Fall Fashion Trends: Classic Styles Revisited

It’s Autumn and the nascent winter chill is in the air. There are new fall clothes in the shops, beautiful fall clothes in our closets, and it is finally their turn to take the dance floor.  Autumn is the favourite season of so many of my friends and for good reason.  The weather is crisp and fresh, and the clothes are a refreshing three hundred and sixty-degree change from the summer clothes that have dominated the past months.  Autumn is the perfect season to show off cold weather fashion without it being so cold that all clothing is hidden by that extra thick and long coat!

So what’s new on the trend front for this Autumn? Animal print seems to be ruling the jungle at the moment – it is everywhere from dresses to coats and bags to shoes.  Animal print has always been a fall classic; however, the standout print is not without its critics.  It is probably one of the more controversial prints that people either love or love to hate.  Fans enjoy its boldness and critics find it harsh and overbearing.

I stand divided on ‘animal print’ love – for me, it depends on the fabric and the exact print that has been used on an item.  Generally, I find I enjoy wearing it most when I accessorize with it, rather than ‘go heavy’ with it covering the whole outfit.

Animal prints work well with classic fall colours and I find that pairing them with black, tan and red is a foolproof recipe for a sophisticated Autumn look. In this lookbook, I have paired my lovely animal print flats with jeans, an oversized cosy black jumper, a classic tan coat and a red crossbody bag.  I love everything about this look; it represents my personal fashion statement perfectly.

I think this time of the year is a great time to invest in some classic clothes that will carry you through the winter and into spring.  in my opinion, investing in classics such as black jumpers and tan coats will provide you with an effective canvas to build your winter look – whatever that may be.  I hope you enjoy this look and feedback is always welcome.  As always, thank you for reading my blog and have a fabulous weekend.

Clothes and accessories:

Premium Black Jumper – H&M

Tan Coat – Massimo Dutti

Flat Shoes – Zara, Similar – ASOS, and Massimo Dutti

Crossbody Bag – Salvatore Ferragamo

 

 

My Top 5 Tips for Summer Holiday Packing : And My Current Favourite Holiday Dress

Hopefully, we can all find a way to take a few days off in the sun this coming summer. Summer vacations are a treat and for those of us who live in colder climates, they are a much awaited time of year.

Most of us have a good idea of what to pack depending on what kind of vacation we are taking.  These are my top tips for packing for a family summer vacation:

  1. Comfortable clothes above all else: When you are with family on vacation it is important that you are comfortable so that you can enjoy your time and be physically ready for a few episodes of intermittent sulking, possible tantrums, and accidental ice-cream spills. I find that my patience levels are intrinsically linked to my comfort levels – I am a better friend, wife, and mother when I am wearing comfortable clothes on vacation! This is not the time to pack that dress that may be too tight, too short, or you may fit into if you miraculous lose 5 pounds on the plane ride over.
  2.  Pack a few flowy dresses: On the other hand, I have often made the mistake of thinking a bit too practical and find myself in a beautiful location with linen trousers, t-shirts and not much else. Then I end up looking at women in lovely dresses and sandals and thinking I should have brought mine.  Living in London, there is not enough time for summer dresses anyway, so give yours that extra wear on vacation.
  3. Cotton: Natural, breathable fabrics look beautiful on holiday and are such a practical choice. Sometimes, it is easy to think that packing a few polyester items is a good idea to avoid wrinkles and ironing on vacation.  I always iron all my clothes at home (it really is worth it) and then a few wrinkles aren’t the end of the world.  Polyester is uncomfortable in the blazing sun and won’t absorb any perspiration, making for an awkward situation all day long.
  4. Shoes you have worn before:  I cannot tell you how many times I have made the mistake of packing brand new shoes on vacation and then bitterly regretting it. Therefore, I have a self-imposed rule – no shoes, that have not been worn previously, are allowed to accompany me on holiday. It’s natural to buy a new pair of shoes and save it for vacation – however, discovering that the shoes are highly uncomfortable or tight while on holiday is a joy-killer like none other!
  5. Cross-body bag: Absolutely the most useful kind of bag required on vacation and on most days for that matter. They look great, come in a variety of sizes and allow you two free hands to hold the baby and the drink at the same time.

