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)

By The River: In a Cosy Oversized Coat and Faux Fur Boots

It turns out that yesterday was ‘Blue Monday’, supposedly the most depressing Monday of the year.  Apparently – rain, debt and divorce contribute to giving it this dispiriting title and an actual mathematical equation can be used to determine it. Well, of course I was not aware of this when I awoke with my usual cheerful disposition. I then happened to catch this nugget of information on the TV as I was going about my morning duties. Subsequently, I burnt my toast and spilled the tea. I then realized that it was raining outside and I was no longer in the mood to get any of my chores done. As the day progressed, I stared at my list of ‘to do’ things without doing anything and cursed the weather, the computer and the dryer in turn.  Upon deciding to work on the blog, I realized I had writer’s block and a headache. Eventually, the evening was upon me and I had not achieved anything worthwhile throughout the day!

Yesterday was a great example of the powerful influence (conscious or subconscious) of the hyper information that surrounds us on a daily basis. I had absorbed the idea that this particular Monday was supposed to be blue and allowed it to impact my day in a negative manner. It was a strong reminder that I am responsible for my own happiness and productivity and that my dryer is not ‘out to get me’! Therefore, I have labelled today ‘Tremendous Tuesday’ and I am going to finish my ‘to do’ list, write an article and perhaps even head to the gym!

Moving on to clothes – I am a huge fan of the ‘oversized’ look and I love the generous proportions of this pale pink coat. The ‘oversized’ faux fur on the boots makes for an eye-catching boot and I particularly enjoy wearing them in proper winter as they are hard to pull off at any other time of the year! I have always enjoyed the ‘shirt under the jumper’ look and it is a great way to layer effectively in the colder months. I hope you enjoy this ‘lookbook’ and thank you so much for visiting my blog.

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – Marshalls, Shirt – Uniqlo, Coat – Per Una/Marks and Spencer (still in stores), Boots – Aquatalia, Bag – Banana Republic)

Green and Orange: In a Cropped Jacket and Knee High Boots

Happy Monday to all my readers – I hope your weekend did not feel as short as mine! Last month,  I had decided I was going to show some noteworthy discipline this sales season and other than a few items I needed, I was going to hold off any impulse purchases.  Well, then I made the mistake of going to the shops and I quickly realised that I had made my bold decision in haste. After all, taking advantage of a bargain is the mark of an intelligent shopper and whilst I may make hasty decisions,  I would not want any one to cast aspersions on my intelligence!

I loved the scallop neck on this easy to wear dress and given the frequency with which I wear sweater dresses, I thought this was a great purchase. Eventually, my shopping excursion brought me to this lovely bright orange jacket, which was exactly what I was looking for (except I did not know it) and given the price tag, I thought that it would be a most useful purchase. Finally, I saw these lovely suede knee-high boots, also on sale, and they fit me so well that I thought it would be a shame to leave them on the rack.  It turns out that the ‘Pantone 2017 Colour of the Year’ is Greenery and I seemed to have been drawn to the colour of the season without even knowing it!

In the past few weeks, my family and I have had the pleasure of meeting so many of our friends who were visiting from other countries or came back home from visiting other countries. It was lovely to reconnect with them all and hear about their exciting adventures and travels. When it comes to presents, I have always felt that it really is the thought that counts. The fact that someone in today’s busy world would take the time to bring you a thoughtful gift is a huge compliment to the value they place on your friendship.  I wanted to thank everyone for the lovely presents they gave us and emphasize how much I loved receiving them so that they may continue their generous gift giving in the future! I have consumed most of the edible presents but included some pictures of the ones that remain.

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

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – COS, Coat – Therapy (House of Fraser), Boots – Autograph/Marks and Spencer (I cannot find them on their website but my local store had many in stock), Handbag – Claudia Firenze , Bracelet – Calvin Klein)

Soft Winter Colours: With Frayed Denim and a Cozy Knit

During winter, when sunshine is slight and the nights close in early, there seems to be a natural gravitation towards wearing darker colours. Winter colours, such as black, navy and maroon, are lovely colours that add depth and richness to winter clothes. However, there are days when I wake up and really relish the idea of wearing softer winter colours such as cream, grey and fawn.  These colours are lovely in the pale winter sunshine and manage to look cosy and chic at the same time.  Recently, we have had a few gloriously warm days in London for this time of year and I have thoroughly enjoyed wearing these colours as part of my winter wardrobe.

