Warm Winter Chic: My Recipe for Dressing Up and Staying Warm When Going Out in Winter

Happy Tuesday everyone! This Friday gone, I stepped out for a drink with a few friends to the local pub.  It was a bitterly cold evening when we got there and the temperature had fallen even further by the time we merrily stepped out. Standing in front of me, on the cold pub pavement, was a lady looking lovely in a black dress with a flimsy shawl and sky-high open-toed sandals. Just looking at her bare arms and feet sent a shiver down my spine! I could not fathom how she could stand in the frigid night air without turning blue from the cold.  People often ask me what has changed, from a fashion perspective, since I entered my forties.  Many aspects of my fashion sensibilities have changed but this observation leads the pack – I cannot suffer for fashion anymore! I refuse to step out in winter without having adequate protection from the cold, especially if I am going to be braving the elements or public transportation.

So how does one step out looking fashionable on a winter evening without sacrificing warmth? My personal recommendation – get yourself a fabulous statement coat that happens to be really warm as well. I always notice a spectacular coat  –  frankly, if you make an entry wearing a standout coat, and remember to leave it on for a few minutes, it almost doesn’t matter what you are wearing underneath. I would go as far as to say that your evening clothes almost look better coming out from under a fabulous coat. The coat is the first thing that will be noticed when you enter and the last when you exit.  More importantly, it will make you feel fabulous and keep you warm – directly improving your good time ratio.

In this lookbook, I have paired a simple black lace top (with a Uniqlo HEATTECH camisole underneath) with a pair of black jeans and sock boots to ensure a warm bottom half of my body.  They work perfectly as a canvas to show off my favorite statement coat, which happens to be ultra warm as well!  A pop of colour provided via a pretty clutch and bling earrings are all I need to go out on the town, have a great time, and be as snug as a bug the entire evening. I hope you enjoy this look –  I have highlighted some gorgeous statement coats below in case you are on the hunt for one to add to your evening winter wardrobe.

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

Clothes and accessories:

Top – Zara

Sock Boots – Zara

Statement Faux Fur Coat – Whistles

Clutch – Gucci

French Connection
Ted Baker
Mango

 

 

From Personal Experience: A Perfect Personalised Present For Every Member of The Family

It’s the first of December today and Christmas Day 2017 is now 24 days away.  Regardless of whether you celebrate Christmas for religious purposes or from a cultural perspective, Christmas presents are one of the great joys of this time of the year.

I found that it was easy to shop for my boys when they were very young but it has become progressively harder as they have grown. Of course gift cards are an option, but to be honest it’s hard to be enthusiastic about handing over another voucher that will be put in a drawer – never to be found when needed, for all eternity (Seriously, are we the only family who can never find their vouchers when we need them?).

This is why, when I recently walked into the Superga shop on Carnaby Street, I was blown away by their shoe personalization service. They have an artist seated at the front of the store with art supplies and she will custom paint any design you want on your new Superga trainers! She had a few beautiful designs on display (they really need to be seen to be believed) but I was not limited to those designs – I just had to show her what I wanted and she was happy to paint it on the shoe for me.

I have always been a fan of Superga shoes and with the variety of trainers they offer – it is easy to find something for so many people on your list. It so happened that my visit to Superga fell on my birthday, so it seemed only right to treat myself to a new pair of shoes. Surprisingly, my older son who normally has only a passing interest in shoes also expressed a desire to get a personalized pair!

The painting can only be done on their range of canvas shoes (of which there are plenty) and not on their leather trainers.  The shoes are completely washable and they gave me directions on the best way to do so. I asked how much it would cost before she started painting and I paid £15 per pair of shoes (for both feet to be painted). I couldn’t wait for the painting to be finished but they were more than happy for me to come back later to collect them.

They also offer this service at many of their other branches – please check their website for locations.  Also, for those of you who may not have a store near you – I am sure if you called and asked if they could receive your design digitally and then mail the shoes to you – they would let you know if that may be possible.

I love that the personalization possibilities are endless with these shoes  – making them the perfect personalized present for any member of the family! Today’s lookbook features pictures of our new personalized Superga trainers and I hope you like them as much as I do. As always, thank you so much for visiting my blog.

On a separate note, I have added a small section in the sidebar called ‘Deal of the Day’.  As I am a devoted internet shopper and encounter great deals on a daily basis – I thought I would share them with you in case they were of interest.  My plan is to update this deal on a regular basis so do check the section whenever you visit. Just click the picture to take you to the great deal that I may have spotted on my travels through the internet world.

