New collections Part 1: S.Oliver, Esprit and Benetton (with summer trend quotient)

New collections Part 1: S.Oliver, Esprit and Benetton (with summer trend quotient)

This is the first in a series of blog posts covering the Spring/Summer 2012 collections hitting stores this season! Take a look at the collections and our summer trend quotient to know how trendy it is, decide what you like, and go shop! Happy shopping! 😀

In this post, I’ve written mostly about casual wear brands.


s.Oliver Casual brings the joy present in nature to their clothes.

Summer trend quotient: 7/10 (florals and greens)

s.Oliver Casual_007 SS 2012

Selection by s.Oliver (the premium line) is about holidays, luxury and being relaxed and carefree in style.

Summer trend quotient: 6.5/10 (resort and relaxed wear)

SELECTION by s.Oliver_041 SS 2012

QS by s.Oliver is for those outdoor summer days with friends, enjoying music, love, spontaneity and youth.

Summer trend quotient: 6.5/10 (lots of colour, non-seasonal prints)

QS by s.Oliver_050 - Copy SS 2012


Women’s wear at Esprit is about whites– formal and informal summer dresses, elegant blouses and jackets. And then there are the audacious flower prints on chiffon, linen and soft silk—seen on skirts, shorts, blouses, leggings, jumpsuits and dresses.

Summer trend quotient: 6/10 (needs some excitement!)

Esprit SS 2012 dress

For guys there are daring plaids, box checks and chess board prints. The colour of choice is blue—from light to navy! Laidback guys will enjoy the Jamaican short pants and trousers in a range of colours, best worn with Esprit’s hats and tees.

United Colors of Benetton

It’s a season in Technicolor, says Benetton! And they’re right.

UCB ss12_man_campaign_11

For men, there are bold chromatic combinations, multi-coloured solutions, with cable-knit designs, patterns and vibrant stripes.

Summer trend quotient: 9/10 (love that they’re big on patterns!)

UCB ss12_man_look_9

For the ladies, the explosion of colours and prints continues at UCB. Don’t miss the spots, stripes and bold colours (orange, pink and blue).

Summer trend quotient: 9/10 (dots are hot this season!)

UCB ss12_woman_look_6

More collection updates coming soon!

Chic Picks: Casuals for winter 2011!

Chic Picks: Casuals for winter 2011!

The mercury is dropping, which means it’s time to update our wardrobe! This week, we bring you our picks for the season, starting with casuals.

Below: Look from Guru

Guru winter look

Tees and jeans

You gotta have tshirts and jeans in your wardrobe, no matter the season. And for winter, the full-sleeved sweatshirt is a must.

Below: Tshirt from United Colors of Benetton, jeans from Sisley, Beryl Denim leggings from French Connection, sweatshirt from Zara

Tshirt-UCBJeans- Sisley AW 2011

FC-Beryl Denim leggings Zara-sweatshirt

Skirts and shorts

So what if it’s cold? Women with gorgeous legs always want to show them off! Wear skirts or shorts with tights.

Below: Look from S.Oliver, tights from Marks & Spencer, shorts from Guru, skirt from United Colors of Benetton

s.Oliver Casual AW 2011 Printed Tights Marks & Spencer Guru shorts AW 2011Skirt- UCB AW 2011


Striped dresses and LBDs are ideal winter choices. And don’t forget the casual and party dresses. Pair them with jackets, leggings or skinny trousers.

Below: Diagonal striped dress from Sisley, Dress from Zara, Sidney Jersey dress from French Connection, dress from 109F

Dress from Sisley Zara-dress1

FC-Sidney Jersey dress AW 2011Red Dress 109F

Which of these makes it to your winter wishlist?

Chic Trend: Jumpsuits for all!

Chic Trend: Jumpsuits for all!

So fashion “authorities” tell me jumpsuits are oh-so-last-season, but I spoke to a number of women who say they’ve still not got one. And they add: if they knew a jumpsuit was right for them, they’d go out and buy one. So here’s a look at the kind of jumpsuits out there, who they’re right for and how to wear them:

The denim jumpsuit
Frankly, denim jumpsuits were last seen in the 1990s and we wouldn’t recommend you go looking for them, but they do look great as dungarees or playsuits.
How to wear: Layer with a fitted tee and sneakers
Who can wear: Tweens, teens and 20s gals

Below: Denim playsuit from S.Oliver, Denim dungarees from Mango

SOliver denim jumpsuit Mango denim dungarees

The regular wear jumpsuit
These can be printed or mono-coloured, fitted or loose, long-sleeved or strappy, and can elongate your legs if worn correctly!

