My Take: The Old, the New and the Constant Key to Improving Your Style Statement

A very happy New Year to all my lovely readers! I hope 2019 will prove to be all we hope for; health, happiness and a healthy dose of great fashion thrown in for good measure.

My year started with a conversation that I have had many times before. The discussion revolved around the basic question of how does one go about improving their fashion statement and become a better dresser over time. The essence of the question remained the same: ‘ What in my opinion,  is the basic key to becoming a better dresser?”

Of course, this is a subjective question with many correct answers. I found that my answer remained the same as it was before. ‘For one to become a better dresser – one needs to put some thought into it”. Now I try never to repeat content on this blog but on this occasion, I will repeat myself in order to present my personal view on the key to strengthening your fashion game.

Personally, I have only ever met a handful of people who can just throw on anything they pull out of their closet and walk away looking like a million bucks. Dressing well may be an innate talent in a select few, but for most well-dressed people it is a talent they have worked hard to cultivate.

Most of the people I know who are consistently well dressed are individuals who put thought into their wardrobes. They read, explore and experiment with fashion and over time they learn what works best for their bodies and personalities. In my opinion, budgets and sizes don’t really play a big part in it – some of the best-dressed people I knew at university were starving students in all shapes and sizes.  However, they all had one thing in common – they were not dismissive of fashion but rather used it as a tool to express themselves. To sum it up, ‘effortless style’ is rarely as effortless as it seems.

Fashion is obviously not the most important or immediate concern for most of us but being well presented does have many benefits. The following would be my list of ‘How to Dress Better 101’, this time with an afterword:

  1. We have heard it a million times before but do plan what you are going to wear the night before;

  2. If you love a look in a shop window – do not hesitate to buy it ‘as it is in the window’. Someone is paying the window stylist to put that outfit together so you may as well take advantage of it;

  3. Try putting clothes/colours together that you normally just wouldn’t pair together. This skill becomes better with practice – just like doing quadratic equations;

  4. If you have little interest in fashion and/or no time to think about your wardrobe but would still like to look good – hire a personal stylist. Pay someone for the knowledge that you do not possess and have no time to cultivate – just like hiring a plumber. You might not agree with everything they say, but you may be pleasantly surprised at some of their suggestions;

  5. If you do not want to get advice from magazines, or shop windows or stylists then try to buy neutral staples and match them together – like a nice black jumper and basic black boots. It is not advisable to just throw clothes on that lack any sense of cohesiveness as an outfit.

We all have an innate fashion sense which is a natural extension of our creative selves.  Do not disregard your inner fashion voice and what inherently appeals to you – the styles that you naturally gravitate towards on a daily basis.  This is important for two reasons: a) styles we naturally like are the ones we will feel most comfortable in and therefore, more confident; b) our natural style is often built on the knowledge we have collected over the years about what works for our bodies and lifestyle.  In my opinion, the key is to recognize what we like and then build upon that fashion platform to incorporate new ideas and experiment with more adventurous fashion without feeling compelled to jump off the deep end into unchartered fashion waters.  By all means jump – but only when you are ready and willing!

More importantly, dressing better is less than half the equation to looking and feeling better. Being kind, compassionate, helpful human beings, enjoying the world around us and looking after our health helps bring that ultimate glow that lights us up from within.

In this lookbook, I am wearing one of my favourite styling methods – combining black and white stripes with cheerful florals.  This cashmere sweater is a lifesaver in the winter and I love the whimsical effect of this embroidered skirt. I have paired it with a bright pink coat and mid-heel boots to ensure an outfit that I am comfortable wearing all day long.

I hope you enjoy this post and have a great week ahead.  As always, thank you for taking the time to read Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and accessories:

Skirt – H&M 

Sweater – Nordstrom Rack 

Coat – Miss Selfridge

Clutch Bag – Zara

Boots – Dune


Traditional Wear: My Five Rules for Effective ‘Mixing and Matching’

I have long advocated the idea of ‘mix and match’ on this blog – especially with Indian attire that never seems to get the wear it deserves.  Now I have friends who are happy to admit in the spirit of fashion honesty, that while mix and match is a great sounding idea to espouse – it is actually much harder to pull off in a desirable manner. I absolutely agree with this sentiment and my reply to them is always along the following lines.

‘Mix and match’ is an established fashion principle.  However, like most well-founded principles, there are some rules that help execute the look more effectively:

  1. Aim for an overall cohesive look – Regardless of what I am mixing and matching, I try and aim for an overall coordinated effect.  This helps tie the various elements of the outfit together to deliver a ‘sharp’ fashion look that highlights your fashion prowess.
  2. Complimentary or clashing colours – Either way, the combination of colours in your outfit should be pleasing to your eye.  If you look in the mirror and feel that these colours have nothing in common, trust your gut instinct and rework the outfit.
  3. Use different textures – Often a mixture of textures works wonders.  For example, silk and lace and linen and cotton are some of my favorite mix and match combinations.
  4. Single colour in varying shades – Creating a fashion look with a small variation in colour tone is a fabulously simple yet sophisticated look in my opinion. Different shades of grey and different shades of pink are great options to try.
  5. Combine patterns and prints – combining geometric patterns with floral prints is a key mix and match option.  I have never gone wrong with combing a striped blouse with a floral bottom – a nice black and white striped blouse is a staple in my wardrobe to be worn with a variety of combinations throughout the year.

The outfit in this lookbook is a true ‘mix and match’ ensemble that I loved wearing.  I bought this lehenga two years ago and I have featured it on this blog previously during Diwali time – Diwali Celebrations: In A Yellow And Pink Kurta And Cream and Gold Skirt. The green blouse is a recent delivery that a fabulous friend got me from Mumbai when I mentioned to her I was in need of one – it pays to know your ready-made Indian blouse size! The pièce de résistance of this look is the gorgeous jewellery set by Toraan deign. This set is everything I love about Indian jewellery – intricate in design and regal in look.  I love this entire look from head to toe as it caters to the passionate love I have for ethnic Indian outfits.  I have added some flowers in my hair to finish off a great summery ethnic ‘mix and matct’ look that would work for a vareity of occasions.

I hope you enjoy this lookbook and I would love to hear your feedback.  Have a great week ahead and thank you so much for visiting my blog.

Clothes and accessories:

Indian Jewellery Set – Toraan design £150 (please email them about this set)

Lehenga – The Silk Tree

Dupatta – The Silk Tree

Blouse – Friend – Santa Cruz Market Mumbai