Return of the Verdict: In Bold and Colourful Floral Palazzos

Hello everyone! I am not quite sure that anyone has noticed that I have not posted a blog entry for well over one month now.  This is the longest that I have gone without posting since I started this personal fashion diary and I have missed writing and your feedback.

This lapse of posting raises the obvious question  – what has kept me from posting? It’s been the sum of many parts rather than one colossal event that has deterred me from the blog I so enjoy. Like so many of us know, very occasionally life seems to burgeon beyond the confines of the 24 hours afforded to us in a day and this is exactly what happened last month. Between much-awaited guests, family, work and a ‘multiple times planned but not executed’ house move  – I finally ran out of bandwidth.  The last month has been one of the busiest months I can remember in recent years and thoroughly enjoyable. It has, however, reminded me of an important truth – don’t take on more than you can chew.  Am I the only one who falls foul of this simple yet profound piece of wisdom?

I loved these trousers the moment I set eyes upon them. The print was bold, colourful and the combination reminded of a 1970’s saree print. I hesitated for a moment before buying them, wondering if perhaps they were too bold, and then I moved swiftly past my hesitation to the payment counter.  I have paired them with a simple cream top and a colourful leather jacket.  A leather jacket in an unexpected colour is always a pleasant surprise and this one never fails to please.

It is great to be discussing fashion again and the humdrum of daily life that keeps us on our toes. I am happy to be posting again and I look forward to your feedback.  Thank you so much for reading Isha’s Verdict!

 

 

Clothes and accessories:

Trousers – Reserved (on sale for 14.99)

Top – Reserved

Leather jacket – Massimo Dutti

Handbag – Givenchy

 

 

Always a Favourite: An All-Purpose Printed Shirt Dress

Happy Friday everyone! The Friday before a long weekend is always extra special; just like clothes that actually work for multiple purposes.  I have always loved a great shirt dress and have many in my closet.  I find that shirt dresses straddle a middle ground between casual and dressed up better than most dresses and therefore, seem to work in so many situations.

I love the busy crane print on this dress and the easy flowing light fabric is ideal for the coming months. I have styled it here with a striped clutch for contrast and a leather jacket for the wind. I look forward to wearing it with sneakers on the weekend and boots on colder days (hopefully, there will not be any soon).

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

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress- Ted Baker

Dangling Bracelet – Follie Follie

Clutch – Dune

Jacket – Massimo Dutti

 

 

‘Toraan’ Jewellery: Two Ways with a Saree and a Pleated Blouse

What’s not to love about Indian-inspired jewellery! From delicate filigree work to rich Kundan work – ethnic jewels are splendid and I am constantly amazed at the beautiful designs I come across. I am always keen to acquire Indian jewellery but it can be hard to find pieces that effectively balance quality, design, and craftsmanship with a price point that is not going to cripple your bank account.

It almost seems miraculous when you come across a company offering gorgeous designs at amazing prices – proving that ‘exclusivity of design shouldn’t come coupled with unaffordability’. This describes the essence of ‘Toraan’ – a jewellery and art store founded by the lovely Purti Bhatia. Toraan offers beautiful jewellery ranging from bridal sets to everyday wear that is not only gorgeous to look at but the quality of the pieces makes it a pleasure to add them to your jewellery box.

I love my Indian jewellery pieces and every time I wear them with Asian clothes, I am reminded that I must try harder to pair them with Western outfits.  I am a great fan of ethnic jewels paired with non-ethnic clothes and I think this combination creates a unique fashion statement that delivers the unexpected.  I have spoken to many of my friends about this and they all concur that we need to work harder on the above. This is why I decided to try something a bit different in this blog post. I have paired this beautiful green Kundan set from Toraan with a saree as well as with a pleated blouse and leather jacket.  I wanted this lookbook to deliver the message that Indian jewellery is exceedingly versatile and looks great with so many outfits.

I hope you enjoy this post and would love to hear how your thoughts on fusion pairings of jewellery and clothes. With summer approaching – I am planning to incorporate more of Toraan’s beautiful jewellery with my dresses so watch this space for more of her beautiful pieces.  You can view her range of jewellery and art at www.Toraan.com

As always, have a great day and thank you for reading my blog.

