Reader's Request - Trends in Indian Wear

One of my most adorable reader, Shai of Bows, Hearts & Everything Cute asked me for some tips on the latest trends in Indian suits. You can check out her blog here.
There have been some very versatile designs of suits that I have seen around lately. Though the basics remain mostly the same, the craftsmanship differs across different styles, cuts and details.

Color: Orange / Red Orange/ Coral – whatever you want to call it – is the hottest color of the season. Period. If you don’t have anything of this color in your closet yet, it is time to buy one☺. Some other hot colors are pastels, deep greens and blues or the color blocking (as on Sonam Kapoor). Almost half your job is done if you get the right color.

Style: From what I see, the ultra long anarkalis (those that touch the ground) are out. The suits or kurtas that are more in style right now are slightly shorter in length and hit at your ankle.

You can also change the regular A lines or kali style by wearing a brocade jacket on top of your suit. I see these jackets everywhere – on suits, sarees and lehengas. And, once you have the jacket, you hardly need a dupatta with the suit.

The bottoms vary from churidars, Patialas or straight –cropped trousers. The most in thing seems to be long sleeves, but they would depend a lot of the overall design of the outfit.

Fabrics: Winters are best for silk, raw silk and brocades. Crepes and chiffons with heavy embroidery also do well.

A few other tips:
- Pay attention to your dupatta. I personally like the stole style dupattas. Add variety by using contrasting borders around the dupatta.
- Deep back and broad front necklines work really WELL with long sleeves.
- If you want to add a brocade/ raw silk jacket, keep the inner suit simple (sans any heavy embellishments) and let the jacket take the center stage.

Hope you all find this helpful

All that Glitters

Sometime ago Not just a pretty dress asked me to do a post on traditional Indian jewelry. Most of my posts earlier this year have been on modern jewelry designs, but nothing better than plain solid gold, right? Specially if you consider the returns that gold investment have given :)

These are from Tanishq’s not so recent collection. I love how they have modern accents to them, while skillfully preserving the traditional heritage of gold. Perfect for weddings!

How would you want to dress up your man?

Indian ramps are dominated by women fashion, but lately some designers have also started experimenting with different outfits for guys. While the traditional sherwani still dominates most of the Indian weddings and festivals, there is a breath of fresh air with jodhpuris, short kurtas and loose bottoms for guys.

One option is to go with for a more traditional touch and experiment with cuts and lengths for versatility. The fabric used (brocade, raw silk) as well as the work (gold zari, stoles, buttons etc) give a classic look. Don’t forget to pay special attention to footwear – the kolhapuri jutis with intricate work on them will best complement this look.

IF you want to experiment a little more but stay in the Indian Spirit, the outfits below are perfect. The fabric used is much lighter and the colors are subtler. The cuts again make a big difference – these designs are more fitted and kurtas are shorter in length. A dupatta or stole can easily add an Indian touch while the footwear hint towards a more contemporary look. My personal favorite is the last one that has jodhpuri style pants.

Polka Dots, Awards and my rantings..

A couple of things in this post. First, here are some pictures that were clicked recently.

Dress - F21, Shoes - Miss Sixty, Bracelets - India

Next, sweet Vertu of Vivaciuosblog17 passed the " Kreativ Blogger Award" to me in which I have to disclose 7 interesting things about me.

Here we go:

- I am strong willed, impulsive, adaptive, very selective, impatient, sensitive and hyper active. If some of these clash, don't worry - I am Gemini :)

- I am in finance field by profession.

- I firmly believe that A is A and I love Ayn Rand.

- I don't have any OCD's (not even shopping. I can exercise reasonable self restraint).

- I can not eat hot and spicy food (even a little bit spicy). Not surprisingly, lot of my classmates therefore think I am pseudo Indian.

- You don't want to sit next to me while watching horror movies or on a dangerous ride; I shout my guts out.

- I have a name which doesn't have ANY meaning. Now, being an Indian and having lived 25 years in India, you can imagine how unusual this is and how amusing it can be for people to keep asking and/or guessing the meaning of my name. And, how difficult it was for me to explain to them that my name is just a name..please don't find any meaning in it :)).

P.S: I will pass on the award to some of my favorite bloggers next time. In a bit of rush right now.First, a few photos that were clicked recently.

Lastly, have an awesome weekend, everyone!

Steve Jobs - You will be sorely missed!

"Here's to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently -- they're not fond of rules... You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can't do is ignore them because they change things... they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do”.

"You cannot connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. You have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in to your future”.

"Sometimes life is going to hit in your head with a brick. Don’t lose faith.

“You got to find what you love and it is as true for work as it is for your lovers. Work is going to fill a large part of your life and only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work”.

“If you live each day as it is your last someday you will certainly be right”.

"Almost everything--all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure--these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart".

Accessorize with Anklets

Tradition of wearing anklets goes back many many years ago. In India, traditionally they were worn by married women. But, nowadays it is a popular fashion statement and women/girls of any age can be seen wearing them. Anklets can be of gold or silver or even leather, plastic etc. When investing in them, try to pick the ones that are long lasting and designs that can be worn with both Indian and Western wear.

