Summer Staple: White Dress With Colourful Accessories

Good morning everyone! Most of us own a white dress or two, or more than a few, that are perfect for warm days and lots of rays. I find white dresses have a therapeutic quality about them – I feel an instant sense of relaxation when I wear them.

I am always tempted to wear white dresses with minimal accessories, thereby limiting the addition of any other colour; almost like a blank canvas where you hesitate from adding colour because you don’t want to interrupt the pristine beauty of the white square.  However, the flip side is that a white dress also makes for the grandest of canvases where the addition of any colour is magnified in its presentation by the sheer expanse of white giving it wings.

I love the relaxed cut of this white dress and the delicate white embroidery that covers the entirety of the bodice. This summer, I want to wear my white dresses with lots of clashing colours and bold accessories. In that spirit, I have paired this dress with bright blue thread earrings and contrasting lime green suede lace-up wedges.  I have added a bright pink lip to further add to the riot of colours  and I love the end result! I hope you enjoy this lookbook and as always, thank you so much for reading.

(Clothes and accessories: Dress – Anita Dongre Iinter-pret, Shoes – Joie, Earrings – Zara, Jacket – ASOS (Daisy street) , Clutch – Michael Kors)

Boho Beauty: Cold Shoulder Swing Dress With an Embroidered Fringe Bag

You know when you have so many different things to do that you find it hard to concentrate on one task because half your mind is on the next task and half is wondering what to cook for dinner and the other half is hoping the ‘United’ passenger is OK  – making you have a one and a half mind that is still not functioning as well as just one mind should! I blame it on Easter break and having the children at home; if I have to ask them to shut the fridge door one more time I will lose my entire one and a half mind in one go.

Nevertheless, even when all my synapses are firing haphazardlessly, there is always time to talk about clothes.  I love this easy breezy dress and can see myself wearing it all summer long.  It lends itself so effortlessly to a bohemian look and gives me another opportunity to use my Delhi Khan Market vacation purchase fringe bag to great effect.  I have lookbooked this bag previously in this post (Mirror Work ‘Jhola’ Bag: Vacation Finds With Everyday Wear) and to my delight I am discovering just how versatile it is.

I hope you enjoy this look and have a great rest of the week.  Thank you so much for stopping by!

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – ASOS, Bracelets – Isharya, Follie Follie)

Statement Necklace: With a Peplum Top and a Trench Coat

When I bought this necklace from a shop in Khan market in New Delhi last year, I had visions of me in a floaty white kaftan on a beach somewhere, whiling away my time as I waited for my foot massage to begin (wearing this necklace of course). In reality, I live in the UK, it is winter and the chances of me getting a foot massage on a beach are about as high as Karan Johar calling to buy the film script I wrote. Therefore, I am sticking to my earlier resolution of incorporating my vacation purchases into my daily wardrobe and not waiting for special occasions to warrant wearing them (as discussed in an earlier post – Mirror Work ‘Jhloa Bag’: Vacation Finds With Everyday Wear).

On a different note:

All parents have their own parenting philosophies and I have mine.  I firmly believe that characteristics that we want our children to display as adults are characteristics they must observe on a daily basis in their childhood. Children are far more likely to ‘do as we do’ than ‘do as we say’. In my opinion, the foundation for mutual respect and equality between the genders must be laid at the very beginning of a child’s worldly experience.

To this effect, a good friend of mine, Tina Trikha, who is as fabulous a writer as she is a mother (I have referenced her work in this post – Happy Mother’s Day: ‘Rescue Mission’ Lace Sari and a Much Awaited Book), penned this letter to her son on his 10th birthday. I thought the letter articulated a very important message very well and I asked her if I could share the letter on my blog with my readers.

Dear Son,

One of my proudest moments as a mother came a couple of years ago when you lost a squash match to a girl. You were both playing in the under-9 age group category. You shook her hand at the end of the game, just as you had been instructed to do, and stepped out of the court. You looked sad, with your head bent low. As you gathered your belongings from the bench, some of your friends and other players sniggered at you. One even said, “You lost to a girl! How could you?” You said nothing back to them.

I watched you looking out of the window during the car ride home. “Are you ok?” I asked, unsure of how you were feeling. You nodded. And then turned to look at me. “Mom, it feels horrible to lose. But I don’t understand why the other kids made a big deal about me losing to a girl. She played better than I did today.” Your 8-year old mind couldn’t understand why anything other than ability and skill on the court mattered. You were sad about losing, but you showed respect for your opponent.

A few months ago, you told me that you hadn’t understood the instructions for an in-class math assignment because you were daydreaming (your words, not mine!). So, you had asked the “smart girl who is really good at math” in your grade for help (your words again). She graciously helped you out.

