How Can You Look Instantly Stylish?: Keep it Deceptively Simple

I am not going to lie – I love a fabulously put together, complicated outfit, where the juxtaposition of the print and strips works in perfect harmony with an expected pair of fabulous shoes, and is pulled together in a cohesive fashion statement by an extravagantly over the top coat in a gorgeous colour. Stylish – check; fashionable – check; trendy  – check; every day achievable – not quite!

A meticulously curated complex fashion statement is a delight to behold and is indeed an art form.  Is it a realistic expectation for the average woman who waked up early every morning to begin a new day of juggling a multitude of life’s expectations?  I most certainly think not; except for those of us who may be blessed with exceptional taste, it is near impossible to pull together highly stylised ensembles that require considerable thought on a day to day basis.

Let me share a small story – a few weeks ago, I started noticing that a particular polka-dotted white and black loose fit dress by Zara was obviously selling very well (I do not own one). The reason I noticed this was because I was seeing this dress quite often and often multiple times a day in London.  I remember making a mental note that it was so interesting that such a deceptively simple dress should be so well-liked.  I did not realize that I was not the only one to pick up on this independently – till I saw the following article on The New York Times website –  The $50 Dress That Conquered Britain

Only once I had read this article did I realize that I was late to the game but my observations were correct – this dress is a cult hit!  It is indeed a best seller and even has an Instagram page dedicated to women wearing it. Various articles have been written about the success of the dress and Zara is still selling it – back for a second season.

This begs the question – why is this dress so popular?  In my opinion, the single most important reason is that it is deceptively simple to wear in every sense of the word.  It is a relaxed fit, a comfortable midi length and can be dressed up and down with any combination of accessories. The print is a simple canvas that allows you to wear any shoe, jewellery, handbag, coat in your wardrobe and still make the overall effect look well pulled together.  This is the kind of dress that lets the wearer interpret it to work with their body, to their convenience and to their taste – not the other way around!

This is why I believe that one simple recipe to looking instantly stylist is to keep it deceptively simple. Simplicity can indicate a measured restraint and radiate a quiet confidence that translates into a formidable fashion statement; it shows that you understand that sometimes less is more and allows your personality to do the talking.

I am a huge fan of single colour dresses and they make up a good chunk of my wardrobe.  They stand the test of time well and they also present an unlimited opportunity to try out various combinations of accessories and shoes.

In this lookbook, I am wearing a beige dress and a white dress that are simple but their cut and style are highly stylized in my opinion. I have paired my beige dress with an old statement cuff (animal print is still all the rage) and a bold bag to make for a sophisticated work look. I have paired the white dress with a gorgeous Indian necklace from @toraandesign and the simplicity of the white dress really provides a chance for the statement necklace to shine. COS is a great source of single colour dresses with a novel cut; in the summer and the winter – I am a fan!  I hope you enjoy these looks and have a great week ahead.  As always; thank you for reading Isha’s Verdict.

Clothes and Accessories: 

White shirt dress – COS (old)

Beige A-line Dress  – COS

Indian Necklace – Toraan Design 

‘Cult Dress’ – Zara

Black Dress Series: In a Structured Workwear Dress

Hello everyone! Let’s discuss workwear today. When I started my first ‘real job’, many, many years ago, I am not sure that I paid much attention to my work wardrobe. Absorbing the general guidance provided on the internet and from what I saw around me, I bought a couple of suits and separates and stepped boldly into the working world. However, there was one problem.  Many of the clothes I had purchased were uncomfortable when worn all day long and frankly,  not very stylish.  Don’t even get me started on this bright purple skirt suit I once owned…

Today, if I had the opportunity to plan a work wardrobe, what would I do differently?

I think the three most important factors that I would consider in planning a well-functioning work wardrobe would be:

Are the clothes appropriate for my particular work environment?

Are they comfortable to wear all day?

Do they represent my personal style statement?

The dress code that is acceptable at a particular place of work is relatively easy to access after a few weeks of working there. While some environments are more rigid and formal, others are more easy-going in terms of what qualifies as workwear. In my opinion, even traditionally formal work environments require comfortable clothes on a daily basis.  I found being uncomfortable at work was  unsustainable – it had the potential to affect the quality of my work and as well as the quality of my life.  Everyone has a personal style statement but overall, showing that you take pride in your appearance is the underlying foundation of being stylish at work. In my opinion, workwear does not need to be dull but a certain restraint is necessary unless you work in a creative environment where you are encouraged to express your self through your clothes without hesitation.

As work wear, I am a great fan of the structured form of this dress.  It strikes a delicate balance between being chic and comfortable, which can be harder to find than one may think.  The lack of embellishments on the dress make it a great canvas for adding a few bold accessories to complete the look. I have added a bold geometric cuff to the outfit to channel confidence and style. I love the gradual ombre’ gold effect on this patent mid-heeled court shoe and as it is tastefully done, I think they can be worn to work.  Wearing heels to work is not be everyones’ cup of tea and even if they are, we all have those days when we are not in the mood to strut around in heels. Therefore, I have also ‘lookbooked’ the dress with flat brogues that are both comfortable and stylish at the same time. I have to say that brogues are my ‘most likely to go to’ kind of non-heeled work shoe.  They make any outfit look smart and there are so many lovely statement brogues available on the market.

I hope you enjoy this look and thank you so much for visiting my blog.

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – COS (similar), Heeled Shoes – Karen Millen, Brogues – Finery, Handbag – Prada)

‘Reworking’ Workwear: With a White Shirt Dress and a Textured Coat

It is Monday and the weekly cycle of life starts afresh. Work is a large part of this cycle and for many of us work clothes are an integral part of our wardrobe. Workwear can mean different things to different people depending on their profession and country of residence. However, I think most of us would agree that the clothes we wear to work must be ‘authentic’ to our work environment, our audience and most importantly to our personalities!

In traditional work environments it may not be possible to make grand sweeping fashion statements. There is little to be gained in dressing like you work at ‘Vogue’ and showing up to your banking job in a yellow mini skirt and purple fur coat (it might be worth it just to see the look on your co-workers face!). Avant-garde dressing may not be the order of the day but it is still possible to style work wear in a way that champions your fashion prowess and helps you rise above the ‘blandness’ that can often plague conventional work wear. I believe that one of the best ways to be more fashion forward with workwear is to remember that the ‘devil is in the detail’.

For this outfit, I have chosen a white shirt-dress instead of a traditional white shirt to add volume and an element of the ‘unexpected’ to the outfit. I have accessorized it with jewellery that may be minimalist but packs a sophisticated punch. The design on the black coat adds texture and richness to the overall look. Finally, my red bag adds a much needed dose of colour to the traditional black, white and grey colour scheme.

I hope you enjoy the styling of this outfit and thank you for visiting my blog. Have a great week!

(Clothes and Accessories: Shirt Dress – ASOS, Trousers – Zara, Shoes – Vince Camuto , Coat – Uniqlo/Carine Roitfeld (Similar), Handbag – Prada, Necklace – Michael Kors, Watch – Skagen)

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