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)

Statement Necklace: With a Peplum Top and a Trench Coat

When I bought this necklace from a shop in Khan market in New Delhi last year, I had visions of me in a floaty white kaftan on a beach somewhere, whiling away my time as I waited for my foot massage to begin (wearing this necklace of course). In reality, I live in the UK, it is winter and the chances of me getting a foot massage on a beach are about as high as Karan Johar calling to buy the film script I wrote. Therefore, I am sticking to my earlier resolution of incorporating my vacation purchases into my daily wardrobe and not waiting for special occasions to warrant wearing them (as discussed in an earlier post – Mirror Work ‘Jhloa Bag’: Vacation Finds With Everyday Wear).

On a different note:

All parents have their own parenting philosophies and I have mine.  I firmly believe that characteristics that we want our children to display as adults are characteristics they must observe on a daily basis in their childhood. Children are far more likely to ‘do as we do’ than ‘do as we say’. In my opinion, the foundation for mutual respect and equality between the genders must be laid at the very beginning of a child’s worldly experience.

To this effect, a good friend of mine, Tina Trikha, who is as fabulous a writer as she is a mother (I have referenced her work in this post – Happy Mother’s Day: ‘Rescue Mission’ Lace Sari and a Much Awaited Book), penned this letter to her son on his 10th birthday. I thought the letter articulated a very important message very well and I asked her if I could share the letter on my blog with my readers.

Dear Son,

One of my proudest moments as a mother came a couple of years ago when you lost a squash match to a girl. You were both playing in the under-9 age group category. You shook her hand at the end of the game, just as you had been instructed to do, and stepped out of the court. You looked sad, with your head bent low. As you gathered your belongings from the bench, some of your friends and other players sniggered at you. One even said, “You lost to a girl! How could you?” You said nothing back to them.

I watched you looking out of the window during the car ride home. “Are you ok?” I asked, unsure of how you were feeling. You nodded. And then turned to look at me. “Mom, it feels horrible to lose. But I don’t understand why the other kids made a big deal about me losing to a girl. She played better than I did today.” Your 8-year old mind couldn’t understand why anything other than ability and skill on the court mattered. You were sad about losing, but you showed respect for your opponent.

A few months ago, you told me that you hadn’t understood the instructions for an in-class math assignment because you were daydreaming (your words, not mine!). So, you had asked the “smart girl who is really good at math” in your grade for help (your words again). She graciously helped you out.

And just before the winter break, when we were talking about your track and field class in school, I noticed the admiration in your eyes for a fellow girl student who is better than all the other students (boys and girls) in the high jump. “Mom, she FLIES over the bar! No one else comes close.”

I have learned a lot about gender equality from you. I’ve learned from you that true gender equality means turning a blind eye to stereotypes on what boys and girls are “supposed to do” or how they are “expected to behave.” It means letting skills, capabilities and hard work be the only determining factors. It means not making excuses based on gender and giving credit where it is due.

Tomorrow you will turn 10. Double digits! It’s an exciting milestone. Hard to believe how quickly time has flown by. I am writing to you today because a lot of the beliefs that you seem to hold naturally will be tested in the coming years. As physical differences become more pronounced your current mixed-gender sports teams will become separated into boys and girls teams. It may not be long before you hear “locker room banter,” where women are spoken about in impolite terms. Some of your friends may describe this talk as “harmless and natural,” but it’s a slippery slope. I hope that when that talk happens, you will take offense. Not because I want you to think about your sister or your mother when you hear it. But, because it is wrong. Have zero tolerance towards it. You will hear people say, “Just chill. It’s just talk.” Remember that it isn’t too long before words become action; becomes part of regular behavior and attitude and ultimately defines the character of a person.

Don’t let your character change, my son. I still have a lot to learn from you.

Love,
Mom

Thank you for visiting my blog and have a great weekend! Happy Lohri!

(Clothes and Accessories: Peplum Sweater – COS, Trousers – ASOS, Necklace – Khan Market New Delhi , Shoes – Calvin Klein, Handbag – Modalu , Trench Coat – Warehouse )

‘What Should I Wear To…?’ Series: Coffee After School Drop Off

It’s that momentous time of the year again – in the next few weeks (give or take a few days), those of us with children of school going age, will see our darlings returning to school. It’s high time really, family and friends have been visited, summer camps have been attended and copious amounts of sugary foods have been consumed. I can almost hear the computers at home begging for relief and I for one have exhausted my ability to answer any more complicated questions about how the universe works or why I can’t leave one sibling on the corner of the road somewhere! (yes that request has been made).

Children going back to school can often present the opportunity to meet new parents and the dilemma of ‘What do I wear to…?’ to meet new people straight after school drop off.  I have always found that in reality my attention on a school morning is almost entirely focused on getting the children ready, leaving little time for me to worry about my styling choices. For those of us who are heading to work straight after, work clothes save the day. However, if you are not working or work from home, the dilemma of what to wear to school drop-off is a very real one! In a busy morning situation, I find that comfort is key and my go to clothes are almost always a pair of jeans and a t-shirt.  Adding a nice pair of flats and a low-key statement piece such as a nice jacket can elevate that simple look to a more polished one.

In this instance, I have added this adorable embroidered linen bomber jacket to my t-shirt and jeans combination. Adding some leather slip-ons that are not sneakers, a cross body bag and a nice pair of sun glasses takes this look from ‘casual’ to ‘I just throw on stuff that happens to all work together’ in my opinion. I hope you like this look and I also hope that you meet some lovely new fellow parents this start of the new school year.

Thank you so much for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: T-Shirt – Uniqlo, Jeans – Gap, Jacket – H&M, Shoes – J slides, Cross-body Bag – Modalu, Ring – Ishariya, Sun Glasses – Dior)