Wear it like: Lara Dutta

Lara Dutta in jumpsuit

(Photo credit: Kreative Access)

How to wear: Wear with a thin or wide belt, and avoid wide legs please!
Who can wear: College students, younger-looking working women, petite women

Below: Ruffle-neck printed jumpsuit from Mango; Nelly S jumpsuit from Vero Moda

Mango ruffle neck dungareesVero Moda Nelly S jumpsuit

The evening wear jumpsuit
These are usually ankle-length and come in slinky fabrics like satin– sometimes with detailing like belts, metallic embellishments and drapes. They can be a great substitute for a formal dress.
Wear it like: Anushka Sharma, Rani Mukherjee

Anushka Sharma in jumpsuit Rani Mukherjee in jumpsuit

(Photo credit: Kreative Access)

How to wear: With killer heels, evening clutch and glam makeup.
Who can wear: (Almost) everyone

Below: Venetta drape jumpsuit; Sierra sateen jumpsuit—both from French Connection

FC Venette Drape jumpsuitFC Sierra Sateen Jumpsuit

The playsuit
After jumpsuits, playsuits (aka rompers or shortened jumpsuits) have made an appearance.
They’re cute, they’re mostly casual, and they are good for year-round hot weather, like in Mumbai.
How to wear: Since they’re casual, it’s best to accessorise with a mix of casual and formal accessories, depending on the occasion. Heels or flats, statement to simple.
Who can wear: Gals with great legs

Below: Wrap short jumpsuit from Mango; Playsuit from S.Oliver

Mango wrap short dungarees

Which jumpsuit would you like to wear?

Chic Store: S.Oliver brings trendy European fashion to Infinity

S.Oliver’s new concept store at Infinity Mall, Malad was my first in-depth experience of this German brand a few weeks ago, though they have stores at Mega Mall and Inorbit Mall.

The store’s large thematic window display drew my attention as I walked around the mall. The display had a rustic-cum-urban look with faux bricks and cool photo frames (similar to the one in the picture of the Delhi store below). The window display changes every few weeks, and is one of the highlights of the store.

SOliver Delhi store

At first glance, S.Oliver looks like any other high-street store, but step inside and you will feel the difference, even if you can’t put a finger on it immediately. It’s got a factory look with exposed pipes on the ceiling, wooden slats and flooring, with a dash of colour that comes with a printed wallpaper. None of that is in-your-face; instead, it creates an understated charming experience.

SOliver Mumbai store 

SOliver Mumbai store

The store houses S.Oliver’s three lines—Casual, QS and Selection, and have been laid out for easy navigation—guys’ stuff to the left, girls’ to the right, and gradual shift from casual to sporty to formal. There are t-shirts, shirts, jeans, dresses, trousers and jackets.

The S.Oliver design team uses concepts and garments across the lines, with a twist or two to fit into the line’s signature. For instance, I saw a denim jacket (usually worn as casuals) in the Selection line with a sleeker fit and coat-style buttons.

SOliver Mumbai store

Some other interesting pieces I saw: shrugs (especially liked a wine-coloured one); famous cartoon character tees (Superman, Batman), jackets and denims. I also noticed a sports jacket there, and while I wondered if it was out of place, they pointed out to me that the jacket was quite popular, even (or especially) in Mumbai! They have a few accessories as well, and I saw cross-body bags with little petal cut-outs that I had spotted a lot on my recent trip to Spain—bang on trend!

SOliver Mumbai store SOliver Mumbai store

I was looking for a cute jumpsuit or playsuit, and S.Oliver seemed to have plenty of options in those—in denim, a military green, printed cotton ones and so on. I tried these on, along with a classy dress that looked like a blouse and skirt combo when worn (was very tempted to buy that!) Most of the garments I tried had a comfortable fit and seemed fine for my body type, though I did notice the dreaded European style of low necklines that aren’t right for India. I chose a printed green playsuit for myself.

