WINTER SPECIAL: 15-plus winter essentials & style tips for busy men

Busy, busy men. You’ve got no time to shop, confused about what to buy, or simply hate shopping? In this mini-catalogue of winter wear there are over a dozen ready-to-wear, fuss-free choices along with some handy tips. So your shopping becomes easier, quicker and stress-free.

Happy shopping!

Cardigans and sweaters

Style Tip: Stick to basic colours, but experiment with textures and detailing.

Textured full-sleeved sweater from TM Lewin

TM Lewin sweater

Multi-pocket cardigan from Arrow

Arrow cardigan

Knit with buttons from Ed Hardy

Ed Hardy cardigan

Coats & Jackets

Style Tip: Look out for fur trims- they add a luxe touch to your coat. Belts look great, but look best on leaner guys.

Parka coat with faux fur trim from Zara

Zara men's parka coat

Belted coat from French Connection

Black coat French Connection

Jackets and vests

Style Tip: Puffed and quilted styles are classic winter outerwear, but if you’re looking for trendy pieces there are lots of styles- try a layered or colour-blocked jacket.

Puffed jacket from Calvin Klein Jeans

CKJ puffed jacket

Quilted jacket from Splash

Splash quilted jacket

Dual-layered jacket from Guess

Guess winter jacket

Leather jacket

Style Tip: Plain leather jackets are so dull. Try jackets with lots of zips, pockets or varying textures.

Leather jacket from Rara Avis

Rara Avis leather jacket


Style Tip: High-top shoes for men are super hot right now. Wear them over skinny or straight-fit jeans.

Lace-up shoes and leather boots from Clarks

Winter shoes- Clarks


High-top lace-up shoes from Estd 1977

Estd 1977 Black shoes

Winter accessories

Style Tip: Neutral winter accessories- patterned or plain are worthwhile investments for this winter and the next.

Hats and scarf from Aldo, gloves from River Island

Winter accessories-Men

Chic Trend: Take a bite of your favourite citrus fruits!

Chic Trend: Take a bite of your favourite citrus fruits!
Orange, lemon and sweet lime are juicy, sweet and the right of sour. And this summer, they’re delicious enough to wear. An easy balance of colour between neon, sorbet and pop shades, the citrus colours of orange, green and yellow can easily be worn as dresses or separates, and can be paired with each other.
Take a look at Speaking Chic’s citrus picks and read some handy style tips below:
Some tips to wear citrus:
  • These colours should be worn with a light neutral shade like beige, white or khaki. So if you’re wearing an orange top, try on a pair of beige slim fit trousers.
  • For citrusy pants, you could wear a contrasting coloured top or printed blouse.
  • Citrus + citrus = Yummy! (Warning: Take your husband/sibling/ mom’s opinion before you step out in a top-to-toe citrus ensemble).
  • If you’re wearing a bright orange or yellow dress, make that the key piece of your look. Which means your bag, shoes and earrings should be subtle. Nude pumps or a tan belt would look great!

Chic Trend: 10 best floral pieces for the season

Chic Trend: 10 best floral pieces for the season

Ever since European queens donned floral ornamentation in portraits, flowers have appeared in hundreds of stylised forms, and have persisted even as the fashion cycle changes. They were popular in the 1940s, 1960s, and recently then in the last decade.

With girls around rhe world wearing florals this season, how do you embrace the pattern and still stand out? I’ve made it easier with some of the best floral fashion choices for the season, in dresses, tops, and accessories. Florals this season are bright and dark, modern and vintage, delicate and bold. Match them to your mood and have fun!

Take a look:

Psstt… My pick from these floral pieces is the top from French Connection. Love the colourful artsy print on the dark background!

Chic Guide: 5 things guys need this December

Chic Guide: 5 things guys need this December

Winter jackets and coats

Trench coats are classics, wool jackets are reliable, and shiny finishes are hot right now!

