Monday, 14 April 2014

Sometimes you have to punish a dress

Dress: Own design, Necklace: Vintage, Watch: Gifted, Shoes: New Look, Handbag: Debenhams. Photos: Anceeta Martis.

I love this dress.
No, wait. Let me put it better.
I LOVE this dress.
Nope. Let's try again.
I lurrrrrrrrrrrrrvvvvvve this dress!

Ok, now that we've got that cleared, we can.... talk about this dress a little more. Let's start with the cloth. My mom's had this cloth for aaaages now. She bought it when I was a child, in the hope that someday she'd make a dress for me because she loved the print and the spring-summery colors. Fast-forward to many years later and the material was still sitting in her ginormous materials cupboard. In one of my regular sessions of show-me-allllllll-the-materials-you-have-so-I-can-design-more-clothes-for-myself with my mom, finally I decided to use this cloth. So I designed a dress. And my mom stitched it.

And she didn't get it right. So she made some changes. Still not right. More changes. Still not right. Rinse, lather, repeat, for a few more months. STILL not right. At one point my mom and I got so fed up of the dress that we folded it and kept it inside a dark corner of a cupboard just to teach it a lesson. Then one day, out of the blue, my mom had a Eureka! moment, did a li'l something-something on the dress and voila! Perfection!

Now see, my mom is not a professional seamstress, nor am I a professional fashion designer. {Nor do I ever aspire to be. I'm a selfish scallywag who only enjoys designing for herself.} Which is why, through many trials and even more errors, this dress finally became wearable. Forget wearable it became magnifique. {Take that, Dior!}

Moral of the story- Try and try again, until you give up and then get hit by the solution.

So, for the dress' first outing, I accessorized it with a forest green vintage bead necklace, a baby pink thin belt at the waist and fuchsia summery sandals. A pulled-back ponytail finished the look. I spent the rest of the day admiring and talking about the dress... and the cloth and the print and the pastel colors, much to the annoyance of poor Anceeta who had the misfortune of having to keep me company that day. Ah, c'est la vie!

Friday, 11 April 2014

Thirteen, YES, ONLY thirteen basics to build your wardrobe.

I remember how it was when I started working after graduation. I was on a starter salary with hardly any money to buy clothes, yet I needed to look smart for the office and hip when I went out with friends. 

But how?

So I started by purchasing a few basics for my wardrobe, then mixing and matching them to create infinite outfits. Now you’re probably wondering what were these basics. I’ll get to that, in a minute.

I've read many posts and articles {and I’m sure you have, too} on basic items for your wardrobe. They go on to give you a list of 3,046 items you absolutely need in your wardrobe. “A tribal print silk dress…  A sequinned mini skirt with gold stripes… A white collarless blazer made from the hair of angels… You NEED these in your wardrobe!”

Heck, if I bought all those things with a starter salary I’d probably have to eat them too because who can afford food?! When you have enough money you can get all that and more too, but you certainly don’t need them to start building a wardrobe.

So here’s my list of absolute basics you need in your wardrobe. This is a list of the skinny on the skinny- the absolute basics of the basics. Only 13 items!

Here they are:

1. White button-down shirt

2. Solid colour top

3. Black pencil skirt

4. Black A line skirt

5. Dark wash skinny jeans

6. Black pants

7. Black blazer

8. Coloured cardigan

9. Black dress

10. Printed scarf

11. Black handbag

12. Nude heels

13. Black heels  

Now you'll notice that there’s a lot of black in there. That's because black is the most basic colour, it suits everyone, and goes with everything. {Not to mention it makes you look slimmer. Bonus!} If you hate heels, substitute them with ballet flats. 

I have chosen these items very carefully, keeping in mind that you should be able to use them in multiple ways- to work or for socializing, seguing  from day to night very easily. Using only these 13 items, you can create a myriad of outfits and looks going from formal, to semi-formal, to completely casual.

Here are a few examples:

 Remember, these are basics. Now that you have these in your wardrobe, you should find it easy to add more clothes, accessories and shoes which are more ‘you’. NOW you can buy the white collarless blazer made from the hair of angels, and wear it with your solid coloured top and dark wash jeans, and look frikkin’gorgeous. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

What Doth A Stylish Person Make?

Dress and belt: H&M, All jewelry: Gifted, Watch: Vintage, Shoes: Steve Madden.
Photos: Anceeta Martis.

It's never been about fashion for me. I find fashion boring. I don't follow runway fashion. I don't check out what's hot and trending in the new summer or fall line. I don't care much about high-end designers. Heck, I don't even go through fashion magazines! {They only make me feel ugly and poor.}

For me it's always been about style. I've always admired people who have their own distinct sense of it. Think about how you feel when you see someone who has a unique look all their own. You get the feeling that they know who they are, and the way they dress is an extension of that. And whether you like or hate the overall visual, you respect them just for the fact that they make the effort to look uniquely like themselves no matter what.

