New ‘Wear Any Wear’ Purchase: Pleated and Polka Dotted Swing Dress

I know, almost for a fact, that we have all been there! We have all been gifted or acquired a gift card for a shop that we do not usually shop in and then proceeded never to use it.  Sure we make a half-hearted effort to stop by when we are passing that establishment – but there is never enough time or a determined will to find something we like.  So we continue to carry the gift card around, bemoaning the fact that we never find anything we like, and the cycle continues.

Well, I have done it!  I had a River Island gift card that had been knocking around my bag for ages and I finally spent it right before I went on holiday. I walked into the store and it must have been my day because I spotted this dress immediately.  I love the combination of the pleats and polka dots in an easy to wear swing cut. It’s an ‘easy to wear’ dress that works great with flats during the day, heels at night and soon tights and boots in the upcoming winter months.  It also has full sleeves so it can accommodate many a layer underneath.

Now you may question my rationale for taking a full sleeves dress to Miami in the summer but hey – it was new so it had to be done.  For it’s US outing, I had paired it with my trusted pair of low heels (perfect for holidays) and some dangly earrings.

It was a windy (hurricane expected) evening when I took these pictures so they are my first set of night pictures.  I hope you like this lookbook and as always, thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and accessories:

Dress – River Island (I am wearing a size 6 as they run a bit big I think)

Weekend Staple: Classic White Shirt With Coloured Jeans

Happy Saturday everyone! Yesterday I went to my hairdresser and paid for a wash and blow-dry. It was money well spent as my hair looked great and I did not have to spend the time and effort doing it myself.  As I was sitting in the chair, I started thinking about how much I enjoy getting my hair done by someone else. A question popped up in my mind –  if a beauty genie suddenly appeared and said that I could choose to have one beauty treatment whenever I wanted, what would I choose?  I went through the list of treatments women often indulge in such as blow-drys, facials, massages, manicures, pedicures,  waxing (ok that is not a treat) and many more and decided that I would definitely choose a blow-dry.  If a beauty genie granted you a free wish for one treatment any time any place  – what would you choose?

Weekends are a great time for casual meet ups with friends where I want to look nice but not make the effort to get ‘dressed up’. I find a classic white shirt with coloured jeans works a treat for me  – I can add wedges and a nice clutch to add some oomph to the outfit without going overboard. I love this linen and cloth shirt with pretty bows at the wrist and it works perfectly with jeans of any colour. I have added a lovely ‘insect’ necklace and a striped clutch to add an element of interest and neutral wedges to bring the outfit together.  It’s a comfortable and fun outfit – my favourite kind of clothes for the weekend.

I hope you like this look and thank you for reading my blog.  Have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

Clothes and Accessories:

White shirt – Zara

Jeans – Zara

Fly Necklace – River Island (on sale)

Clutch – Dune

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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Deconstructing ‘Effortless Style’: In a Leather Jacket and a Two-way Scarf

A few weeks ago, a friend asked me the following question: If I was to ask you how I could dress better, but you could only reply in a single sentence, what would you say? After some thought I replied,”For anyone to dress better they need to put some thought into it”. 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.

I have great admiration for people who look stylish and well put together even when they are dressed casually.  However, I find that ‘effortless style’ is rarely effortless! In fact, looking good in casual clothing often requires greater styling acumen than dressing up for a black-tie affair.

Fashion is not the most important or immediate concern for most of us but being well presented has many benefits. The following would be my list of ‘How to Dress better 101’ for my friend:

  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. Dressing quirky is an art and not an exercise in wardrobe blindness.

This is a casual outfit that I have put together using the sneakers as a base and built on the styling from there. I love the bright blue of the jeans which are a recent purchase. I really enjoy wearing this two-way scarf and I have paired it with a light camel-coloured leather jacket that is harder to pull off in the colder months. Cross-body bags are an absolute favourite of mine as I find them extremely practical for everyday use and the light-weight nylon construction of this bag makes it perfect for being out and about. I hope you enjoy this look and thank you so much for reading!

(Clothes and Accessories: White top – Topshop,  Bright Blue Jeans – River Island, Khaki Blanket Scarf – Uniqlo, Leather Jacket – Massimo Dutti, Sneakers – Aquatalia, Le Pliage Neo Bag – Longchamp)

 

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Floral Cold Shoulder Blouse: With A Black Wrap Shirt

I met one of my oldest and dearest friends, M, during freshman year at university. I had signed up for a 7:00 AM chemistry lab and on the first day of class, I was in the elevator going up.  When it arrived at my floor and the door opened, a girl was standing there waiting to get in. Before I could exit, she asked me if I was there for the chemistry lab – I said yes and she informed me it had been cancelled. Being the diligent student that I was at the start of every term (diligence that would swiftly disappear as the term progressed), I said I would like to check for myself.  She responded, ‘I will come with you to check”! So off we trotted to the lab room and sure enough there was a sign up stating that the lab had been cancelled for the day.  “When is your next class?”, she asked. “Not for three hours!”, I said.  “Want to go get some breakfast?”, she offered.  Having weighed my options of things to do at 7:00 in the morning on campus, I said yes.  We have been inseparable ever since and breakfast is always our favorite meal together!

The point of this story is that M knows me very well and often observes things about me that I am not aware of, as good friends do.  One fine day she pointed out that if a piece of clothing has flowers on it – I would buy it! I was a bit surprised and said I had never noticed that I was particularly drawn to florals.  She laughed and informed me that I had very ‘girly’ taste and was always buying flowery stuff.  I didn’t really buy into her analysis and promptly informed her that I had very diverse clothing tastes. Years later, one day my sister-in-law came home with a lovely dress for me.  She handed it to me and said, “When I saw this floral flowy dress I knew I had to get it – it was so you! Seems like M had been proven right and I had to accept- I have always been very drawn to florals.

Coming to this outfit, I am loving the ‘cold shoulder’ trend that it all the rage these days. The print on this blouse reminded me of an old oil painting as well as the English countryside in the summer. Given my new resolve to wear more skirts, I have paired it with a simple black wrap skirt.

Thank you so much for reading and have a great Thursday!

(Clothes and Accessories: Floral blouse – River Island, Skirt – New Look, Bracelets – Isharya, Shoes – ASOS)

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