Trench coat from Zara

Zara Velveteen Trench Coat

Lined Reefer jacket from La Redoute (available on


Jacket from Celio

CELIO_Purevers jacket


Party essentials

A fun evening shirt, smart blazer or coloured jeans- what are you wearing to the Christmas and New Year parties?

Shirt from Calvin Klein Jeans

CKJ- shirt

Blazer from Diesel

Diesel Blazer

Look from Rajat Tangri Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2012

Rajat Tangri- blazer

Sherwani/ Bandhgala

There are plenty  of weddings to attend this month and the next, so an embroidered or brocade sherwani is a smart fashion investment. Gentlemen will also love the classic bandhgala in a contemporary colour.

Look from Debarun Lakme Fashion Week Winter/ Festive 2012

Model in Debarun LFW W/F 2012

Look from Anita Dongre

Bandhgala- Anita Dongre

Scarf/ muffler

Scarves and mufflers say a lot about you while keeping you warm. Are you Mr Safe Grey or Mr Experimental?

Decking stripes scarf from French Connection

FC Decking Stripes Scarf 1999

Scarf from United Colors of Benetton


The right shoes

There’s lot of places to go this month and the next, and you need shoes to take you there.

Hand woven shoes from RUOSH (for weddings)

RUOSH Hand woven wedding shoes. Rs 5490

Shoes from Kenneth Cole (for parties)

Kenneth Cole shoes1

Chic List: Things that shine! (Part 2)

Chic List: Things that shine! (Part 2)

In my earlier post, I shared some carefully-selected clothes that “shone”, especially those with metallic finishes. Today it’s all about the accessories!

Unfortunately, there just aren’t enough metallic-finish accessories, but there are some glittering patent-finish and croc-textured options that put gold to shame. Here are my picks:


Metallic bag from Calvin Klein Jeans (love the texture!)

CKJ metallic bag AW 12

Croc shopper from French Connection

FC Camden Croc Zip Shopper Bag

Bag from Steve Madden



Metallic finish slip-ons and heels can dress up any outfit!

Vanilla Moon


Charles & Keith

Charles & Keith silver shoes


Steve Madden




Pendant from Myra- The New Age Chic Collection by Tara Jewellers

Myra's the New Age Chic Collection by Tara Jewellers (1)

Bangles from Toniq

Toniq-9923 (1500 x 1000)

Bonus: Makeup that shines!

Maybelline hyperglossy eye liner

Maybelline hyperglossy liner

Body pigment powder from Inglot

body pigment powder 17 Rs. 800

Chic List: Things that shine! (Part 1)

Chic List: Things that shine! (Part 1)

All that glitters this season is ….. worth wearing! I don’t just mean the sequinned party dresses, but the shiny fabrics and textures! They glitter and sparkle in just the right amount to bring some holiday cheer to winter wardrobes.

The metallic finish pieces I’ve seen recently in stores look HOT (I’ve written about it earlier)! If I had an occasion or more to wear them, I’d have at least a few such in my closet by now! I’m almost feeling bad I don’t. 🙁

Here’s the first part of my list of things that shine! What’s your favourite?


Rajat Tangri (LFW W/F 2012)

Rajat Tangri dress at LFW Winter Festive 2012

Chic Tip: Accessorise with a dull-finish bag or statement jewellery.

Tops/ blouses

Calvin Klein Jeans

CKJ draped top


Only shirt


Zara Metallic top with elastic waist 2790

Chic Tip: Metallic finish blouses look hot when worn with dark slim or skinny pants.



Mango Shiny Straight Skirt 3590

Chic Tip: A shiny skirt goes well with printed blouses or fitted tees. Wear with heels for a killer party look.


French Connection

French Connection Connie Rock Slim trousers


Sisley metallic pants

Chic Tip: Sexy halter top, peek-a-boo lace blouse, or a corset—let the mercury rise!


