My Diwali Outfit: and Recent Travels to Mumbai

As many of you may know from my ‘About’ section and previous posts – our family spent five years in Mumbai a few years ago.  We moved for my husband’s work and when the assignment was over – it was time to come back to London (approximately about three years ago). This October half term gone was our first time back to aamchi Mumbai since we re-embraced the bright lights of the capital.  I was actually nervous about what I would feel when I stepped on Indian terra firma; would I be ecstatic, melancholic or somewhere in between?

I needn’t have worried  – the moment I stepped onto that paisley red carpet at Chhatrapati Shivaji airport – I could feel my heart soaring and a happy Bollywood tune playing in my head (“Saree ke fall sa…” if you must know). It is natural that countries and places we have lived will always have a special place in our heart and minds. Mumbai was that ‘hostess with the mostest’ that took us in with open arms and showered us with love and warmth throughout our stay there.  Going back only confirmed what I already knew – Mumbai is an amazing city which will always be like a second home to me. Also, I have a fabulous set of friends who made this a truly memorable vacation for my whole family.

Now my visit to Mumbai coincided with the run-up to Diwali. Diwali celebrations done right and buying a new outfit go hand in hand – in fact, I think that’s an official festival rule. Also, I take pride in pointing out that during this trip to India, I was spectacularly restrained on the shopping front. I decided that I would purchase only one outfit this trip that would make my womanly heart go pitter patter every time I looked at it. This was the gorgeous ensemble I purchased and I had the opportunity to wear it to the ‘Red Bus’ event while in Mumbai.

I love everything about this outfit  – the flowing palazzos, the beaded fringed blouse and the pièce de résistance  – the flowing silk cape with patches of floral embroidery.  The outfit is eye-catching, fluidly graceful and most importantly, comfortable. I have paired it with my trusted pale pink clutch, silver sandals and a lovely pair of chandelier earrings that I purchased in Santa Cruz market.

A very happy Diwali to you and yours – have a fabulous time celebrating.  I would love to hear about your plans to celebrate this year and of course about Diwali outfits that you may have purchased.  Thank you for reading and a very happy Diwali from Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and accessories:

Outfit – XON (Pali Market)

Earrings – Silver Queen (Santa Cruz Market)

Clutch – Gucci

 

Clothes and accessories:

Outfit – XON (Pali Market)

Earrings – Silver Queen (Santa Cruz Market)

Clutch – Gucci

 

Autumn Boho Style: and my Love of Steam Irons

I am a huge fan of boho style – the florals, embroidery, dangly earrings and heaps of bangles – all worn together to create a truly unapologetic feminine style statement. We often associate boho styling with summer, flowy dresses and flowing locks. While a bohemian look works fabulously in the summer, in my opinion, it works equally well in the colder months.

Autumn brings a rich bounty of dark floral dresses to the shops and I think they form the perfect starting point for a great boho outfit. All you need to add is all the other dangly bits and bobs, a great handbag and a pair of boots to complete your moody autumn bohemian look.

Speaking of flowing dresses – there is nothing quite like the pleasure of putting on a recently ironed dress with no creases where the material sways gently as you walk – bliss! This blissful state would not be possible without my other love  – full powered steam generator irons.  The other day I went to get my eyebrows done – as one does when they start to shoot past their pre-set boundaries and take over your face.  The eyebrow lady and I were discussing what household chore we love and hate and we both said at the same time, “I love ironing and I am happy to iron anytime.”  What an amazing coincidence we thought, and decided to delve deeper into our mutual love of ironing.  Lo and behold, we quickly discovered that both she and I use full powered steam generator irons and would rather trade in our husbands before we gave up on the irons! I have been using a powerful steam iron for a few years now and I can truly say that it is among the best household purchase I have ever made.  They are more expensive than normal irons but worth every penny that I have ever spent on them. The creases just fall away and I always end up freshly ironing my clothes whenever I need to as they make the process so very easy and satisfying.

This is not a sponsored post on behalf of any ironing company and I have used multiple brands in the last few years. The eyebrow wonder lady and I were waxing eloquent about these machines and I told her that I owed it to my readers to share our mutual passion with them, in the case that someone had not tried one or was sitting on the fence about purchasing one.  Trust me, ladies, these machines are worth every penny and as Loreal tells us – you are worth it!

I hope you enjoyed this lookbook and I would love to hear your feedback.  As always, thank you for taking the time to read Isha’s Verdict and have a great weekend.