Clothes and accessories:

Shoes – Superga

Dress – Reserved, similar – Reserved

Handbag – Salvatore Ferragamo

Sunglasses – Tom Ford

Jacket – Marks and Spencer

 

 

 

Holiday Shopping: My Top 10 ‘Practical’ Holiday Dresses

The second half of November has started and the holiday shopping season in London is well and truly upon us. This is always a  great time to shop for a new dress as the shops are bursting with new additions and more importantly, there are holiday parties to attend.

There are two kind of holiday dresses – ‘practical’ holiday dresses and ‘non-practical’ holiday dresses.  In my book, ‘practical’ holiday dresses must pass the following five criteria:

  1.  You can wear them to work and then to a party that you go to directly from work.
  2. The addition of high heels and bling jewellery is all that should be required to take them from the office to the party.
  3. They must over some degree of protection from the cold (such as longish sleeves or the ability to wear something else underneath).
  4. They must not be the reason that people on public transportation are staring at you. That is the job of ‘non-practical’ holiday dresses.
  5. You must be willing to wear them again after the new year.

I enjoy wearing both ‘practical’ and ‘non-practical holiday dresses during this time of the year. They both serve different purposes and the great thing about being a girl is that all kind of holiday dresses are needed and welcomed! This particular blog post is about practical holiday dresses.  I have included pictures of a ‘practical’ holiday dress I bought last year from Zara and ended up wearing more often than any other dress during holiday season 2016.

This Friday is Black Friday and there should be some great deals on offer as well as deals on some of these dresses.  Happy shopping and thank you so much for visiting Isha’s Verdict!

Warehouse – A beautiful red maxi dress with lace accents and full sleeves – it is a great holiday dress that you can wear all year long. In February, it would work exceedingly well for a cold Valentines day look.
Warehouse – great dress to wear to work and a party after work. The relaxed A-line shape means you don’t have to worry about what you eat and drink – the whole point of a holiday party!
Oasis – it’s in the colour of the season, the fabric of the season and will keep you warm all night long!
New Look – A lace dress is always a great party look and a pair of lovely high heeled boots is all you need to add to party all night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And Other Stories – I love everything about this dress! You can put a lovely turtleneck jumper under this beauty and be warm and trendy both at the office and at the party!
Massimo Dutti – The beautiful floral print on this dress is perfect for wearing all year long. It is a practical length that works for most occasions and the velvet is bang on trend.
Mango – you can never have to many black dresses, especially in the holidays and this polka dot dress is perfect for any occasion.
French Connection – Beautiful colour, beautiful fabric and a beautiful cut! Add a sparkly knit underneath and party like a pro all evening without ever getting cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Berskha – A beautiful red wrap dress that can be worn to the office, parties and on the weekend with a pair of jeans. This is a perfect ‘practical’ holiday dress that wil not break the bank!
Coast – This gently flared black dress with long sleeves is perfect for the office and a pair of heels and bling earrings will transform it into a great evening party dress. It’s fit should flatter most body types and you really can wear this dress all year long!

From Personal Experience: The 5 Must Haves For an Effectively Warm Winter Wardrobe

I have lived in London for well over a decade now and I have come to gracefully accept (not) that cold days are part and parcel of life.  When I first moved here from Southern California, I found the winter months quite unbearable.  Whenever I stepped out, I was cold and very quickly followed by miserable.  What further surprised me was that everyone else did not seem to be feeling as cold as myself! Over the years, I learned two things:

  1.  I am a naturally ‘cold’ person in the sense that I feel the cold faster than other people around me. It’s genetic – thanks Mom!
  2. I was not dressing effectively enough to combat the cold and truly enjoy the day without turning into an icicle.

Over the years, I have purchased various cold weather clothing and tried numerous brands promising a warmer me. I have now perfected my ‘warm winter essentials’ list – these products are the foundation stones of my ‘snug as a bug’ winter wardrobe. I know that there are others like me out there, and I wanted to share my list in the hope of helping other ‘cold victims’ like myself!

The essential items in my  winter wardrobe include:

