How to dress like Taapsee Pannu in Mulk

In her latest film Mulk Taapsee Pannu plays Aarti Mohammed, a lawyer in the holy city of Varanasi. Despite the low glam quotient of the film, I liked Taapsee’s understated style in Mulk.  Her look provides excellent style inspiration to working women who want to look smart, crisp, elegant and powerful.

So how does Taapsee Pannu get the right look in Mulk?

Taapsee Pannu in Mulk white shirt black pants

Taapsee’s Mulk style statement

Taapsee Pannu’s work and off-duty looks in the movie are practical and pragmatic, simple and fuss-free. She looks like a woman who takes minimum effort in getting dressed which is why her look will work for many Indian women who constantly juggle between work, home and countless other responsibilities.

Though Aarti Mohammed is an Indian woman, she lives in London with her husband Aftab. Hence Taapsee’s style is in line with international standards. She opts for a no-frills, minimalistic style that you would see on most women abroad, except that in Mulk her look is mostly based on Indian wear.

What’s more, her minimal look extends to her beauty choices. Taapsee’s hair has been cut short and she leaves it open when she’s at home. Reflecting her role as a woman from a modest family, she wears almost no makeup.

Taapsee Pannu’s work look

Aarti is a serious lawyer and it shows when she dresses for court. In court, Taapsee is nattily dressed in white and black as mandated by court rules. She wears a crisp white shirt with slim-fit black trousers that taper at the ankle. Her accessories are a thin black belt and black loafers.

Even if you’re not a lawyer, this simple look of a tucked-in shirt with a belt and loafers are enough to make a great impression at work.

Try these suggestions to get Taapsee Pannu’s courtroom look in Mulk:

White shirt from Vero Moda, available on Jabong

White shirt like Taapsee Pannu

Black trousers from Marks & Spencer, available on JabongBlack trousers M&S

Black loafers from Allen Solly, available on Amazon.in

black loafers Amazon

Taapsee Pannu’s casual look

Taapsee’s trademark style at home is simple, straight-cut cotton and linen kurtas. The kurtas’ sleeves are elbow-length and they come with formal collars. This means mandarin collars, not the round and V-necklines that we see everywhere. The kurtas are solid and void of any prints, embroidery and embellishment.

Take a look at this tweet Taapsee Pannu posted from the sets of Mulk:

 

However, her kurtas are NOT BORING, because they have little detailing like a long button placket and a bit of piping around the collar. Taapsee has skipped the ubiquitous churidar, instead opting for straight-fit pants. Tiny diamond earrings and flat kolhapuri-style slippers complete her Indian casual look.

Here are my recommendations to adopt a look similar to Taapsee’s in Mulk.

Kurta from W

kurta from W

Diamond earrings from Caratlane

diamond earrings from caratlane

What did you think of Taapsee Pannu’s look in Mulk? Would you adopt such a look at work or at home?

The year of badass women in films

I’m tired of watching timid women in films, in whichever language they may be. I’m tired of them playing second fiddle to male protagonists, and I’m especially irritated with the stereotyped, hollow and misguided projections of “modern” women in Indian films (Alia Bhatt in Dear Zindagi, Sonakshi Sinha in Noor).

But 2017 has given me some hope. I’ve seen women kick bigtime ass in films, I’ve seen women who won’t take no for an answer, and I’ve seen women who won’t let others decide their destiny.

Like this one:

Gal Gadot playing Diana in Wonder Woman

And these:

Ramya Krishna playing Sivagami in Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali: The Conclusion

Anushka Shetty playing Devasena in Baahubali: The Conclusion

Taapsee Pannu playing Shabana in Naam Shabana

*Cue applause.*

And here is why I love them:

They fight. And how.

They fight, and not just physically. Not just by kicking or punching a villain, or by cutting off a perverted man’s hand. They fight society’s expectations, and they fight to save other’s lives. And, even better, they fight for themselves.

Naam Shabana fighting

I loved watching Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman taking down the bad guys, and Taapsee Pannu as Shabana extracting revenge. The immense satisfaction I got from seeing their toughness just blew me.

They are self-centred, but selfless and loving too.

Hurray for multidimensional women. They exist around the world, but very rarely on screen.

Whether it’s Diana (aka Wonder Woman) or Devasena from Baahubali: The Conclusion, they are clear about what they want- learn to fight, be a better archer, hunt down a kiiller. And they will do whatever they can to reach those goals.

Wonder Woman

But that doesn’t make them bitches.

Because they still care about people. They fight to protect their kingdom, to protect their country and to save humanity.

They have men in their lives.   

How many times have we girls heard the line, “Men don’t like women who are too ambitious or career-focused, so don’t be so driven”?

Sorry folks, but just because we like to do “unconventional” things doesn’t mean we can’t fall in love or have a man interested in us.

Thankfully, the men in these films are more in touch with their masculinity and like to see women fight. They cheer them on during a fighting match, and share their own skills with them (remember the three-arrow hold in Bahubali: The Conclusion?). And thank god for that.

Baahubali 2 archery

Because yes, there are such men in real life too and the world needs to see them. Not all men want their wives or girlfriends to be damsels in distress or be totally dependent on them.

But…

All these films have their flaws in their treatment of women characters, especially in their relationship with male protagonists (and that’s a blog post for another time).

Nevertheless it’s refreshing to see such wonderful roles for women in popular cinema in Bollywood and Hollywood. It’s even more awesome that audiences are watching and accepting these films.

Maybe the time will soon come when film makers won’t have to rely on big-ticket male actors to attract audiences, and have women do some REAL stuff on screen. Stuff that is mostly confined to men.

It’s too early to celebrate path-breaking female characters on the big screen. But there is some hope…