By The River: In a Cosy Oversized Coat and Faux Fur Boots

It turns out that yesterday was ‘Blue Monday’, supposedly the most depressing Monday of the year.  Apparently – rain, debt and divorce contribute to giving it this dispiriting title and an actual mathematical equation can be used to determine it. Well, of course I was not aware of this when I awoke with my usual cheerful disposition. I then happened to catch this nugget of information on the TV as I was going about my morning duties. Subsequently, I burnt my toast and spilled the tea. I then realized that it was raining outside and I was no longer in the mood to get any of my chores done. As the day progressed, I stared at my list of ‘to do’ things without doing anything and cursed the weather, the computer and the dryer in turn.  Upon deciding to work on the blog, I realized I had writer’s block and a headache. Eventually, the evening was upon me and I had not achieved anything worthwhile throughout the day!

Yesterday was a great example of the powerful influence (conscious or subconscious) of the hyper information that surrounds us on a daily basis. I had absorbed the idea that this particular Monday was supposed to be blue and allowed it to impact my day in a negative manner. It was a strong reminder that I am responsible for my own happiness and productivity and that my dryer is not ‘out to get me’! Therefore, I have labelled today ‘Tremendous Tuesday’ and I am going to finish my ‘to do’ list, write an article and perhaps even head to the gym!

Moving on to clothes – I am a huge fan of the ‘oversized’ look and I love the generous proportions of this pale pink coat. The ‘oversized’ faux fur on the boots makes for an eye-catching boot and I particularly enjoy wearing them in proper winter as they are hard to pull off at any other time of the year! I have always enjoyed the ‘shirt under the jumper’ look and it is a great way to layer effectively in the colder months. I hope you enjoy this ‘lookbook’ and thank you so much for visiting my blog.

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – Marshalls, Shirt – Uniqlo, Coat – Per Una/Marks and Spencer (still in stores), Boots – Aquatalia, Bag – Banana Republic)

Festive Dressing Series: Sparkling Sequin Top With a Lace Pencil Skirt

A few days ago, I spent time with a dear old friend that I had not had the privilege of meeting for a few years.  She had gone through a rough patch in her life with the breakup of a long-term marriage and the subsequent after-math that is natural in these circumstances.  It was lovely to see her and we spent hours chatting and catching up only the way girlfriends can.  She seemed to be over the worst and looked relaxed and happy. I commented on how great she looked and she acknowledged that her emotional recovery had been fundamental in helping her look and feel great again.  She stated that ‘happy hormones’ were flowing through her body once again and as a concerned friend I was relieved to hear that. Then suddenly her brow furrowed and looking anxious she said, “There is an other problem now though – it’s literally keeping me up at night”. Genuinely worried, I inquired as to what this new problem was. She said, ‘these new ‘happy hormones’ are giving me horrible pimples – I have a new pimple every morning and it is ruining my life!” For ten seconds I just stared at her and then we both burst out laughing. Girls will be girls and if it’s not one thing, it’s another! (for the record, I did take my friend’s permission to recite this anecdote on the blog).

On a serious note, spending time with her was a great reminder of the beauty and power of friendships. Male or female, friendships are a gift and I know that I am a better person for being a friend to my friends.  So even though it is not ‘Friendship Day’ I wanted to take this opportunity to rave about the grandeur of friendship and remind my readers about the beauty of friendships new and old this festive season.

Clothes are like friends, I love them! I absolutely adore this colourful sequined top – the colours are bright and lovely and the bling is so on-point given the festive season. I have paired my sequined top  with a lace pencil skirt which seem to be all over the high street at the moment, in every colour and design conceivable. I am a fan of the ‘retro element’ of this leather jacket and I think it adds a playful element to the overall styling. I believe the star of this outfit is the sequined top which would look great with most things including skinny and wide-legged trousers.

I hope you enjoy the styling and thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog.  Have a great rest of the week!

(Clothes and Accessories: Top –  ASOS (Lost Ink), Skirt – Banana Republic, Leather Jacket – Urban Code, Clutch – Modalu)

Save

Save

‘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)

Save

Save

Save

Viva México: Vacation Fashion At Cabo Azul

Happy Wednesday everyone – I hear that the weather in London is hot, hot, hot!

As I had mentioned in my recent post on my Mexican vacation (https://ishasverdict.com/2016/07/16/viva-mexico-vacation-wardrobe-in-cabo-san-lucas/) we stayed at a resort called Cabo Azul (a Diamond Resorts property) while in Cabo on a family vacation, kindly hosted by my parents. The whole family had a fabulous vacation and a large part of the credit goes to the lovely property we stayed at and their wonderful service provided by the entire team.