  1. Heattech from Uniqlo – I am in love with the Heattech range of innerwear from Uniqlo.  It is the best ‘thermal’ range I have tried and their range of innerwear is extensive including sleeveless, half sleeves, full sleeves and turtleneck inner tops. The range also has different categories of warmth (HeatTech, extra warm HeatTech and ultra warm HeatTech) that allows you to choose the innerwear best suited to your needs. They occasionally carry pretty striped and patterned HeatTech tops that are perfect for wearing under half sleeves dresses and sweaters. I have the whole family hooked!
  2. Ugg Boots – When these shearling-lined boots first burst on the scene many years ago, I wasn’t sure if they would be worth the hype.  I am so glad that I tried them as they are singlehandedly the warmest footwear I have ever owned.  Their effectiveness in keeping my feet warm all winter long is nothing short of amazing! I now own a few of these beauties and they get constant wear throughout the winter.
  3. Velvet leggings from Primark – They claim that these are the warmest leggings you will ever wear and in my case, I found this to be entirely true. These thick fur-lined leggings are perfect for wearing under long-line jumpers, tunics and dresses.  They are one of my best winter wear discoveries that don’t cost the earth and make wearing dresses in the winter a pleasure!
  4. Down Coats – I am a huge fan of down coats. I personally find them more effective in keeping me warm than any other kind of coat.  The Ultra Warm down coat from Uniqlo is part my staple uniform once the cold truly sets in. Buy a long one with a hood and you will love going for long walks in the winter equipped with this cold buster!
  5. Jumper Dresses – Warm and cosy knit dresses are my absolute favourite kind of winter dress.  They come in so many designs and styles and their versatility makes them perfect for both the office and the weekend.  They also make great canvases for showing off your best winter accessories such as hats and scarfs!

These are items that have worked well for me and I hope that they can help keep you warm this winter as well.  I would also love to hear your recommendations of effective cold busting clothes that I might not have encountered yet.

Do share this with your friends and family members that may need extra help in dealing with the cold as I do. Have a great week and thank you so much for visiting my blog!

Clothes

Uniqlo HeatTech Range

Ugg boots

Primark Velvet leggings

Uniqlo Ultra Warm Down Coat

Cos Knitted dress

Ted Baker jumper dress 

‘What Should I Wear To…?’ Series: Breakfast On The Weekend

Happy Friday everyone! As I have said before on the blog, many of us find casual chic styling harder to achieve than getting dressed up for a ball. There is a good reason for this; with day-to-day dressing there are multiple choices and the goal posts change depending on the nature of the occasion.  Getting the perfect balance between comfort, under or overdressing and weather appropriateness can be a challenging task.

Sports-inspired clothing work great on a casual morning out. I have always loved a cricket jumper and find that it has an easy breezy style that lends itself perfectly to weekend excursions. I also like the white/cream base of these jumpers as they are a welcome change from the black jumpers in colder weather. Relaxed striped trousers are all the rage at the moment and it hard to go wrong with a classic red and navy combination.  A nice handbag and some clean sneakers are all you need to show up for breakfast looking like you have mastered the ‘just threw this on’ look.

Of all the meals in the day, breakfast is my favourite and I particularly enjoy a breakfast outing on the weekend.  If you have had a particularly great breakfast in London somewhere – please do let me know so I can add it to my list of places to try.  I hope you enjoy this look and thank you for visiting my blog.  Have a great weekend!

 

Clothes and accessories:

Trousers – Warehouse, Similar  –  Zara

Cricket Jumper – Debenhams, Similar – Uniqlo,  ASOS

Green Velvet Dress: From The New Store ‘Reserved’ on Oxford Street

Happy Monday everyone! I had the pleasure of visiting the ‘new kid on the block’ on Oxford Street recently.  The clothing store is called ‘Reserved’ and it occupies a huge storefront in the heart of the shopping street – you really can’t miss it. I had seen it the last time I was there and this time, despite being in a hurry, I just had to go in. Of course, whenever I am in a hurry, I always spot a winner, and then I get further delayed in purchasing it but let’s not focus on the unimportant segment of this tale.

The most important part of this story is that I saw a beautiful green velvet dress hanging on the rails.  You know the kind of dress that is perfect to wear now but will also see you through the entire season and be perfect for those festive parties later in the year?  This was the perfect all-around ‘winter’ dress in the fabric of the moment and I swiftly took it to the counter.

I love the full sleeves on this dress and the peekaboo black lace trimming at the hem adds an opulent touch.  The colour is gorgeous and the midi length is ideal for wearing with boots and heels.  I tried it on at home and my husband commented that the dress was as gorgeous as the women in it. Mr. Singh is a charmer but then he swiftly asked if I would be kind enough to make him a cup of tea! I should have seen that one coming…

My first purchase from ‘Reserved’ is a winner and I will definitely be visiting again.  The lady at the counter told me that it is a Polish brand and currently this is their only store in London.

I hope you enjoy this look as much as I enjoyed wearing it.  I would love some feedback on my blog and thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Have a fabulous week ahead!

www.reserved.com

Clothes and accessories:

Dress – Reserved (£34.99)

Boots – Forever Unique

Clutch – Ted Baker

Ring – Ishariya

Cape – Ted Baker 

 

 

Sweatshirt Crush: Why You Need a Few Sweatshirts in Your Wardrobe Now

Happy Saturday everyone! We are on our way to a cooling of temperatures in London and soon a long-sleeved garment is going to become a necessity when out and about (except for my younger one who thinks we live in Sub Saharan Africa given his choice of clothing).

