Street style alert – The Check Trouser

Last season was an eclectic playground. There was a riotous explosion of prints, embroideries, applique, and God-knows what-not on everything from denim to gingham. Bags and shoes weren’t left alone either with embroideries of various kinds edging their way into the once-muted accessory department. The box bag reined supreme and the embellished slide followed. All in all, it was a field day for all maximalists who seized the opportunity to put forward their craziest, most eye-brow raising foot forward (literally in some cases).

Well, now that the maximal season is underway, those of us who like to look forward and pick those next-season pieces well in advance (we don’t like being fashion followers or laggards), let’s figure out what are the key pieces we can buy now, that are sure to hold the test of time, tomorrow.

Though I love the hottest, new trend as much as the next person, I am not one to shop every fad and add it to my wardrobe. I am, what you could call, a smart shopper. I like to pick trends, ideas rather, from street-style pictures and catwalks, that I believe are classic – that can be paired with a variety of clothing, and will not be frowned upon for the next couple of years. So, in that sense, this item of clothing or trend will be an investment.

Keeping that in mind, here’s what you all need to own to nail next season (and all seasons beyond).

The Check Trouser

At first glance, you may think it veering towards pyjama territory but weren’t white sneakers purely for Tennis, and Little Black Dresses purely for funerals? The rules in fashion are bending like never before, and the seemingly-unthinkable has now become the creme-de-la-creme’s uniform. First with innerwear as outerwear – remember the satin slip dress that was everywhere end-2016; and now with pyjamas as legit streetwear. It won’t be long before boxer shorts are worn to prom nights, and well, bras are already being worn on the red carpet, so well, you get the drift.

The Check Trouser as seen on the New York Fashion Week Street Style Pictures | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
NEW YORK FASHION WEEK STREET STYLE | IMAGE CREDIT – VOGUE.CO.UK – SOREN JEPSEN/THE LOCALS

It goes without saying that wearing a pair of check trousers outdoors requires a fair bit of thought in terms of accessories and separates. You can’t literally look like you rolled out of bed and onto the streets.

Therefore your shoes, your bag, your hair, your jacket – everything has to work extra hard to take the check trouser out. One way is to throw on a matching or contrasting check blazer.

The Check Trouser Suit as seen during The London Fashion Week | Street Style Photography | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
LONDON FASHION WEEK STREET STYLE | IMAGE CREDIT: VOGUE.CO.UK – THE LOCALS
The Check Trouser Suit as seen during the Milan Fashion Week | Street Style Photography by JONATHAN DANIEL PRYCE for Vogue.co.uk | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
MILAN FASHION WEEK STREET STYLE | IMAGE CREDIT: JONATHAN DANIEL PRYCE FOR VOGUE.CO.UK

Throwing on a matching blazer is a good way to tell the world you’re not in the bedroom anymore – a check suit is the perfect marriage between lazy and sharp.

Another way is to wear your trousers with pretty shoes. Nobody will question an outfit finished off with a stellar pair of heels.

The Check Trouser with ruffles | Seen during Milan Fashion Week | Street Style Photography by JONATHAN DANIEL PRYCE for Vogue.co.uk | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
MILAN FASHION WEEK STREET STYLE | IMAGE CREDIT: JONATHAN DANIEL PRYCE FOR VOGUE.CO.UK

Sometimes, check trousers come trimmed with ruffles. That’s when kitten heels are enough to take this pair to a fashionable soiree.

The Check Jumpsuit as seen during The Milan Fashion Week | Street Style Photography | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan
MILAN FASHION WEEK STREET STYLE | IMAGE CREDIT: VOGUE.CO.UK – SOREN JEPSEN/THE LOCALS

If you still feel you can’t pull off this trend, choose a jumpsuit with a dark, subtle check. Throw on an overcoat for more edge.

So, while wearing a pair of check pants, remember the following:

  1. Your shoes should be runway-worthy. The bolder the better. Think bright pumps, edgy boots, embellished sneakers, cute kitten heels.
  2. You must carry a smart bag. Doesn’t need to be super statement.
  3. Layer up on top – a jacket or a blazer in a contrasting or complementing hue. You can even roll a bright scarf multiple times around your neck.
  4. Optional: A bold plum lip can really jazz it up.

So, go out this Sunday, and buy the check trouser.

Happy shopping, ladies.

 

 

 

 

 

How to layer like a pro

Hello everybody,

I hope you had a glorious weekend. So, if you’re bored and want to try something new this Monday, why don’t you try layering – a trend that’s suddenly gained focus?

To layer, no need to buy anything. Walk into your closet and stare at what you already have. Look for graphic tees, jackets, plain white tees, oversized boyfriend shirts, strappy dresses and silken slips.