I am a denim fan, and like many of us, cannot imagine what I would wear if my jeans suddenly disappeared! I have been getting more adventurous in my jean choices of late and I love the fraying on this pair. I think high heels are just the lift these jeans need to look their best and I have paired the outfit with my open grey coat (also used in this blog post – https://ishasverdict.com/2016/05/30/supermarket-fashion-strolling-in-wide-legged-trousers/ ) to add balance to the high heels.  If high heels are not your cup of tea, or your feet tire after a while like me, I think the outfit looks equally good with these warm shearling booties (previously featured in this blog post – https://ishasverdict.com/2016/04/22/fabulous-cold-busters-cashmere-and-shearling/ ).

On a different note:

Recently, I have been on the hunt for an oversized coat in a vivid colour.  I would consider, pink, red, green or orange as long as it is oversized, lined and in a fabric I like. I have checked online and in various stores but I have had no luck in finding the coat that I have envisioned in my head.  The few that I have found are either out of my price range or not available in my size anymore. Yesterday I went to Oxford Street as I had an important errand to run in the area (OK I really did – one that involved no shopping at all unfortunately). As I walked to my destination, I must have seen at least three women wearing my coat – well their coats but exactly the kind of coats that I am looking for! Am I the only one this happens to or does this happen to you as well?

Hopefully, I will find this dream coat soon.  Thank you for reading and have a fabulous weekend!

(Clothes and Accessories: Sweater – River Island, Frayed Jeans – River Island, High Heeled Shoes – Enzo Angiolini, Handbag – Givenchy, Sleeveless Coat – Marks and Spencer, Shearling Boots – Cole Haan, Bracelet – Michael Kors)

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‘What Do I Wear To…?’ Series: A Sophisticated Party

I have a distinct memory of being on the first leg of our honey moon in Bangkok and stepping out into the hotel lobby one evening to go to dinner.  As we were waiting to speak with the concierge, I saw a women breeze into the hotel and immediately command the attention of everyone in that room.  She was wearing a lovely pair of high-waisted trousers with an elegant white top and she oozed sophistication.  ‘Stop staring’, I remember my husband whispering but I could not take my eyes off her outfit.  A ‘sophisticated look’  is always a delight to behold and let’s just say my husband has had to tell me to stop staring multiple times after that honeymoon first!

We have all been invited to a party where the occasion, venue or fellow attendees require we attend in ‘sophisticated’ attire. I find that  luxurious materials such as silk or velvet serve as solid building blocks in helping to achieve an elegant and refined style statement. For me,  the key  to sophisticated dressing lies in choosing elegant styles that whisper ‘timeless’ rather than scream ‘trendy’.

I absolutely love the unexpected luxury element that silk brings to this polo top. It might be an ordinary top, but using silk transports the humble ‘polo top’ to a sophisticated garment that qualifies as party wear.  Add to it wide leg velvet trousers in navy and you have an outfit that is both comfortable and uber chic all at once.  I have added a bright clutch and a bling bracelet to bring out the party element and add a ‘pop of colour’ to the overall styling.

I genuinely adore the sophisticated aura that this outfit exudes and I cannot wait to wear it to some winter parties (I am hoping some invites will materialize or else I am wearing it to bed as it feels so good against the skin). Have a fabulous Monday and as always, thank you so much for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: Silk Top – ASOS White, Trousers – Marks and Spencer, Clutch Bag – Henri Bendel, Bracelet – Banana Republic)

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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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Boho Chic: Ethnic Skirt With A Leather Jacket

A movie night with girlfriends has to be one of my surefire ways of having a great evening!  One such evening, my friends M and F and I decided to go out for chaat followed by a movie in Mumbai.  There was only one new movie out in the theaters called Aashiqui 2.  It had just released and given the lack of choice we decided to go watch it despite having had no word of mouth feedback or reviews. So off we went to a restaurant and gorged on chaat, bhel puri and other delicious fare.  When the meal was finished, the bill was placed in front of me and my friends handed me some cash for their part of the bill. As we continued to talk a mile a minute, my usual forgetfulness reared its ugly face and as I put my hand into my handbag – instead of taking out my share of the money, I put the money  I was holding into my handbag.  A few minutes later we got up and exited the restaurant, on our way to the movie.  Suddenly, the waiter from the restaurant came flying out behind us and said, ‘Madam you need to pay your bill!”

