So I am back with my edit of shopping suggestions and this time, the list focuses on two websites that I recently discovered. It’s almost like a “What would Shivani buy – Part II” except that Who am I kidding – I can’t afford it. Yes… yes, they aren’t expensive but when you make little and pay a lot of rent, you really have to count every buck.
Moving on, here are some things I discovered that I couldn’t help but share with you guys.
Today I stepped out for a run. But ended up going to Forever 21 instead. (Don’t say it – I know – it’s silly). It started off quite ordinarily. After watching quarter an episode of The Good Wife on Netflix and downing two mugs of tea, I suddenly realised that if I didn’t step outside now, it would be too late. Daylight would’ve disappeared. So I changed into my sneakers and shorts, almost didn’t take my wallet (which on second thoughts would’ve been much smarter) and bounced outdoors.
Once I was actually out on the street, I got this sudden itch to spend money – which is surprising as I am literally in debt with most of my recent purchases being on a credit card. However, I thought – a few steps in the crisp, fresh November air may inspire me to stick to the healthier original plan. So I continued walking towards the park. The itch, sadly, was a stubborn one. I couldn’t walk it off. And by the time I reached the corner, I found myself hailing an autorickshaw – “Bhaiya, Infinity Malad?” And fate decided to take me on with a slight nod to the affirmative.
I sat in the rickety rickshaw, my thoughts racing. What do I do once I reached Forever 21? Shop or just browse? What if I actually liked something? Shit, that would suck as I can’t afford it. What do I do when I am back home? Maybe I should finally start writing the book I’ve been meaning to write for the last gazillion years. The book about love. But what part of love? My first boyfriend? Current boyfriend? But, I have no clue on how it all turns out! Should I assume? No. I should concentrate on what’s elapsed. Finish a story that’s already finished. This happened and then this and finally this. Oh, but would people want to read it? And what if it sounds too rushed? Maybe I should just stick to an incident and elaborate every little detail. Maybe, I should add a hint of magical realism like Murakami? But what? Murakami’s books are mostly metaphors about uniting with your dark side or shadow. What would my books be about? I need to discover something and then use metaphors to explain it. What have I discovered?
And like this, my brain raced on and on and before I knew it, me and my auto were speeding along a windy backroad that ran parallel along a sewage drain. For a brief moment, I thought we were near the sea but the black colour gave the drain away. What a disappointment. A sea would’ve been the perfect sign for me to begin work on the book. Romance. Possibility. Freedom.
The auto screeches to a halt near Forever 21. I get off and rush to the women’s loo. I find a stall that seems it’s about to get vacant any second -a brush against the flimsy door somehow seemed to me an indication of pants being being pulled up clumsily – however I was wrong and the lady in my stall decided to have a nice, long dump.
I got to Forever 21 and the first thing that caught my eye was a faux leather button-down miniskirt. Love at first sight. My mind began racing – I would team it with a t-shirt and a boyfriend shirt. Or a vest for a night out. And I found myself throwing it in the black mesh bag, an overenthusiastic sales person handed me.
The collection was very streetstyle inspired – hence I was in love with it. There were jackets – military, bomber, trench-style, fluffy, straight – all kinds. And there were skirts – corduroy, military, pink georgette, rust hued. The bralets and bustiers didn’t fit well – so I didn’t pick up any- I wanted to wear one with a saree. However, the skirts were lovely. Boots were a colossal disappointment – they had barely anything that fit my large feet. Plus the designs were very blah.
Anyway, after a bunch of clothes I tried, I ended up buying nothing.The faux leather skirt was awesome – but was I really going to travel in a local train looking like a goth-inspired monkey? Nah. So, reluctantly I placed it back on the shelf I’d borrowed it from.
A lady walked over to me, “Ma’am, would you like me to find you another size?” “No, I murmured, I am just putting it back” How could I explain to her that the skirt fit me like a glove and how I wish it had been too big or too small so my heart wouldn’t tear when I placed it back like that?
So, sheepishly I hailed another rickshaw. And took an hour reaching home. Evening traffic.
This is a sincere note to you from a nobody in fashion who feels incredibly passionate (anger me enough and I could cry), about it.
Fashion for me is not just about pretty clothes on hangers. As you may have figured if you’ve been reading my blog. It’s more about your personality being interwoven with those pretty clothes on hangers.
Let me explain.
I am not drop dead gorgeous. Neither do I own much designer. I have a rickety cupboard instead of a walk-in closet, and roadside kolhapuris instead of Jimmy Choo’s. I wear dresses handmade from my mother’s dupattas and have clothes as old as 15 years in my daily wardrobe. I am not a size zero, neither am I a curvy model. I don’t wear heels, I don’t like pants and I don’t wear base. I may not be the visual embodiment of fashion but strongly I feel about an interestingly paired look, or a creatively conceptualised ensemble.
To know more about my style and how I choose my clothes, click here.
