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?

 

 

 

Chic Find: Stylish casuals from Guru (yes, we mean fashion)

Chic Find: Stylish casuals from Guru (yes, we mean fashion)

Jeans and tees are everywhere! Name a brand, and it’s the casuals we all wear. But if you’re looking to be casual without looking like a clone, it’s time to explore another brand.

And here’s a cool casual wear brand I discovered recently: Guru.

Guru t-shirt

So what’s Guru?

Don’t get fooled by the name. Guru is of Italian origin, though it’s now owned by Bombay Rayon. Present across Europe, Guru ventured into India a couple years ago. The Guru store is a wonderful place to step outside your casuals comfort zone. BTW, the Guru logo is a daisy.

Guru store in Mumbai

What Guru stands for

High-quality denims and casuals. Guru is for the fashion lover who values quality in fabric, print and style.

Denims at Guru store

The Guru style

Casual, edgy yet understated. In other words, very European. You won’t find the “typical” tshirts and jeans at Guru.

Menswear casuals at Guru store

Girls casuals at Guru

Must-try clothes at Guru

Denims: The white pair of jeans I tried at the store seemed a tad tight, but they fit me perfectly when I wore them couple days later. Also, the denim is super light, so I don’t feel hot in them despite the Mumbai heat. BTW, I also loved this denim jacket and trousers:Deim trouser and jacket at Guru

T-shirts: For their autumn/winter 2011 collection, Guru has tied up with the Paramount Pictures for movie-inspired t-shirts, from Grease, Footloose and Escape from Alcatraz. They were fun, vintage-looking tees. My favourite one was from Forrest Gump:

Guru Paramount Tshirt

The autumn/winter 2011 collection had waistcoats, jackets, jeans and tshirts. For girls, there were also a few dresses. The colour palette was muted with dull blues, greens, pinks and greys. Of course, black played an important role too.

One great thing about the store is that they have selected the right clothes for Mumbai. For instance, the heavy winter wear was kept to the bare minimum though the manager informed me that some customers did buy their winter clothes.

Don’t miss:

The visual merchandising and the interiors. The creatively-displayed garments and the strong Italian and international theme resonates throughout the store. I saw little bowls of pasta and coffee cups displayed with the garments. Besides, the colour-coordination is wonderful and the styling is just what a collegian would want to do with her clothes.

Visual display at Guru store in Mumbai

What’s missing:

Even though there are plenty of belts at Guru, I’d love to see more accessories like shoes and bags. Being a casual wear brand, it’s unlikely you’ll get a party dress or classic black trousers here.

The price:

Prices at the Guru store are higher than the most popular high street casual wear brands like Levi’s and Pepe Jeans, but lower than Diesel. For instance, a couple pairs of jeans were over Rs 3000. Some things at the store have “surprising” pricing, like a belt for Rs 1495. But the guys at Guru are confident that the Guru fan appreciates the quality that he gets.

Final word:

If your typical style isn’t casual, then Guru may not be the place for you. But Guru’s casual wear will excite those who love denims and t-shirts with attitude.

Speaking Chic was invited to review the Guru store by the brand. As a goodwill gesture, Guru gifted me a pair of jeans.

Bollywood Fashion: Tomboy casuals in Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge—Like!

Bollywood Fashion: Tomboy casuals in Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge—Like!

When I was in college, there was no Facebook, no hot rock singers and certainly no chic-and-unstylish girls like Preity Sen (actor: Saba Azaad) in Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge.

MFK5

Since I don’t get too many opportunities to wear casuals these days and because I see a bit of my teen self in Preity, her look makes me want to go to college all over again. Just to wear those clothes, and perhaps have a Facebook romance too!

The look

Saba plays the college bore/ geek/ serious girl who hates boys, so her look is tomboyish from head to toe. Costume designer Priyanjali Lahiri has devoid Saba of any feminine touch.

MFK4

What Saba is wearing

  • Tank tops and racer backs, devoid of embellishments or prints
  • Checked shirts as jackets and sports jackets (resembling the famous Gap jackets of the 1990s)
  • Tight jeans and shorts
  • Sneakers
  • Masculine watch and pile of dark rubber bangles

So no skirts and dresses (though she does wear two party dresses). And certainly no girly accessories or clothes for this gal—no floral prints or hoops or jhumkas.

How to get Saba’s look

Step 1: To emulate Saba’s I-care-a-damn look you first need to get the right attitude. 🙂 And then work on layering.

Step 2: Start with a fitted racer back or tank top, or a sports bra. (Below: Racer back top from Mango.)

Mango-racer-back1

Step 3: Then add another layer, which could be another tank top or a plain or striped tee. Remember that you’re not layering for winter, but for casual wear. The trick is to NOT bother too much with getting the colours right. (Below: Stephanie stripe tshirt from French Connection).