Calvin Klein Jeans

Calvin Klein Jeans jacket


Mango Metallic Brocade jacket 2790

Bollywood Fashion: Key pieces from Jab Tak Hai Jaan (and how to wear them)

Bollywood Fashion: Key pieces from Jab Tak Hai Jaan (and how to wear them)

Monotone outfits

Worn by: Katrina Kaif

As a British upper class business woman who moves around in a chauffer-driven Rolls Royce, Katrina Kaif’s character Meera’s style is a modern take on elegance. She sticks to simple silhouettes and colours, with almost zero feminine frills.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan- Katrina Kaif

How to wear:

Opt for comfortable A-line and shift silhouettes in knee-length dresses and coats. Choose bold colours like red, blue and green. Make sure there is only one eye-catching colour in your ensemble.

Where to buy: Coat from United Colors of Benetton, dress from Sisley

Coat from UCB Dress from Sisley

Jackets- puffed and leather

Worn by: Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma, Shahrukh Khan

Jab Tak Hai Jaan Katrina Kaif

Katrina covers up a Manish Malhotra lehenga on a snowy day with a bright red quilted anorak, while both women wear vintage-style leather jackets on different occasions. Meanwhile, Shahrukh Khan’s jackets are limited to light woollens and vests in muted colours like grey and dark blue.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan Shahrukh Khan Katrina Kaif

How to wear:

You can wear your winter jackets over anything and everything…. go crazy!

Where to buy: Calvin Klein Jeans (women’s jacket), Mango (women’s anorak), Celio (men’s jacket)

Jacket- Calvin Klein JeansMango feather quilted anorak 4590CELIO_Pulana

Boots for women

Worn by: Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma

While Katrina pairs knee-length boots with short skirts in winter (really!), Anushka Sharma wears outdoorsy laced boots meant for camping.

How to wear:

Very few women can carry off knee-length boots, so I suggest ankle and calf-length boots with jeans instead. The laced heavy boots are for the adventurous types or those living in the mountains.

Where to buy: Vanilla Moon, Steve Madden

Vanilla Moon boots-WALLIS-GINGER Steve Madden Troopah Tan leather


Military camouflage pants

Worn by: Shahrukh Khan

Jab Tak Hai Jaan Shahrukh Khan

He’s an army man, it’s standard issue.

How to wear: Military detailing and camouflage prints were a hot trend couple years ago, but they are always around if look carefully. Pair military print pants with plain tees in earth tones like olive green, mud brown and black.

Where to buy: Zara (men and women)

Zara camouflage chinos 3790 Zara camouflage trousers 3790

Winter checks

Worn by: Shahrukh Khan

SRK in Jab Tak Hai Jaan

How to wear:

Look out for checks in dark colours like blue, grey and dark green, and shirts in heavier fabrics like twill. Details like elbow patches and contrast pockets will add a fun twist to classic checks. Pair with jeans, chinos and trousers.

Where to buy: French Conection, Allen Solly

FC grapple twill check shirt 2999Allen Solly check shirt


Snoods & scarves

Worn by: Shahrukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anushka Sharma

Jab Tak Hai Jaan Shahrukh Khan

Mufflers, scarves, snoods, in solids and prints, cotton and wool- they were all there in the movie. The lead actors all wore their scarves differently from the others.

Jab Tak Hai Jaan Anushka Sharma

How to wear:

Choose the type of scarf depending on the weather in your city (wool or cotton) and how you plan to wear it (as a fun accessory or to keep warm). There are great stripes, shiny, metallic finishes, prints and colours for every fashion personality!

Where to buy: Esprit and French Connection for women’s and scarves, men’s scarves at Celio (bottom)


Esprit IC6245FC Twinkle Me Lurex Snood 2299


Chic Guide: Fashion to invest in this season (for women)

Chic Guide: Fashion to invest in this season (for women)

October’s just begun and Autumn/Winter 2012 collections are in stores. But with so much choice and a limited budget, what should you buy this season? I’ve put together a guide to help you decide what clothes will take you through the season (hence a good fashion investment).