The gorgeous print on this dress is glorified summer printed on cotton cloth.  For me, the dress evokes visions of me on a Caribbean vacation, with beautiful flowers and fruits surrounding me, as I walk along a bustling market. As far-fetched a vision as that may be, this dress is ideal for making a statement at home and abroad.  The length, the full sleeves, the pockets and the waist tie make for a good-looking yet practical dress. I have paired it with tan wedges and a rattan clutch on this occasion, but I also think it would great with white sneakers for a casual holiday vibe. I wore this dress recently to a royal wedding street party and the many compliments had me feeling a bit royal myself – highly recommend!

I hope you have a fabulous long weekend and thank you for visiting my blog.

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress – Marks and Spencer

Clutch – Michael Kors

Hat – Marks and Spencer

Yellow Sari Love: With a Blue Velvet Blouse and a Grand New Idea

Hello everyone! As I have mentioned many times before, my long held interest in fashion and styling is what gave birth to this blog. Perhaps the aspect that I love most about styling is that the creativity is boundless. There are endless end results to be had, all as unique as the individual who put them together. There are no limitations to the creative side of our brains and i am reminded of this every time I see a person on the street and think, “Wow what a great way to style that outfit – I would have never thought of pairing those items together.”

On this platform, I have always championed that one of the best ways to improve your personal fashion prowess and styling acumen is to observe what others are wearing. For two years now, I have lookbooked styles that I enjoy in my daily life and I have hoped that they have persuaded you to consider new and different styles along the way.

Now, I would love for myself and our other readers to benefit from all of your great styling moments.  I would like to start a section on this blog where we can see pictures of our fellow fashionista readers in outfits that they have styled for themselves.   We can call it the ‘Fabulous Fashionistas Daily Style Lookbook’ or something better. This is how I envisage it working:

  1. Take a picture of yourself in your fabulously styled outfit (all kind of outfits are welcome from casual to formal to ethnic – after all, inspiration comes in many forms)
  2. Please send it to contact@ishasverdict.com with two or so sentences explaining what you particularly liked about how you put the outfit together – the styling quotient (Feel free to include links to where you bought something  – especially if it is still available to buy).
  3. I will post it in the section and we can all draw inspiration and comment on what we liked about the outfit, the styling and other helpful input. It will be a constantly moving section with new pictures added as they are received.
  4. As all the comments will be moderated by me – no negative comments will be welcomed or published. The idea is to generate a positive and helpful forum at all times.
  5. I will not be sharing the pictures with any other entities.

So there you have it – my idea of a creative way for all of us to inspire each other, improve our styling game and look at fabulous clothes!  I truly believe applying a fashion focused lens to everyday life is the best way to become a better dresser and stylist and I hope this forum will help.

On a different note, I am lookbooking a yellow sari (my favourite colour) with a bling midnight blue velvet blouse with net sleeves.  The absolute truth is that I am not a fan of an overtly blingy look and did not particularly care for the blouse when it first came my way.  I was at a loss of what to wear with it till one fine day, I decided that I needed a sari that would let the blouse dominate but in a colour that could match the boldness of the blouse.  I subsequently paired it with this plain silk shaded yellow saree, and even though I am still not sure what to make of the entire outfit, there is no danger of me blending into the background in this number.

I hope you enjoyed this lookbook (as I almost froze into a popsicle trying to take the pictures) and thank you so much for reading.  I would love to get your feedback on the styling forum idea and even better, your lovely pictures.

Happy New Year: My Blog Aspirations and Maxi Dressing All Year Long

A very happy 2018 to you! By now we have all enjoyed a few weeks of festivities and both received and disseminated our best wishes for the new year. Now, it is time to march into the new year with renewed inspiration for life, love and hopefully fashion.

