Quora is the new Tinder. And self-love is the new goal.

A few years ago, my friend had commented on this really good answer given by a guy on Quora. And she’d written, “I wish I had a boyfriend like you.”

It was such a good answer that she’d shown us all. I don’t remember much of it, though.

Years passed. And life took over. But fate had something different planned.

Because… last month, they met again. But this time on Tinder. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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You’ve broken up recently. Say around 5 to 11 months ago.  You were hung-up over everything about him. But with each passing day, you’re better. You’ve never been this fit. You’ve never even looked this hot. And your skin is just glowing from all the free time you’ve had after your break up. Time you’ve spent primping and polishing and shining it. You’ve been sleeping 10 hours every night so your dark circles have gone. You aren’t eating out anymore so your skin’s glowing with home-cooked health. And you feel like you’re ready for another whirlwind of sleepless nights, bottles of wine and Chinese takeout.

So what do you do? Traditionally you’d ask a friend to set you up. Or you’d log on to Tinder.

But wait a second? Why don’t you try Quora?

Yes, you heard me. Quora. The forum where people ask questions (some of them really lame) and experts answer them (some of them really well).

And who knows whose answer you may like? Or who may like YOUR answer?

 

And if Quora doesn’t work, there’s LinkedIn (for fellow frustrated-with-their-job people), Zomato (for fellow foodies), Art Parasites (for fellow poets and healers) and Twitter (for fellow opinion expressers). Or you could always go to a bookshop, coffee shop, library, monument or the queue outside the loo at a bar and try your luck.

And, if none of this works, then maybe you need to take more time out sleeping, reading and pampering yourself. And when the self-love is skyrocketing, try again.

It’s indeed true and I have seen so myself. The minute your self-love increases, you find love from elsewhere too. It’s uncanny. I guess inner happiness reflects outside. And you begin giving out positive vibes. So much so, that people are attracted to you from back in time (like this Quora story). Or from unexplored territories (Like someone you didn’t even speak to, suddenly walks into your life and says hello).

But, because this is Chai High and it is supposed to be a fashion blog, I’ve of course, got to bring the topic back to fashion.

So why don’t you go this evening and do something that makes you love yourself even more? Like going to the gym and working yourself sweaty. Or buying a dress that shows off those curves.

 

And if the way you look doesn’t affect your state of mind, then do the things that you know will spark you off. Like writing a story, painting a scenery, cracking an idea or nailing a presentation. And when you’re done loving yourself, you’ll find love. And not just romantic love. Family love, friend love and maybe even dog love!

So, this Monday, drive away the blues by doing something that’ll make you feel great about yourself. It could even be something like giving up a bad habit. Smoking. Or it could be something like calling up a friend you haven’t spoken to in years.

And maybe someone from ten years ago may show up out of nowhere. And it could be your lucky charm.

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Colouring outside the lines

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Most Indians seem to suffer from a serious lack of imagination, when it comes to everyday dressing.

Not that I am an expert.

I mean yes, crop tops are everywhere. BUT HELL, go easy on them. I am serious. My Pinterest page was full of them about two years back. And while the world has graduated to other forms of styles, India seems to have discovered crop tops and maxi dresses yesterday.

Why are we the laggards when it comes to fashion? Yeah, yeah, we have better things to concentrate on… Like inventing the Zero and landing on Mars, but a little experimentation wouldn’t hurt. Will it?
Instead of blindly borrowing the styles worn in the West and following them when propagated by our so-called-fashion magazines.
Why?
We only rely on fashion designers and the professionals to do the thinking.
Sarees are widely perceived to be ‘shaadi’ or ‘graduation’ worthy, thrown out of the work-culture with the polyester sheer shirt somehow being handed that advantage.
God I have begun to hate that shirt.
From the slimy streets of Bandra to the shimmering ‘hi-end’ malls, the racks are stacked with the Polyester Georgette Sheer shirt with metal buttons. Sheesh!
I wouldn’t hate it so much, if my colleagues and contemporaries teamed it with an interesting skirt or a hand painted stole. Or wore something that didn’t look so much like a signature copy-paste from a magazine or a TV show. I mean yes, we all need inspiration and we do look at celebrities and movies for interesting styles, but wouldn’t our world be a little more interesting if we just had a little more colour.
If people built their brands around themselves, and their clothes were the packaging?
And everything they wore hence forward would just be building blocks of the narrative on the journey that they, the human being as a brand, would build? I mean, people, GO OUT. Discover India. The world is knocking on our doors for we have the craziest and most awesome of crafts.
Try making a dress from a block printed fabric. Or even a crop top, if you insist.
Add a border… Not a thick one. Choose the narrow gold one, that gets lost in a sea of eye-hurting borders that your tailor chooses to unceremoniously heap onto the edge of that hideous Anarkali.
Wear some beads. Not the inglorious ones you see hanging from Forever 21 or Aldo.
Wait! I am not supposed to dictate these terms. So yeah, if the Forever 21 accessory department is you, go ahead.
Choose your beads. Handpick your stole. Scout the streets for unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that you can play up or play down. Wear the sheer shirt if you must! Of course it’s not bad. JUST add some story to your outfit.
I mean we’re all born creative right? And it doesn’t hurt to look good.
Why must we all be a product in the mass-produced, heavily industrialised market of today, wearing what the export houses churn out in billions?
When Gandhiji said ‘spin’… he had a point.
When I say so, I have another.
Assert yourself through curating your look.
Assert your independence when it comes to style.
Stop following.
Start leading.

