I would be interested in peeking into the closet of any human being. Be if that their style is relatable to me or if I think they are the worst dressed. While a closet full of H&M or APC or Gucci would hardly sustain this interest, I would still be interested for a start. I love seeing all the dimensions of a well curated closet. A mix of influences. A mix of splurges and affordable items. Vintage, hand me downs and second hand finds. The basics and the accent pieces. The neutrals and the colors. Accessories and the stories. Closets that are capsule wardrobe colleges that I see on Pinterest are rather  … um … boring. They are all the same ! A wardrobe built over a decade – yes please. Style By, is all that. And the narcissist in me loves this sort of bait. Here are my answers. Anyone reading through the questions, please pick your favourite one(s) and answer it too, as a post or in the comments ? 

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Shirt dress : Cuyana. Hats : Stenson, Rag & Bone. Loafers : NDC made by hand, Saint Laurent.

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1. Style.

Its hard to describe. I think the following words describe it: the trees, imaginary Parisian chic, the adventurers, YSL’s safari collection, in an idea of androgyny that YSL conceived ( not the wall streeter version ), my father, the sci-fi movie heroines in neutral uniforms  ( Rey from Star Wars : The Force Returns, Trinity in The Matrix, … ), the samurai, ..

2. Everyday uniform :

Blue shirt + black jeans. Blue dresses.

3. Party style :

Little red dress > Little black dress > Little blue dress. Silk > other fabrics. With flats.

4. Bags :

Brown satchel. Or clutch.

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Dress : Madewell. Flats : Porselli. Boots : NDC Made by Hand, Churchs, NDC Made by Hand

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5. Shoes :

I have lots of flats. Black flats in lots of shapes.

6. Jeans :

R13 & Citizens of Humanity.

7. Star item :

My little black dress by Oscar De La Renta. I feel like a million bucks in it. The last time I wore it, I played football with the boys. And earned the title ‘that girl who plays in a little black dress’. And that’s just how I want to be remembered.

8. Best Buy :

Celine black coat (second hand from Vestiaire Collective). Its exquisite. A Celine blue silk dress (second hand from Vestiaire Collective). Stella McCartney coat (second hand from RealReal ).

 

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Loafers : Valentino

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9. Inspiration:

Women who work hard. Women who are born wealthy but earn everything without family support. Women who are drop dead gorgeous who could have earned a living from their looks but pursue other disciplines out of interest. Self made people. Lot of writers, scientists, designers, engineers, doctors, teachers, Nat Geo team, explorers, … the list is long.

10. Style tip :

Try/Do not copy someone else’s look head to toe. Wear what you like.

11. Shopping personality :

Split personality.

Personality One : Quality fiend. Recovering from my days when I used to shop a lot. I am at peace now and it’s hard to tempt me. I can find fault and say no to most things.

Personality Two : Fall madly in love with something and take it home.

12. Shopping tip :

Size up ! Tight clothing << comfortable clothing in which you can “do” things.

Simpler the clothing, more the quality matters. Beautiful fabric needs very little else to look exquisite.

13. Can’t get enough of :

Looking at my closet, one can conclude : blue dresses and black flats. I am not very adventurous with new combinations and styles, but lack enough discipline when it comes to these two areas.

14.  Most used :

Blue dresses, brown satchel ( Campomaggi ) and black flats ( Porselli ).

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Blue dress : Celine. Black dress: Oscar de la Renta. Coat : Stella McCartney

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15. Oldest item :

My brown satchel is the oldest item I use. My mother still has a pink suit that she dressed me in, on my first day of Kindergarten. I have my mothers pearls from her 20s. I inherited my grandpa’s shawl which is 35 years old.

16. Last buy :

A little red dress. Its silk with silk lining, by Burberry.

17. Next buy :

An army green t-shirt for my husband. He has been eying my green shirt and asks if I stole it from him. My boyfriend fit safari shirt from Equipment is rather oversized and he thinks it was his.

18. Would never wear :

I hesitate to say never, life is unpredictable. But it’s safe to put bodycon dresses / pants that look like tights in the category. Crocs. Flip flops.

19. Wardrobe you envy :

Mine. I have everything I need and more. I am not an advocate of copying someone else’s style. And never found another who dresses exactly like me to go raid their closet.

20 : Beauty :

“A well nourished body can do wonders”. – my aunt. Raw foods make a big difference. Organic oils. Gram flours instead of soap. DIY scrubs from the kitchen. But the two products that I have repurchased over the last 5 years are Sk2 and Skinceuticals C serum. They deliver everything that they promise and more.

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Perfume : Fresh and Jo Malone. 

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21. Scent :

Dark and musky. Pom Noir by Jo Malone is my signature.

22. Ready in 5:

Bird bath + blue dress + sunscreen (day) / face oil ( night ) + perfume.

23. Wellness :

Lots of fresh air. Nature. Yoga. Tea. Raw food. Traditional food wisdom. Rice. Sleep.

24. Music :

Instrumetal. I have a list of my fav composers. Hans Zimmer is the god of our household.

25. Read :

Its my one addiction. I can’t stop reading. When I am procrastinating, I usually am reading something that I don’t have time for. I re-read The Razors Edge by Maugham.

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Bangles : Ippolita’s rose gold collection

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26. Art.

I am inspired by art you can live in/with. Fashion, architecture, everyday objects that are well designed, … I don’t care for paintings where someone has reproduced the exact thing as it exists. Modern art – yes ! I also have great great admiration for photographers and illustrators. I think writing elegant code is an art. I have met engineers who work on repeat improving their work and its inspiring. The iPhone is ‘art’ I enjoy on an everyday basis. ….

27. Interior :

Old, earthy and lived in. Japanese aesthetics appeal a lot to me. Old Indian homes like my great grandma’s home are made with cement, limestone, wood and brick. She had green windows. It was such a charming cottage. Earthy tones, stone floors and brown furniture is what I grew up with and feels natural.

 

28. Nightlife :

Wear silk, dark red lip and sturdy flats. San Francisco has speakeasies, good food, streets that look like art, music in the park, beer festivals, perfect back drop long strolls, the last train for the day at midnight that we almost miss catching, … We also stay in playing board games with our friends over beer and biryani.

29. Favourite City :

New York City. We rented an apartment and lived there for 12 days. It was amazing. It felt like the entire world was condensed into a city. You can go to different neighbourhoods for Italian, French, Russian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, …. influences. We spent each day walking through a different borough. We would drink whiskey when it got too cold. Eat 6 tiny meals a day to try out as much new food as possible. The city taught us wanderlust.

30. Fav shop :

eBay. Makes the unaffordable and the unattainable happen for me.

Vestiaire Collective. It allows you to make an offer and most sellers give in after a time period, to make a sale.

RealReal – Runway collections for Zara prices. Why does anyone shop first hand when this website exists ?

 


I realize that the items in this post are on the opulent side. I will include my more everyday items in my next Q&A post. A decades worth of ‘finds’ has left me with a closet that I seem to flaunt out here. Or perhaps it’s the luxury of the 30s reaping the returns of some good ‘investments’. 90% of my closet is second hand. I taught myself to hunt better and make them last longer. I am still on my way to empirically test if buying high quality will save me money in the long run. Because sometimes, that beautiful red dress that you wear 100 times costs more than 5 cheaply made dresses that you wear 20 times each. I am still figuring out what’s the right amount to spend and how long I need each garment to last to make it all worth it.