Basically what you’re looking for is a combination of the following:

A: Something boyish

B: Something incredibly sexy, strappy or girly

C: Basics

Now, look at these images that I have borrowed from Vogue – and see how many of these looks you can channel today.

Graphic Tees

Wear your graphic tees with contrasting separates – a skirt or a blazer, for maximum impact.

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Strappy Slips

Layer your strappy slips with a plain white tee or toughen it up by adding some leather.

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3. Jackets

Wear a lot of jackets. Use them to layer and add interest to your everyday attires. Indians, yes, I know it’s hot for a jacket, but if you’ve ever fought with a colleague over the AC temperature, you know indoors, even India can be shivering cold. Yes, so buy some jackets to channel workplace chic.

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4. The boyfriend shirt

I decided to layer my white sundress with an oversized boyfriend shirt for just the right amount of playfulness. The best part? It covers the love handles and muffin-tops while accentuating the girlishness of the dress.

Wear an oversized boyfriend shirt with a sundress and white sneakers | Chai High is an Indian Fashion Blog started by Shivani Krishan

Well, that’s all for today. Do try any of these outfit ideas, take a picture, upload on Instagram and tag me at @shivani_krishan

Lots of love, and Happy Monday. 🙂

Shivani

 

What’s wrong with Indian urban street fashion.

Rural Indian Fashion Versus Urban Indian Fashion | An illustration by Shivani Krishan | Chai High is a fashion blog started by Shivani Krishan

Every time I see pictures of street fashion from Paris or Tokyo, I am struck with the complete absence of it in urban India. The fun in fashion is absent. Fashionistas alternate between the safe zone of tried-and-tested Instagram blogger-inspired trends that they buy straight off the shelves at Zara, and the clearly-in-bad-taste experimentation. There is no middle ground. There is no surprise in everyday dressing. No yellow socks with oxfords and definitely no midi skirts with graphic tees. Hell, nobody even wears the midi apart from aunties.

Even our magazines more often than not dictate the mundane and the obvious and seek to our Bollywood celebrities for inspiration – who themselves alternate between safe-and-therefore-aesthetic, and downright bad taste. The only exceptions according to me are  Sonam Kapoor and Kangana Ranaut who (thankfully) manage to experiment right.

But who is to blame for all this? Definitely not the celebrities themselves – the poor souls pay their stylists hefty sums to dress them right. The stylists, then? But, how can we blame them too? They probably look at Indian fashion magazines for inspiration – most of which  publish pretty uninspiring stuff these days – a bland copy-paste of Indian designers’ work and celebrity style. The media? Maybe. They go around imposing their own opinion of “What’s in” and “What’s not” most of which is stemming from pretty stereotypical, safe-zone roots, which sparks off the chain reaction with celebrity stylists sticking to picking out black tights and bomber jackets for all ‘airport style’ clicks.

The only real beauty lies in the editorials, methinks. Not that i subscribe to any fashion magazine – I am more of an online reader and vogue.com’s Marjon Carlos has some pretty interesting articles up her sleeve (only when I read such writing am I truly inspired by fashion). So, back to my point, the magazine editorials do have some pretty cool stuff happening. Kudos Anaita Shroff Adajania. But then again, sometimes there are way too many spacesuits and lingerie shoots for my liking.

Now, when it comes to street fashion, India does have a  distinct style bubbling rurally. Notice the flower girl at the traffic signals – the rural import in the urban domain – this girl wears her long skirts just above the ankles while thick silver anklets graze her delicate feet. Her skin is polished like expensive teak, her face clear (unlike most urbanistas with their french fries and cigarettes) and this brings the gold of her nose ring to shine brighter than ever. She mixes and matches her blouse and dupatta with the striking floral of her skirt and the hoops dangling from her ears, and that’s when I see potential.

But when it comes to ‘our’ – the urban youth’s everyday street style, it’s a mess. We could blame it on the heat and the traffic and the smoke and the dust, but really it’s us who is to blame. We choose to wear the “accepted” and the commonly loved as opposed to pulling together random items and fixing a look. Or, even getting inspired by international runway trends. Like colourful socks with ballerinas. Nah. We just stick to the classic and safe for we refuse to be poked fun of and laughed at behind our backs for our attire. And this fear, keeps us from pushing our fashion beyond the limits of the ordinary. This fear keeps us within the black tights-oversized sunglasses look. And this fear keeps us from being known for street-fashion. I try to push myself, but even I have a long way to go.

Of course, there are people in India who dress really cool and these people pop up on the Fashion week attendee style column. And of course there are a few divas scattered at beauty salons, magazine offices and blogger bases everywhere. But essentially, if you were to look around, most people you’ll see, stick to what they know. It could be a smart move. Or could be very foolish too.

This article is just my opinion. And I would love to hear what you have to say.

Feel free to comment and start a discussion.

Love,

Shivani

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