked it at the Women Writers’s Festival, Delhi in March 2018 and sent it across to me.

A lovely black flowing maxi dress from StalkBuyLove, with a cinched waist, a floral print and comfortable puffed sleeves elasticised at the elbow. (Have I mentioned that online shopping sites are my weakness, though I still can’t seem to get the fitting quite right, and end up ordering a size bigger most times).

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Wore this with a silver braided choker and my all time favourite platforms. Here I am with two fab authors, Aditi Mathur Kumar and Shuchi Singh Kalra.

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And because I am a firm believer in repeat wear, I brought it out again for the Bangalore Lit Fest in November 2018, where I ditched the choker (to be honest, I forgot to pack any accessories), and paired it with tan clogs, and a structured Hidesign bag in the same shade as the florals. This was a panel on the art of the crime thriller with Bhaskar Chattopadhyay, Sophie Hannah, Philip McLaren and moderated by Nilanjan Chaudhury. Nice?

 

Yellow, yellow….

fashion

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I normally shy away from bright colours. Left to my own devices and without the mater yelling about me channeling Morticia Addams and looking like something the cat dragged in, I’d happily dress in head to toe black every single day. It is only when the spouse accompanies me on shopping trips that I pick up colour under duress, and that too, the kind that could inflict retinal damage on the unwary eye. This was one of those picks.

I wore this back in March on a very special day. It was March 8th, International Women’s Day in Delhi. The Indian Council of UN Relations (ICUNR) supported by the Ministry for Women and Child Development, Government of India, was awarding me the International Women’s Day Award 2018 for excellence in the field of writing. For a change, I decided to go Indo-ethnic, and picked this colour blocked fluorescent yellow long fusion outfit, wearing it over golden tights, which weren’t seen given the length of the tunic, and purple satin and Swarovski cluster embellished ankle strapped stilettoes, which also weren’t visible much. A pink and white Murcia clutch echoed the embellishments on the cuffs of the sleeves, and the royal pink of the bottom patch of the tunic. And yes, I paired this with my all time favourite neckpiece that I seem to be wearing every single time I want to look absolutely kick ass — a stone embedded golden collar picked from a Lokhandwala rasta stall. I realise in retrospect I mashed up two trends at the same time here, flourescent and colour blocking.

I love this photograph because it is fuzzy and unclear enough to hide my wrinkles, and also because my hair seems to be behaving in this one. I take no credit for that, it is all the complete lack of humidity in Delhi that is a lifesaver for my frizzy hair.

Posing for the paparazzi

Uncategorized

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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.

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I think royal blue is my colour….

Uncategorized

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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?