So what doth a stylish person make?
  1. They know what their body's 'assets' are , like broad shoulders, a tiny waist, long legs, etc, and they focus on wearing items that play those assets up.
  2. They like wearing things that hint at their personality. {Note: I said 'hint'. Nicki Minaj SCREAMS her personality through her clothes and that is not stylish. Plus I have no clue what she's trying to tell me about herself either.}
  3. They wear the dress, the dress never wears them.
  4. They don't apologize for what they like. {I love women who tell me that they hate wearing heels but love mine.}
  5. No matter what they're wearing, they're always well-groomed. Which in itself lends to their overall style.
  6. They have a 'signature' look. Either a color {it's not hard to guess which color is mine. Just scroll back up!}, or jewelry, or an obsession with certain piece of clothing. I know this guy who always has on the most interesting blazers. And he looks great in them.
  7. They are not brand victims. You'd never guess that that fabulous hat came from a flea market in Turkey or a shop in Goa.
  8. They know that sometimes it's not about what they're wearing, it's how they carrying it off. Style goes hand-in-glove with confidence. If you don't have the confidence to carry it off, even a Dior gown will look like a sack of potatoes. {And if you have the confidence, even a sack of potatoes will look like a Dior gown.}
  9. They look extremely comfortable. Stylish people know that there's nothing 'cool' or attractive about wearing something uncomfortable and fidgeting with it all evening. 
  10. They're consistent. You won't see a style-maven wear a gorgeous outfit one day and then look haggard in sweats the other. Being stylish is a full-time occupation.
  11. Lastly, they don't impose their style on anyone else. {People with the Nazi-like fashion rules who go about telling people what can and should be worn, calm down!} Truly stylish people know that style is very personal and that it has no rules. What works for you may not work for someone else. 

So, what does your style say about you? What are you advertising on the mini-billboard that is your body?

Coming soon: What doth an unstylish person make?

Thursday, 3 April 2014

23 Things You Can Do For Free To Cheer You Up

"I'm feeling blue."
"Let's go shopping."

We've become so used to spending money whenever we want to cheer ourselves up, but did you know there are plenty of things you can do to make yourself happy again, without spending a single penny?

Here are 23 things that I think would cheer you up, and they don't cost anything:
  1. Change bed sheets. Freshly washed bed sheets smell lovely and the change will instantly uplift your mood.
  2. Rearrange the furniture in your room. Move the table to another corner, push the bed onto another wall. If your room is too small to do this, make a few changes like rearranging the items on your shelves. Making these small changes will cheer you up and get blocked creativity to flow again.
  3. Do an elaborate hair-do, even if you're home in your pj's. Look up a nice hairstyle online that can be done without too much fuss and hair products, and then set your hair that way. It might be a ponytail, an elaborate bun or even a simple side-braid. Do something you've never done before. Walk around the house like that and you'll smile at yourself every time you look in the mirror.
  4. Play board games. Get a family member or friend and play board games with them. It's the cheapest, easiest way to have fun and pass the time. 
  5. Make yourself a cup of tea. If you're alone, make yourself a nice cup of your favourite tea, in the prettiest mug you have. Sit down, sip slowww.
  6. Go for a long drive. Get in your car and go for a long drive around town. Go on roads you've never been on before.
  7. Dance. Put on your favourite music and shake that booty. 
  8. Go see a baby. Have a cute niece/ nephew? Or a friend's toddler? Ask them to bring them over or go visit. Or offer to take the baby out. A cute, happy baby is always a pick-me-up {pun intended}.
  9. Bake. Bake a cake. Or cookies. And don't share.
  10. Pot a plant. Take a few seeds and pot them. If you don't have a pot, take cotton, line it at the bottom of a plastic container, and sprinkle a few seeds. Keep near sunlight.
  11. Draw. It doesn't matter if you're not a good artist. Grab some paper and pencils and draw. Let your emotions flow on paper.
  12. Call a friend. If you can't call, text. If you can't text, mail.
  13. Write a love letter to yourself. Write a long letter to yourself telling you how much you love you and why. After you're done, wrap with a pretty ribbon, spray some perfume and keep it in a special place in your closet. The next time you're down take it out and read.
  14. Watch a feel-good movie. Find an old DVD or if you're like me, you have movies saved on your laptop. Make sure it has a happy ending and you have chocolate.
  15. Clean out your closet. You never know what you might find. 
  16. Sing. Pick an uplifting song and sing along to it. Loudly. One of my favourites is this one.
  17. Exercise. Instead of always feeling guilty that you haven't exercised, if you have fifteen minutes, roll out your yoga mat. Exercise releases endorphins in your system, making you feel better about yourself.
  18. Cook a delicious meal with your friends or family. It does not have to be a six course affair. Anything simple will do. 
  19. Wear that new outfit you were saving up for an occasion. You waking up every day is enough occasion to celebrate.
  20. Compliment someone who you really admire or whose outfit/ jewellery/ bag you adore. It will make you happy when you see their smile. 
  21. Plan your next vacation.
  22. Nosh on your favourite comfort food (but don't binge!).
  23. Dress up in your favourite colour- if it's head to toe pink, do it!
 So there you have it. 23 things you can do to cheer you up, for free! What more can YOU add to the list? Leave a comment below! xxx

P.S: Here are some more by Anceeta of Being Awesome. Best friends DO think alike!

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Drain Bamaged

Dress: H&M, Clutch: Zara, All jewelry: Gifted, Shoes: River Island. Photos: Paul Gomes.

It's been a mad, hectic crazy week and I'm just trying to keep my head above water. So many things to do, so so so little time. Argh! March has to be the fastest month to go by. Do you agree? I can't believe it's April 2 today already. And if you're wondering why I'm being so mundane, I'm sorry, I'm exhausted and my brain refuses to churn out anything even remotely clever or interesting. So please accept this apology of sounding boring but unfortunately I can't fake interesting. :(

On a style note, probably because, again, I'm brain dead, I decided to go simple. A simple black pencil dress, with a skinny belt knotted at my waist, and complementing accessories. The clutch adds a nice pop of color and takes the look from drab to fab. And I cannot believe I just said that. Must. Stop. Typing. Now.