Personally, I am a huge fan of sweatshirts and I find them to be a great choice for weekends when I am generally ‘running around’ and comfort is paramount.  I find that sweatshirts send a unique ‘cool casual’ message, regardless of age, that has global appeal. They also lend themselves particularly well as a blank canvas for quirky or serious messages that you may want to broadcast in a way that a sweater just can’t.

I always find myself reaching for a sweatshirt when I have to run off in a hurry (which happens more often than it should) and I love them wearing them with jeans, trousers and skirts.  This blue oversized hoodie that cost £12 has gotten more wear in the past few days than many of my clothes in the last year. That is what I call a successful purchase!

I hope you enjoy this lookbook and these pictures where I have tried to insert myself into a poster on the wall. Have a fabulous weekend and thank you so much for visiting my blog!

 

Clothes and Accessories:

Sweatshirt – Matalan

Jeans – (very old) Matalan, similar – Zara

Sneakers – Salvatore Ferragamo

Handbag – Longchamp

Sunglasses – Bobbi Brown

 

These are some other sweatshirts I would love to own:

River Island
Monki Sweatshirt
House of fraser
John Lewis Sweatshirt

Cold Weather Eclectic: Tweed, Pinstripes, Animal Print and Oxfords

Happy Tuesday everyone! It is officially Autumn and it is time to start enjoying colder weather styling.  There are so many styles, fabrics and prints that come into their own this season and there is nothing more satisfying than wearing them all together.  I like to call this mix ‘cold weather eclectic’ and I am a dedicated fan!

Tweed check coats are ‘the coat trend’ this season and I have already seen more of them that I like then I can count on both hands.  This beautiful grey based tweed is a supermarket buy and Tu at Sainsburys have produced a winner once again. A pair of blue pinstripe trousers will last you all winter and at £12.99 –  these will not break the bank either.  I love the asymmetric frill hemline of this animal print blouse from Matalan and I can see myself wearing it often in the months to come.  I have paired this outfit with my beautiful oxblood oxfords that are achingly stylish and embody my style perfectly. A little crossbody purse and pearl earrings complete this eclectic look and I love how they all look together while being uber comfortable and easy to wear.

I hope you enjoy this look book and have a great week ahead.  As always, thank you so much for visiting my blog.  A big shout out to my photographer @camera.and.i  – I love the fall pictures in St. James Park.

Clothes and accessories:

Coat – Tu Clothing Sainsbury’s

Pinstripe trousers – H&M

Animal Print Blouse – Matalan

Shoes – Massimo Dutti (Similar) 

Bag – Modalu 

 

Things You Wanted To Know About: Laser Hair Removal (and a pretty dress)

For quite a while now, I have wanted to start a new series where by talking to an expert in a field, I can provide my readers some useful information about procedures and processes that form part of our ‘overall fashion equation’.  To this effect, I present my first “Things you wanted to know about” post about laser hair removal.

Autumn is upon us and the warm weather is ebbing away.  After a few months, we will all be looking forward to spring and then to summer, waiting for the sunshine to reign supreme once again.  Summer is lovely – wearing dresses is so much fun and feeling the warm air on your bare legs is a great feeling. However, there is one aspect of summer that is not fun – making sure that arms and underarms, for example, are hair free (if that is the choice you make).  I have always found hair removal to be a pain in the ___ and it was always a chore to maintain my dress legs, especially in the summer. I admit I am a lazy person and procrastination combined with laziness proved to be a constant nightmare when it came to hair removal issues. Then, during my expat stint in Mumbai, my friends convinced me to try laser hair removal.  What can I say, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made when listening to friends (which has not always been the case)!

Yes, there was a cost and time commitment involved but the results have been totally worth it for me.  Therefore, in case any of you have been considering laser hair removal but not made the final decision, I thought I  would ask Tejal Patel who runs a laser hair removal centre to provide some general guidance. This is the perfect time to explore laser hair removal so that by the time summer swings around again  – hair removal issues will not be on your list of things to care about!

