Chilly Summer Day: Working Monochrome With a Big Belted Lemon Coat

This week gone by, I indulged in an exercise that can be fraught with unexpected drama and dangerous twists and turns – I moved home.  Moving is often a bittersweet experience as the excitement of new adventures is tempered by the empty look of the shell that quickly goes from being a home to just a house on the street. It goes without saying (but I am saying it anyways) that moving home is a great time to declutter and this especially applies to our ever-expanding wardrobes. I often think of my wardrobe as a friendly monster that gobbles up everything I put in its greedy mouth.

This was a great opportunity for me to ‘pump the stomach’ of my friendly monster and I piled into the task with all the conventional wisdom that applies to this topic.  I was going to donate everything I had not worn for over a year, clothes that were tatty and styles I did not care for anymore.  To a great extent, I was successful as I applied a draconian discipline to the dispensing of clothes I no longer required.  However, I found that my resistance to dispose was at its strongest when something was a good fit. This exercise was a strong reminder that of all the great fashion virtues extolled, ‘fit is king’ for me. It reenforced that a fabulous fit is the ‘X factor’ that adds the maximum weight to my self assessment of a look.

I decided to share my recent ‘wardrobe culling experiences’ because I know that the summer sales are in full swing and sometimes the sheer beauty of a big bargain can dull our ability to recognize that an item is not a good fit and should be left where we found it. I am determined not to fall into the ‘bargain’ trap this summer and buy clothes that don’t pass the fit test!

Summer can get a bit non-summer in London and the last few days have been relatively cold.  I find that the perfect solution to chilly summer days is a statement summer coat.  I love the colour and design of this big-belted lemon coat that provides the sunshine on a day that nature chooses not to.

I hope you enjoy this lookbook and have a fabulous weekend! As always, thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and Accessories:

Shirt- Zara

Trousers – Zara

Coat – Mango

Shoes – Karen Millen

Handbag – Marc Jacobs

Reuse and Restyle: A-Line Dress With a Faux Fur Statement Jacket

One of the great joys of living in Mumbai for five years was that given the warm weather year around, there was no need for my summer wardrobe to go into a biannual weather-induced hibernation. On the flip side, one of the great joys of returning to the UK was the chance to wear lovely winter clothes again, including a plethora* of boots and coats (*latest ‘word bank’ word from my son’s English homework that is now stuck in my head).

While not all clothes can be worn independent of season, I think that with a little thought and effort, many clothes can be ‘omniweather’ and exhibit more versatility than we may initially give them credit for. I have featured this dress on the blog before in the following blog post: Happy Dresses:  A-Lined and Ribboned. I find A-lined dresses naturally flattering and I like the grosgrain bow on this dress that helps to draw in the waist. I love this faux fur jacket and the bold white and black stripes that put the ‘statement’ in ‘statement jacket’. I have accessorized the outfit with a pale pink clutch to add a contrasting colour to the overall style statement. Finally, black tights and high-heeled boots add the necessary touches needed to make this a chic, yet playful winter outfit.

On a slightly different note, this is the time of the year when the shops restock after the manic winter sales and display clothes that bring upon a ‘time and geographical warp’.  It is freezing outside and when you look at the new collections in the shops you could be forgiven for thinking you live in Bermuda! I think this early stocking of summer clothes may be a well-intentioned ploy to get us to hone our styling skills by finding a way to wear these clothes in cold weather before the warmer weather arrives.

I hope you enjoy this lookbook and have a great week! Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog.

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – And other Stories, Coat – Mango (This is a similar one), Boots – Forever Unique , Clutch – Gucci)

Italian Adventure: Holiday Wardrobe in Florence

I have just had the pleasure of visiting Florence (Firenze), Italy over the last few days.  Florence is the capital of the Tuscany region and the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance. The city of Firenze has always conjured up images of breathtaking art and architecture and Florence exceeded my expectations in every regard. The Cathedral of Florence and the iconic Duomo must rank amongst the most beautiful man-made structures I have ever seen.  The sheer size and the beauty of the architecture really has to be seen to be believed.  The Galleria dell’Accademia houses Michaelangelo’s masterpiece – the original ‘David’ sculpture.  The whole family was keen to see this and gazing up at the statue it was instantly clear, even to someone with no knowledge of sculpture such as myself, that one was looking at one of the finest sculptures ever made.  The scale of the works (Masters including Botticelli, Raphael, Leonardo da Vinci, Caravaggio and Michelangelo) displayed at the Uffizi Gallery, a prominent art museum, was both humbling and uplifting at the same time. Perhaps the most amusing part of the tour was that with every masterpiece we viewed my younger son had the same question – Mummy, what would this cost? My consistent reply was, ‘Son, you do not want to know”!

What I discovered on my trip to Florence:

  1. My first born has an uncanny ability to read maps  – it is both a revelation and relief that we no longer have to rely on my husband to show us the way. For the record – he said that!
  2. I am a slave to the ‘Patisserie’ – if you have a sweet tooth and are a lover of baked goods as I am, then Italy is the stuff that sweet dreams are made of!
  3. Trip to Florence: expensive. Observing your children’s face when they see in real life things that they have studied at school: priceless.
  4. Seeing multiple nude statues with body parts on display will send children into fits of giggles regardless of place or persons around.
  5. The Italians make fabulous coffee, perhaps the best I have ever had.  They also make fabulous cakes, perhaps the best I have ever had. Italians, I love you!