Just one tip for this: Make sure you have got your pedicure done beforehand :)

Fabric Love – Velvet

Velvet, a luxurious fabric that dates back thousands of years, is widely used in Indian dresses. Velvet has kind of rich and sensual appeal to it, and it perfect to glam your night parties or attend a wedding / function. Since the fabric is heavy (in weight) and soft (in texture) it immediately gives a dressed-up feeling.

You can either go full velvet (as in 1,2,3 above) on your attire or use it as in some places in your outfit, just as a highlighter. A velvet blouse (4) , dupatta, or as border for your saree or suit (5). The idea is not to overdo and kill the look of it. You would want to carry the fabric with grace and not drowning in it.

Another good this about velvet is, like silk, it can support very heavy embroideries and the hand work that are on most of the Indian dresses. Deep blues, greens and reds are my favorite colors in velvet; black not so much. I am not sure whether velvet is used very heavilt in western dresses as well. I have not seen much of it and don’t own any western piece in this fabric.

Anyone has any western outfit in velvet?

The Right Balance -Takeaways

First of all, a big thank you to all who weighed in your thoughts on my question here. There are some common themes to all the replies and I thought I would share it with all those who are trying to juggle multiple things in life with blogging:

1) Have drafts for posts or rough outline ready and fill in the details as when you get time or when creativity strikes.

2) Blog during the day or night, in a coffee shop or on the bus, basically whenever you get time OR have some time set aside for your blog every day or every alternate day. Depending on what your work style is, either approach would be fine.

3) Prioritize Prioritize Prioritize...

4) Have two or three key topics/themes to let your creativity and ideas flow and have a mix of shorter and longer posts.

In the end, if you really LOVE blogging, find it exciting and it gets your adrenaline pumping, you WILL find time for it, no matter what :))

Gorgeous Blues!

Less to say, more to see today!
Whether you are planning a beach or a summer wedding, blue can be a very romantic theme. You can either vary the basic blue towards sky blue, auqa or royal blue colors or mix and match different colors with blue. Here are some ideas to help you along the way.

And, once you have planned the decorations and chosen your colors, here are some outfit ideas for this theme.

Reader's Request - How to drape dupatta on shorter heights

One my readers Aksar asked me this:

“i liked the idea very much even i was wondering how to manage a heavy dupatta..but as i m short height will it look good on me m having height of marriage is on dec please help”

Hi Aksar:

There are different ways in which you can experiment with your dupatta. I would assume that if the dupatta is heavy, you would like to make it the center of attraction. For that, you can go with either of the first three styles – cross over the dupatta as in Ist pic below and add a lighter dupatta to cover the head, have the dupatta cover the part of your neck and waist as in IInd pic or just have it on the side as in IIIrd pic below.

I think it would be true for anyone, but especially since you mentioned that you are short in height, I would pay very careful attention to both lehenga and dupatta. If the dupatta is too heavy, you don’t want lehenga to be too heavy and vice versa. Also, try broad neck blouses with not very heavy neck pieces and pulled back hair. That usually adds some illusion of height. You can go heavy on earrings and bangles.

The second set of pictures below are more for the style of lehenga than dupatta. Sleek cuts, like fish cuts or A line would suit you more than a heavy kali lehenga. If you have a lighter dupatta, one trick is to just have it on the side and roll up on your hand from behind as in the pictures below.

Hope this helps and all the best for your marriage ☺

The Right Balance??

Pretty soon I will bid goodbye to my summer break and would be back in school. I will be juggling with multi million things to do at the same time and my multi tasking abilities would be put to a severe test. I have thought out of some ways on how to balance all that with my blog, but I wanted to ask this from all my readers out there -

"How do you best balance work, study or generally busy life with regular and interesting blog posts? Are there any useful tips or advice you have? Do you blog at night, day, in the bus or on weekends? Are there some things that seem to work really well for you? "

It would be great if you guys can share your thoughts on this and help me keep my blog as rocking as ever ;))

On a random note, this was what I wore for a trip to the mall.

I guess I was not trying to put together a color blocking sorts of outfit, but it turned out this way. The best thing is that I have grabbed, everything I am wearing, at great deals and fantastic prices. Hope you like it (will have better quality pictures next time :))

How to wear your 9 yards??

Saree is one of the most graceful Indian outfits and there is no denying the fact that you can wear it in a million different ways. It, however, takes considerable amount of skill and practice to do it right. If you are attempting to wear saree for the first time or want to do it in a perfect way, check out this post from Leia of Leia's Delights - a gorgeous fellow blogger who explains how to master this art.

If you wish to experiment and/or add a little more “oomph factor” to the saree, here are some ways in which you can play with it.

Word of Caution: Well, not literally. But, one small thing to keep in mind while experimenting with these styles is to pay special ATTENTION to your choice of blouse / top. If you are wrapping it around your neck (like a scarf) you want to go a slightly conservative with the blouse. With the regular style (Ist Pic), you are safe with halter or noodle straps or pretty much anything. If you have a dazzling top to show off, then 4th style in the picture above would be the best.