Suffice to say, I realized what I had done and I was so mortified that I kept apologizing to the waiter while my friends had a good laugh at my expense.  Bill paid, we made our way to the movie and sat down with a big box of popcorn because the five-minute walk from one venue to the next had obviously renewed our appetites!

The movie started and between our full bellies, great music, the easy on the eye leading man and our constant chatter, we had a thoroughly fabulous time.  At one point in the movie, during the self-styled rehabilitation of the hero by the heroine (for alcohol addiction), there is a scene where she is washing his hair.  My friend who was looking dreamily at the screen said, ‘I want to do that’.  My other friend looked at her with a straight face and said quizzically, ‘You want to wash his hair’?  This might not sound very funny now but at that moment it was hysterical and we all collapsed in our seats in peels of laughter.   It was a memorable evening and one I always remember fondly where I hear the music of Aashiqui 2.

My aforementioned friend M, always called this skirt ‘My Aashiqui 2 skirt’ as for some reason it reminded her of the clothes that the heroine wore in the movie. I have always enjoyed wearing this boho skirt with a simple t-shirt and thong sandals.  I have added a statement necklace for further ‘boho effect’ and I think the black leather jacket works really well in adding a ‘tougher’ vibe to the overall look.

I hope you enjoy this look and thank you for reading my blog.

(Clothes and Accessories: Skirt – Cottons (Mumbai), Tshirt – Marks and Spencer, Sandals – Aldo, Necklace – New Look Premium, Leather Jacket – Marks and Spencer)

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Stripes Galore: Wrap Dress For Many Seasons

It is the 1st of August when I write this post  – it is hard to imagine how quickly the first half of the year has already flown by!

Over the course of my vacation at my ‘maika’  (maternal parents home), I have had the opportunity to meet family, old friends and acquaintances. While family and good friends are almost obligated to offer positive feedback on the blog (which they kindly do), what has been truly humbling has been the appreciation from acquaintances! Acquaintances, from the very definition of the word, are people who know you, but the relationship is not deep enough to be obligation driven and thus, they are not under any requirement to compliment you on your endeavors.  Genuine compliments from them about the blog have been very gratifying and I am very thankful for their appreciation.  Most importantly, it has been an eye opening reminder of the amazing effects of positive reinforcement. I am an adult, and hearing positive feedback not only makes me happy but fuels in me the urge to do better work in the future.

I am currently preparing one of my dear children for certain entrance exams for school. Personally, this reminder of the tremendous effects of positive reinforcement could not have come at a better time for me. It has illustrated to me, as a parent, that strong messages that reinforce the strengths of children are the most effective way to influence children to approach learning with a smile on their faces – OK a smile may be asking for too much but at least it will reduce the moaning considerably!

I have enjoyed wearing this wrap dress tremendously over the last few months.  I find that this dress is one of those perfect pieces that is not overly feminine but a dress for all times of the day and can be dressed up or down to lend itself to all kind of events.  I find that wearing it with some fierce heels and a reptilian cuff gives it a certain edginess that conveys just the right amount of dressy confidence.  It is an easy to wear, no-nonsense dress and I love it for these qualities! I am in sunny California and the while the hot weather here offers no hint that the second half of the year has begun, I know that by the time I return to the UK, it will be time to consider adding transitional pieces to my wardrobe to see me through to the colder months. I think wearing it with this leather jacket will work well when the weather cools and add a touch of masculinity to the outfit that elevates the entire look.  Wearing the leather jacket now for the pictures was hot and uncomfortable but these are the sacrifices I gladly make for fashion!

