“I don’t believe in labels.” Bestselling author Preeti Shenoy on her personal style

everyday style, fashion

PSIV__2170

 

“I’m a person who dislikes shopping—especially for clothes! It is extremely hard for me, to find a good fit in India. I think my body type is probably different from Indian women—I don’t know. In the UK, I used to find my fit very easily. Hence, when I find something where I like the fit, I tend to buy it in 2-3 colors. So, I’ve been told that I shop like a man. 🙂 I don’t mind though. I would rather paint or read than waste time shopping!”

I love boots, and I pick mine from various places around the world. When it comes to jeans—I find that Levis fits me well—especially their new revel shaping skinny, and that’s the one I wear. I also like some of the stuff from Global Desi and sometimes Ritu Kumar. But I don’t believe in labels. I have also got stuff from Max which fits so well.

PSIII_0817__9119

I love sarees, but am very choosy about the kind I wear.  I am partial to handwoven sarees. When I wear sarees, I like to be completely traditional—and  I will pleat the pallu neatly. I don’t like to drape it without pleats around and ‘carry it on one arm’ which is the trend these days. I also like my traditional black metal or oxidized silver jewelry.”

I never spend time thinking about clothes and planning ‘what to wear’ for any occasion. I open my wardrobe just before my event or the occasion and decide in about 2 minutes. I then spend about ten minutes to get dressed. Make-up is minimal: an eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick. That’s it. I think the best fashion accessory is a genuine smile.

Fashion shouldn’t have an age tag. You can be fashionable at any age. For me, fashion is what makes me feel good and confident—not someone else’s definition of ‘right and wrong’ and ‘what’s in and what’s out’.”

Preeti Shenoy is one of India’s highest selling authors, also a speaker, illustrator, blogger, observer. Have been featured on all major media including BBC world, Cosmopolitan, and Conde Nast.  Website: Www.preetishenoy.com

Advertisements

What I wore yesterday: Denim and black

everyday style, fashion

IMG-7420IMG-7436

(Me with Meghna Pant, holding our respective books.)

My all time comfort dressing is denim and black. I can wear it anytime, anyplace, anywhere and on days when I don’t really want to think about what I am wearing, this is my go to look. At the SheThePeople Women Writers’ Fest Mumbai yesterday at Title Waves Bandra, I wore a full sleeved black top with a slight shimmer to it, my old jeans with a brown raw leather belt and my usual tan T-Strap Bata Sandals. A bright red lipstick always saves the day, this one was a Lakme 9 to 5 Creaseless 09 that stayed put through an entire long day and a couple of sandwiches and coffee.

Going neon

everyday style, fashion

FullSizeRender (28)

I normally shy away from bright colours, but this neon green shirt with gold buttons is something that the offspring shoe horned me into yesterday. “Why do you only wear black and dull colours?” he grumbled, and I was forced to concede he had a point. Why do I only wear black and dull colours, what is the mind block that makes me think I draw too much attention to myself if I wear a bright colour? This is something I need to examine and conquer, and wear bright colours with panache.

The rest of me was rather drab, I concede, dressed up in a rush, with my standard denims, tan T Strap Bata faithfuls and a yellow Woodland square shoulder bag.

The blouse though, added all the colour I could ever need. Tell me, do you shy away from bright colours too?

Pardon the blurry photography skills in this one, it is the offspring clicking, and I must concede he always makes me look just that bit more softly and indulgently into the camera.

Denim and chiffon

everyday style, fashion

fortyplusfashion2

While denim is my standard go to look for every single thing–I think I’m going to write it into my funeral instructions that I go off to the electric crematorium in jeans, t-shirt and sneakers-I try to jazz it up a bit for times when I’m on display. This is a royal blue empire line top in chiffon with some diamante at the waist, of indeterminate origin bought off some store in Lokhandwala market, worn with a pearl and blue stone chain (which of course has gone awry given I can never keep all parts of self in coherent assemblage). The bag is a huge black Zara which fits in everything plus the kitchen sink, and some more. Sometimes I suspect if I fall into my handbag, I might just emerge into an alternate universe. Does that happen with you too?

