I have been hunting down blogs that talk about style. And not feature products and 10 pictures of the same outfit per post. A favourite find of mine is Fashion We Like. They interview some seriously stylish and eloquent people who are rather opinionated on style do’s and dont’s. The magic of this blog – you cant read these answers without thinking of your own. Here are my answers.
* Pictures from the archive
The three essential things a woman should know about style are…
1 . Its not just about the clothes you can buy or trends you refuse, but how you wear them and how you live you life. You have it or you don’t. Blogs, magazines, exposure and clothes help, but it’s something more innate.
2. Your clothes should not arrive before you do. Loud, tight and vulgar clothes tend to do that. Too much detail, preppiness, blingy accessories can achieve that effect too.
3. There is some wisdom in dressing for your body type. That doesn’t mean you can’t wear otherwise, but its some sense on how proportions work together.
Please describe your style in three words.
Simple without being sterile. ( There is a difference between boring and simple. *)
What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?
Not looking in the mirror to check the lines your clothing make on the body. Blindly following trends. Uncomfortable clothing.
* I love Pinterest !
Do you believe in role models?
Absolutely. How else can I explain all that time spent on Pinterest ? People I admire influence my style. But absolute NO to copying an exact look.
What are your favourite fabrics?
Cotton, wool, leather, silk and linen – in that order.
Are there any style combinations that you object to?
Yoga leggings as pants. ‘It’ bags. Monogram anything. Visible logos. Hello Kitty sorta graphics on grown women. Talking about price of one’s outfit in public. Walking up to someone and asking the price of an item of clothing currently being worn. Wearing all masculine clothing without some sort of twist – there is that chic androgynous look and there is that preppy financial district wannabe look. Extreme ‘cute’ clothing that can make a person look like a cupcake. Prints that borderline visual clutter. Too much contrast in colors paired. Flip flops on the street … I have so many ! I am a blogger indeed.
Which city has the best-dressed women?
NYC. Vienna. … haven’t been to too many cities.
Would you say that you are conservative or bold?
What are the rules in the way you dress?
Proportions, feng shui with the surroundings and body shape are important to me.
I do wear my favorite colors – navy blue, grey and black a lot. My favorite accent colors are army green, mauve and red. I own red shoes – and I try to wear them as often as possible.
I like how a collar+unbuttoned shirts look on me. I wear shirts on most days. Shirts tucked into pants or as shirtdresses.
Cotton in summer. Silk and leather in winter.
My clothes are usually designed to make me move. You will never see me in too tight to eat/breathe/move clothes or shoes in which I can’t walk.
*My style muses on Pinterest
Celebrities and style…
I don’t know … I don’t know any personally. Some of them are rather stylish. Some have stylists. Some of them NEED stylists so bad.
Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?
Blue dresses. I have seven and don’t think I have too many. Would buy another if I find one I love.
A woman should always look like…
herself. Not like her style muse or her fav style blogger.
She should not look like some dainty fragile thing that needs to be taken care of. She should look like she is ready to take on anything that comes her way. #feminism
Who taught you what you know about style?
My older Sister Haritha – she taught me about proportion. My mother tried teaching me about the “good” colors. Renu Chalasani Swartz ( aunt) for her emphasis on simplicity. My father who is the elegance police in my family, for giving me subtle hints on what not to wear. He has a lot of that old school gentlemanly charm and manners. He still reprimands me when I do not carry a handkerchief or have a pen in my handbag. He is a darling.
How do you select your clothing every morning?
By color. If I want to wear blue, it’s a dress. If i want to wear red, it’s oxfords. If I want to wear purple, it’s a shirt and skirt. and so on. Pick out the color and go with what I have that can be assembled. Sometimes, it’s the weather that dictates the choices. I do live in a desert with extreme temperatures.
*Army green linen button up – a summer must have.
What is your biggest regret?
Buying low quality clothing and accessories in the past. Not caring about the ethics of production.
Do you have any shopping rituals?
I shop for everything online. I have my go-to consignment stores. I care about the ethics of production. There are very few places that I can shop from. I do consult with my best friend Maanasa before/after every purchase. We discuss everything – A.P.C catalogues, Ralph Lauren runway shows, internet people watching, criticize style bloggers, etc.
We will never see you wearing…
Yoga leggings as pants. Yellow, orange, bright green and bubblegum pink. No to showing panty lines, camel toes, plunging necks, anything too short, toe cleavage and very tight clothing.
Which new designers do you follow and why?
The Row. Stella McCartney. Victoria Beckham. Lemarie. Proenza Schouler… lots. I love Fashion week.
Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?
My older sister when she lived in India and wore traditional Indian clothes everyday. My aunt Renu.
What is the first thing you notice on a woman?
Skin, shoes, hands, posture, attitude -in no particular order .
What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?
Campomaggi handbags. NDC Made by Hand boots. Blue shirt dresses. An old Zara Leather jacket. Stella McCartney mauve funnel coat.
Nothing I currently own is disposable. And I have been investing in my wardrobe for the last 3 years. I carefully plan and make decisions. I treasure it all. Everything has a story on how I found it. I want everything to age with me.
The one image that defined your approach to style…
Mimi Thorisson wearing her dresses and flats while mushroom picking in the woods. It changed my view on style. I learnt that you don’t need special clothing for every activity you do. She has repeat offenders and repetitive style – which gave me the courage to do the same without fearing judgement of others. Her clothes do not take it away from her work – which is the most important thing. She held on to her style as she had her babies, moved to the country side from Paris, goes foraging in the woods, walks her puppies, …
Which fashion house never fail to impress you?
Stella McCartney. Ralph Lauren.
One article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to is…
Underpinnings. Bad underwear / ill fitting bras are a mistake and can ruin what ever worn on top. My mother made me wear a slip under my clothes from age 4. While I find that too old school, I am beginning to understand how underpinnings can change the way clothes fall on the body.
Who would you like to recommend for My Style?
Is comfort an enemy of style?
Absolutely not. But comfort ( well fitting garments in breathable fabrics ) and being sloppy ( yoga pants/basketball shorts on street ) are not the same thing. That’s just being lazy. Women in heels they can’t walk in, is not an attractive at all. You do not have to torture yourself to look stylish. I see women dressed in the most uncomfortable clothing when they go to the night clubs – I wonder, ‘are they victims of some sort of brainwashing or plain stupid? ‘
My camera is still in the repair shop and I currently have some separation anxiety. I am taking the down time to show some gratitude – pay my respect to some excellent content creators who do a fantastic job teaching me about life and style.