Wear the Trend: Say yes to checks

In our previous post on the plaid trend, we promised to show you how to wear checks and plaid. Here are some handy tips.

Checks for girls

  • Check shirt with a boyfriend jacEsprit checkered shirtket: great for a formal event
  • Short checkered dress for the day
  • Plaid skirts or long check shirts with plain or bold leggings
  • Checkered shirts with simple cardigan when it’s cold.

Checks for guys

  • Checkered trousers in basic colours with tee: for the fashion forward
  • Check shirts with khakis to keep it casual
  • Checks with corduroy for colder weather
  • Checkered blazer with plain tshirt

Some thumb rules to wear plaid/ checksEsprit checkered shirt with neutral skirt and leggings

  • Check shirt with jeans and sneakers are just right for college.
  • Pair checks with a neutral garment
  • Plaid + boots = winter sexy! (but don’t overdo it)
  • Wear checkered trousers or jackets in black, white and neutrals to office and meetings.

Where to buy checks

Esprit and edc by Esprit both have checkered collections this season for guys and girls. Girls can also visit Chemistry for plaid shirts and short dresses.

Which plaid or check garment is on your wishlist this winter? Tell us!

MasterChef: Should Akshay Kumar wear an apron?

Barely a week after Amitabh Bachchan’s return to the small screen, Akshay Kumar made his small-screen comeback with MasterChef India (not with the Rs 17 lakh sherwani though).

Akshay Kumar isn’t really known for his wardrobe or style statement, but this time he does try to be cool. He’s wearing open-necked shirts with suits, no tie. And our ever-sharp eyes fell on his shirts: they were floral prints.

Not only do they completely conflict with the tough guy-turned-chef look, they look kinda funny. We’d not advise any guy to wear such shirts.

  Akshay Kumar in floral shirt and blazer: MasterChef MasterChef- Akshay Kumar floral shirt

Our advice to Akshay: Cover up your floral shirt with an apron, or a chef’s jacket. Better still, don’t wear a shirt, just an apron. Guaranteed to get MasterChef India TRPs soaring. 😉

What do you think of Akshay Kumar’s wardrobe in MasterChef India? Tell us!

Pictures courtesy: Star Plus/ MasterChef India

Guess who wore a Rs 17 lakh sherwani?

Akshay Kumar!

Akshay Kumar at Udaipur palace

While shooting for Master Chef India in Udaipur, Akshay Kumar donned this diamond- and pearl- studded sherwani by well-known designer Abu Jani. The outfit was selected by his fashionable wife Twinkle Khanna, who no doubt wanted Akshay to look like royalty when he met the king of Udaipur, Sriji Arvind Mewar during the shoot. (The episode was shot in his residential palace).

Here’s Akshay with the king:

Akshay Kumar with king of Udaipur

Must say we’re dazzled by the sherwani and the crazy price tag!

What do you think of this special sherwani? Tell us!

Clash of the fashion weeks

It’s September, and soon the world’s fashionistas will be treated to sartorial delights (and disasters) to look forward to in the next fashion season. In India, we’re going to have the Lakme Fashion Week from September 17 to 21 in Mumbai. And Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week in October in the capital.

Kolkata_Fashion_Week But before that, get ready for Kolkata Fashion Week (September 10-12) and Kolkata Couture Fashion Week (September 9-12). Yup, you read that right. Same place, same time, two fashion weeks!

Now that’s not good news at all. That’s too many clothes (even for fashion lovers), too many air kisses and too many celebrities. And we really wonder how many of those clothes would be really worth wearing/ buying?

Besides, we’ve just had a couture week, and the whole idea behind couture is to be exclusive. That’s why Paris only labels a handful of designers as couturiers. But this is India, where everyone from a smart college student to a bored housewife is called a “designer”. [End of rant.]

Lookbook: Archie Panjabi

Everyone’s talking about Archie Panjabi, and Archie at the Emmys. This talented actor, born Archana Kaur Punjabi, is one of the few Indian-origin actors creating a stir in LA. Archie’s Emmy award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama series, has brought a ray of hope to thousands of minority actors hoping to make it big in Hollywood.