Janaki Nagaraj speaks about the comfort in shifting to trousers

everyday style, fashion
For the most part of my adulthood I wore churidar/salwar kameez. I grew up in a modest middle class South Indian family where affordability and comfort decided our fashion.
But now I am most comfortable in denims or trousers on most of the days. I am not a “brand” person. It’s the confidence with which you carry off an outfit that really makes you look good.
And being a fitness enthusiast, gym wear is what you find the most in my wardrobe. I am yet not comfortable in working out with just a pair of tights and a sports bra, but I do hope to one day. It is super liberating.
(Janaki Nagaraj is a homemaker with two grown up kids, 3 cats and a husband. She has been a blogger, writes poetry and short stories. She is also a marathon runner and a powerlifter having recently won the silver medal in Maharashtra State powerlifting competition for the M1 (master’s 1) category.)

Hira Mehta on how she rocks the sixties

everyday style, fashion

Whoever said “dress age appropriate” has still not touched the 40+ or perhaps is not just comfortable with themselves. There is a big misconception in our culture that that we are no longer interested in looking stylish if we are over 40. I am 60+ and may not be a part of the corporate world since I have retired or even perhaps just not in tune with fashion, but I am an adventurous spirit. I dress for that face in the mirror. I love going out with friends and this style and casual looks (a kurta thrown over a pant too) makes me feel a younger, confident and happy ME.

Perhaps for me the most chosen outfit for formal events that I attend or host so frequently. Sometimes it may be an occasional Punjabi too. The sari makes me feel dignified, elegant and beautiful (and note, definitely not my age). Besides matching it off with matching coloured jewellery is something that makes me happy. A sari suits everyone, no matter what age and it never can go out of fashion ever! Rest of the time its the casual look with jeans, pants topped off with kurtas and tops.

(Hira Mehta, retired from ICICI Bank with thirty-eight years of service, is an effective administrator. communicator and a freelancer on various projects, with two published books “YOUNG AND SIXTY” and “TWISTED TALES AND MORE…” to her credit. Along with enjoying her passion for writing and blogging (crossleggedwithhira), she hosts events, mentors, organises workshops for women in her locality, contributes towards social service and indulges in her greatest love – Bollywood by making short films, interviewing people, acting in short films and studio hopping. Her motto is  “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, I used everything you gave me’.)

Pant and Top / Kurta photo

Whoever said “dress age appropriate” has still not touched the 40+ or perhaps is not just comfortable with themselves. There is a big misconception in our culture that that we are no longer interested in looking stylish if we are over 40. I am 60+ and may not be a part of the corporate world since I have retired or even perhaps just not in tune with fashion, but I am an adventurous spirit. I dress for that face in the mirror. I love going out with friends and this style and casual looks (a kurta thrown over a pant too) makes me feel a younger, confident and happy ME.

Saree

Perhaps for me the most chosen outfit for formal events that I attend or host so frequently. Sometimes it may be an occasional Punjabi too. The sari makes me feel dignified, elegant and beautiful (and note, definitely not my age). Besides matching it off with matching coloured jewellery is something that makes me happy. A sari suits everyone, no matter what age and it never can go out of fashion ever! Rest of the time its the casual look with jeans, pants topped off with kurtas and tops.

Pant and Top / Kurta photo

Whoever said “dress age appropriate” has still not touched the 40+ or perhaps is not just comfortable with themselves. There is a big misconception in our culture that that we are no longer interested in looking stylish if we are over 40. I am 60+ and may not be a part of the corporate world since I have retired or even perhaps just not in tune with fashion, but I am an adventurous spirit. I dress for that face in the mirror. I love going out with friends and this style and casual looks (a kurta thrown over a pant too) makes me feel a younger, confident and happy ME.