As always, thank you so much for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – Topshop , Cuff – House of Harlow, Shoes – Halogen, Leather Jacket – Marks and Spencer (this jacket is very similar), Clutch – Topshop)

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Viva México: Vacation Fashion At Cabo Azul

Happy Wednesday everyone – I hear that the weather in London is hot, hot, hot!

As I had mentioned in my recent post on my Mexican vacation (https://ishasverdict.com/2016/07/16/viva-mexico-vacation-wardrobe-in-cabo-san-lucas/) we stayed at a resort called Cabo Azul (a Diamond Resorts property) while in Cabo on a family vacation, kindly hosted by my parents. The whole family had a fabulous vacation and a large part of the credit goes to the lovely property we stayed at and their wonderful service provided by the entire team.

The resort is built on 12 acres of ocean front property and is located on the quieter side of town, in San Jose del Cabo, along with other resorts.  As a parent, a large part of the success of a resort vacation hinges on the entertainment available for children. Some of the highlights of the resort for me and my family were:

  • Multiple pools of varying depths and temperatures, jacuzzis and a dedicated children’s pool with a water slide and other fun features.
  • Delicious food including authentic Mexican food and the obligatory pizzas and pastas.
  • Exceptionally friendly staff who were always happy to help and chat.
  • Beautiful spacious rooms that were decorated to a very high standard, in a stylish blend of modern and traditional elements.
  • Lots of entertainment for adults and children and organized kids activities for the entire week including table tennis, scavenger hunts dive-in movies etc.

Moving on to the topic of swimwear – I am a huge fan of tankinis and swim skirts as they provide an optimal balance of comfort and coverage when I am running around the pool with my kids.  I loved these cheerful floral print separates from Debenhams and all I needed was my big pink hat and pompom straw bag to try and channel some retro glamour by the pool. I enjoyed wearing this cow print faux wrap dress from Marks and Spencer Autograph range in Cabo as well as the thin material was perfect for a resort vacation. The blue French Connection dress is one of my all time favorites for its versatility and form.

Thank you so much for reading as always.  Thank you mom and dad for the lovely vacation – I am free next summer as well in case you decide that some more family vacations are in order.

(Clothing and Accessories: Blue Dress – French Connection, Floral Swimsuit – Debenhams, Straw Bag – Primark, Pink Hat – Banana Republic, Cow Print Dress – Marks and Spencers Autograph Range, Black Wedge Sandals – , Brown Sunglasses – Dior, Blue Pajama Kurta – Anokhi, Blue/Pink Pajama – Sainsburys Tu Clothing)

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Supermarket Fashion: Strolling In Wide Legged Trousers

Happy Bank Holiday Monday everyone! Holidays are exciting in themselves, but I find that holidays where no adventures are planned can be very relaxing. There is something spectacularly special in being allowed to run weekend chores at a relaxed pace versus the military precision required on a normal weekend to cart adults and children around to various classes and activities. Add to this some sunshine, barbecues and morning lie-ins and one is reminded of the simple pleasures of life.

Long weekends usually involve trips to the supermarket and of course an opportunity to purchase some lovely supermarket fashion. I have mentioned my love for supermarket fashion in  previous posts (Supermarket Fashion: Bread, Milk and Clothes and Supermarket Leather Jacket: Shopping In My Closet ), and it is wonderful to go after a few weeks and see new arrivals hanging on the shelves. These pair of wide legged trousers are my latest purchase from Sainsburys and so comfortable to wear. I have teamed them with my sleeveless coat which I find are great garments for the transitional weather during this time of the year . With it, I  am carrying a quirky cloth tote that my best friend gave me over a decade ago and always reminds me of her when I use it.

As an aside, some of you may have noticed a bottle of Captain Morgan sticking out of my bag in one of the pictures. Fear not, I have not become a ‘carrying alcohol in my bag kind of lady’ yet – my mother-in-law had given me a home made ‘cough be gone concoction’ a little while before the picture was taken and fearing that the bottle may break, I had slipped it into my bag.

Have a fabulous holiday Monday and as always, thank you for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: Trousers – Sainsbury Tu, Top – French Connection, Coat – Marks and Spencer, Watch – Apple, Sunglasses – Kate Spade)