Streetstyle pictures from fashion weeks around the world hold more interest for me than Page 3 columns. And I’d credit a stylist over a celebrity any day. Unique dress sense even to the point of bad taste has more charm in my opinion than a clearly copied top-to-toe look . In other words, individuality is key even when borrowed from an ongoing trend.
However, all the individuality in the world can’t save you if you look uncomfortable in what you’re wearing. And all the copying can’t bring you down if you wear your look with effortless ease. Which means, the most important thing to remember in this equation is comfort. For with comfort, comes effortlessness. And therefore confidence.
Not comfort, in the traditional sense of the word. Comfort in the mind.
A pair of high heels are most definitely not the definition of comfort, yet there are women who feel not themselves in flats. On the other hand, there’s me, who may feel wonderful in a baggy t-shirt and pyjamas but won’t be “comfortable” going to work in it.
The idea being, in our quest to discover our unique style sense, we need to understand our bodies and minds. We need to know and recognise our “happy” clothes – clothes that make us feel great.
And recognise the “other” clothes too. Those that look supreme on a hanger, and may even look flattering on you; but you’re somehow not comfortable in them and as a result you’re not “you” in them. My advice – avoid those clothes. No matter how hot a pair of tight jeans may look on you and on everybody you know – if you don’t feel great in them – there’s no reason you should wear them on an ordinary day. Of course, there will be days when you feel like testing yourself – reserve these additions for those rare days.
On the other hand, don’t limit yourself to what you’re comfortable with. Take small steps in experimenting with different trends. Buy a piece, see how your mind and body reacts to this, and then slowly integrate it into your personal style, depending on your findings. For instance, the off shoulder neckline, the choker and the slip dress are hot this moment. Dabble in something that’s out of your comfort zone every once in a while and see how it goes.
And if you want to avoid spending money on a trend you’re not sure about, try renting. Flyrobe is one Indian website that lets you rent the best for less. Try it and see.
I for once, go on an experimenting spree every once in a while. I walk to my wardrobe and mull over last-season separates and see how I can layer them to match today’s trends. The slip dress worn with edgy sneakers and boots are very right-now. So, I pick up my strappy 2012 maxi dress and treat it like a slip dress – with boots and an edgy vest.
To read more on how to layer like a pro, click here.
Most of the time, the answers lie not in the stores but in your wardrobes and trunks. Rummage into the old suitcases and mamma’s cupboard this weekend. You never know – your individuality may be lying crumpled between a saree and a moth eaten cardigan.
Wear your heart on your sleeve – be it rainbow colours or floral dresses, giant logos or baggy tees, torn denims or distressed boots, salwar-kurtas or leather skirts. Wear your clothes to add to your personality. To pick up from where your mind left off… To continue the conversation you’re having with the world around you. To express and empower your vulnerabilities. Choose your looks with all the seriousness and lightheartedness of a child out on an adventure. And one last thing, remember to have fun. Otherwise, what’s the point?
P.S: And if you’re just not interested in fashion, well that’s OK too. As long as you’re being you and oiling the machinery of your beaming personality.
My last post focused on giving you tips on how to get Kangana’s look. It didn’t do that well, to be honest. So, this time, I’m just going to upload a selection of Kangana Ranaut’s finest (and most wearable) airport looks, and I want you guys to tell me your favourites.
Look 1: Don’t be afraid to play matchmaker. Pop your neutrals with yellow and be prepared for unexpected results.
Look 2: Throw on a neutral overcoat and matching heels over your favourite outfit. Go from sweet to stylish in seconds.
Look 3: Tough love. Punch your toughest, military-inspired look with polka dots for a happy surprise.
Look 4: Princess meets boho. A flowing white maxi dress assumes effortless-cool when worn with neutral flats and a slouchy bag.
Look 5: Retro Cool. Don’t be afraid to try on a new hairstyle every once in a while.
Look 6: Country-girl chic is always in style. Wear a hat, thick glasses and carry a book (you don’t have to read it 😉 ) to complete this look.
Look 7: Layering done well. Wear a white shirt dress under another dress to turn heads.
Look 8: Neutral accessories and a dark lip take this plain grey dress to dizzying heights.
Well, that’s it for now. Do comment below and let me know which look you like best.
So yesterday, a couple of us were talking about celebrities, plastic surgery and what we’d like to change about ourselves, you know, the usual, and the topic landed on Kangana Ranaut. We all agreed on how much we love her, though for different reasons, and I heard myself say, “I like her dressing sense.” Someone nodded, someone disagreed, you know the works, but since I was relatively free and the Google Search button was looking at me invitingly, I typed in, “Kangana Airport style” and sure enough a couple of images popped up – looks like others had searched for it as well. And I was astonished at how much I love the way she dresses – which is a lot I can say for celebs – Except Sonam Kapoor – I love how she dresses.
Anyway, so I pulled out 9 looks of Kangana’s that i absolutely adore and I was going to post them all, but then it struck me, “What if I do a bit of research and help people get the look?”
So, here’s the first look I have created. Hope you love it.
