Outfit: “The” Trench Coat

Posted on March 18, 2017

 

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Trench : Edun, Fall 2011 collection.

 Jeans : R13, 100% cotton

Tutleneck : Cuyana, 100% cotton. 

Ballet Flats : Jil Sanders

Necklace : Madewell.

#whomademyclothes : Edun is Bono( U2)’s fashion venture to provide livelihood to women in Africa. They eventually shut down but I adore the man for trying. R13 makes its clothing in Italy using high quality denim from Japan. Cuyana makes their t-shirts in a factory they partnered with, in Peru.

Reading : The Food Lab

Tune on repeat :  Valtari, Sigor Ros

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Style notes

ON TRENCH COATS

I like trenches once they are broken in. The new ones look preppy and detective like in the 80s’ hollywood sort of way. I need a year with mine to make it perfect.

New garments can be awkward. I need to learn how to wear this trench. All black is the safe choice. But its a start with the new garment. I have the spring season to experiment a little.

Details I like : gabardine cotton, lack of synthetic content, the hue of green, Bono, U2, the rugged look, the characteristics that make it casual than preppy, military details, …

Picked out a size that I can wear on top of my winter coat. Hence the oversized look.

Most popular outfit on the internet : striped top + black denim + trench + flats.

I am wearing the second most popular outfit with a trench : black turtle neck+black pants+ballet flats.

My style is going in circles and converging into it self. I am becoming the kind of woman who goes into a shop and asks “show me something that looks just like what I am currently wearing”. I wouldn’t call it a rut since I am very happy about it.

The people in my town don’t wear trench coats. They wear fleece hoodies. I always get mocked at, with references to old hollywood when I wear it. Last year, I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea to invest in one. So tried it out with a short trench.

What did I do before I got it ? I cant stop wearing it. I wear it when I know I will get dirt on me – which living where I live with animals is everyday. This year, I took the plunge and got a proper coat.

Its not polyester. That really matters. The only polyester I own is in the form of exercise clothing. Every time I wash my yoga pants, I contribute to the micro-plastic pollution of our oceans. Its great that there exists waterproof clothing that is meant for movement and outdoors made from 100% natural fibers.


Question : If I were to request you to be my stylist for a day and you had access to what ever you need in the world, how will you modify my outfit ? I am very curious to see how our styles differ and overlap. What will you add or subtract ? 

Skin Care Closet ft Zadie Smith

Posted on March 17, 2017

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While I never had problematic skin, I am aware of how it will look if I do nothing. I could eat well and exercise, but all the sun I got in the last decade living in a desert caught up with me. Cinco (cat) and Hombre (dog) have been giving me facials on an everyday basis. But in reality, I prefer the man-made products in nice dark glass bottles. Especially the ones made by the scientists who are experts in their line of work. Truth be told, there are so many products that work. But I cant try them all or slap them on my skin in layers. I will always go with the proven science :

Vitamin C & E: 

I have tried so many products. Skinceuticals C E Freulic is the one. It stays in the body for 72 hours. Its expensive. Hence I use it once every 3 days.

Vitamin A :

I have a tube of retin-A that my dad prescribed. I use it once a week on a night when I know I wont be out in the sun the next day.

Wish List : 2017 Edition

Posted on March 11, 2017

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2 am email to Maanasa : “I am buying them ! even if they empty my checking account. I dont care. I am buying them”.

8am : What ! I sent that email huh ? Real life and the morning tea thankfully kicked in. I don’t want them.

#storyOfMyWishLists 

1. Black structured bag

Has to be vintage.

I am tired of my brown satchel. Its time to store it away for a year and use something else.

Slouchy bags are not that appealing to me anymore. I was always that girl who wore a distressed brown satchel. (My first blog was called theGirlwithABrownSatchel.) But think its time to look into a structured bag.

The shape of the Hermes Kelly is correct.

Coach and Salvatore Ferragamo used to make a similar model in the 60s. Looking to find one.

Outfit : #aDayWithOutAWomen

Posted on March 9, 2017

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I set up the camera and the photo bombers miraculously appear. 

Cashmere Sweater : Iris & Ink.  This was my first (cashmere) sweater. Took the safe route : trusted Net-a-Porter’s own label but its quality is very disappointing.