The idea is to select pieces that you can wear from October till January based on function, fashion and wearability.

The Winter Dress

Cold weather calls for knit or wool fitted dresses that can be paired with opaque tights or even slim-fit trousers. Depending on the weather in your city, choose a dress in a neutral or favourite colour in solids or simple prints, but with a great fit or interesting detailing.

Below: Cable Knit Dress from Mango

Mango Cable Knit Dress

The Evening Dress

It’s still too early in the season for bling, and heavy sequins are not something you really wear too often, unless you’re a party animal. So smartly choose an elegant luxurious and feminine dress that says it in style. Lace is the best bet- and it will take you from evening to night!

Below: Lori Lace Jersey Dress from French Connection

French COnnection Lace dress

The Knit Top

A knit top is the building block of winter layering. Before it freezes over, you can wear it under a light jacket or blazer, or as it is. A print, pattern or hint of embellishment would add some life to an otherwise basic piece.

Below: Knit top from Allen Solly

Allen Solly knit top AW 12

The Jeans

You can never go wrong with classic blue skinny or bootcut jeans. But with the range of options in colours, fits and textures, what should you choose? For daily wear, try a new fit you haven’t worn before- like the high waist or the flared styles.

Below: Bootcut skinny jeans from Levi’s.

Levisbootcut skinny jeans

The Light Cardigan

You’ll need plenty of light cardigans and sweaters over the next few months. Choose pieces with interesting details like zippers, buttons or even embellishments. Hot colours this season? Bold, brights, jewel tones!

Below: Cardigan from Sisley

Sisley cardigan

The Jacket

In the past couple of years, blazers have slowly crept their way into every woman’s wardrobe, and not just as office wear. For this winter, try a wool-based blazer to keep you warm and stylish. Choose either a subtle pattern or an eye-catching monotone. Androgyny is in so wide lapels and a slightly oversized fit would work well.

Below: Checked blazer from Zara

Zara checked blazer 3990

The Pre-Christmas Must-Have

Gold and silver metallic finishes will be hot this party season, not just on dresses and tops, but also on jeans! Buy gold finish jeans in the run-up to the party season (which means right now!) and get labelled a trendsetter.

Below: Liquid metal jeans from Calvin Klein Jeans

CWA702-EW1-PQ-D39-3 YES 6899

The Footwear

No more open sandals or chappals. Switch to boots, booties and closed shoes to avoid getting cold feet (sorry, pun unintended).

Below: Shoes from Vanilla Moon

Vanilla Moon booties

The Day Bag

I believe bags are seasonless, but there’s something about soft textured bags that say winter. Subtle prints make them all the more desirable.

Below: Bag from Lecoanet Hemant

Lecoanet Hemant bag

What are you investing in this season?




Denim Campaigns: Autumn/Winter 2012

Denim Campaigns: Autumn/Winter 2012

Denim brands usually have the best (or most interesting) campaigns. They can be bold, provocative, fun and unconventional. Here’s a look at some denim campaigns for Autumn/ Winter 2012, dissected by category.

Super premium: Diesel

Shot by: Steven Meisel

Key model: Coco Rocha (the social media darling)

Diesel AW 12 campaign 3

This season’s Diesel campaign is a tad retro, but with the Diesel attitude intact. In the portfolio-style pictures, the models seem to be part of a screen test showcasing looks that range from edgy to Western.

I first noticed the accessories- sexy black sandals, oversized watches. And then the decades-old props- Polaroid camera, microphone and riding crop. Pieces to grab are the women’s jackets, and the black cropped top with lace sleeves.

Diesel AW 12 Campaign 1

While this campaign is not as eccentric as last season’s dollhouse-burning, giant hammer toting models, it’s got a lot of spunk and chutzpah, just what you would expect from Diesel.

Diesel AW 12 Campaign

BTW, the campaign comes alive on their website– check it out!

