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.

Because I rarely dress up and get out…

everyday style, fashion

I have immense admiration for fashion bloggers, instagrammers, vloggers who actually think about their style and plan their looks, and click themselves whenever they’re out, I invariably forget to do so, or feel a tad embarrassed to ask someone to click me. I rely on the kindness of friends for pictures of me in public situations, so thanks Hira Mehta for this pic from yesterday’s Bombaywaali by SheThePeople Summit at Fun Republic Social, Mumbai.

bombaywaalidress

Interestingly I got back to wearing dresses in my forties. I used to wear a lot of them through college and early 20s and then stopped, because heaven knows something someone said about my legs being too skinny for my body stuck in my head. In my forties, I was at I care two hoots about my legs being too skinny for my body I’m wearing dresses because I love how they make me feel and so here I am in one that I picked up on a complete impulse. I was early for a meeting at Infinity 1 in Andheri and strolled into Westside, this dress called out my name in dulcet tones and I was smitten. I love that it is a fake wrap style, and bold stripes and modestly just below the knee. It comes with a lining which is another important factor for me because I’m damned if I can figure out a chemise that is appropriate most times, and end up not wearing something that needs an inner layer.

The clunky shoes are my favourites. Ever since I can remember I’ve loved clogs since my dear maternal aunt who lives in Norway had introduced me to them. They’re cosy, comfy and allow me to walk while giving me much needed inches. Not one person who met me yesterday said “I thought you would be taller,” which seems to otherwise have become standard greeting when people meet me for the first time.  So here’s what I wore yesterday, what do you think?

Dress: Westside

Shoes : Brown Suede Clog from Catwalk

Neckpiece : Rasta shopping from Lokhandwala Market

Hair and teeth: My own.

 

 

How Monika Manchanda aces the plus size fashion game

everyday style, fashion, Uncategorized

30424961_2056314737979031_8072681941560221018_o

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.

21728949_1952923248318181_7817935642077843654_o
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)

26232422_2003534403257065_4383433118819998921_o
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.

41737768_2163848897225614_8526031925381431296_o

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)