The resort is built on 12 acres of ocean front property and is located on the quieter side of town, in San Jose del Cabo, along with other resorts.  As a parent, a large part of the success of a resort vacation hinges on the entertainment available for children. Some of the highlights of the resort for me and my family were:

  • Multiple pools of varying depths and temperatures, jacuzzis and a dedicated children’s pool with a water slide and other fun features.
  • Delicious food including authentic Mexican food and the obligatory pizzas and pastas.
  • Exceptionally friendly staff who were always happy to help and chat.
  • Beautiful spacious rooms that were decorated to a very high standard, in a stylish blend of modern and traditional elements.
  • Lots of entertainment for adults and children and organized kids activities for the entire week including table tennis, scavenger hunts dive-in movies etc.

Moving on to the topic of swimwear – I am a huge fan of tankinis and swim skirts as they provide an optimal balance of comfort and coverage when I am running around the pool with my kids.  I loved these cheerful floral print separates from Debenhams and all I needed was my big pink hat and pompom straw bag to try and channel some retro glamour by the pool. I enjoyed wearing this cow print faux wrap dress from Marks and Spencer Autograph range in Cabo as well as the thin material was perfect for a resort vacation. The blue French Connection dress is one of my all time favorites for its versatility and form.

Thank you so much for reading as always.  Thank you mom and dad for the lovely vacation – I am free next summer as well in case you decide that some more family vacations are in order.

(Clothing and Accessories: Blue Dress – French Connection, Floral Swimsuit – Debenhams, Straw Bag – Primark, Pink Hat – Banana Republic, Cow Print Dress – Marks and Spencers Autograph Range, Black Wedge Sandals – , Brown Sunglasses – Dior, Blue Pajama Kurta – Anokhi, Blue/Pink Pajama – Sainsburys Tu Clothing)

Save

Viva México: Vacation Wardrobe In Cabo San Lucas

First and foremost – I apologize for the longer than usual time period in producing a fresh post. Transcontinental travel has slowed me down but I have learned in the last week that determined fashion bloggers must never let time zones and lack of sleep interfere with the frequency of fashion posts!

I have spent the last week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on a family vacation.  While I have been to Mexico in the past, I have never made it to Cabo before and I am so glad I got to visit as I loved Cabo and can not speak highly enough of the Mexican hospitality we experienced.  We stayed in a Diamond Resort International property called Cabo Azul.  Cabo Azul is a stunning resort property that was rebuilt in 2014-2015 after the hurricanes that hit the Mexican coastline.  My parents had been pre-hurricane and spoke very highly of it and I am pleased to report that it exceeded their descriptions in every possible way.  The sprawling resort is located right on the beach and I plan to cover the key highlights of Cabo Azul in my next blog.

Publishing photographs in swimwear can be a daunting prospect, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that swimwear is a confusing fashion category for so many women.  Regardless of body shape or size, I am always curious about what other people choose to wear to the pool, so I figure others must be as well. I don’t wear bikinis, not because of modesty or age concerns, but simply because they do not suit my body shape and do nothing for presenting me waterside in a flattering manner.  I have always felt that the two most important  factors for me in buying swimwear include finding swimsuits that suit my body shape as well as make me feel comfortable in and out of the pool.  So please no jeering or sneering (not that anyone has ever been unkind) – it has taken a bit of self-persuasion to publish swimwear fashion so endearing comments would be greatly welcomed.  I plan to feature my vacation swimwear, along with other outfits, in my next few posts and I hope that ‘lookbooking’ my swimwear choices are beneficial to my readers in some way.

This vacation made me realize that like many people who live in relatively cold climates, I often develop ‘temperature amnesia’ in terms of just how hot ‘hot’ can be! I end up packing clothes for warm tropical weather but I always throw in jeans and ‘long sleeve things’ in case it gets cold in the evening or some other opportunity to ‘freeze’ arises.  Well,  it never did get cold in the evening but the ‘long sleeve things’ came in great use as I managed to burn my shoulders despite applying copious amounts of sunscreen. The long sleeves were a godsend in protecting my already burnt shoulder blades from the unrelenting intensity of the sun. I loved the coral print on this loose fit dress and thought it was perfect for a resort vacation by the sea.

As always, thank you so much for reading and I look forward to sharing my next installment of  Mexican vacation fashion in my next post.

(Clothing and Accessories: Blue Swimsuit – Profiles by Gottex, Blue Coverup – TJ Maxx , Dress = And Other Stories, Pink Hat – Banana Republic, Sunglasses – Tom Ford, Blue Bangles – Amarsons, Mumbai)

 

 

 

Save

The Great White Shirt: A Classic In My Wardrobe

Happy Friday everyone – it is going to be a quick one today. I can’t resist a beautiful white shirt! While many garments are labeled classic, a good-looking white shirt definitely qualifies for the tile in my opinion. A white shirt is a great partner to a pair of jeans and adding a few choice accessories can result in a sophisticated yet casual look.

I am a big fan of the origami folds on on this shirt  – despite the fact that I can never get it to fold the same way every time I iron it!  The organza panel on the side is a great addition and adds a bit of oomph to the overall proposition. A bling bracelet and sandals are an effective way to elevate this outfit from meek to chic! I love the proportions of this bag and the seemingly odd colour seems to go with everything.