Recently, I was having a conversation with someone about what kind of dress I am most likely to wear all year around.  In my case, I came to the conclusion that maxi dresses are the kind of dress that will get the most annual usage in my dress wardrobe. I wore this lovely floor length maxi dress with trainers during my trip to Marrakesh recently and enjoyed it thoroughly. Not only are they uber comfortable and flattering but they also weather friendly and present fabulous styling options. This is my fashion wish for you and I this year; to enjoy wearing fashion that is comfortable, flattering and allows us to experiment with styling options, whilst retaining our unique fashion thumbprint.

What are my aspirations for the blog this year you may ask? There are three initiatives that are dear to my heart that I hope to pursue in the immediate future:

  1.  Home interiors and decor have always been a hobby and a passion. I have recently bought a new abode and I want to document my personal journey of home renovation, styling decisions and end results on the blog.  I am super excited about this real-life home lookbook documentary and I hope you enjoy looking at it as much as I will enjoy doing it.
  2. After constant demand, I am planning to unveil my ‘personal shopping buddy and stylist’ service – a friendly personal styling service, both in-person and digitally, for those of you that may need some help in fine-tuning your personal style and fashion statement.
  3. I would love to start an interactive styling gallery on the blog where my lovely readers send in pictures of outfits they feel they have styled really well and we can all benefit from their creativity and fashion acumen. We can also tell them what we loved and encourage their fashion streak – positive comments only of course!

I wanted to thank you so very much for all your encouragement and best wishes for the blog last year. I hope you have had a fabulous start to the new year and as always, thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress – Reserved (unfortunately, I do not see it on their website anymore but they may still have it in store) 

Sunglasses – Bobby Brown

 

 

In Hat and Boots: My Current Favourite Coffee and Sandwich in Town

Happy Monday everyone! One of the best parts of waking up in the morning has to be drinking that first cup of tea or coffee that gently nudges you awake as you propel yourself into the demands of a new day.  I am a lover of tea and coffee in equal measures  – they each have their rightful place in the day and my palate usually dictates which one I will have next. I have found that the weather has a definite impact on my hot beverage of choice and in the cold, my desire for a good cup of coffee increases manifold. The cold also increases my preference for hot food and a cold sandwich for lunch seems about as attractive as wearing opened toes shoes in the snow.

Recently, I have discovered ‘Black Sheep Coffee’ and I am bowled over by their coffee.  ‘Black Sheep Coffee’ have quite a few branches all over London (and apparently opened their first branch in Manchester recently) but I only tried it for the first time a month ago and I have been hooked ever since. I ask for an Americano ‘crazy hot’ with lashing of hot milk and it is made to perfection every time. I go for their lighter coffee (they offer a choice of lighter or darker coffee bean) and it the smoothest coffee I have had in a long time.  My cup of coffee at Black Sheep is always a great one so if you are a coffee enthusiast and have never tried their coffee – make sure you check it out!

Moving on to my current favourite hot sandwich of the moment – ‘Joe and the Juice’ may be famous for their fresh juices but their ‘Spicy Tuna Sandwich’ has my food heart at the moment.  They make it by toasting a thin crispy bread that is filled with a lovely tuna mix tapenade and whole jalapenos.  The sandwich packs a nice spicy punch and if you like that sort of thing – ask for extra-spicy (they will charge a bit extra for it). The warm toasted crispiness of the bread and the spicy flavours make for a surprising great tuna sandwich that has me wanting one every day. Even my husband, who doesn’t count himself as a great fan of tuna, finally gave in and tried it and now he is hooked as well!

There you have it – two of my current favourite things to eat and drink – especially together. In today’s lookbook, I am wearing a festive hat and my gorgeous shearling lace-up boots and doing what I do best – eating and drinking!  Have a great week ahead and as always, thank you for visiting my blog.