And just before the winter break, when we were talking about your track and field class in school, I noticed the admiration in your eyes for a fellow girl student who is better than all the other students (boys and girls) in the high jump. “Mom, she FLIES over the bar! No one else comes close.”

I have learned a lot about gender equality from you. I’ve learned from you that true gender equality means turning a blind eye to stereotypes on what boys and girls are “supposed to do” or how they are “expected to behave.” It means letting skills, capabilities and hard work be the only determining factors. It means not making excuses based on gender and giving credit where it is due.

Tomorrow you will turn 10. Double digits! It’s an exciting milestone. Hard to believe how quickly time has flown by. I am writing to you today because a lot of the beliefs that you seem to hold naturally will be tested in the coming years. As physical differences become more pronounced your current mixed-gender sports teams will become separated into boys and girls teams. It may not be long before you hear “locker room banter,” where women are spoken about in impolite terms. Some of your friends may describe this talk as “harmless and natural,” but it’s a slippery slope. I hope that when that talk happens, you will take offense. Not because I want you to think about your sister or your mother when you hear it. But, because it is wrong. Have zero tolerance towards it. You will hear people say, “Just chill. It’s just talk.” Remember that it isn’t too long before words become action; becomes part of regular behavior and attitude and ultimately defines the character of a person.

Don’t let your character change, my son. I still have a lot to learn from you.

Love,
Mom

Thank you for visiting my blog and have a great weekend! Happy Lohri!

(Clothes and Accessories: Peplum Sweater – COS, Trousers – ASOS, Necklace – Khan Market New Delhi , Shoes – Calvin Klein, Handbag – Modalu , Trench Coat – Warehouse )

Italian Adventure: Holiday Wardrobe in Florence

I have just had the pleasure of visiting Florence (Firenze), Italy over the last few days.  Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. The city of Firenze has always conjured up images of breathtaking art and architecture and Florence exceeded my expectations in every regard. The Cathedral of Florence and the iconic Duomo must rank amongst the most beautiful man-made structures I have ever seen.  The sheer size and the beauty of the architecture really has to be seen to be believed.  The Galleria dell’Accademia houses Michaelangelo’s masterpiece – the original ‘David’ sculpture.  The whole family was keen to see this and gazing up at the statue it was instantly clear, even to someone with no knowledge of sculpture such as myself, that one was looking at one of the finest sculptures ever made.  The scale of the works (Masters including Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Michelangelo) displayed at the Uffizi Gallery, a prominent art museum, was both humbling and uplifting at the same time. Perhaps the most amusing part of the tour was that with every masterpiece we viewed my younger son had the same question – Mummy, what would this cost? My consistent reply was, ‘Son, you do not want to know”!

What I discovered on my trip to Florence:

  1. My first born has an uncanny ability to read maps  – it is both a revelation and relief that we no longer have to rely on my husband to show us the way. For the record – he said that!
  2. I am a slave to the ‘Patisserie’ – if you have a sweet tooth and are a lover of baked goods as I am, then Italy is the stuff that sweet dreams are made of!
  3. Trip to Florence: expensive. Observing your children’s face when they see in real life things that they have studied at school: priceless.
  4. Seeing multiple nude statues with body parts on display will send children into fits of giggles regardless of place or persons around.
  5. The Italians make fabulous coffee, perhaps the best I have ever had.  They also make fabulous cakes, perhaps the best I have ever had. Italians, I love you!

Going on holiday in winter has often presented a fashion challenge for me.  Coats and boots take up a lot of luggage space and travelling with just one of each is akin to having a bad nightmare in my case. Great winter fashion requires achieving that perfect balance of making comfortable styling choices with warm clothing that keeps you well insulated. The one thing that is absolutely essential in a sightseeing trip are flat shoes and I just about managed with three pairs.  I also wore my Uniqlo extra warm Heattech vests under all my clothes and they kept me warm and snug all day. Finally, as I had mentioned in an earlier blog post, I managed to find a lovely bright yellow coat that I took along and greatly enjoyed wearing through Florence!

(Clothes and Accessories: Yellow Coat – Mango, Grey Dress – ASOS, Black Brogues – Kurt Gieger , Check Heattech Leggings – Uniqlo, Bag with colourful Stripes – Milly, Black Coat – Uniqlo, Black Hat with Pompom – Tu at Sainsbury’s, Floral Dress – Newlook, Short Black Boots – Rachel Zoe)

‘Reworking’ Workwear: With a White Shirt Dress and a Textured Coat

It is Monday and the weekly cycle of life starts afresh. Work is a large part of this cycle and for many of us work clothes are an integral part of our wardrobe. Workwear can mean different things to different people depending on their profession and country of residence. However, I think most of us would agree that the clothes we wear to work must be ‘authentic’ to our work environment, our audience and most importantly to our personalities!