Saree

Perhaps for me the most chosen outfit for formal events that I attend or host so frequently. Sometimes it may be an occasional Punjabi too. The sari makes me feel dignified, elegant and beautiful (and note, definitely not my age). Besides matching it off with matching coloured jewellery is something that makes me happy. A sari suits everyone, no matter what age and it never can go out of fashion ever! Rest of the time its the casual look with jeans, pants topped off with kurtas and tops.

Pant and Top / Kurta photo

Whoever said “dress age appropriate” has still not touched the 40+ or perhaps is not just comfortable with themselves. There is a big misconception in our culture that that we are no longer interested in looking stylish if we are over 40. I am 60+ and may not be a part of the corporate world since I have retired or even perhaps just not in tune with fashion, but I am an adventurous spirit. I dress for that face in the mirror. I love going out with friends and this style and casual looks (a kurta thrown over a pant too) makes me feel a younger, confident and happy ME.

Saree

Perhaps for me the most chosen outfit for formal events that I attend or host so frequently. Sometimes it may be an occasional Punjabi too. The sari makes me feel dignified, elegant and beautiful (and note, definitely not my age). Besides matching it off with matching coloured jewellery is something that makes me happy. A sari suits everyone, no matter what age and it never can go out of fashion ever! Rest of the time its the casual look with jeans, pants topped off with kurtas and tops.

(Also see Jo Chopra Shares Her Favourite Look and Archna Singh Shares Her Fave Looks)

Quick trip packing

everyday style, fashion, Flat lay

A quick trip for me is generally hell to pack for, because of the multiple events and situations one finds oneself in, and the need to carry cabin baggage rather than half the contents of one’s wardrobe. So here’s what I do. For a four to five day trip, three pairs of trousers, indigo, brown, black. One formal pair (Black in this case). Three basic t shirts. One black camisole or lacy vest. One bright pop of colour, the red in this case. One a striped one. And the third a basic plain black. Add a basic black sweater with double sided buttons (simple on one side and shiny Swarovskis when reversed) so you can dress up or down as required. One casual T Strap sandals. One pair of formal black pumps or strappy satin sandals for an unexpected invite out to dinner. That’s it. Keeping the colours neutral lets everything you pack go with every other item in your baggage, with no stress, and you can change combinations to create a completely different look each time. And of course, a couple of really funky neckpieces that can completely elevate a look without adding to the baggage.

What are your quick packing hacks?

When you inadvertently find yourself twinning with Sunny Leone…

everyday style, fashion

In work mode again, and as always last minute rush to get out of the house–of course I am the person who never ever plans out what she will wear until she actually has to pull it onto her body.

So for this interview with the very lovely Sunny Leone for SheThePeople.TV’s BOLD series, I pulled on my standard lifesavers, blue denims, a black vest and topped it with a Bhutanese black and copper Kira with gorgeous sun motifs that my sister in law had picked on a trip there. I don’t pin the Kira like it is supposed to be, but prefer to wear it like a regular jacket, though undoubtedly it would look much better worn pinned together.

And to my surprise, Sunny was dressed in a black biker jacket and jeans too, with a red t-shirt that completely stole my heart, emblazoned with ‘Feminist’ across it.

In Work Mode

Uncategorized

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.

Red checks and denim

everyday style, fashion

I’ve always been a great fan of the red check and denim look. I think I’ve always owned a shirt with red checks, forever and ever. Oh well, ever since I was in college I think. The style is resolutely the same, a red checked shirt with tiny buttons down the front, fitted a bit. I wear these with either tan corduroy jeans or plain medium wash denims. Sometimes, I throw on a denim jacket. If the jeans are ankle cropped skinnies like these from Only, I will wear my high clogs (from Catwalk), or risk looking like something on a toothpick. This is a safe look that always works for a casual day out, without too much thought going into it.

And, as always, big sunnies, and a bigger smile, if I don’t hate everyone on and their grandparents on that particular day.