Premium: Calvin Klein Jeans

Shot by: Steven Klein

Key models: Lara Stone, Myles Crosby

CKJ AW 12 campaign

Twenty-first century grunge meets sex appeal in the Calvin Klein Jeans campaign! The dark ambience and the prison/ underground setting provide a stark contrast to the shiny textures in the pictures.

There’s clever play on shiny and matte textures, while the fiercely unconventional CKJ models ooze sex appeal even while underground. You just can’t miss the shiny gold pants and the reinvented skinny jeans for the season.

CKJ AW 12 campaign 2

On my wishlist is Lara’s denim shirt, while the guy’s denim shirt seems super cool too. As for the shiny pants- I’ve seen them and they are wearable if you style them well.

CKJ AW 12 campaign 3

And if I didn’t know better, I’d say this guy has got an eye on me. 😉

Mass appeal: Pepe Jeans

Shot by: Alasdair McLellan

Key models: Edie Campbell, Claude Simonon

Pepe Jeans AW 12 campaign

Pepe Jeans has been trying hard to upscale its image, starting with campaigns that have global appeal. In their Autumn/Winter 2012 campaigns, the models look for their “friend” Pepe around London’s Thames-side landmarks.

Pepe Jeans AW 12 campaign

While the showcased looks don’t really make a strong impact, the iconic London imagery (London Eye, Tower Bridge) and camaraderie among friends may draw the attention of Brit-inspired denim buyers. On the other hand, the London setting could backfire, since several high street and mass market brands have featured Brit themes in the recent past.

Pepe Jeans Aw 12 campaign 3

In the campaign images, the focus is on knitwear with a modern twist and a quirky outerwear. The one really cool piece – a shaded faux-fur jacket – may not be available in India.

Chic Guide: How to update your wardrobe for the monsoon

Chic Guide: How to update your wardrobe for the monsoon

The rain gods are here! And while we don’t have a “Monsoon/ Rain” Collection in India (why not I wonder?), a new season always calls for a wardrobe update. So here’s how I’m sprucing up my wardrobe for the four-month season. Hope my wardrobe transition tips help you too!

Add: Dark florals

Since the rains usher in lush greenery and blooming flowers, floral prints are monsoon-appropriate. But I’m restricting my florals during the monsoon to darker colours- like dark blues, black and deep reds. Florals have been big this season so there’s plenty to choose from.

Floral print blouse from Mango.

Mango floral print blouse

Delete: White and pastel-hued florals

Keep: Georgettes, polyester blends and knits

No more chiffons, cottons and sheers, please! Polyester and silk blends keep are stronger fabrics that provide a bit of warmth in the rains. Light knits (as tops or cardigans) are useful when the mercury drops after a long spell of rain.

Sarah Silk Top from French Connection.

FC-Sarah SIlk Top

Blouse from Calvin Klein Jeans.

CWI126-YB82T-R07 yes 3599

Delete: Chiffons, cottons and sheers. Wet chiffon sari, Mandakini in Ram Teri Ganga Maili. Get the drift?

Hold on to: Shorter lengths

If you hate mud stains on your jeans and trousers as much as I do, then continue wearing your favourite capris in the rains. And given the fabulous colour choices we have this season, you won’t run out of cool capris to wear! Of course, if you dare to go shorter, you can wear shorts and skirts too (midi-length ones are still around).

Capris from Zara.

Zara Twill Capri Pants

Don’t discard: Full-length trousers and jeans – you need these wardrobe classics for meetings, events, and the next season!

Add: No and low heeled shoes

On rainy days, I prefer closed shoes with non-slip soles and kitten heels for special days. I wore my Charles & Keith loafers yesterday during a drizzle, and they kept away the murky water and had a good grip on the ground. Even though I’m not a Crocs fan, a lot of people swear by them.

New Love Loafers from Tresmode.

tresmode NEWLV1

Hold on to: Stilettos- need them for parties and dance nights!

How are you updating your wardrobe for the monsoon?