In traditional work environments it may not be possible to make grand sweeping fashion statements. There is little to be gained in dressing like you work at ‘Vogue’ and showing up to your banking job in a yellow mini skirt and purple fur coat (it might be worth it just to see the look on your co-workers face!). Avant-garde dressing may not be the order of the day but it is still possible to style work wear in a way that champions your fashion prowess and helps you rise above the ‘blandness’ that can often plague conventional work wear. I believe that one of the best ways to be more fashion forward with workwear is to remember that the ‘devil is in the detail’.

For this outfit, I have chosen a white shirt-dress instead of a traditional white shirt to add volume and an element of the ‘unexpected’ to the outfit. I have accessorized it with jewellery that may be minimalist but packs a sophisticated punch. The design on the black coat adds texture and richness to the overall look. Finally, my red bag adds a much needed dose of colour to the traditional black, white and grey colour scheme.

I hope you enjoy the styling of this outfit and thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great week!

(Clothes and Accessories: Shirt Dress – ASOS, Trousers – Zara, Shoes – Vince Camuto , Coat – Uniqlo/Carine Roitfeld (Similar), Handbag – Prada, Necklace – Michael Kors, Watch – Skagen)

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Festive Dressing Series: In a Sparkly Copper Knitted Dress

The festive season is upon us and with it, the promise of festive parties.  Be it the office Christmas party, a family party, the school Christmas fair  – they all offer opportunities to dress up and indulge in wearing some sparkle that we may not consider at other times during the year. The stores are currently full of party wear that varies from the beautiful to the bizarre.  Given that we will be seeing so much party dressing in the run up to Christmas and New Year, I thought it would be fun to do a mini- series on festive dressing.

I love the idea of festive parties. Prior to a party,  in the recesses my mind, I am parading around in that lovely dress that I just bought, while having the perfect hair day and it just happens to be an unusually warm winters’ day.  However, as we all know, things don’t always work out quite as elegantly as one may have envisioned. In reality, it is quite possible that you are running late from work, there is no time to wash your incredibly oily locks and it just happens to be the coldest winter day in 50 years! In these situations, it is always nice to have an easy breezy festive dress in your wardrobe that you can throw on in five minutes and be out the door.

This sparkly knit dress is pretty without being garish, easy to wear, easy to style, easy to buy, easy to return, you won’t freeze, and most importantly easy on the pocket! I have paired it with thick tights  and heels for this ‘lookbook’ and added a green clutch for a pop of festive colour.  I think this dress would also look great as a tunic top with black cigarette pants and high-heeled boots. I hope you enjoy this look and thank you so much for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – Zara, Handbag – ASOS, Cape (similar) – Ted Baker, Rings – Ishariya, Shoes – Bebe)

 

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‘What Do I Wear To…?’ Series: A Sophisticated Party

I have a distinct memory of being on the first leg of our honey moon in Bangkok and stepping out into the hotel lobby one evening to go to dinner.  As we were waiting to speak with the concierge, I saw a women breeze into the hotel and immediately command the attention of everyone in that room.  She was wearing a lovely pair of high-waisted trousers with an elegant white top and she oozed sophistication.  ‘Stop staring’, I remember my husband whispering but I could not take my eyes off her outfit.  A ‘sophisticated look’  is always a delight to behold and let’s just say my husband has had to tell me to stop staring multiple times after that honeymoon first!

We have all been invited to a party where the occasion, venue or fellow attendees require we attend in ‘sophisticated’ attire. I find that  luxurious materials such as silk or velvet serve as solid building blocks in helping to achieve an elegant and refined style statement. For me,  the key  to sophisticated dressing lies in choosing elegant styles that whisper ‘timeless’ rather than scream ‘trendy’.

I absolutely love the unexpected luxury element that silk brings to this polo top. It might be an ordinary top, but using silk transports the humble ‘polo top’ to a sophisticated garment that qualifies as party wear.  Add to it wide leg velvet trousers in navy and you have an outfit that is both comfortable and uber chic all at once.  I have added a bright clutch and a bling bracelet to bring out the party element and add a ‘pop of colour’ to the overall styling.