Clothes and Accessories:

Jumper – H&M

Boots – Hudson, Similar – Mango

Jacket – Uniqlo Ultra Warm HeatTech

Hat – Reserved

Bag – Burberry

 

 

 

 

 

Warm Winter Chic: My Recipe for Dressing Up and Staying Warm When Going Out in Winter

Happy Tuesday everyone! This Friday gone, I stepped out for a drink with a few friends to the local pub.  It was a bitterly cold evening when we got there and the temperature had fallen even further by the time we merrily stepped out. Standing in front of me, on the cold pub pavement, was a lady looking lovely in a black dress with a flimsy shawl and sky-high open-toed sandals. Just looking at her bare arms and feet sent a shiver down my spine! I could not fathom how she could stand in the frigid night air without turning blue from the cold.  People often ask me what has changed, from a fashion perspective, since I entered my forties.  Many aspects of my fashion sensibilities have changed but this observation leads the pack – I cannot suffer for fashion anymore! I refuse to step out in winter without having adequate protection from the cold, especially if I am going to be braving the elements or public transportation.

So how does one step out looking fashionable on a winter evening without sacrificing warmth? My personal recommendation – get yourself a fabulous statement coat that happens to be really warm as well. I always notice a spectacular coat  –  frankly, if you make an entry wearing a standout coat, and remember to leave it on for a few minutes, it almost doesn’t matter what you are wearing underneath. I would go as far as to say that your evening clothes almost look better coming out from under a fabulous coat. The coat is the first thing that will be noticed when you enter and the last when you exit.  More importantly, it will make you feel fabulous and keep you warm – directly improving your good time ratio.

In this lookbook, I have paired a simple black lace top (with a Uniqlo HEATTECH camisole underneath) with a pair of black jeans and sock boots to ensure a warm bottom half of my body.  They work perfectly as a canvas to show off my favorite statement coat, which happens to be ultra warm as well!  A pop of colour provided via a pretty clutch and bling earrings are all I need to go out on the town, have a great time, and be as snug as a bug the entire evening. I hope you enjoy this look –  I have highlighted some gorgeous statement coats below in case you are on the hunt for one to add to your evening winter wardrobe.

Have a great week ahead and thank you so much for visiting my blog.

Clothes and accessories:

Top – Zara

Sock Boots – Zara

Statement Faux Fur Coat – Whistles

Clutch – Gucci

French Connection
Ted Baker
Mango

 

 

From Personal Experience: A Perfect Personalised Present For Every Member of The Family

It’s the first of December today and Christmas Day 2017 is now 24 days away.  Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas for religious purposes or from a cultural perspective, Christmas presents are one of the great joys of this time of the year.

I found that it was easy to shop for my boys when they were very young but it has become progressively harder as they have grown. Of course gift cards are an option, but to be honest it’s hard to be enthusiastic about handing over another voucher that will be put in a drawer – never to be found when needed, for all eternity (Seriously, are we the only family who can never find their vouchers when we need them?).

This is why, when I recently walked into the Superga shop on Carnaby Street, I was blown away by their shoe personalization service. They have an artist seated at the front of the store with art supplies and she will custom paint any design you want on your new Superga trainers! She had a few beautiful designs on display (they really need to be seen to be believed) but I was not limited to those designs – I just had to show her what I wanted and she was happy to paint it on the shoe for me.

I have always been a fan of Superga shoes and with the variety of trainers they offer – it is easy to find something for so many people on your list. It so happened that my visit to Superga fell on my birthday, so it seemed only right to treat myself to a new pair of shoes. Surprisingly, my older son who normally has only a passing interest in shoes also expressed a desire to get a personalized pair!

The painting can only be done on their range of canvas shoes (of which there are plenty) and not on their leather trainers.  The shoes are completely washable and they gave me directions on the best way to do so. I asked how much it would cost before she started painting and I paid £15 per pair of shoes (for both feet to be painted). I couldn’t wait for the painting to be finished but they were more than happy for me to come back later to collect them.

