Autumn Boho Style: and my Love of Steam Irons

I am a huge fan of boho style – the florals, embroidery, dangly earrings and heaps of bangles – all worn together to create a truly unapologetic feminine style statement. We often associate boho styling with summer, flowy dresses and flowing locks. While a bohemian look works fabulously in the summer, in my opinion, it works equally well in the colder months.

Autumn brings a rich bounty of dark floral dresses to the shops and I think they form the perfect starting point for a great boho outfit. All you need to add is all the other dangly bits and bobs, a great handbag and a pair of boots to complete your moody autumn bohemian look.

Speaking of flowing dresses – there is nothing quite like the pleasure of putting on a recently ironed dress with no creases where the material sways gently as you walk – bliss! This blissful state would not be possible without my other love  – full powered steam generator irons.  The other day I went to get my eyebrows done – as one does when they start to shoot past their pre-set boundaries and take over your face.  The eyebrow lady and I were discussing what household chore we love and hate and we both said at the same time, “I love ironing and I am happy to iron anytime.”  What an amazing coincidence we thought, and decided to delve deeper into our mutual love of ironing.  Lo and behold, we quickly discovered that both she and I use full powered steam generator irons and would rather trade in our husbands before we gave up on the irons! I have been using a powerful steam iron for a few years now and I can truly say that it is among the best household purchase I have ever made.  They are more expensive than normal irons but worth every penny that I have ever spent on them. The creases just fall away and I always end up freshly ironing my clothes whenever I need to as they make the process so very easy and satisfying.

This is not a sponsored post on behalf of any ironing company and I have used multiple brands in the last few years. The eyebrow wonder lady and I were waxing eloquent about these machines and I told her that I owed it to my readers to share our mutual passion with them, in the case that someone had not tried one or was sitting on the fence about purchasing one.  Trust me, ladies, these machines are worth every penny and as Loreal tells us – you are worth it!

I hope you enjoyed this lookbook and I would love to hear your feedback.  As always, thank you for taking the time to read Isha’s Verdict and have a great weekend.

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress – Zara

Cape – Ted Baker

Handbag – Coach

Boots – Dune Black

 

Double Dressed: Summer Midi Dress With a Dress Jacket

I have written about the powerful ability of clothes to evoke memories before. As I advance in years, there are more memories to be evoked; good or bad, nothing takes you back to your childhood faster than your own recollections when you see something that makes an instant connection with the memory bank in your brain.  This red and white dress instantly reminded me of tea towels, bedspreads and sacks that I regularly saw in my early years in India.

The hand-loom sack-like material makes for a lovely summer dress that has an ethnic boho vibe to it. It’s hard to go wrong with red and white and given its relaxed shape, I thought it would make a great addition to my summer wardrobe.  I have paired it with another khaki dress, masquerading as a summer coat, that can easily be worn as a dress once buttoned up.  I love the layering effect of the dress coat and its light construction is ideal for slightly chilly summer evenings.  I have finished off the look with tan shoes and a tan cross body purse that goes with everything. On its next outing, I plan to wear my khaki coat-dress with white sneakers and a colourful bag.

I hope you enjoy this look book and thank you for visiting Isha’s Verdict.  Please recommend your friends and family have a look at my blog if you think it is something they would enjoy!

Clothes and Accessories:

Dress – Debenhams (on sale)

Coat Dress – Zara

Handbag – Rebecca Minkoff

Sunglasses – Dior

 

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

Weekend Fashion: Bright Colours and Statement Sneakers

A very happy Saturday to you all! One of the nicest compliments that I have received from a reader is that she enjoys my posts where I feature trainers (or sneakers) because as an adult she had forgotten how versatile and grown-up trainers can be and as a result did not own any ‘beautiful’ trainers. Now, she was reintroducing trainers into her shoe collection and enjoying styling them as an integral part of her casual look.

I am a great fan of the ‘beautiful trainers’ trend and I hope that it stays at the fashion forefront forever! In my opinion, it is far easier to style a great evening look than it is a great casual look.  I am convinced that the reason so many women reach the point of articulating ‘I have nothing to wear’ (which I have definitely said) is because putting together a cohesive casual look is trickier than it seems. I am constantly bowled over by people who have great ‘effortless’ casual style and seem to put together everyday outfits in fabulous combinations.

What have I learned from observing these fabulous fashionistas?

  • Spend a larger chunk of your budget on buying good quality casual clothes and shoes – you will get more wear out of them than an expensive dress.
  • Incorporate more colour into your casual wardrobe and make the effort to bring together different colour combinations on a daily basis.

I am enjoying pale coloured jeans at the moment and I love the combination of red and pink in any outfit.  I have included a light-weight navy jacket to the mix to bring in another colour to my casual weekend look. I absolutely love these silver trainers as they are made of the softest leather that envelopes the foot and makes for a great ‘walking around town’ stylish trainer.