Jeans: R13. 98% cotton, 2 % stretch ( my fav composition for jeans ).

Boots : n.d.c made by hand ( Best quality shoes I own. I would rank them above Church’s and Saint Laurent. Sadly I cant find them anywhere. Apparently, they made 10 pairs in all, 3 of which I bought and then went out of business. )

#whoMadeMyClothes : Iris and Ink didn’t want to share beyond ‘its Made in China. Sorry we couldn’t assist you any further’. R13 sources Japanese denim from a century old mill and the jeans are made in a factory in Italy. NDC used to hand-make their shoes in Italy when I had purchased them.

Wearing Red : #aDayWithOutAWoman

Currently Reading : A Handmaidens Tale

Tune on repeat : Neelakasham Pachakadal Chuvanna Bhoomi

Random Style Notes

Sweaters, Red, Cashmere

My Indian heritage imparted a certain amount of fearlessness when it comes to color. But its fine tuned by the pared down aesthetic that I developed on my own. One brightly colored item is enough. One bright color per outfit is enough. #myPersonalStyle

I need red clothing in my closet. Especially in winter, it cheers me up. I refuse to buy a gray winter coat. I know it goes with everything and is the safest option. But I need the color therapy in winter. I never thought I would own more than one sweater. So I bought a red one first. Over the years, gray and navy followed.

Buying a sweater is a big deal. Its an investment. It comes from materials sheared off an animal. You wear it for a decade. I need to get it right. If you made a mistake, you are stuck with it for ages. Its definitely not a casual affair for me.

I still do not know how to identify quality based on appearance of the woolen fibers. Should they be long or short fibers? Should it be rough at the start ? How long should it take to soften ? I read that even the best quality wool pills during the first few years and stops later. The bad quality wool pills every year. Is that true ?

My husband never read a fashion blog in his life. He has never seen an outfit of the day post before I posted my first. He is flabbergasted that I can do something as vain as this. He cant seem to get over it. There goes my dream of making him an instagram husband.

When you dress in the morning, do you ask yourself :

  1. “is my outfit interesting enough?”.
  2. “is there a feminine touch to my garçon style ?”
  3. “let me add that one accessory that completes my outfit”
  4.  “let me add that special element to my everyday dressing”.
  5.  Let me wear what ever and go.
  6.  Will my instagram followers approve of it ?
  7. Is it blog worthy ?
  8. Is it simple enough ? Is it fuss free ?
  9. Is it chic ?
  10. Is it statement enough ? I need to provide visual interest to the lookers.
  11. Do I need to cheer myself up ?
  12. Am I hiding from the world and need a shell ?
  13. Who am I meeting ?
  14.  ???  … suggestions welcome

I am #4, #5, #11 and #13. What about you? 

Outfit : The Weekend in

Posted on March 5, 2017

We are staying in, cooking hearty food and being very content about it. We have the heater on in our little cottage. The neighbors cat is snuggling on the couch. Harsha is watching soccer in bed. I didn’t want to use the over used H word but there it is – #hyggie ! Its a state of being, not products to buy – Amen to that thought.

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Pajamas : J.Crew Vintage Set ( I love them ! ). This is my most fav outfit to wear, ever ! Not shown in the photo : my grandpa’s wool shawl and house slippers.

Re-reading : Shantaram

Current tune on repeat : Kaatru Veliyidai, Saarattu Vandiyila 

Style notes :

ON LOUNGE CLOTHING

We dress up when we go to a wedding or a night out on town or to go dancing at a night club or for a party. To look nice for all the mostly strangers who don’t really matter. The most important people in my life are the ones I live with. I want to look nice for my family. I don’t want my husband to see me in sloppy clothing. Even sans the man in my life, I see presentable sleep wear as a luxury but an attainable one.

I don’t feel the need to own a lot of lounge/sleep clothing. Two sets of pajamas make my entire collection. One in navy blue and other in sky blue. They are enough. I have been wearing them everyday for a year and half now. They held up well with wash and wear ! I highly recommend them if you are looking for a pair. They are significantly more affordable during the thanksgiving sale if you can wait.

In the winter, I wear an old gray sweater on top and wool house slippers. I would like a pair of matching silk pjs in navy blue. But I don’t have the energy to hand wash my sleep wear. I also don’t want to spend that sort of money on pjs. But the idea of them – yes please ! A pair of pjs in flannel would be ideal for the winter. My mother has been taking tailoring lessons and wants to make my next pair.