They also offer this service at many of their other branches – please check their website for locations.  Also, for those of you who may not have a store near you – I am sure if you called and asked if they could receive your design digitally and then mail the shoes to you – they would let you know if that may be possible.

I love that the personalization possibilities are endless with these shoes  – making them the perfect personalized present for any member of the family! Today’s lookbook features pictures of our new personalized Superga trainers and I hope you like them as much as I do. As always, thank you so much for visiting my blog.

On a separate note, I have added a small section in the sidebar called ‘Deal of the Day’.  As I am a devoted internet shopper and encounter great deals on a daily basis – I thought I would share them with you in case they were of interest.  My plan is to update this deal on a regular basis so do check the section whenever you visit. Just click the picture to take you to the great deal that I may have spotted on my travels through the internet world.

Clothes and accessories:

Shoes – Superga

Dress – Reserved, similar – Reserved

Handbag – Salvatore Ferragamo

Sunglasses – Tom Ford

Jacket – Marks and Spencer

 

 

 

Seasonal Dressing: My Top 5 Tips to Add Festive Style to Your Daily Wardrobe

The streets are decorated, mince pies are on sale and you know the holiday season is upon us in London because it is finally very cold outside!  The following weeks up to the New Year are going to be a whirlwind of activity, even for the most socially sedentary of us. There are going to be school fairs, work parties, friends parties and shopping trips and they are all great opportunities to incorporate some holiday cheer into our daily styling decisions.

I find that one of the best ways to really get into the holiday spirit is to ‘dress up’ just a tad bit every day.  Even on a cold and dreary day, festive dressing puts a real spring in my step and naturally brightens my mood (if that doesn’t work, eating a mince pie definitely does the trick).

Below are my favourite ways to add some festive style to my daily wardrobe at this time of the year:

  1. Wear Mettalics:  Metallic clothes work perfectly in adding that bit of sparkle to your daily outfit.  I bought this metallic jumper last year and I have worn it ad nauseam ever since.
  2. Wear the colours gold, silver and bronze: These rich tones are perfect for this time of the year and I am amazed at how well they work together in a single palette.
  3. Wear red: Make red your accessory colour of the month –  I make it a point to incorporate my red bags and scarfs into my outfits this month because why not!
  4. Wear Jacquard: I am a huge fan of Jacquard and its woven richness really makes a great winter fashion statement.
  5. Dress up that little bit extra every day: This is the one time in the year that nobody begrudges you that little bit more sparkle and shine in your outfit. I bought this silver leather jacket in the sales last year and I have great fun putting it on this time of the year.

I hope you enjoy this lookbook and decide to dress up for that work meeting tomorrow (perhaps leave out the silver leather jacket).  Have a great rest of the week and thank you for visiting my blog.

Clothes and Accessories:

Jumper – And other Stories

Jacquard trousers – H&M

Shoes – Karen Millen, similar Karen Millen

Clutch Bad – Henri Bendel

Leather Jacket – Zara, similar – ASOS

Winter Boho: Asymmetrical Knit Dress With Aadheekta Jewellery

Happy midweek everyone! I am a girly girl and I have enjoyed wearing jewellery as long as I can remember. Jewellery seemed like such a grown-up indulgence when I was young girl; I had those little gold balis (hoops) in my ears for many years and it never occurred to me to ask if I could change them for anything else. I also have a clear recollection that artificial or costume jewellery was generally frowned upon and the accepted explanation was that it was a waste of money.  The sound and sensible advice that one always heard was as follows – save your money and buy some real jewellery as it is a great investment.

I am so glad those days are over! I love real jewellery as much as the next person but jewellery can’t always be about making a sound investment.  Sometimes, it just needs to be about accessibility, fashion and fun. I have always been a fan of Indian inspired boho jewellery and I am particularly partial to pairing it with dresses of any kind. Here, I have attempted a winter boho look with a black knit dress, a velvet kimono and some beautiful pieces from Aadheekta’s collection. These beautiful earrings and necklaces are an easy add-on that can be layered or worn individually. I also enjoyed wearing these versatile Aadheekta pieces with jeans and a leather jacket.