I hope you enjoy this look and have a great weekend! Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog.

(Clothes and accessories: Top – COS, Jeans – Zara, Jacket – Uniqlo, Hangbag – Givenchy Medium Antigona Tote, Trainers – Salvatore Ferragamo)

 

 

Flower Power: Floral Jacket With Cropped Jeans and Blue heels

Happy Monday everyone! There are beautiful crisp white blouses and florals galore in the shops and I want all of them! Every time I think I have seen the best white blouse ever, I see an even better one the next day. I love this shoulder-tie tunic/top from last year and what better top then this to gently disguise the indulgences of the past few weeks.

I am loving the new crop of cropped jeans and I think they look fantastic with a great pair of heels. Even though it is not sandal weather just yet, it is perfect weather for a pair of unusual blue heeled Mary Janes. Every once in a while, I will spot a pair of shoes in an odd colour that I love and these very reasonable ones from Zara instantly had my attention. This floral brocade light-weight jacket is bang on trend and with all its fabulous colours, it really will go with everything.  I love the overall easy-going vibe of this ensemble and I think it makes for a relaxed yet chic spring outfit.

I hope you enjoy this spring lookbook and thank you so much for visiting my blog. Have a great rest of the week!

(Clothes and accessories: Jeans – H&M, Top – Zara, Jacket – Warehouse – , Heels – Zara, Handbag – Alexander McQueen)

Pinks and Blues: Faux Leather Floral Skirt With a Chunky Knit Jumper

Hello everyone! It is going to be a short write-up today. Pinks and blues are such lovely hues – especially on sale!  I am lookbooking my latest outfit purchased for less than £24 in the sales (£11 for the sweater and £12.99 for the skirt). I love the floral pattern on this skirt and I have a new found appreciation for ‘pleather’ skirts as they hang so beautifully. Chunky sweaters are a great winter staple!  I think this oversized jumper with a cable pattern (in the hottest colour of the upcoming season – pink) adds a certain ‘cool casualness’ to the outfit. I have paired the clothes with my blue boots, a navy bag and a purple coat – bringing all the blues and pinks together for a great winter look.  I really like the way the look came together and I hope you enjoy it too!

Have a great Thursday and as always, thank you so much for visiting my blog.

(Clothes and Accessories: Sweater – New look, Skirt – Zara (may still be available in stores), Boots – Charles and David, Handbag – Karen Millen, Coat – COS , Bracelet – Swarovski)

 

At St. Ermin’s Hotel: In Flats and In Heels

Recently, my family and I had the opportunity to do something we have never done before – take a ‘staycation’ in central London.  We stayed at the St. Ermin’s hotel (an Autograph collection hotel) in Westminster, a central London hotel with an amazing history and a stone’s throw from St. James’s Park station.

The remarkable history goes as follows: In 1940 Winston Churchill held a meeting at St. Ermin’s Hotel with a group of people and asked them to join him in ‘Setting Europe Ablaze’ – they were to become the founding members of the SOE (Special Operations Executive). This unit carried out covert operations during WW2, from their headquarters which were an entire floor of St. Ermin’s Hotel, whilst MI6 were situated two floors above. The SOE agents’ printed coded messages on pieces of silk, of which an original sample still hangs in the Lobby.  In the 1950’s the spy Guy Burgess (part of the Cambridge five) handed over secret papers to his Russian counterpart in the Caxton Bar. Furthermore, it is rumoured that a tunnel runs from underneath the grand staircase in the Lobby all the way to the houses of Westminster.

I absolutely loved the character of this hotel and the unusual lobby with its gorgeous staircases and plaster work that were designed by the famous Victorian theatre designer J.P. Briggs. There is a lovely boutique charm about the hotel and I particularly enjoyed the cozy atmosphere of the Caxton Bar.  I have to say that enjoying a drink by a warm fireplace (with a real fire) in the bar was a lovely treat! We also decided impromptu to indulge in the high tea served in the tea rooms above the lobby and I thoroughly enjoyed the fare.  I found the high tea service friendly, without being pretentious, and one that seemed very child friendly.  Of course, our decision to indulge was sudden (like I was really going to say no when my husband suggested it!) but they are happy to make special provisions for kids if you book ahead of time.

I have always championed the case of ‘fabulous flats’ and there is something very refreshing about dressing up and not wearing heels. I love the shimmery elegance of these flat ballerina shoes and I think they work exceedingly well with the frill-bottomed cropped trousers.  The oversized faux fur clutch is a stylish nod to winter and is amazingly versatile in terms of styling.

I have mentioned before that I have rarely met a shirt dress I did not like and this one was no exception.  I love the simple yet sophisticated design of this dress and how the waist can be drawn in from both sides.  It’s full sleeved and appropriate for work and play – what’s there not to love! Plus, I think it would also look great with a nice pair of white sneakers.