I genuinely adore the sophisticated aura that this outfit exudes and I cannot wait to wear it to some winter parties (I am hoping some invites will materialize or else I am wearing it to bed as it feels so good against the skin). Have a fabulous Monday and as always, thank you so much for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: Silk Top – ASOS White, Trousers – Marks and Spencer, Clutch Bag – Henri Bendel, Bracelet – Banana Republic)

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Rust Maxi Dress With An Embroidered Waist: And Braided Hair

My ‘boho-inspired’ love affair continues with this beautiful hi-low maxi dress. For me, the transitional weather heralds the arrival of full sleeve dresses to the forefront of my wardrobe. The appeal of this maxi dress lies in the embroidered waist which adds an unusual detail to the outfit. The high-low hem line and beautiful balloon sleeves further add to the flamboyance of the dress.

I resisted the urge to pair this dress with a fringed handbag as with the braids and tie-up gladiator sandals, I was starting to feel like an ‘extra’ in the movie Benhur!   Instead, I paired the dress  with a cane clutch that was an annual present from my best friend in the USA . Her and I exchange ‘just because’ presents every summer when we meet and this year I received this beautiful bag. This summer I enjoyed a double bonanza, as thanks to her family trip to Lebanon I also received a ‘I went somewhere and therefore I had to buy you something’ present which is another wonderful tradition we have. These lovely two-tone silver earrings that she got me are right up my alley and look great with this dress.

I am a huge fan of braided hair and I love the elaborate braids that I often see around town. Unfortunately, I have no talent when it comes to braiding hair and these two straight-laced braids represent the extent of my abilities.

Have a fabulous weekend and thank you so much for visiting my blog.

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – ASOS, Sandals – Zara, Clutch – Michael Kors, Bangles – Curio Cottage Mumbai)

 

Channeling My Inner Movie Star: In A Bold Floral Maxi Dress

Happy Tuesday everyone! Every once in a while, I am drawn to clothes that are ‘larger than life’. I think a large part of the attraction is the over the top, almost theatrical element that dominates such outfits.  It could be the print, the cut and fall of the outfit or just the over all ‘aura’ of the piece that makes the garment stand out in a crowd of others. These kind of clothes lend themselves perfectly to the quote – ‘Life’s too short to wear boring clothes’ (the quote is attributed to Cushnie et Ochs – an American fashion house).

This ‘maximum’ maxi dress definitely falls into this category of clothing for me. The large black and yellow floral print reminded me of a 1970’s chiffon sari print at first glance. The falling ruffled shoulders, the criss-cross back tie and the flared skirt combine to make it a ‘statement dress’ in the true sense of the word.

This dress is a ‘bit over the top’ and herein lies its charm! It reminded me a bit of a movie star dress and therefore, instead of styling it to take it down a notch, I thought it best not to back down. Sometimes, ‘more is more’ and hence, I forged ahead and paired it with statement black heels, dangling earrings, a gold cuff, a black crocodile clutch and red lipstick.

Given the movie star vibe and my current location in Los Angeles, I decided to have some fun with this dress. It seemed the ideal dress to indulge in some ‘make belief lookbooking’, so I added a ‘statement’ convertible to the dress and drove around taking pictures and getting some odd looks from passersby.

For the sake of clarity, I must stress that I do not normally drive around Los Angeles in a Mercedes convertible, wearing billowing bold floral dresses and  fierce high heels (OK only when I am having lunch with a producer!) However, I must admit I had great fun doing this and I hope you enjoy looking at the pictures as much as I enjoyed taking them.

As always, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog.

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – ASOS, Earrings – H&M, Shoes – Zara, Clutch – Ted Baker)

Vacation Memories: Of Beachy Outfits And CoverUps

Happy Sunday – I hope that the weekend is treating everyone well! This is my last post on our family vacation to Cabo this summer.  As I indicated in my last two posts – it was a great vacation and we could not have hoped for a better time.  The food, the people and the surroundings – Mexico truly captured our hearts!

I am a fan of maxi dresses in most instances and I really believe that they, along with flat sandals,  should be a staple in everyone’s summer vacation wardrobe. I love this easy breezy maxi dress with bright flowers embroidered on it because it reminds me of nightwear and therefore lots of happy sleep.  I have included some pictures of my mix and match swimwear as I have found this method to be most successful in alleviating the pain of trying to find a coordinated swim suit where both the top and bottom are the same size and cater to only perfectly proportional people! Last but not least, I love this dress/coverup with the intricate bead work on it. It makes for a beautifully versatile coverup that also wells equally well as a tunic over jeans.

Thank you so much for reading and have a great rest of the weekend.

(Clothing and Accessories: White Top – Tu Clothing, Blue Shorts – Tu Clothing, Dress – ASOS Premium, Sandals – Tory Burch, Pink Swim Top – F and F Clothing, Black Coverup – New Look, Beaded Coverup – H &M)

 

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