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?

 

 

 

SS 2012 fashion: Trend repeats, misses and some AW 12 predictions

SS 2012 fashion: Trend repeats, misses and some AW 12 predictions

Trend repeats- from earlier seasons

Colour blocking

Yup, colour blocking was still around this season, appearing on dresses, separates and even swimwear.

Below: Bric a block tunic dress from French Connection

French Connection colour blocked dress

What’s in store: This trend is likely to continue into AW 2012-13, though with darker tones and stronger contrasts.

Tropical prints

Call them abstract florals or forest prints- the tropics have been spotted on ramps and high street recently.

Below: Skirt from Zara

Zara Tropical print skirt

What’s in store: Wait till next year for them to make an exit. (Or not!)

Trend misses- made it on the ramps, but not on high street

Sporty casual wear

Almost every fashion magazine wrote about sports-influenced separates and managed to put together editorial shoots based on the sports theme. While sportswear brands like Puma, Reebok and casual brands like Levi’s and Energie may have had the right separates for the look, most of high street missed out on this.

Below: Women’s Move long graphic tank top from Puma

Puma Graphic tank top

The twenties

The twenties were a high fashion trend this season (Gucci and Ralph Lauren). But flapper styles- drop waist dresses, straight silhouettes, neutral tones and jersey fabrics- were almost nowhere in the malls. Did you see anyone dressed remotely like a flapper?

Tribal influences

Tribal prints were seen in several high fashion collections such as Burberry, but they didn’t catch the fancy of the high street folks.

Autumn/Winter 2012-13 trend predictions:

Lace

Lace all over, lace inserts, lace detailing and even some kinky/ fetishtic looks with lace.

Below: Lace dress from Mango.

Mango Lace dress

Prints

Tropical prints and abstract florals ruled over the pretty delicate florals of the past few summers. Expect head-to-toe prints coming season, especially Baroque styles.

What are your fashion predictions for A/W 2012?

Chic Beauty List: Products that took me through winter (from Kiehl’s, Lakme and Nivea)

Chic Beauty List: Products that took me through winter (from Kiehl’s, Lakme and Nivea)

I don’t usually blog about skin care/ beauty products, so this post means I’ve got something substantial and special to write about. 🙂 This winter has been a harsh one for my skin. Mid-December I travelled through some of the coldest places in north India—Delhi, Mussoorie, Rishikesh and Haridwar. Then I came back to Mumbai where it got quite cold and stayed that cold for about a month.

My skin is already on the drier side, so this winter I was geared up for the worst. I tried a number of products and luckily found the right skin care mix for myself pretty quickly. Here goes my list.

Face: Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate

Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Concentrate

The product literature dubs this product an “elixir”, and it claims to give you a smoother, more radiant complexion the next morning. Well, that didn’t really happen the next morning, but it did happen couple days later. The colourless serum with a hint of lavender moisturised my skin well, and did a superb job of giving me softer and supple skin. In short, I absolutely LOVED this Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate! I will continue to use it even in summer (it doesn’t make the skin oily).

Rating: 4.5/5

Body: Lakme Fruit Moisture Honey & Avocado Winter Care Lotion

Lakme Honey & Avocado winter care lotion

Unlike other Lakme skin care products, the fragrance is strong but not overpowering. The Honey and Avocado lotion did a great job of keeping my skin moisturised throughout the day, though on some days I needed a re-application by night. Even so, I enjoyed using this lotion and the proof lies in the almost-empty bottle. 🙂

Rating: 3.5/5

Body: Nivea Happy Time Body Lotion

Nivea Happy Time Body Lotion

The trusted Nivea’s relatively new product “repairs dryness” and gives a “feel-good sensation”. Does it live up to its two major claims? Yep. Besides, the mild orange flower fragrance is lovely and I find my skin soft and moisturised even 12 hours after application. I could have done with a larger bottle of the product!

Rating: 4/5

Note: These products were provided by the brands’ PR agencies for consideration. But this post is based entirely on my experience with the products.

Chic February Guide: What to do, where to shop, what to buy this month

Chic February Guide: What to do, where to shop, what to buy this month

It’s February already! And while it’s time to take stock of broken resolutions, it’s also time to figure out your fashion agenda of the month. Here’s my guide to being chic this month.

Buy Valentine’s gifts: Fragrances

It’s the month of romance so it’s the right time to buy some chic gifts for your special someone and close friends. Give your guy the newest launch from the Giorgio Armani perfume stable—Code Sport. The fragrance is a woody aromatic citrus and an explosion of freshness on a base of torrid sensuality. I know why the ladies will love this one. 😉

Armani Code Sport

Guys looking for a special fragrance for their special gal could try Ralph Lauren Romance Valentine’s Day 2012 Limited Edition, a fresh sparkling floral. The pink-silver carton enveloped with delicate metal-grey entwining flora and vines would make her swoon. 🙂

Ralph Lauren Romance perfume

Buy Valentine’s gifts: Gizmo

The Diesel Noise Division’s VEKTR headphones are the perfect gift for a fashionable music lover (or a musical fashionista). These headphones fuse Monster’s secret experimental audio savvy with Diesel’s iconoclastic design.