One of the hottest trends of Spring-summer 2017 is the tulle skirt. In fact, street-style evidence from the 4 fashion week destinations show that many fashionistas have already jumped on the bandwagon and are channeling this trend in advance.
Tulle, is essentially net and it may be made from silk, nylon or rayon. Used primarily as fabric for wedding gowns, lehengas, veils and as tutus for little girls, the latter half of 2016 notices a shift in its functionality – this once-in-a-blue-moon fabric is slowly inching its way into your everyday closet. Hurray!
I understand that you may feel like this trend is not for you. That it’s too girlish and too princess-like for your refined (and sophisticated) fashion sense. But, trust me on this – the tulle skirt is more versatile than it may seem. For starters, everybody doesn’t have to buy the rose-coloured prom version. You can buy a black mini net version and team it with a black vest or black jacket for instant edginess. If you feel black is too gothic for you, you can choose a deep red or maroon version. If you’re feeling modest, there are tulle maxi skirts too – Indians, these are surprisingly similar to our net lehengas, so you can buy one and innocently wear it with a heavy blouse to your BFF’s sangeet.
The tulle skirt is a flouncy, candy-like item that every closet will benefit from. It’s great for days when you really want to dress up different, it promises to be your “happy-dress” – Mine is a ruffled version right now.
In fact, if you want some inspiration, here are some images I pulled out from Pinterest that are sure to make you want to buy this trend right away.
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
Now, look at these images that I have borrowed from Vogue – and see how many of these looks you can channel today.
Wear your graphic tees with contrasting separates – a skirt or a blazer, for maximum impact.
Layer your strappy slips with a plain white tee or toughen it up by adding some leather.
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.
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.
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
Though the Bomber Jacket has scored quite a few hits, a quick glimpse at street style across the four fashion-week destinations show that even military-inspired parkas and trenches are hot favourites at the moment.
And if you do buy this trend, DO NOT be dull and wear with denims. To really work it, wear your boyish jacket over your frilliest, girliest, flounciest skirt or dress. Another way is to throw it on over a ruffled top and distressed micro-mini denim shorts.
And that’s how you’ll create maximum impact.
This one’s simple. Keep your skinnies aside for a moment and pull on this trendier alternative to the mom jeans. Wear with a cropped top and a statement slip-ons to get the paparazzi rolling.
Edgy Ankle Boots
While, kolhapuris and strappy sandals may be your safest bet, edgy ankle boots will go a lot further in scoring you extra style points. Wear with boho minidresses or boho maxidresses depending on your boldness level and get ready for love at first ‘style’. (Stupid wordplay, I know.)
If you don’t already own these, well, what the hell were you thinking? Go all out and splurge on a couple of flowing, tasselled, printed and embroidered numbers. Wear with edgy boots to turn all the right heads.
Oversized Graphic Tees
Graphic tees may be old news but teaming it with something flirty will offer a new approach to the basic. Wear it tucked into a tulle skirt to channel Maria Grazia Chiuri’s Dior Debut or choose a floral Forever 21 mini version.
Even though I don’t like this trend on me, style editors and front row enthusiasts seem to pull it off impeccably. Wear with an off-shoulder top and pretty kitten heels.
From slip-dresses to slip-tops, the underwear-as-outerwear philosophy is back and like never before. Toughen up a slip top with leather pants or make a silken slip-dress street-worthy with a leather jacket.
Unless ‘clothes’ refers to a short sequinned (read ugly) number. Or worse, a my pure-white shirt has a spot of mustard. That’s when humans become a breeze.
I remember when I bought my first pair of boots. I was 21, in London for the first time. And my father bought me these really chic knee-high black boots. From Aldo. And oh, I was in love.
And, like all kinds of love, with it came a new set of anxieties.
What if, I leave my shopping bag somewhere. What if my baggage gets lost in transit? And with it go my boots? What if somebody steps on it – when I am wearing it? What if, it gets fungus? What if it breaks? What if a pigeon shits on it?
And I realised, I share a weird relationship with fashion.
Inanimate, material fashion.
A ‘spontaneous anti-depressant’ in the words of Eugene Hutz, an instant excitement kick or a happiness machine – call it what you may, just the act of putting together fresh combinations from my closet is enough to bring on that sense of achievement. “Oh, why I didn’t I ever put those two together?”
And, the sheer joy on seeing a movie where the star dresses just like you do! Keira Knightley in Begin Again, anyone? Or Emilia Clarke in Me Before you?
So, I wrote a silly poem about clothes.
Here it goes.
They won’t throw a fit if you don’t call them.
They won’t taunt you when you crib.
They won’t leave you for another country.
And they won’t make you feel like you’re shit.
They’ll be there for you when you’re happy.
And they’ll be there for you when you’re low.
They’ll make you feel fabulous,
even when you shed half a kilo.
They’ll bring out your best features
And they’ll notice your new haircut.
They’ll cover-up the extra inches – oh you dark-dark chocolate sundae!
And they’ll show-off all those curves!
Well, folks, that’s all for today. Drink lots of tea, wear lots of dresses, and laugh a lot.