Tejal Patel runs SYLCLASE – LASER HAIR REMOVAL FOR THE FACE AND BODY and is certified as a laser hair removal practitioner.  She has kindly answered the following questions for Isha’s Verdict:

Q&A with Tejal Patel

  1. What are the different kinds of laser hair removal available on the market?
    There are two types of hair removal. Laser hair removal and IPL hair removal ( intense pulse light).
  2. What do you specialise in?
    I specialise in laser hair removal.
  3. What are the main advantages?
    First and foremost,  laser hair removal is the most affordable and effective solution to reducing unwanted hair from any part of the body – leaving your skin feeling smooth.
    Laser hair removal is now a well-established treatment alternative to electrolysis, shaving, waxing and depilatory creams.
     – No more stubble, itchy regrowth stage and in- grown hairs
     – Feel confident; wake up in the morning and open your wardrobe without not having to worry if your underarms or legs are hair free
     – No more embarrassing or insecure moments of facial hair showing
  4. What parts of the body can you do?
    One can laser every part of their body except for the delicate areas around the eyes.
     – Full face and neck
     – Shoulders, stomach, back, nipples
     – Underarms, arms, hands, and fingers
     – Hollywood, Brazilian, buttocks, bikini
     – Full legs, feet, toes
  5. Is there a minimum age requirement for laser hair removal?
    The minimum age for laser hair removal is 18. Then, one can say all hormones are settled for the treatment to work.
  6. When is laser hair removal not recommended?
    There are a list of medications that if one is using then laser hair removal cannot be done.
     – If you are pregnant or breast-feeding
     – If you have had breast implants then that area should be avoided
     – If you have had permanent make up done on your face then work an inch away from that area
     – Laser with caution if one has braces ( however the upper and lower lip can still be lasered)
     – Avoid laser two weeks before and after a sunny holiday due to pigmentation and a suntan
     – Avoid laser 48 hours minimum before and after swimming, contact with chlorine
     – Do not laser with any traces of makeup, deodorant or creams and lotions on. This can cause burns to the skin if not removed completely
  7. How many sessions do I need?
    We recommend six to eight sessions. However, every individual is different and every body part and its hair growth cycle is different.  With some parts of the body, the treatment may work within these sessions and others may take a little longer.
  8. How much hair will come back?
    Gradually the hair will grow less and much thinner and finer. The skin will look smooth, silky and hair free.
  9. How much will it cost?
    The cost is dependent on which part of the body you are treating and if more than one area is treated, a discount is offered.
  10. Where are you based? 
    I am based in Brighton and Hove.
    Our address is:

    Sylclase

    7 Benett Drive, Hove, East Sussex, BN3 6PL

    TEL: 07391 221221

    Website: www.sylclase.co.uk

     

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress – And Other Stories

Jacket – ASOS

Watch – Burberry

Shoes – Aldo

One-Shoulder Maxi Dress: With a Statement Necklace

Many years ago, we visited Bali on our honeymoon. My husband and I had never been to Bali before and it was the destination we were both looking forward to the most. We arrived at our resort late at night and it looked so beautiful in the darkness, with small lights glowing in the various cottages dotted around the landscape.  The humidity in the air, the smell of the flowers and the chirping of the crickets all seemed so welcoming as we were led down the winding path to our cottage. Just before we reached our destination, a beautiful woman seemed to miraculously emerge from behind the bushes and  startled us.  “Good evening Mr. and Mrs. Singh”, she said with folded hands, in the most sing-song voice I had ever heard and then silently disappeared into the night again.

For the rest of our stay, every time we would be walking around the resort at night, she seemed to magically appear from behind a bush to greet us.  Just when we were least expecting her, she would be standing before us with folded hands, a lovely smile and her sing-song voice. After a few days, her appearances became a kind of comedy horror show where we found ourselves on the constant lookout for her every time darkness fell. She unnerved me with her silent appearances and equally sudden disappearances. My husband and I came to the conclusion that she either worked very long shifts and appearing silently from behind the bushes was part of her job description or perhaps…just perhaps… she was a figment of our imagination!

For some reason, this one shoulder dress reminds me of her.  Perhaps she was wearing a garment similar to this but for some unexplainable reason every time I put this dress on I feel the urge to fold my hands and say, “Good evening Mr. Singh”, to my husband.  I haven’t jumped out at him from behind the bushes yet but that would be a real laugh! I love the free-flowing nature of this dress and it moves beautifully when I walk.  I have paired it with an ethnic statement necklace that I have lookbooked before (Statement Necklace: With a Peplum Top and a Trench Coat) and I think it is amazing how well the necklace works with two very different outfits.

I bought this dress from H&M last year but I have included some examples below of lovely             one-shoulder dresses that are available now. I hope you enjoy this look and have a fabulous weekend! Thank you so much for reading.

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – H&M, Sandals – Payless shoe Source, Necklace – Khan Market (New Delhi)

Massimo Dutti
Coast
Mango