I hope you enjoyed this ‘lookbook’ and thank you for reading.  Have a great rest of the week!

www.sterminshotel.co.uk

(Clothes and Accessories: Silver Jumper – And Other Stories, Trousers – Zara (similar), Clutch – And Other Stories, Flat Shoes – SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker, Shirt Dress – H&M, Grey Bag – Salvatore Ferragamo)

Italian Adventure: Holiday Wardrobe in Rome

Following a wonderful trip to Florence, I had the pleasure of visiting Rome for a few days.  I have been to ‘the eternal city’ before as a child and my most vivid recollection is one of walking and walking and walking, punctuated only by my constant question to my parents, “are we there yet?”

Rome is a history lesson on steroids – there is magnificent history on every street corner! I think it is impossible to run out of things to see in Rome (very similar to London) and we tried to see as much as we could, given the constraints of time and energy. Of course the Colosseum, the Vatican museums and Saint Peter’s Square were incredible and anything I write will not do justice to their immense grandeur. However, what took my breath away was the beautiful architecture all across Rome.  Beautiful buildings, ancient ruins, quaint alleys and stunning sculptures meld together to create a truly magnificent city that has to be seen to be believed!

Italians are renowned for their fashion prowess and in my opinion, it is a deserving reputation. A ‘fashion sixth sense’ seems to prevail amongst the residents of the city.  I witnessed great fashion on the street and both men and women were dressed incredibly well.  Most impressively, the styling of their outfits was exemplary and I couldn’t stop gawking at the many fashionable people who crossed my path. The language barrier was about the only thing that kept me from asking, ‘Excuse me, where did you buy that?”, on many an occasion.

Any article on a visit to Rome would be incomplete without mentioning the incredible food.  Be it the pizza, pasta or gelato – it was all fabulous and quite frankly perfecto!  However, for me the highlight of the culinary experience  was the coffee and pastries available at the many exceptional cafes around the city.  I have never had smoother coffee anywhere in the world and every sip was sheer joy.  The pastries – well let’s just say that one morning when I ate a cannoli I swear i could hear angels singing! My version of the iconic latin phrase attributed to Julius Caesar – Veni, vidi, vici (I came, I saw, I conquered) would definitely be – Veni, vedi, edi (I came, I saw, I ate).

I thoroughly enjoyed Italy and cannot wait to explore more of the country in the near future.  I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas and boxing day.  As always, thank you for taking the time to read my blog!

(Clothes and Accessories: Pink Cashmere Dress/Tunic – H&M, Knitted Dress – H&M (similar), Black Brogues – Kurt Geiger, Checked Dress – Zara, Blue Striped Shirt – Topshop, Grey Jacket – Gap, Shearling Boots – Uggs)

 

 

Festive Dressing Series: Black Lace Dress With a Patterned Bag and Striped Shoes

It is that lovely time of year when festive clothes take over the high street. In every store you enter, there are bright and shiny clothes hanging from the rails like baubles on a Christmas tree.  Going shopping before the holidays is a test of tremendous will power for me.  With my relatively weak resistance to shiny new clothes, I have to often remind myself that I already have a version of something I have just seen in my closet! Then I have to remind myself to concentrate and remember that I am here to shop for other people but I digress…

The one dress that I have seen multiple versions of this season is the black lace dress. They are a giant staple in the party market and are as versatile as they are plentiful.  A black lace dress could easily be the poster child for ‘wear to any event dress’ as they are appropriate for so many occasions, can be dressed up or down and  usually have a longer life span than so many other styles out there.

After successfully talking myself out of a black lace dress earlier this week,  I have used a black lace dress that was already in my closet for this lookbook.  I am a fan of the long unlined lace sleeves and the easy to wear length of this dress. Accessories and shoes are always a game changer and during the festive season I often try to skip the conventional black dress/black shoe pairing and go with shoes and  accessories that contrast/compliment the dress.  I think the juxtaposing of the floral patterned bag and striped shoes add a touch of glamour to the overall styling and work well in making the look more festive. I adore long coats in the winter and this long double-breasted black coat makes for a great staple in my winter wardrobe (along with making me feel like a movie detective). I  wanted to add some festive bling to the coat in the form of a sparkly brooch  but I did not own one.  Therefore, I have utilized the creative part of my brain and taken a pair of sturdy earrings I own with flat backs and worn them as a brooch.

Below, are some full sleeve black lace dresses  and striped shoes that I like the look of.  I hope you enjoy the styling and have a great rest of the week!

(Clothes and Accessories: Dress – Zara, Shoes – Zara, Handbag – Whistles, Bracelet – Swarovski, Coat – DKNY)

karen-millen-black-lace-dress
Karen Millen Black Lace Dress
yumi-black-lace-dress
Yumi Black Lace Dress
oasis-black-lace-dress
Oasis Black Lace Dress
blue-moon-dune-shoes
Dune Blue Stars Shoes

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‘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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