At Speaking Chic, Archie’s inspired us to take a look at her on and offscreen looks over the years.

In East is East, Archie played a Pakistan-origin, British-born girl in her troublesome teens (ponytails, uniform and all!). In Bend it Like Beckham, she played a delightful role as the desperate-to-get-married elder sis. And as a journalist in A Mighty Heart, Archie donned a no-makeup look (pic below right).

ArchiePanjabi_eastiseast  Archie Panjabi_mightyheart 

In The Good Wife (the award winning role), Archie’s character Kalinda makes for a classy private investigator and a no-nonsense woman. She’s got a strong preference for the semi-formal look, hair tied back, smart jackets, and proud of her origins (note the dark eyeliner accentuating her very Indian eyes).

Archie Panjabi in A Good Wife  Archie Panjabi A Good Wife

While Archie looks great on-screen, and her striking north Indian features are perfect for the red carpet in an unconventional sorta way, we’re not great fans of her red carpet choices. Take a look:

Archie Panjabi_mighty_heart  Archie_Panjabi_Emmy

Left: At the premiere of A Mighty Heart—not a great choice of blue, the gown looks crumpled, and suddenly transparent over her left leg make the gown seem like an unfinished job.

Right: At the 2010 Emmy Awards, in a Tadashi Shoji creation. Firstly, black chiffon is not a very contemporary choice, and the “bandages” on the top half minimise the shimmer on the bodice. The interesting drape around her waist could have been the saving grace though. Tadashi Shoji does have some good outfits in his collection, if only Archie had chosen better. And we would have liked to see a diamond on two sparkling on her as well.

What do you think of Archie Panjabi’s red carpet looks? Tell us!

Dance: Amazing acrobatics, bad fashion

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Speaking Chic recently headed out to a Chinese acrobatics show, expecting to be enthralled by the mind-numbing movements. And while the young Chinese acrobats from the China National Acrobatic Troupe performed well (though they weren’t flawless), we left the show with mixed reactions.

We liked some of the balancing, juggling, spinning, and even athletic acts the troupe did, but a couple of glaring mistakes left us feeling the show was far from a true glimpse of the Great Chinese Culture.

Firstly, the music was far from the sweet, melodious Chinese tunes that I’d have loved to hear. Instead the acts were performed to loud, throbbing techno-pop-electronica you hear in a bad night club. And the garish costumes just drew attention away from the talent on display. No flowing silks, none of the Chinese prints and embroidery patterns. There were sequins everywhere, bejewelled leotards and similar—the kind you see dancing starlets wear at a Bollywood awards night.

And here’s the fashion disaster of the evening—a Chinese teenage boy dressed head to toe in leather! The teenager juggled shimmering hats while sporting a leather jacket, tight leather shorts, and thigh-high leather boots, blingy all over. Eeeeeesh! Take a look:

 leather all over 

The performance was organised by the Indian Council of Cultural Relations, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China and India-China Chamber of Commerce & Industry, to mark the 60th anniversary of India-China “diplomatic relations” (the less said about that, the better—Speaking Chic does not discuss politics ;-)).

Meanwhile, check out some of the other body- and mind-bending acts below: straw hat juggling, skipping giant ropes as a pyramid, a rotating human pyramid, umbrella kicking while balancing on someone else’s feet and a really young contortionist. Some of them made me go Wowwwww!

straw hats juggling       rope skipping

contortionist_candles   umbrella kicking

                         human pyramid

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Chic Phones: Let’s bling

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If you’re already bored of statement necklaces, statement rings, and statement what-nots, it’s time to get a new accessory to flaunt—your mobile phone. And with the blingy mobile phones out there, it’s easy to make heads turn. So check out these two seriously fashionable handsets and see your friends go green with envy.

To start with, there’s the Micromax Q55 Bling with Swarovski “elements”. That’s the one grabbing attention in the Twinkle Khanna TV ad. The phone is very feminine, and I’m sure teenage and college girls are lapping them all over India.

micromax-twinkle-khanna-mobile Micromax_Bling

Of course, we never judge a book by its cover, so we looked at its features, and the phone does seem to have the essentials—a 2 MP camera, pre-loaded Facebook app, Opera mini and Nimbuzz. The price—very affordable! Rs 7000 approximately.