When I visited, part of the store was on sale, and the Fall/Winter collection already on rack. S.Oliver has clothes that would suit a range of ages and style mantras. You could get everything from a ganjee to a formal shirt, and despite the range, the store is not overwhelming like some large ones tend to be. The vibe is cool and hip, but not OTT, and will do well with the college crowd.

Some shoppers may find the prices a bit steep (eg Rs 1099 for a Superman tee, Rs 2000+ for my playsuit), but a quick comparison with other European brands reveals that S.Oliver is in the same range as Vero Moda, Benetton and others.
Store Address: S.Oliver, Infinity Mall, Link Road, Malad (W).

Note: Speaking Chic visited the store on the invitation of S.Oliver India, but we paid for our purchases.

Chic Trends: Metals, whites and pop for summer parties

For the party animals, partying never stops. And for non-party animals, party invites may be few and far between, but they’re always fun. Party animal or not, if you’re partying this summer, do it in style with our chic and trendy picks.

Go Metallic

Metallic dresses and jackets were party staples late 2010 and they’re still around. Update last year’s wardrobe by opting for a muted metallic look—choose a dress that’s got just the right touch of gold or silver, rather than screaming metal all over.

Below: From Siddharth Tytler’s Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011 collection, Silk-georgette dress from French Connection with sequins

Siddartha Tytler LFW S/R 2011 dress metallic French Connection silk-georgette printed dress with sequins

White, or something like it

While white dresses and gowns are making a comeback this summer, we recommend  whites with prints and colour blocking, along with off-whites for the ladies who want to look sophisticated. Choose a dress with an easy silhouette or drapes, pair with a pop or metallic belt, clutch or shoes, and party all night!

Below (left to right): Dress from Vizyon, Look from S. Oliver (Selection)

Vizyon dress s.Oliver Selection dress

Pop it!

For the bolder party girls, we’re loving the pop-coloured dresses this season. Pick a dress in your favourite bright colour (solid or printed), and pair with neutral pumps and clutch.

Below: Dress with asymmetric flounce from Zara, Belted dress from Mango

Zara dress with asymmetric flounce Mango dress

What’s your favourite summer party dress?

Chic summer trend: Do the stripe-tease!

If there’s one trend most international celebs are wearing this spring (summer for us), it’s the Breton stripes aka French navy stripes (Taylor Swift, Alexa Chung, Claudia Schiffer). In an earlier post, we wrote about wearing neon and bright stripes this summer. In this post, we show you more ways to wear the stripes.

Wear the stripes differently

Give the stripes a 2011 twist by wearing a tshirt, blouse or dress with stripes in navy or black (or whatever colour you please) that are thinner, narrower, wider or closer. Guaranteed to make you look trendy without being a clone.

Below (left to right): Picasso stripes slouch dress (girls) from French Connection; look from Energie’s Summer/Resort 2011 collection.

French Connection striped dress

Keep it casual or make it formal

For a casual look, guys and girls can wear their striped tshirt with straight or boot-cut jeans and a sun hat. Girls can carry a slouchy bag. For a formal or semi-casual chic look, wear the top with white, navy or beige trousers or loose-fit pants.

Below: Hat from Zara (guys)

Zara hat

Add another trend

Girls can mix navy-striped blouses with hot trends like lace or soft shoulders. Guys can look for navy stripes with trends like the ubiquitous “numbered” tees or with fabric detailing on sleeves and collars.

Below: Stripe numbered tee from French Connection (guys), double stripe t-shirt (guys) from Zara, look from S.Oliver spring/summer collection

Zara double stripe tshirtFrench Connection stripe tee

s.Oliver Casual navy stripes with lace blouse

Mix and clash

Print mixing is big this season, so why not mix your stripes with spots, stars, florals or other prints? Girls can wear lacy or printed skirts or expertly mix blocks of colour and print, while guys can team it with checkered shorts.

Below: Dress from Mango, skirt from French Connection.

Mango dressFrench Connection white lace skirt





How are you wearing stripes this summer?