Diesel headphones

The gizmo has a sharp and faceted look and translates Diesel’s obsession for innovation and details: head of the Mohican inside the cushion and on the metal piece, contrasting colour, and clash of different finishing outside-inside (shiny and matt). Even the cable is designed not to tangle. Can’t wait to hear music on this one!

Shop at: Ensemble

Ensemble’s end-of-season sale kicks off today, and if I was in the mood for designer wear that’s where I’d be headed. (I shopped at their Lion Gate store during the sale last year). Running up to February 4, you can get up to 70% off on outfits from designers like Savio Jon, Tarun Tahiliani, Anamika Khanna, Gaurav Gupta, Gauri & Nainika, James Ferreira (picture below) and many more.

Ensemble Sale- James Ferreira

Attend: ‘Demystifying the Drape’ workshop

At Mumbai’s Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, fashion designer Shaina N.C. will shed light on the different ways the sari can be re-vamped. The workshop is meant for those who wear saris regularly and those who don’t. I’m hoping I can make it to this workshop.

The workshop is on February 6, 2012 from 2 to 3.30 pm at Artisan’s Centre, Kala Ghoda, Mumbai.

Look forward to: Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week

FDCI & CEL AW 12 logoFDCI’s Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2012 kicks off February 15 in New Delhi, and it’s going to be the fashion event of the month. Designer duo Shantanu-Nikhil will open the season and pave the way for over 130 designers to showcase their collection. WLIFW A/W 2012 promises to bring awesome fashion and fresh trends!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are you looking forward to this month?

Chic Trend: Are loafers the new “it” shoes?

Chic Trend: Are loafers the new “it” shoes?

I last saw men and women wearing loafers in the last 1980s, or maybe the early 1990s. The most common ones I remember seeing were brown with little tassles. And then, those shoes disappeared.

But now, they’re in almost every good shoe store in town. I was extremely sceptical about them, but they seem to be THE SHOES for the season. Here’s why:

Reason 1: They are comfy. I’m not used to “closed” shoes being a Mumbai gal, so I wasn’t sure if I would be comfy in them. I tried on this pair at Tresmode, and they were super comfy. In fact, they seemed tailormade for my feet. 🙂

Below: Newbuck loafers from Tresmode (for women)

Tresmode loafers

Reason 2: This season, loafers (also called “slip-ons”) are available in a mindboggling range of styles and colours for both men and women. Loafers can be simple slip-on shoes, with minimum or no detailing or it could have a fancy buckle or faux laces.

Below: Mockk from Steve Madden (for women)

MOCKK loafers- Steve Madden

Reason 3: You can wear them almost everywhere! I wear my Charles & Keith loafers to movies, meetings, dinners and to run errands.

Below: Loafers from Charles & Keith (for women)

Charles & Keith loafers

Reason 4: They are great for both cold and warm weather. While I wouldn’t recommend loafers for summer, I don’t find them making my feet too sweaty in the current Mumbai weather. In Delhi recently, I wore my loafers with socks.

Below: Loafers from Carlton London (f0r men), available on BeStylish.com

Carlton-London-loafers-men

Reason 5: Loafers are chic! End of discussion! 😉

Do you have your pair of loafers yet?

Winter mini-guide: How to wear woollens with a twist

Winter mini-guide: How to wear woollens with a twist

When it’s dark and cold, I’m usually not in the mood to put on something chic, trendy or fun. Besides, it can be a bit difficult to think out-of-the-box with winter wear. So I’ve put together this this mini-guide to help you wear your timeless winter essentials with a twist. So your winter days don’t need to be dull. 🙂

The basic: Sweater/ jumper

The classic sweater is comfy, soft and available in a range of colours.

Below: Basic sweater from Zara, Santana stretch jumper from French Connection

Zara-basic sweater Santana Stretch Jumper French Connection

Wear it different: Sweaters can be fun. If you like colours, opt for jumpers in pop colours or with patterns.

Below: Look from S.Oliver, Sweater from Benetton

s.Oliver Casual 1 29006 - Copy

The basic: Cardigan

The buttoned V-neck and round-neck cardigan is a winter essential for both men and women. Dark colours are especially great for the incredibly short days and long nights.

Below: Cardigan from Zara, Knit cardigan from Mango

Zara cardigan with contrasting detailingMango-knit cardigan

Wear it different: The “unbuttoned” cardigan (aka “cover-up”) is a chic way to show off your top below or keep it casual. Think kimono-style cardigans with no buttons, cardigans with in-built belts and loosely worn cover-ups.

Below: Cardigan from Sisley, Dymo LS Long cardigan from Vero Moda

29780 - CopyVero Moda Dymo LS Long cardigan

The basic: Winter dress

Long sleeves, muted colours, simple patterns and a hint of detailing—that’s a winter dress.

Below: Pleated studio dress from Zara, Linda 3/4 mini dress from Vero Moda

Zara-pleated studio dressVero Moda Linda 3-4 Mini dress

Wear it different: Try a knitted or crocheted dress with feminine frills like lace or other sheer fabric.