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress – Zara

Cape – Ted Baker

Handbag – Coach

Boots – Dune Black

 

Cold Weather Staple: Orange Chunky Knit with a Classic Cape

Happy Monday readers, I hope this week turns out to be a great one for you! The weather has turned, in my opinion, and it is time to start bringing out those cosy knits.

I am a huge fan of chunky knit jumpers that look cosy, feel comfortable and work with most bottoms. As winter approaches, my styling resolution is to wear a lot of colour this last quarter of the year. This cheery orange sweater with a roll neck is sure to stand out on a cold dreary morning and I am looking forward to getting a lot of use out of it. I have paired it with my leopard print bag and a classic black cape that lends an air of sophistication to the overall look.

A cosy oversized knit is the easiest way to add colour to your winter wardrobe and I am looking forward to showing off my purple acquisition soon. If you shop for just one thing this week, consider buying an oversized knit in a bright spirit-lifting colour. I hope you enjoy this lookbook and have a great week ahead! Thank you for reading my blog and your feedback is greatly appreciated.

Clothes and accessories:

Orange Jumper – Marks and Spencers

Black trousers – Mango

Handbag – Kate Spade (similar – Karen Millen)

Cape – Ted Baker (similar – Missguided)

 

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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At Syon Park: In A Black Velvet Top and Cape

A few nights ago, I had the pleasure of attending a black tie dinner at the Houses of Parliament.  The highlight of the evening was a guided tour of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords and all the glorious parts in between.  The official name for the Houses of Parliament is the Palace of Westminster as it is a former royal residence with Henry VIII being the last monarch to reside at the palace.  It was a phenomenal tour and I could literally feel the physical weight of history on my shoulders as I walked through the arteries of ‘the heart of British politics’.

The next day, I decided to visit Syon Park and House.  Many years ago, I used to live in an apartment overlooking the park and it’s tremendous beauty has always been a draw for me.  Syon House with its 200 acre park, is located in the county of Middlesex and is the Duke of Northumberland’s London residence.  There is a fascinating but macabre story about Syon House that also involves the last monarch to reside at the Palace of Westminster – Henry VIII.  The story goes something like this:

Syon House gets its name from Syon Abbey, a medieval monastery of the Bridgettine Order, which moved to the site in 1431.  It was one of the wealthiest nunneries in the country but was shut down in 1539 during the ‘Dissolution of the Monasteries’  (The Dissolution of the Monasteries was the set of processes between 1536 and 1541 by which Henry VIII disbanded Catholic monasteries and other structures in England, Wales and Ireland. This was the result of his conflict with the Roman Catholic Church after the pope refused to grant him a divorce and he set up the Church Of England). The Father Confessor of the nuns, Richard Reynolds, would not accept the king’s supremacy and was executed in 1535 and his body subsequently placed on the Syon Abbey gateway.

A few years later in 1547, when Henry VIII died, his coffin was brought to Syon on its way to Windsor for burial. Apparently, during the night his coffin burst open and in the morning dogs were found nibbling at his body! It is said that this event was seen as a divine judgement for his desecration of Syon Abbey. I suspect that his considerable size also contributed to the unfortunate incident of the splitting coffin. Or, perhaps it was on account of the medieval sinner (and not the medieval dinner) and the bad vibes that his multiple ex-wives were sending him from their after life. You know what they say – hell has no wrath like a women scorned and he had scorned a lot of women but I digress…

Visiting these two historical places during the same weekend reminded me of one of the greatest privileges of living in London – living history at every corner and doorstep.  I think many of us live in cities and towns with multiple historically significant places to visit and yet we somehow overlook them in our daily lives. This weekend was testimony to the fact that visiting historical places is a great way to spend a weekend! I thoroughly enjoyed visiting the Houses of Parliament and Syon Park and I would highly recommend visiting both given the chance.

The grandeur and drama of Syon House and it’s estate conjures up images of lords and ladies in scrumptious velvets and elaborate capes parading the halls of the grand house. It seemed an apt backdrop for me to lookbook my all black outfit featuring the fabric of the season – velvet! Velvet seems to be all over the high street and there is a richness to the fabric that makes it ideal for winter wear. I particularly like the style and cut of this devoré blouse and there is an opulence to the pattern that draws the eye in. I have paired it with high heeled black boots and a back cape to add to the Gothic inspired styling.  I often find that adding pattern and structure to an all black outfit makes up for the lack of colour and considerably elevates the overall look.

I hope you enjoyed the brief history lesson and thank you so much for visiting my blog!

(Clothes and Accessories: Blouse  – Marks and Spencer, Leggings – Topshop, Cape – Ted Baker (Similar) – , Boots – , Handbag – Henri Bendel, Cuff – Vince Camuto).

 

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