Also, never throw away your old sarees. My mom always recycle them into salwaar kameez or dupattas to make a whole new outfit.

Before I bid adieu to summers!

Summer in Seattle is really short lived. We survive through nine gloomy, dark and rainy months to get just three months of sunshine. However, those three months are the most beautiful and gorgeous and are totally worth the wait (or so I would like to believe!). Summers are going to be over soon here and even thinking about it makes me sad. Shorter days, little or no sun, and constant drizzling would be upon us Seattleites. But, there will be thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year to look forward to and the cycle will go on and on. It’s amazing how after moving to U.S weather has become such a prominent part of my existence and affects my moods, thoughts and behavior. Back home, I never remember paying any special attention to weather or weather forecast being the hot topic of discussion, as is the case here.

Anyways, coming back to the outfit. You must be thinking that this a wedding and Indian Fashion blog, so where did the outfit post come from? Well, you are right. This blog is all that, but it also is an extension of my personality and this is the way for me to connect with my readers on a personal level. I seldom wear Indian outfits here and hence in most of these kinds of posts you will see me in western wear. The one below is what I wore on a casual day out. Hope you like it!

Yin and Yang

My blog has been missing some glitter and shine for a while.

Women in India, as elsewhere, love jewelry. Today though, I am not going to talk about traditional Indian jewelry but more contemporary options that can easily translate between Indian and Western wear (as Western (ized) Jackets in my previous post here).With a little attention while building up your jewelry / accessories collection, it is a lot easier to find pieces that can be paired with different outfits. Here are some tips to help you along the way:

- A multi strand kundan necklace and a strand of pearls (best ones are whites) are your best bet with a cocktail dress, saree or salwaar kameez.

- I feel that the traditional gold accessories are somewhat limited when it comes to this, however a solid gold chain (multi or single strand) with a jazzy pendant can make a very chic impression. Usually white or polished gold works a little better than yellow gold.

- Rings and bracelets are something that you can experiment with a lot. While shopping for them try to pick the big and bold ones with modernistic designs.

These accessories are best matched with plain and well-cut silhouette dresses. Pick a color that compliments your skin tone and highlights your jewelry the best. My favorite ones are black and fuchsia. However, if you want to get experimental – deep greens and royal blues will also look gorgeous.

Feeling Green, anyone?

Green seems to be one of my favorite colors this summer. Though I usually stick to girly pinks, yellow, oranges etc, but this season I have been experimenting with different shades of green. And, so are some of our Indian designers on the ramp. Here are a few pieces that I liked.

And, these are some green outfits that I have in my closet. These pics were taken at random times over this summer and so the picture quality may not be very clear. Hope you like them!

Can't stop listening to this!

It's been a long long long time that I am waiting for a movie a Bollywood movie with so much enthusiasm. I love hindi (Bollywood) movies but have been very disappointed with the recent releases. This one surely looks like a piece of work :)

For my non Indian readers: This is an upcoming Hindi movie scheduled to release soon.

Indian(ized) Jackets

What better than clothes and accessories that can transition between Indian and Western wear? I have seen a lot of Indian designers moving away from traditional blouses to versatile jackets / kurtis etc that can be worn either with a lehenga or your favorite pair of jeans or skirt.

A few things to keep in mind when shopping or getting these pieces tailored are:

- Stick with the basic colors – black, blues, whites, gold etc.

- Though most of the Indian tops (blouses) have heavy embroidery, the versatility of these jackets is in keeping them simple.

- Structured collars and/or shoulders are important. Pay special attention to them.

- The most common fabrics for these types of jackets are brocade, silk or raw silk. I personally like linen as well.

- Combine these with dark jeans or pencil skirt, shorts or little black dress and enjoy all the attention that you get

P.S: This last one is my favorite and I hope to get something similar stitched on my next trip to India.

Rewind and Going Forward

A big warm hello to all beautiful people out there,

Almost a year has passed since I wrote my last post for this blog before going on a short hiatus. I started with grad school last year and it has been a never-ending roller coaster ride since then. MBA demands a lot from you – 18-20 hour workday, never ending team meetings and assignments, networking, clubs - the list goes on. Until this summer, I didn’t have a chance to step back and assess how I truly truly missed my blog and all the wonderful things that come with it. My initial plan was to take a two-year long break from blogging and pick it up after I am done with school. However, as is the case with almost all my plans, my mind decided to alter course in between and wanted something else.

The past one-year brought the deep (;)) realization that career-wise, rest of my life is not going to be very different. I will always be surrounded with excel spreadsheets, networking, teamwork and business world lingo. My practical, business minded, career aspiring side will be very happy and well satisfied (hopefully). However, my creative, fashion-conscious and dreamy side would be left alone and who knows, might actually disappear some day. And, this was not what I expected, planned or wanted. So, after much tussle between my mind and heart, I am going to resume my blog. A big thanks to all of you who have showed so much appreciation for my blog. Your comments and emails over the last year have motivated me much.

Time to update my reader. Please send me your blog links and look out for my new posts.