 

Clothes and Accessories:

All Jewellery by Toraan

www.toraan.com

Jewellery Set As Worn – Green Three Flower Kundan Choker with Earrings (£68 – also available in red) 

Pleated White Dress – Zara

Black Leather Jacket – Massimo Dutti (similar)

 

 

Fashion Forward: Dresses to Wear When the ‘Beast Of The East’ Leaves

As I look out of my window at the snow-covered streets of London, two thoughts come to mind.  The first is that the snow is beautiful and I am so happy the children get to experience snow play such as building snow men/women and snow ball fights.  My second thought is a polar opposite frustrated rant!  I can’t wait for this snow to disappear so that I can go back to pining for spring and walk around without looking like I am doing the moonwalk.

Weather reports tell us that by next week, the cold snap will be gone and we will return to normal weather patterns for this time of year. Today’s lookbook is a nod to the kind of outfits that I love wearing around this time of year.  Relaxed shaped dresses with long sleeves are perfect for gradually getting back in into the mind frame of wearing dresses again, after a long winter.  Their cut is also perfect for wearing fine and chunky knits underneath, thick tights below and coats above, as the weather still has a sharp cold bite that requires warm clothing.

I hope that you are enjoying the ‘beast of the east’s’ snow offerings and are making the most of it. On a side note, lots of the pieces I am wearing here are from Massimo Dutti. I am a big fan of their clothes and style aesthetic (their leather jackets are beautifully constructed like the green beauty I am wearing).  Their ‘mid season sale’ started yesterday so check out their website if you are planning on some retail therapy today.

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress – And Other stories, similar – Stradivarius

Boots – Massimo Dutti

Handbag – Longchamp

Leather Jacket – Massimo Dutti, similar Massimo Dutti

Glasses- Tiffany

All Winter Staples: My Black and Red Dresses

As the cold months progress, for all the winter clothes I have accumulated over the years, I find myself constantly turning to solid staples in my wardrobe. With the goal of constant warmth on my mind – I find single colour staples are the best foundation blocks on which to build diverse winter looks.

In today’s post, I am look booking two of my current favourite staple winter dresses from Tobi – a black knitted dress and a red over sized hoodie that doubles as a dress. Tobi is a great on-line shopping destination (oh how I love on-line shopping) that is both affordable and trendy.

The black dress is one of those all-purpose pieces of clothing that looks great with trousers as well as with tights. For this look, I have paired it with a pair of checked kick-flare trousers and heeled boots.  The boots provide the necessary lift to show off the kick flare and the loose drape of the dress to perfection.  I have finished off the styling with my long-line and long serving leather jacket. I love the feel of this outfit and the winter chic vibe it generates.

The red over-sized hoodie is my idea of perfectly laid back weekend wear. The bright red adds a cheerful note and I have finished it off with a check lambswool scarf and furry lace boots to walk around town comfortably.  I love the giant oversized sleeves that provide a cocoon for my hands and the hood that offers an extra layer of protection from the elements.

I want to thank Tobi for sponsoring this post – these dresses are definitely on repeat this season!  I hope you enjoy this post and thank you so much for your kind support and encouragement.  Have a great week ahead!

Clothes and accessories:

Black Dress – Tobi

Red Oversized Hoodie – Tobi

Checked lambswool scarf – COS

Checked Kickflare trousers – Zara

Dangle Bracelet – Follie Follie 

Leather jacket – Urban code

Black heeled boots – Zara

Black Lace Up boots – Hudson

Long Black Coat – DKNY

Black cross body bag – Marc Jacobs

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

Supermarket Fashion: Gingham Skinny Trousers With Ethnic Silver Jewellery

A few weeks ago my younger child came to me with a grave face and in a serious voice said, “Mummy we need to have a chat.  My reputation at school is suffering because I don’t have something everyone else does!” Of course, he had my immediate attention as multiple thoughts raced through my mind simultaneously; What was he talking about? Why did he look so serious? Why and what was this ‘reputation’ he was referring to?

“What’s going on honey?” I said in my best ‘concerned and empathetic mummy’ voice. “Have you heard of a ‘fidget spinner’ Mummy?” he asked.  I confirmed that I had not.  “Well everyone at school has one except me Mummy – this tragedy cannot continue!” “Oh”, said I, mentally noting the effective use of his ‘wordbank’ vocabulary words.  “What is a ‘fidget spinner’?” I asked cautiously.  “It’s a toy that you can spin and do tricks with and apparently it is only £1 at the pound shop according to my friend”, he replied definitely.  “Well, if this £1 toy is going to salvage your reputation from being tarnished, then I must get it for you tomorrow.”  “Thanks Mummy – that would be most appreciated”, he said as he walked off triumphantly.

