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.
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!
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!
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!
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?
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.
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)
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
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.
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.)
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.
Winter in Mumbai might be non existent, but some days you just feel like play pretend it is chilly enough to bring out your woollies. For me, the go to look is always a chunky knit oversized pullover in cream worn over deep indigo skinny fits. Pair this with a taupe Da Milano structured bag, a leopard print scarf, huge sunglasses and tan suede boots, and I’m good to go.
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?
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?
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).
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.
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?