I am traveling and looking forward to blogging from California and Mexico next week. Do check back for some great summer fashion!

Thanks for reading and have a fabulous weekend.

(Clothes and Accessories: Shirt – COS, Jeans – Zara, Sandals – Zara, Handbag – Bottega Veneta, Bracelet – Banana Republic)

 

‘Dinner Dressy-Casual’: The Kind Of Clothes That Get The Most Wear

When it comes to ‘going-out’ clothes, the kind that I tend to wear the most (and I suspect many of you as well)  is ‘Dinner Dressy-Casual’ wear. Let’s face it, the chances of most of us going out to dinner with family, friends or colleagues far exceed the chances of an invitation to a destination wedding or a ball. Going out for a meal is a pleasurable social activity and most of us want to look like we made an effort to put our best foot forward. At the same time, we don’t want to be overdressed and stand out like a sore thumb. You don’t want to hear your friends say that when we said we were going to Windsor for dinner, we didn’t mean Windsor castle!

I am a huge fan of peplums and I love the look of this peplum top that I purchased recently (on sale which makes it even lovelier). This bag is one of my favorite clutch bags ever – it has a certain ‘edginess’ to it that I adore and I often find myself reaching for this one over others.  Of course, adding a nice pair of heels to a ‘Dinner Dressy-Casual’ outfit is always a great touch! Last but not least, I am a realist and living in London means always carrying a warm piece of clothing with me, even in the summer! This long-line woollen cardigan is right up my alley – it is chic, warm and a great alternative to carrying a coat. These clothes are a great example of a ‘Dinner Dressy-Casual’ outfit that I have worn recently and will definitely wear again.

I hope that everyone has a lovely weekend filled with many nice meals,  and thank you so much for visiting my blog!

(Clothes and Accessories: Peplum Top – Banana Republic, Black Bottoms – Zara, Clutch Bag – L.A.M.B, Shoes – Charles and David, Cardigan – Banana Republic, Bracelet – Nordstrom)

Fabulous Cold Busters: Cashmere and Shearling

Two materials that I have discovered in the past few years and come to love are cashmere and shearling. Living in a county that is arguably cold more often than not, these materials have proved to be a revelation and paved the way to a toastier me!  Till a few years ago, I had never really given cashmere or shearling a chance.  I had friends who would wax lyrical about these two cold-busting materials and their amazing warmth and softness, but somehow I never paid much attention.  However, I must admit I was instantly hooked when I finally bought my first cashmere jumper!  I  bought a cashmere jumper at TK Maxx (for Americans – TJ Maxx) because it was on sale and I liked the design –  100% cashmere was irrelevant at the time of purchase. However, the first time I wore it, it was like the Gods of warmth were bestowing their treasures upon me!  It was an identical moment of joy when I wore my first pair of pure shearling lined boots.  My feet felt deliciously warm throughout the day and I literally had a hot spring in my step all day! For me, the cashmere was noticeably warmer than my other woolen jumpers and the shearling boots were miles ahead of my other footwear in terms of warmth.

I can honestly say that I have worn two particular cashmere jumpers (the grey one featured in this post and the cream one featured in this previous post https://ishasverdict.com/2016/01/18/pashmina-and-cashmere-memories-of-kashmir/ ) endlessly this last winter.  These shearling sneakers would rank in my top 10 most warm and comfortable shoes ever as walking in them is like having down pillows wrapped around my feet!

Now summer is around the corner and I am looking forward to significantly less jumper and boot wearing over the next few months.  However, I am going to keep my cashmere jumpers and shearling shoes front and center in my wardrobe for those unexpected chilly days. Cashmere and shearling can be expensive, but in my opinion they have proved to be worth the extra money I might have spent on them. More importantly, these materials can often be significantly cheaper in the sales during the summer months, when we all tend to develop selective amnesia about the cold weather to follow.  My advice –  buy them on sale in the summer and your body will thank you in the winter (at least that’s how I am justifying it to myself)!  As always, thank you for reading and have a lovely weekend.

(Clothes and Accessories: Shearling Sneakers – Cole Haan, Cashmere Sweater – Sofia Casmere, Fringe Scarf – Banana Republic)

Friendship: Beyond Black and White

It was love at first sight when I saw this outfit! Except it was not in a shop where I could simply purchase it – it was on my friend! I complimented her on the outfit and said, “I really love what you are wearing”, with a pathetic look of longing in my eyes. She smiled and said, “Thanks, why don’t you have it made, I will send it over and you can get it copied.” What a great idea I thought – and so I did. This outfit reminded me of two of life’s truths:

  1. One of the great things about Indian clothes is that you can still get them copied without breaking the bank!
  2. You can always tell a true girlfriend by the fact that she is happy for you to own the same clothes as her!

Thank you M for the outfit (you wear it better than me) and thank you for reading!

(Accessories and Shoes: Earrings – Curio Cottage, Ring – Banana Republic, Shoes – ASOS)