No, I wont be trying the ‘pajama trend’ any time soon. Hopefully never.

Is lounge clothing blog-worthy ? I wont justify the need to make this post. Everyone should have a personal style diary and its special no matter what the internet says.  Style is a perspective and it needn’t be liked or popular or accepted or avant garde to make it valid.

Spring Cleaning : A Wardrobe Audit

Posted on March 4, 2017

I am a habitual auditor. Not because I find it exciting. But out of necessity. If I made a not so wise decision in the past, I don’t want to be anchored to the mistake. In my book, periodically auditing habits, finances, diet, exercise plans, reading list, facebook friends, instagram follows, blog subscriptions, bad books, shoes, … is good exercise. Spring cleaning a closet isn’t an excuse to throw out stuff that is old and look for potential upgrades but to evaluate its current contents. I wont ask myself if I own the right version of am item. I refuse to slip into the loop of cull and buy. But I will take measures to make the most out of what I already own.

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My closet audits usually reveal my mistakes. I would have bought more than needed. And I cant let stuff sit there and gather dust. This year, its different. I had to let go of things because they are worn out or no longer fit. I have to do this exercise twice a year. Partly because it gets messy in there. I would like to blame the cat, but my laziness has a lot to do with it. I like to wipe it down and re-organize everything. Seeing all the beautiful things I own and touching the wonderful fabrics kills the desire to add more. It also gives me a chance to evaluate the current state of affairs. My process :

0. Start with the Body

Winter messes with my routine. Its cold out. I don’t exercise but eat hearty food.  By the end of it, I became skinny fat – the condition where I stay the same clothing size but have a body with declined muscle tone and higher fat percentage. I am currently not fit enough to hike all the trails we have bookmarked for Spring. We are attempting a 20 mile backpacking trip to a remote hot spring in Big Sur, California. I need to clean up my body first. Things I am doing :

Been doing some yoga, 4 times a week. Will add a HITT workout in the form of uphill bike rides this month.

Start the day with a shot of apple cider vinegar. Been drinking green tea and increased my intake of greens.

I tried switching to brown rice but I could not palette it. Been replacing the starches in a few meals with steamed sweet potatoes.

Body brushing.

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1. Closet : Think before addition. Think before subtraction

Its a new season. I dont know how they come up with these stats but rumor has it that 6 tons of clothing gets thrown out every 10 minutes. What ! Hoarding unused stuff is not good either. I don’t know if I can put this across without being a hypocrite. But let the cleaning session be a chance to mend and make do. Let it be a chance to revel in good choices already made.

White Noise : February Edition

Posted on February 28, 2017

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Designer : Sabyasachi, Udaipur Collection ( his home on Architecture Digest )

Photographer : Tarun Khiwal

Notes : Can you admire something that is not your style ? I struggle with the idea of embroidery, color, print, volume, jewellry, drape, … when they are all piled on together. It can easily slip into the “too much, too gaudy” territory. His pieces are over the top but are very elegantly so. The embroidery is impeccable and the construction is perfect. He chooses the fabrics well, creates beautiful prints and pairs them with a harmony that I seldom experience. They are absolutely fit for a vintage Indian princess and are pieces of art.

For Valentines day, I got clay – in a form that I appreciate.

Thank you Em Alt and Vogue Paris for this cover featuring a women of transgender. Thank you Joanna Goddard for this beautifully written article. I have nieces and nephews. What if they have to go through such a struggle and the world makes it hell for them ? Its a scary thought.

My monthly contribution to my zero waste resolve : coconut fibre scrubs, Castile bar soap. Compostable, plastic free, natural. Kitchen cleaning is the easiest place to start.

More noise :

This red is poetic.

J.W Anderson and his origami.

Put-this-on talks about how a suit should fit. Its given me some pointers on ratios and proportions in an educational manner.

Gucci Autumn/Winter 17 discussion by ShowStudio. The kind of post-runway show commentary I want to hear. The rest is noise.

When NatGeo does a sponsored post for Amazon, its pretty epic – Around the world in 12 books.

Slavery in the current century ? I hope this article is not true but …

 


What have you been reading ?