Below: Woollen dress from Sisley, Lace details dress from Mango

29798 - Copy Mang-lace details dress

How are you wearing your woollens this winter—the basic way or with a twist?

Winter picks: Have you chosen your coat yet?

Winter picks: Have you chosen your coat yet?

If you haven’t chosen a jacket or coat to keep you warm this winter, then here’s a guide to help you choose. And if you’ve got a coat already, maybe you could consider these for your next purchase this season. Either ways, I’ve got some tips to help you decide what to look out for while buying the perfect jacket or coat.

Neutrals

Black, grey and beige coats are winter wardrobe essentials—they’re excellent for office, college or an evening out.

Chic tip: While you can’t go wrong with black or beige, look for a coat that has some interesting details—like a matching or contrast belt, decorative buttons and shiny zippers.

Below: Black belted coat from Sisley, beige coat from Benetton, Colour Block Wonderland coat from French Connection.

Winter Coat from Sisleywinter coat from Benetton French Connection coat

Patterns

While prints for the cold season came into vogue in Fall/Winter 2010-11, they haven’t made as much impact on coats and jackets. Even so, you can look for coats with subtle checks or patterns.

Chic tip: The animal print trend refuses to die out (pun unintended), and you can choose to wear one if you’re bold enough.

Below: Coat from Marks & Spencer, Houndstooth coat from Zara.

Marks & Spencer coat zara-houndstooth check coat

Anoraks

If you live in a cold town with strong winds, you will need an anorak for cold weather protection. Some anoraks are also water-proof and hooded.

Chic tip: Anoraks can add more bulk to your body than other types of outerwear for winter, so opt for one only if absolutely needed.

Below: Anorak from Mango

MANGO - 53012559_10_B - Copy

Which winter coat do you choose?

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

Dresses

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?

Shopping News: Zara opens in Bangalore; Massimo Dutti, Kenneth Cole coming to India soon

Shopping News: Zara opens in Bangalore; Massimo Dutti, Kenneth Cole coming to India soon

Namaskaara, Bengaluru! Zara has opened its first store down south! Now now, we’re certain that this news brings great joy to us all, but let’s just take a deep breath now. 🙂

The brand-new Zara store brings Bengaluru shoppers (we mean Bangalore, of course!) over 17,000 square feet of pure fashion pleasure, with plenty of trendy clothes and cool accessories. Here’s a glimpse of their stores and their Autumn/Winter 2011 campaign:

Zara Bangalore

Zara woman fall winter campaign

So it goes without saying, Bengaluru gals—cancel all weekend plans and head to Zara!

Zara address:

Phoenix Market City, UG 7 & UG 4, Opp. Mahadevpura CMC, Whitefield Road, Mahadevpura, Bengaluru (Bangalore) – 560 048.

Meanwhile…

…Massimo Dutti and Kenneth Cole have India on their mind

Couple more brands are set to launch in India soon. Inditex Group (which owns Zara) and Trent Limited (retail arm of Tata Group) have extended their joint venture agreement to open Massimo Dutti in India. Massimo Dutti is aimed at shoppers with a different sartorial taste, those seeking sophistication, elegance and high-quality fashion.

Massimo Dutti Oct2011 lookbook

Kenneth Cole will open five stores in India over the next three years, after their licensing agreement with Reliance Brands. Reliance Brands will also handle the brand’s premium wholesale distribution. The longer-term plan includes around 25 stores over the next eight years. Kenneth Cole stores will stock with men’s and women’s footwear, clothing and accessories under the Kenneth Cole New York and the Kenneth Cole Reaction labels.

Kenneth Cole New York

Which brands are you waiting for?

Van Heusen India Mens Week 2011: Name an occasion, take your pick of clothes

Yesterday Speaking Chic wrote about fashion for all personality types at Van Heusen India Mens Week 2011 (VHIMW 2011) . Today we write about  clothes for all occasions—straight from the VHIMW 2011 ramp.

Clothes for hanging out/ college/ casual Fridays

Cropped pants/ shorts, comfy hat and subtle stripes and checks are great for chilling our with friends.

Below: From Sanchita Ajjampur

Model at Sanchita Ajjampur VHIMW 2011

Clothes for a foreign holiday

For the lucky dudes who are heading for a Mediterranean cruise or a relaxed holiday in Europe, we recommend neutral shades like beige, ivory and grey. Mix classic with the contemporary (like this structured jacket off-set by slinky cowls).

Below: From Karan Johar- Varun Bahl

Model at KAran Johar-Varun Bahl at VHIMW 2011

For festive occasions

The season for celebrations is about to begin—Navratri, weddings, Diwali, and some more weddings. Time for sherwanis, traditional looks, and embellishments on rich fabrics.

Below: From Shantanu-Nikhil

Model at Shantanu-Nikhil at VHIMW 2011

For formal yet fun occasions

Sometimes a guy wants to have fun but would prefer to be classy over casual. Think blazers and jackets in fun prints and colours. Be bold!

Below: From Troy Costa, Manoviraj Khosla

Model at Troy Costa at VHIMW 2011 Model for Manoviraj Khosla at VHIMW 2011

Guys—which of these looks do you wear most often?