Aadheekta, defined as elegance and grace, offers a variety of jewellery pieces for everyday wear, bridal wear and custom designs to cater to their clients.  At Aadkheeta, all their jewellery pieces are handmade with care, attention and love.  Their latest collection features indo-bohemian designs that can easily be incorporated into traditional and western styling and add that extra fashion element to your overall look.

They also specialize in bespoke designs and custom-made bridal jewellery adorned with the highest quality of kundan, polki, crystals, beads and semi-precious stones. You can reach them and their products at the following:

Aadheekta

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AadheektaByM/

Instagram: @aadheektabym

Mobile: +447718278679

I hope you like this look and a big thank you to Aadheekta for partnering on this post.  As always, thank you for visiting my blog.

 

Clothes and accessories:

Black dress – Cos, Similar – Any other Stories

Boots – Dune Black

Jewellery – Aadheekta

Velvet Kimono – Mango, Similar – Zara

Leather Jacket – Marks and Spencers, Similar – Marks and Spencers

 

 

Holiday Shopping: My Top 10 ‘Practical’ Holiday Dresses

The second half of November has started and the holiday shopping season in London is well and truly upon us. This is always a  great time to shop for a new dress as the shops are bursting with new additions and more importantly, there are holiday parties to attend.

There are two kind of holiday dresses – ‘practical’ holiday dresses and ‘non-practical’ holiday dresses.  In my book, ‘practical’ holiday dresses must pass the following five criteria:

  1.  You can wear them to work and then to a party that you go to directly from work.
  2. The addition of high heels and bling jewellery is all that should be required to take them from the office to the party.
  3. They must over some degree of protection from the cold (such as longish sleeves or the ability to wear something else underneath).
  4. They must not be the reason that people on public transportation are staring at you. That is the job of ‘non-practical’ holiday dresses.
  5. You must be willing to wear them again after the new year.

I enjoy wearing both ‘practical’ and ‘non-practical holiday dresses during this time of the year. They both serve different purposes and the great thing about being a girl is that all kind of holiday dresses are needed and welcomed! This particular blog post is about practical holiday dresses.  I have included pictures of a ‘practical’ holiday dress I bought last year from Zara and ended up wearing more often than any other dress during holiday season 2016.

This Friday is Black Friday and there should be some great deals on offer as well as deals on some of these dresses.  Happy shopping and thank you so much for visiting Isha’s Verdict!

Warehouse – A beautiful red maxi dress with lace accents and full sleeves – it is a great holiday dress that you can wear all year long. In February, it would work exceedingly well for a cold Valentines day look.
Warehouse – great dress to wear to work and a party after work. The relaxed A-line shape means you don’t have to worry about what you eat and drink – the whole point of a holiday party!
Oasis – it’s in the colour of the season, the fabric of the season and will keep you warm all night long!
New Look – A lace dress is always a great party look and a pair of lovely high heeled boots is all you need to add to party all night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Other Stories – I love everything about this dress! You can put a lovely turtleneck jumper under this beauty and be warm and trendy both at the office and at the party!
Massimo Dutti – The beautiful floral print on this dress is perfect for wearing all year long. It is a practical length that works for most occasions and the velvet is bang on trend.
Mango – you can never have to many black dresses, especially in the holidays and this polka dot dress is perfect for any occasion.
French Connection – Beautiful colour, beautiful fabric and a beautiful cut! Add a sparkly knit underneath and party like a pro all evening without ever getting cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berskha – A beautiful red wrap dress that can be worn to the office, parties and on the weekend with a pair of jeans. This is a perfect ‘practical’ holiday dress that wil not break the bank!
Coast – This gently flared black dress with long sleeves is perfect for the office and a pair of heels and bling earrings will transform it into a great evening party dress. It’s fit should flatter most body types and you really can wear this dress all year long!