Winter Layering: Go Indian (part 1)

Winter layering for Indian women is tricky, if not tough. The kurta-churidar/salwar-dupatta, the uniform of millions of women across the country has a very specific silhouette, cut and length. And unfortunately, most “western” wear is not appropriate to layer with them.

All of us have seen women wearing a buttoned sweater over a kurta, and we must admit can look kinda dowdy, and well… funny.

Here are a  couple of easy tips to get you started:

  • The trick is to play with length correctly. Most kurtas are close to knee-length so go for a jumper, sweater or cardigan that stops a few inches short of the kurta’s hemline.
  • Seek and you will find several ‘longer’ knitwear options to go with your kurtas.
  • For kalidar or A-line kurtas, wear a cropped sweater or jacket that ends just where the kurta begins to widen.

(Cropped cover-up from United Colors of Benetton).

Cropped knit jacket

Ditch the dupatta and drape a long stole or scarf in a fun way.

(Scarf from S. Oliver)

Speaking Chic Tip: Here’s a video we like that explains the various ways you can tie a scarf:

Coming soon: Part 2

Winter layering: More trendy office looks

In our earlier post, we shed light on using layers to create a smart office look. Today, we take a look at couple more trendy looks for office.

Look 2: Patterned

Patterns are fun! Start with a basic formal shirt, and cover it up with a patterned sweater. Make sure the patterned is not too loud for office. Show off the pattern with an open-neck jacket or blazer. Accessorise with a patterned stole that compliments your sweater.

Winter layering patterned: shirt, sweater, jacket, accessories

Shopping Guide:

White shirt from S.Oliver

Patterned sweater from S.Oliver

Knit jacket from Marks & Spencer

Stole from S.Oliver

Look 3: Coloured

Beat the office boredom with a splash of colour. Wear a pop-coloured cardigan or sweater over your office shirt. Play up the colour with a coat of contrasting colour, or sober up your look with a neutral trench.

Winter layering: shirt, cardigan, coloured coats

Shopping Guide:

White shirt from S.Oliver

Crossover cardigan from Zara

Magenta trench from Esprit

White belted coat with faux fur from French Connection

Related Posts:

Winter Layering Trends: Go Casual

Winter Layering: Dress smart for office

Winter Layering: Dress smart for office

Everyone complains that layering during winter can be tough. And when you’re headed to work, layering is all the more tricky. Layer too casually, and you can look sloppy. Layer too formally, and your colleagues may think you’re snooty. And you don’t want to look bulky or resemble a fashion victim.

Speaking Chic has put together some key looks for office. So bundle up just right for work, and let your clothes speak for themselves.

Look 1: Sophisticated

Rock the next big meeting or sales pitch with an uber-sophisticated approach to winter dressing. The key is to opt for neutral outerwear with minimal, yet eye-catching detailing. The faux fur on the belted camel coat and the metallic buttons of the knit cardigan will add a dash of refinement to your office look.

Winter layering office: coat, cardigan, gloves, shirt

Shopping Guide:

Camel coat from French Connection

Deconstructed knits cardigan from French Connection

Studded gloves from S.Oliver

White shirt from S. Oliver


Coming soon: More winter looks for office!

Related Post:

Winter Layering Trends: Go Casual

Winter Layering Trends: Go Casual

Layering clothes for winter is a tricky business. What goes or doesn’t go with what can be confusing, especially for those who want to stay trendy even while bundled up in layers.

Speaking Chic kicks off a series on layering for winter. In this series, we will bring you the top layering trends of winter 2010-2011 and give you easy, accessible and affordable examples so that you can get the looks. Do try this guide at home.

We kick off the series with a layering trend for all seasons: casual.

Go casual with tee and denim

Warm up your year-round staple of jeans and tee by starting with your favourite plain tshirt and pairing it with a fun wrap, shrug or cover-up. Choose winter accessories in interesting colours and prints to give your outfit a softer look.

Layering Formula:

Basic tee (cotton or wool) + knit cover-up + jeans + scarf

Winter layering trend casual 2010

Row 1: Tshirt from Zara; Shrug from S.Oliver

Row 2: Tshirt from French Connection; knitted vest from S.Oliver

Washed denims with colored studs in “Catie Fit” and scarves, both from S.Oliver