Going on holiday in winter has often presented a fashion challenge for me.  Coats and boots take up a lot of luggage space and travelling with just one of each is akin to having a bad nightmare in my case. Great winter fashion requires achieving that perfect balance of making comfortable styling choices with warm clothing that keeps you well insulated. The one thing that is absolutely essential in a sightseeing trip are flat shoes and I just about managed with three pairs.  I also wore my Uniqlo extra warm Heattech vests under all my clothes and they kept me warm and snug all day. Finally, as I had mentioned in an earlier blog post, I managed to find a lovely bright yellow coat that I took along and greatly enjoyed wearing through Florence!

(Clothes and Accessories: Yellow Coat – Mango, Grey Dress – ASOS, Black Brogues – Kurt Gieger , Check Heattech Leggings – Uniqlo, Bag with colourful Stripes – Milly, Black Coat – Uniqlo, Black Hat with Pompom – Tu at Sainsbury’s, Floral Dress – Newlook, Short Black Boots – Rachel Zoe)

Reinventing A Wardrobe Staple: Black and White Dress

Once the weather turns colder (even though it seems to be turning warmer in London), it becomes  very hard to continue wearing summer dresses.  However, I find that many of them can be reinvented as tunics or long-line tops to give them a longer lease on life.

I have had this basic black and white dress in my closet for many years and tend to wear it with flat black sandals in the summer to ‘run around’. By adding a colorful scarf and black jeans, I have tried to reinvent this dress into an autumn appropriate outfit.  Brogues and a cross body bag are all this outfit needs to become a comfortable ‘all-day outfit’ for me. It is also that time of the year when you can bring out your light weight coats to add another dimension to your clothes.  I love this coat with its contrasting pockets – it’s fun and practical at the same time!

There is a hint of Parisian chic to this outfit that I love.  I hope you enjoy it as well and thanks for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – Zara, Jeans – Zara,Brogue Shoes – Mango, Handbag – Marc Jacobs, Coat – Helen Berman London (ASOS))

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Indian Summer: Mango Yellow and White Outfit

In my last post, I had discussed how with age I had discovered a new found appreciation for the colour red. I further commented on how this had made me ponder the constantly evolving aspect of personal fashion likes and dislikes.  However, in that same vein of thought, certain aspects of fashion appeal to us from as far back as we can remember. Even when I was a very young lady (a teenager probably) and the seeds of fashion consciousness had just started sprouting in my brain, I remember loving the colour yellow.  My appreciation of yellow has held steadfast through the years and it is still my favorite colour.  I have always been drawn to a yellow and white combination and this is probably one of many outfits I own in those hues.  I am sure you also find that there are certain combinations you always seem drawn to over all others.

This outfit is poster perfect of a great summer Indian ensemble for me.  The white organdy material with the intricate yellow appliqué work is a great example of workmanship and the dupatta has similar panels to tie the outfit together.  The small silver border detail is a great finishing touch.  I was a bit dubious about the bright yellow palazzo pants when I first saw them – but once I put them on it was immediate acceptance.  I have added small jumkis from Fab India and my silver gungroo bangles to enhance the outfit without overpowering its simplistic elegance.  Last but not least, any outfit that I can wear juttis with is a winner in my book!

As always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

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Happy Dresses: A-Lined And Ribboned

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of watching a theatre adaptation of ‘Gansta Granny’, the best seller by David Walliams. The production was excellent and kept the whole family entertained throughout.  At one point, I turned to look around the dark theatre and I saw a beautiful sight – so many happy people, including my husband and children, laughing and enjoying themselves. The moment was a powerful reminder of what a precious emotion happiness is and how important it is to experience it on a daily basis.

I firmly believe that what we are wearing can add to our happiness as well as our self esteem and confidence.  I love A-line dresses because they are easy to wear and tend to suit my body shape.   This lovely dress with a grosgrain ribbon tie in the middle makes me feel happy and relaxed. Just looking at these dragonfly earrings brings a smile to my face.  Wearing them is my attempt at invoking summer weather to arrive quickly and stay as long as possible!

As always, thank you so much for reading.

(Clothing and Accessories: Dress – & other stories, Sandals – Nine West, Bag – Mango, Watch – Gucci)

 

 

Camouflage Comfort: Black and More Black

There are days where you just want to be comfortable! Yes – you want to look good, but ease of wear reigns paramount. This outfit ticks all the comfort boxes with an easy to wear colour, jeans and flat shoes. Also, in real life we need to reuse the clothes we own with multiple outfits. Here, I have re-worn the coat I wore in an earlier post with a dress – https://ishasverdict.com/2015/12/14/gold-stars-always-a-winner/. This time I have paired it with jeans to elevate a casual day look. I hope you like it and have a lovely and comfortable weekend. Thanks for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: Coat  and jeans – Zara, Sweatshirt – Uniqlo, Shoes – Mango, Bag – Burberry, Watch – Michael Kors)