FC-stephanie-stripe-tshirt

Step 4: Cover up with a checked shirt or sports jacket. (Below: Quilted hooded jacket from Levis)

levis-quilted-hooded-sweatshirt

Step 5: Wear a pair of your favourite skinny jeans. If you’ve got the legs, wear shorts. (Below: Skinny jeans from Levis, shorts from Sisley)

Levis-skinny-jeans1

Sisley-shorts - Copy

Step 6: Un-comb your hair, and tie random strands into a loose pony.

Step 7: Apply tinted lip balm or a nude pink matte lip colour.

And voila—ready for college!

MFK1

What did you think of Saba/ Preity’s look in Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge—“like” or “unlike”?

Chic Poll: Where do you like to shop for clothes and accessories?


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As far as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of brand’s stand-alone stores like Mango, Levi’s, 109F, Promod etc and rarely visit departments stores for clothes shopping. I always felt that department stores like Central, Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop or Westside had clothes that weren’t trendy, of poor quality, the staff wasn’t well-trained and the whole experience was no fun.

But a few weeks ago on my way to a lingerie brand’s store, I stopped at Sobo Central and explained to the sales assistant (SA) that I was looking for a sports bra. She immediately guessed my size and within a couple of minutes handed me sports bras from multiple brands. I tried them on, selected one, and bought it without thinking twice.

sobo-central-logo

A few days later I won a Shoppers Stop gift voucher at an office event and went to the store at Inorbit Mall. Again, I had a surprisingly satisfying experience, despite the crazy crowds (it was the sale period).

logo_shopperstop_new

And last weekend, I had another good time browsing at Lifestyle at Phoenix Mills. The SA at the Baggit counter helped me with laptop bags and I liked most of the accessory collections I saw. And when I hit the clothes section, I saw some known and not-so-well-known brands offering great deals on tshirts.

(Below: Esprit)

Esprit image

Result: I’m sold on department stores now!

That doesn’t mean I will skip brand stores altogether, but I will make it a point to check out a department store when I’m looking for good deals, when I have a long shopping list, or even when I’m not looking for something in particular. It would be such fun to buy a tee from Esprit or Bossini, jeans from Levi’s, matching skirt from 109F, then pair it with earrings from yet another brand. Smile

So where do you prefer to shop: department stores or brand stores? Take our poll and tell us why in the comments below!

 

 

Chic Alert: It’s sales season again!

It’s July, and it’s time for bargain hunting at the monsoon sales in almost every store across India. So break your piggybank, demand a salary/ pocket money hike, and hit the mall like there’s no tomorrow.

For our shopaholics’ convenience, here’s a list of fashion stores/ brands on sale. Print it out, mark your preferences and carry it with you to the mall. Tick off your list as you dole out the cash.

Clothes (stand-alone brands/ designers)

  1. AND
  2. Global Desi
  3. Anita Dongre
  4. Ranna Gill
  5. Globus: 40% off
  6. Ed Hardy: Up to 50% off
  7. Zara
  8. H&A
  9. Chemistry: up to 50% off
  10.   Promod: up to 50% off
  11.   Latin Quarters: up to 60% off
  12. French Connection: flat 30% off for men, up to 50% off for women

Lingerie

  1. La Senza: up to 50% off

Accessories

  1. Nine West: 40-60% off
  2. Charles & Keith: up to 30% off
  3. Reebok: Flat 40% off
  4. Citywalk: 50% off

reebok sale

Multi-brand/ designer stores

  1. Mogra: up to 80% off
  2. Re: up to 70% off
  3. Ensemble: up to 70% off; from July 7-9, 2011

Jeans/ casual wear

  1. Lee: up to 50% off
  2. Pepe Jeans: up to 60% off
  3. Levi’s

Beauty (Special Offer)

b:blunt’s Monsoon Manicure Madness: every new customer gets a complimentary manicure. Existing customers can recommend a friend and get a free mani.

Have a great shopping weekend!

Chic video: Imran Khan drops his jeans for Levis, oops… we mean dENiZEN

Levi Strauss Signature is now dENiZEN, and who better to announce it to the Indian youth than Bollywood’s chocolate boy Imran Khan?

In this cute advertisement, Imran drops his Levi’s Signature jeans at a public walk-in laundry for a wash, sitting in his underpants. As a coy Monica Dogra (another customer) gyrates to the music, a baffled Imran looks on. The ad ends with Imran pulling out dENiZEN jeans from the machine, and enjoying the comfort they bring.

Our verdict: Cute advertisement, intelligent casting, good choice of music and even better chemistry.

PS: dENiZEN is a recently-launched mass jeanswear brand in Asia (especially for upwardly mobile youth from 18-28), and will soon be introduced in the US as well. The dENiZEN Spring-Summer line is available at dENiZEN and multi-brand stores across India. Denim bottoms range from Rs 799 to Rs 1399. Also available: casual tops and shirts.