For those believe that only gold glitters, set your eyes on the Nokia N97 mini Gold edition. Yup, you read that correctly, it’s gold! The phone is plated with 18 carat gold, with a matching headset.

nokia-n97-mini-gold

Flaunting the phone will surely speak volumes about your style and bank balance, because the phone is close to Rs 40,000 (really!). In terms of features, it’s the same as the regular Nokia N97 mini, the gold adding a luxurious touch. (If only the phone was on Android, instead of Symbian.)

Speaking Chic says: Why should mobile phones be only for calling, texting and tweeting, right?What we’d like to see next: an Apple iPhone plated in white gold, and a diamond-encrusted Blackberry. Sounds too far-fetched? Maybe not.

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Advice: It’s raining sales!

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It’s the Independence Day weekend, and even after a long month of sales, it’s raining sales all around. (Is it just me or has the monsoon sales run lasted longer than usual?)

I’m sure there are plenty of us who are in the mood to empty their pockets this weekend, what with the apparently irresistible offers by our favourite stores. But here’s the big question—with so many awesome great deals and bargain prices, what’s a girl (or guy) to do?

DSC02135

Speaking Chic has put together some simple questions pointers to help you go easy on the sales shopping so that you don’t regret your purchases later.

  • What do I need? Make a mental note of what you really need before you head to the mall. Check your wardrobe, shoe rack and jewellery box; and assess your life. Maybe you’re being invited to lots of parties, so you need an LBD. Or you don’t have the very trendy statement rings.
  • Will I wear this in the next three months? Ok, so an awesome tee’s on sales for Rs 300 only! Ask yourself: will I wear this t-shirt? If your cupboard is bursting with unworn tees, then keep it back on the rack. 
  • Who else is wearing this? When I was shopping a few months ago, my friend pointed out a great Zara bejewelled tshirt at a great price. Wearable, comfortable, convenient, the works. But did I buy it? No! Why not? Because every Pooja, Priyanka and Payal is wearing it! Do you really want to wear exactly what everyone else is wearing?
  • Can I experiment with this? Always look for one garment or accessory that can overhaul your wardrobe, something you’ve never worn before. It could be a new silhouette (slouchy pants), colour (electric blue) or garment (pencil skirt). Word of caution: Experiment, but don’t look like a clown.
  • Can this item replace something in my wardrobe? If you’re throwing away your office shirts, you need new ones. If your favourite office bag is in tatters, you need a replacement. Look specifically for these about-to-be-discarded garments and shoes while sale-shopping.
  • Does it fit/ suit me? Get real, everyone has a different shape and size. You don’t want to look like you’re wearing someone else’s tunic, or get painful blisters, do you? If it’s not in your size, or it makes you uncomfortable, move on. You’ll find something better.

Do you have any more sales shopping tips? Share them with us! Have a great Independence Day!

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Battle of the shampoos: Catty or clever?

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For the past couple of weeks, the online and offline world was buzzing with a mystery shampoo that promised to solve all hair problems. A website sprung up, so did a Facebook Event, and ordinary women and celebs flocked to malls to wash their hair with the mystery shampoo.

mystery_shampoo

And just as people were waiting for the mystery to be revealed, Dove hijacked the campaign, claiming: “There is no mystery. Dove is the No. 1 shampoo.” Dove_mystery

The next day, it turned out the mystery shampoo caught napping was actually Pantene. Smart way to confuse consumers, eh?

Speaking Chic says: In this dog-eat-dog world, what’s ethical and what isn’t is kinda hazy, isn’t it? Either ways, may the better shampoo win!

What do you think of Dove’s marketing strategy? Was it super clever or super catty?

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Inception: Six dream outfits

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We’ve all seen Inception. And we’ve all dreamed about living as princesses in fantasy worlds, wearing the world’s most beautiful clothes. And just as Delhi Couture Week wrapped up, we hunted for the best outfits of the week… six special outfits to make you dream again.

See our dream outfits below, and tell us what you think!

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