Winter Layering: Go Indian (part 2)

In our earlier post, we gave some easy tips to help you layer your Indian clothes. Here are some more tips, but be warned: not all these options are easily available or ready-to-wear. These will work well if you have the time, patience and effort (and maybe even a bigger wallet) to hunt for the right fabrics and tailors.

  • Long Indian jackets are a growing trend, but these are usually heavily embroidered and not appropriate for daily wear. So make your own such jacket! We suggest brocade jackets (plenty of options out there, and they go with almost everything), and advise your tailor on the silhouette you want. It would be worth the investment.

Rohit Bal Indian jacket

  • Maxi/midi-length buttoned tops/ shirts and tunics are other practical options. You could wear them as jackets/ coats, layered with your kurta underneath. Works well with straight cuts.
  • Indian waistcoats were the rage for a brief period. If you’re lucky enough, you will find some in local markets/ emporiums foreign tourists like to visit. There are plenty of options in waistcoats, from raw silk to organic cottons to fun colours and embellishments like sequins or thread work.

How are you going to layer your Indian clothes?

Related Posts:

Winter Layering: Go Indian (part 1)

Winter Layering Trends: Go Casual

Winter Layering: Dress smart for office

Winter Layering: More trendy office looks

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: 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

Chic trend: Leopard prints for your wild side

Leopard prints are red-hot right now! To start with, the Vogue Australia cover this month features model Catherine McNeil in a leopard print zip-up.

So unleash your wild side over the next few weeks with leopard prints in your wardrobe. If you’re lucky enough to find a chic animal print (different from leopard print) garment, don’t let it go.

But let’s admit it: leopard print outfits are not every fashionista’s cup of tea. Speaking Chic brings you simple tips to make it easier for you to wear the trend according to your personality.

Bold Chic

If you’re bold, adventurous and don’t care a damn what the world thinks, make the leopard print the focus of your look: a blouse, dress or coat. If you’re in an experimental mood, dare to pair your leopard print top with printed tights.

Blouse from Zara; Dress from Mango.

Zara Top leopard print Mango dress leopard print

Experimental Chic

Not sure if you can go all catty? Add strong elements of leopard or animal prints with a skirt or bold accessory. Or cover your leopard print top or dress with a black blazer or coat, enough to let your wild side show.

Blazer from Vero Moda; shoes from Tresmode.

Vero Moda black blazer Tresmode print studs

Demure Chic

If you’d rather tone down your animal prints, or the occasion requires subtlety, we suggest you opt for accessories with just a hint of the wild cats. Think shoes, cuffs or clutches!

Peep-toes from Charles & Keith (from my wardrobe); Clutch from Steve Madden (from my wardrobe).

Charles & Keith shoes Steve Madden clutch leopard print



How are you wearing leopard prints this season?

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

Trendy winter dresses: Fun with details

Yup, it’s winter, and we’re all busy paring down our wardrobe to focus on simpler outfits that will take us through the next few months. But simple (and simplified) clothes need not be boring.

After all, it’s all in the details: opt for dresses with detailing that add an interesting touch to your outfit.

We’ve dug up some trendy winter dresses with detailing that you can wear to work, a formal event or just for the day you want to adopt your understated style.

Trendy Winter Dress 1: Ruffles

Ruffles are ultra-feminine and a fun touch to a knee-length dress. Pair this purple Marks & Spencer dress with a neutral jacket, but keep the buttons open to let the ruffles show.

Marks & Spencer purple dress with ruffle

Trendy Winter Dress 2: Rosettes and flowers

This is the perfect dress to take you from office to business lunch drinks to dinner and coffee.  The floppy flower on this Vero Moda dress breaks the monotony of the black and white palette. Avoid a statement necklace with this dress. Instead, pile your wrist with thick bangles, choosing colours that depend on your mood and the occasion.


Vero Moda Lynette short dress

Trendy Winter Dress 3: Accordion Pleats

Pleats are not just for high school uniforms, as this knit dress from Zara shows. I also liked the fabric detailing around the neckline. I’d carry a catchy oversized bag with this dress, or wear sensible Mary Janes or pumps for a schoolgirl look. 🙂

Zara grey knit dress  with accordion pleats

Which chic trend do you want to wear?

Winter Wear: Fur coats, anyone?

This season, more than any other in recent times, designers rocked the ramp with fur. Yup, protests, processions, anti-fur campaigns, PETA notwithstanding. Fur appeared on coats and jackets (the obvious), skirts, boots and hats. Here’s Chanel, Jean Paul Gaultier and John Galliano.

Chanel fur  Jean Paul Gaultier fur  John Galliano fur

Taking a cue from the top-notch international designers, high street brands have introduced faux fur in their winter 2010 collections. The presence of fur on the high street ranges from fur trims to full fur coats.

Check out Zara’s anorak with fur collar and French Connection’s Laura faux fur coat.

Zara anorak with fur collar  French Connection Fur Coat

Faux or real, will you wear fur this winter?

PS: For the record, Speaking Chic is anti-fur.

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Trendy winter jackets: Guys get quilted

Chic Winter Picks: Top 3 trendy coats

Chic Winter Picks: More trendy coats

Wedding fashion: Chic embroidered jackets for sangeet

A richly-embroidered jacket for weddings has been on my wish list for a very long time now. And after thinking about it over and over again, I think it’s the right time to buy one. 🙂

Embroidered jackets look elegant and sophisticated, and are ideal for traditional gatherings such as the sangeet. I’ve seen some women wearing such jackets at weddings too.

Rohit Bal embroidered jacket   

Left: Rohit Bal jacket; Right: mapxencaRS by Riddhi & Siddhi

How to wear embroidered jackets:

  • Make the exquisite jacket the focal point of your look. Wear your jacket with a simple kurta and churidar in the same or contrasting colour.
  • Or go casual with a comfortable camisole and tight pants/ knit leggings/ churidar.
  • Experiment with your silhouette by pairing your jacket with loose pants, lehenga or skirt.
  • If you’re petite, add on a pair of high heels (no wedges, please). Stilettos, pointy toes, and peep toes would bring a touch of class and grace to your look.
  • Keep the jewellery subtle and minimal (you want people to look at your jacket, right?)
  • Walk tall!

Would you like to add an embroidered jacket to your wardrobe?

Related Posts:

Wedding picks: Top sari and lehenga trends

Wedding Fashion: Saris dipped in gold

Wedding fashion: Let the kalidar kurtas bloom

Trendy winter jackets: Guys get quilted

If there’s one thing that stands out among men’s winter wear this 2010 winter, it’s the quilted jackets: we’re seeing them everywhere! But why wear just any quilted jacket? Take a look at these quilted jackets with a twist, great to wear the trend and look different.

Nylon Quilted Jacket

This French Connection jacket breaks the quilted monotony with the addition of the chest pocket detail.

French Connection quilted jacket

Hooded Quilted Jacket

Hoodies are sooo Y2K, right? Not when you wear one on a quilted jacket! (Jacket from Zara.)

Zara quilted jacket with hood

Bomber-style Quilted Jacket

This S Oliver jacket is an interesting mix of several cool trends: the waistcoat, the colour brown, the quilted jacket, amd the bomber, of course.

S Oliver brown bomber quilted jacket

Which of these quilted jackets gets your vote this winter?

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Chic Winter Picks: Top 3 trendy coats

Chic Winter Picks: More trendy coats