Fashion. Style. And why rental is the hot, new way to nail the two.

Fashion. Hmm… what is it exactly? Art? Style? Or just plain advertising? Here’s what I think.

It is art at her vainest best, amidst trumpets, drums and all that finery. The sparkle of an earring, the shimmy of feathers, the rustle of silk…

It is Art’s dramatic outburst on stage. A tantrum that inspires millions. Crop tops, palazzos, leggings, culottes… A gust of wind that goes as swiftly as it comes.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 1.04.38 pmPhotography by Saurabh Dua | Click here for more of Saurabh Dua’s work…

A stubborn bang of the judge’s gavel. Order, order. A summer fling, tugging at your heart-strings (and budget), until you’re exploding into 50 shades of desire. *Sigh* those butter-hued platforms

It is art that lasts a season. “The only thing constant in fashion is change.”

Fashion is art that cannot be ignored. Because it’s been worn, carried, walked-in or slung-on by your friend, neighbour, colleague or the boy you brought home…

Until finally… wait for it… finally you jump onto the bandwagon only to find your mother already there and heck, it’s too late to jump off now!

elle-india-5Editorial Photography by Tarun Vishwa for Elle IndiaClick here for his portfolio

Fashion doesn’t last. It is not an investment. Unless you’re purchasing it as Art. Then feel free to hang it in your living room mantelpiece out for display in all its lace and net glory, fast gathering dust. Visitors and guests can be encouraged to admire it for hours… Or not! Considering you wore it last year AND uploaded pictures for your 1079 Facebook friends to see.

In which case, you could choose to retire the once-in-vogue masterpiece to your gigantic walk-in closet, reserving an entire corner for ‘Costume Art’ or ‘Fashion’. Yes, doesn’t sound half bad, right? Except, that you probably don’t have a walk-in closet. 😛

13_04_2009_0289344001239576745_craig-mcdeanPhotography by Karen Elson |  Click here for her work

So what do you do with all those gorgeous, expensive once-‘in’ dresses already worn enough to make a collective impression?

Unless you’ve got a truly eclectic sense of style handed to a chosen few who can manage to snip, cut and transform old clothing into new styles, you’re stuck!

Which is why, fashion rental.

“Fashion doesn’t last. Style does”

While basics and classics can still be considered an investment, anything else qualifies to form a giant show-piece in the drawing room of your wardrobe.

So, yes go all out and buy white shirts, blue jeans and black tanks. For everything else, look to fashion rental.

11694142_1700654610170289_2756000955207278483_nRent this outfit on Flyrobe

Going out? Order a dress 3 hours before. Not sure if the midi skirt is right for you? Rent one to try out. Have a meeting to nail, date to impress or are just feeling happy, sad, excited or experimental, rent an on-trend outfit and get ready to feel heavenly.

Because, there is nothing more liberating than seeing a newer, happier and more empowered version of yourself.

And of course, the joy of an unlimited wardrobe online and a clutter-free one at home! 😉

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Some fashion rental sites you can check out:

FLYROBE  | http://flyrobe.com/#/home

SWISHLIST | http://www.swishlist.in/

KLOZEE | http://klozee.com/

SECRET WARDROBE | http://www.secretwardrobe.in/