Chic Leggings: Going graphic

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I see graphic t-shirts everywhere I go. Girls wearing them, their moms wearing them, on the racks (including at Zara recently), in window displays… And then I came across a pair of graphic-printed leggings, at a high street store abroad. They were certainly eye-catching, though I found them a bit daring for me. I didn’t think I had the panache and confidence to carry it off.

Then I saw Sonam Kapoor sporting a similar pair in a recent interview. Yes, the same Sonam Kapoor who wore badly-fitted anarkali-churidar not too long ago. Surprisingly (or perhaps not), she carried off the graphic tights really well. Paired with a long black tee, it was a deadly combo that elongated Sonam’s super long legs. Check out the TV grab below and don’t miss Sonam’s bejewelled clutch.

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Needless to say, I’m giving these tights a second thought, but I think I’ll wear them only when I’m on TV. 😉 Would you wear graphic-print leggings? Tell us!

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Chic Micro-trend: Denim for your feet

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After years of being discarded as “too casual”, denim emerged as one of the key trends from the international Spring Summer 2010 catwalks. From Dolce & Gabbana to Jean Paul Gaultier, this fabric appeared from out of the blue in a variety of garments, other than jeans. There were edgy jumpsuits, hot shorts, mini skirts and casual dresses. Soon enough, denim hit the high fashion street, with Mango and Zara giving their summer collections a denim twist.

But if you don’t want to wear a denim dress, you’ve anyways worn jeans all your life, and we don’t need denim jackets in India (thank you very much), cash in on the trend with denim shoes!

Footwear made of denim can be surprisingly versatile. They can be sneakers, pumps or wedges. How do you want to wear it?

How to wear the trend

If you’re looking for dressy, sexy or stylish to go with jeans or a non-denim dress, then look out for the denim shoes at the high street stores. Mango has this chic pair of denim shoes at their Indian stores. I also liked this pair for guys, but Indian men are not too high on Mango’s radar.

Meanwhile, check out this really cute pair of denim lace-ups I found at a Mango store abroad.

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If you’re sportier types, head to the nearest Converse store. This American and Indian teen (and post-teen) favourite is likely to have a pair or two of denim shoes on their shelves. Casual, smart and comfy.

What do you think of this trend? Are you waiting for lunch hour to rush to the nearest store? Or have you had enough of denim already? Tell us!

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Tennis: Fashion aces & faults at Wimbledon

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Know how tennis players love making fashion statements on court? Well, trust the Williams sisters to go crazy with their fashion choices, then explain them away with unlikely inspirations. So while Venus Williams donned a Tina Turner-inspired dress, younger sis Serena borrowed the strawberries-and-cream colour palette.

Venus’s fringed dress rides up a bit too much while playing, and has a deeply plunging neckline apt for red carpet dresses. And while the dress incorporates a major trend this season—lace—it’s not a dress for the genteel All England Tennis Club. Venus defends her dress, saying:

“Here it is all about white. There is no illusion this time…[It] still has the lace motif. I think it’s just a fun, elegant dress.”

A bit too fun, perhaps?

Meanwhile, Serena’s simple white tennis dress with pink piping is a quick reminder of the quintessential snack at the tournament—strawberries and cream. And the fashion-conscious young lady has perfectly coordinated her look with matching underpants, the Nike swoosh and laces on her shoes, and even her nails!

Our verdict: Serena’s outfit  gets our nod; Venus teeters on the brink of fashion disaster. Serena wins in straight sets.

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Monsoon mini-guide: Must-haves and must-gags

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The rain gods have arrived, and they’re showering their love on us. It’s time to show some R.E.S.P.E.C.T. to them and to ourselves, overhauling our wardrobes for the next coupla months.

Here’s a handy tip: Come monsoon, and what you wear is not a question of trends, but of comfort and practicality with a chic factor. After all, no one wants to wade through knee-high water in six-inch stilettos.

So here’s our guide to monsoon wear must-haves and must-gags, with some super chic options marked with an *:

Clothes

Must-haves

  • Capris, foldable jeans for omniscient shallow puddles
  • Comfy blouses and shirts that don’t cling to you
  • Kurtas and churidars in georgettes (minus the dupatta)

Must-gags

  • Extra-long trousers
  • Transparent and translucent tops
  • Loose-flowing skirts (remember the strong winds?)

Don’t forget

  • To carry your windcheater. Umbrellas are useless in gusts of wind.
  • To bring out your boleros  and shrugs. They’re perfect for the now-hot-now-cold weather*
Shoes

Must-haves

Gum boots(if you can!) or non-slippery ballet shoes

Crocs* (not the ones with the holes, but the comfy chic styles; they’re a tad expensive, but worth every paisa)

Crocs for monsoon 

Must-gags

  • High heels
  • Your brand-new or old Jimmy Choos, Manolos etc

Don’t forget

  • You can always do what the New Yorkers do—change into your heels/ formal leather shoes in office*
Hair, Makeup and Accessories

Must-haves

  • Hair clips and pins to keep your hair in place*
  • Moisturiser

Must-gags

  • Layers of makeup
  • Too many hair products

Don’t forget

  • To use a good anti-frizz serum after washing your hair. It works wonders!*
  • To carry a comb with you, to smoothen our messy hair. Wet hair rarely looks good in real life.

What do you think of this mini-guide? Share your suggestions and tips in the comments box, or write to us at speakingchic [at] gmail [dot] com.

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At Office: Leafy business

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The monsoon is almost here, but that doesn’t stop us girls from making the most of the sticky heat. Ruchi arrived for a meeting at work in a super comfy and super stylish skirt-and-blouse combo.

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I particularly love the skirt’s ruffles and diagonal pleats that make Ruchi appear taller. And the blouse is endearing too—the maroon leaf print is perfect for the end-of-summer, and a great visual break from the ubiquitous floral prints.

Thanks Ruchi, for showing us how much fun skirts-and-blouses (and office wear) can be!

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Summer Eeeks: Black Boots

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There are fashion rules, and then there are some more. There are some that are meant to be broken, and some that are so sacrosanct that the rule-breaker should immediately be cuffed by the fashion police.

So who’s the felon here? It was a 30-odd-year-old woman at a doctor’s clinic a recent afternoon who stunned me with her stupid summer sartorial choice: red tee, blue jeans, the brown monogrammed LV bag you see at every corner (they’re now an eyesore, Mr. Jacobs), and, the worst of all— black boots!

I sneakily took a picture of the offending booties. Here they are:

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But that visit to the doctor’s wasn’t a complete loss after all. For the woman next to me wore the ideal summer footwear: comfy and casual slip-on wedges with floral straps.

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What are your fashion rules for summer? Drop in a comment!

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