My son has learned at a young age that presenting requests with a bit of humour and dramatic flair will greatly increase his chances of encountering a receptive and obliging Mummy. I had a good giggle at his cheeky approach but it was also a reminder of being young and wanting something that all your friends had but you did not. I remember when ‘poison rings’ were the accessory of choice to have in your silver jewellery collection and everyone seemed to have one except me.  I wanted one so desperately but could not find one at any of the shops I went to.  I remember finally finding one and being so excited to wear it the next day. I am surprised that I still have it and have not lost it after all these years (my ability to retain items can be a bit lousy).  I still enjoy wearing this ring and hopefully I can hold on to it for many years to come.

I have been looking for a pair of gingham skinnies and I found this fantastic pair at Tesco. I have paired them with a white shirt and a black leather jacket for a simple and effective monochrome look.  Additionally, I have accessorised the outfit with silver jewellery including my chunky silver pendant in white and black beads to add a touch of the unexpected.

I hope you enjoy this look and have a great week ahead.  Thank you so much for reading my blog.  FYI: I did not find a £1 fidget spinner at any shop – it was more in the region of £4 so it would seem that my son has also learned that requests that come in at the cheap end of the spectrum are more likely to be attended to!

(Clothes and Accessories: Top – Marks and Spencer, Trousers – Tesco F&F, Leather Jacket – Marks and Spencer (Similar), Clutch – Modalu)

Admiring Leafy Pubs: In Printed Palazzo Trousers

When I first moved to England many years ago, I had the pleasure of working for a company located in a scenic part of town that afforded easy access to a variety of beautiful country pubs. Furthermore, I was lucky to work with people who enjoyed visiting a different pub every Friday and soon this had become a Friday lunchtime team tradition.  These visits provided a great education into English pub culture, allowed me to experience some great ‘pub grub’ and exposed me to some beautifully decorated pubs.  Ever since, I have always admired beautifully decorated pubs and I especially love the beautiful foliage and greenery that adorns the outside of many an English pub. These pictures were taken outside a pub that I often pass by (I have never actually been inside) and the profusion of flowers always puts a smile on my face. I now realise that taking pictures in front of green plants, wearing green, was perhaps not the smartest idea I have ever had, however, it makes for a great ‘spot the blogger in the picture’ game.

I have always been a huge fan of the wide-legged trouser shape in all its forms and printed palazzo trousers are an all-time favourite. They really are an easy-going garment and seem to work with almost anything you pair them with. I enjoy wearing palazzo trousers with flats and heels, however, the one bit of styling that I am always careful about is that my chosen palazzo’s length is in-keeping with my choice of shoes. There are so many beautiful palazzo pants in the shops at the moment that one is spoilt for choice. I intend to add a few more pairs to my wardrobe this summer, hopefully in some bright colours.

I hope you enjoy this lookbook and have a great day.  Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog.

(Clothes and accessories: Top – Zara, Palazzo Trousers – Zara, Tote Handbag – Bottega Veneta, Leather Jacket – F&F Tesco (Similar Mango), Necklace – Michael Kors, Sunglasses – Dior)

Two Trends Together: Cold Shoulder Top With a Gingham Skirt

I am a huge fan of the cold shoulder trend that is all the rage at the moment.  It seems to be universally flattering, appropriate for all ages and a great solution for ladies who prefer not to show too much of their upper arms .

The other new trend that is reigning supreme is gingham. What I love about gingham is that is lends its self so effortlessly to so many looks.  Blue and red gingham always reminds me of summer school uniforms and yellow gingham of beautiful baby nurseries. There are a multitude of colour choices on the high street but black and white gingham is probably my current favourite.

While gingham look great by itself, my recommendation to make a gingham look pop is to add another bright colour to the outfit. I think the addition of a bright colour in any form, be it shoes or a handbag, really brings the gingham check to the forefront and makes for a stylish fashion forward look.

I have paired my black ‘cold shoulder’ jumper with a high-low hem gingham skirt.  I can see myself wearing this skirt through the summer with trainers and sandals.  For now, I have gone for a dressier look with classic black high-heeled courts and a clutch bag.  I have finished it off with a bright blue woollen jacket with padded leather sleeves.  The jacket adds a fabulous pop of colour that makes the outfit stand out from the crowd.

I hope you enjoyed this look and have a fabulous rest of the week! As always, thank you for visiting my blog.

(Clothes and Accessories: Top – New Look, Skirt – ASOS, Handbag – Modalu, Jacket – Truth of Touch)

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)

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