indian blogger

Fashion for everyone

Less is more

Want to Look chic in a simple black and white combo or a multicoloured saree? Want to develop a bold yet elegant approach towards fashion? Are you a minimalist already but not confident yet? Whatever, wherever and however you are, we all want to look good and feel good about how we dress up. While each of us want different things from fashion, there are a few basic rules we can all follow to feel confident everytime we step out.

Before you find out what key rules I might share today, here’s what I think of the idea of Minimalist fashion.

Minimalism is not the lack of something, it’s the perfect amount of something. Sticking to limited colours and keeping accessories to a minimum. Basically, creating a classic stylish look with less clutter no matter whats fashionable at the time.

In an era where most of the things are fabricated, you begin to wonder when and where did simplicity fade out?!

As Indian women, we have a huge task of balancing our wardrobe to the many occasions that spring up. We are definitely spoilt for choice due to the diversity – be it the kind of fabric to choose, the number of outlets our city has to offer or of course – online shopping. To up the glamour quotient, try these simple hacks –

1. Mix and match the right way

One of the golden rules – ‘wear no more than 3 colors per outfit’ will set any starter up for experimentation. Keep in mind not to don busy prints with bold colors. For e.g. – if you plan on wearing a loud busy print, subdued the other layers. Another way to go about it is mixing styles which is getting way too popular among Indian women – how about a denim blouse and a chiffon saree with traditional earrings? Sounds about right, isn’t it? Don’t be afraid to venture out on new ideas, you never know you might be starting a new trend 😉

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2. You can never go wrong with the classics

Remember Deepika Padukone on this years Cannes? A simple knotted white tee with a pair of jeans and the retro circular glasses with nude heels, such a simple and classic combo that was. We girls can always simplify the whole attire according to our personality. So when there are days when you just feel like toning down or just grabbing something from your closet in a hurry, this trick saves your day. Few of my favourites are –

  • Black and white with a pop of red or any other bright color.
  • Denims – This trend is back with a bang. Always remember to wear just a single piece of denim, or if going with two pieces – use two shades.
  • LBD – “One is never under- dressed or over- dressed with a Little Black Dress” I would consider this as a ‘must have’ in your wardrobe. You can team this up with numerous accessories like blazers, stoles or funky footwear. To add some personality you can also have fun patterns, different cut or sequins and make it unique
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3. Pattern and Prints to dial up your style

Don’t find yourself in a store wondering what to pick up, instead try understanding your body type and be self- assured. If you’re lean go for daring, large or horizontal prints since they add more volume and if you are on the healthier side like me, go for smaller, thin prints to bring the volume down. Either ways try to embrace prints as they showcase your personality and also complement your beautiful body shape. There’s no shortage of patterns and prints, talking from Indian prints like ikat, block prints, Dabu, tie and dye, kalamkari etc., to global ones like bohemian, floral, stripes, animal, tartan, polka dots, checkered etc. Try to be adventurous by mix and matching pattern at once, sometimes the best combinations happen by accident. A bright floral top with black and white checkered skirt, different pattern but same hue shirt + trouser with a solid- coloured big belt can make you look so dashing and spunky.

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4. The Indian goddess

How many weddings or events do we attend in our lifetime as Indians? As a cultural and festive hub, we celebrate each occasion with grandeur which means major dressing up. I personally love wearing sarees, it has such a traditional charm that no other outfit can give you. But you can also try something out of the box and stand apart from the crowd. Try these tips –

  • Mix and match the blouses with the same saree to make it look different each time.
  • Dig in to your mother’s wardrobe and call it vintage.
  • Drape sarees in an unconventional way.
  • Sport a heavy embroidered belt in fabric instead of gold waist belt
  • Wear a crop top instead of a blouse.
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5. Accessorise the right amount.

An accessory can either accentuate or kill your overall outfit, so choosing them along with your outfit is the best way to go about it. What is the right amount you ask? I think it’s easy – do not go overboard with earrings, neck piece, bracelets all at once. Pick one powerful piece (a geometric scarf, a statement necklace/ earring, over – detailed footwear, a sculptural cuff) and let it pop against something basic. We can go desi too, like choose something entirely traditional like silver jhumkas to go with a monochrome shirt, tie a vibrant printed stole to a denim trouser as a belt or wear an uber- cool headgear with an A-line skirt for an event. Accessories can be your best friend at any age and try to have fun or go wild with them.

Finally, I’d like to say don’t be too hard on yourself by reading the do’s and dont’s or taking fashion advice from everyone, instead just believe in yourself and have fun dressing up.

“Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them” – Mark Jacobs

 

Post written by Aashitha. 

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Easy one pot Vegetarian rice

Its about 8:40 am on a Wednesday morning. I have managed to serve a good breakfast for all of us and also packed some lunch for the husband. The lunch that was a tad bit salty if I can remember correctly. Anyway, we are all ready. Husband leaves for work and I leave with this little person to drop him off at nursery. I buckle him up in his seat and turn the car engine on. And thats exactly the moment when my car-mad son had to ask me a question as funnily inappropriate as this- Mummy, why doesn’t our car ever get stuck??????  I was a little angry but wanted to laugh. And we come back home later in the day and he tells me he had a plate of vegetables for lunch at school. I say, thats amazing and that it will help to keep him strong and well. And he immediately runs to try and lift his daddy’s dumbbells. But he cannot and he comes back at me and asks why hasn’t he become strong yet?  Ermmm.. I scratch my head and give him a hug. I tell him they are way too heavy and only when he grows as big as his daddy, he might be able to do it. And now he wants to grow big immediately. God save me! He is going through a rather curious phase and asks a million questions in a day. Good for him! But not for me you see… because I am not very intelligent enough in the first place to answer every question of his. But my husband who is generally more knowledgeable than me gets away with it somehow. So, my answer to some of his questions is ” Let daddy come home and we can ask him together” and this has been working for a while now.

So, While I am learning to appear smart and impress my son, you should probably scroll down further for an easy one pot rice recipe… My version of a quick vegetable biryani!

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Here’s what you will need:

Recipe serves 2-3 people

Basmati Rice– 200 gms (Washed & Soaked for atleast 10 minutes)

Water– For every cup of rice, add 1.5 cups of water.

One large onion– thinly sliced

Ginger garlic paste– made from 2-3 garlic cloves and a small piece of ginger

Vegetables like Carrots, beans, beetroots, peas (Grate carrots and beetroots if you can for a nice texture)

About 3 big spoons of thick creamy yoghurt

Red chilli powder– one spoon or more if you like it hot

Coriander powder– one spoon

Turmeric powder– a small pinch

Hing/Asafoetida-a small pinch

Salt– To taste

Ghee/Oil– As preffered

One spoon of cumin seeds, One clove, one cardamom, a small stick of cinammon and one bay leaf to add to Oil/Ghee

Coriander leaves to garnish

-Heat up Oil/Ghee in a pot, add cumin seeds,clove, cardamom, a small stick of cinammon and one bay leaf.

-Add sliced onions, saute till golden brown.

-Add ginger garlic paste. Saute for a minute. Add vegetables and reduce flame to medium and cover and cook for 5 minutes. If you are adding grated beets & carrots, you can also add them while you add rice because they cook really fast.

-Now, reduce flame. Add the spice powders & hing. Mix well. Add yoghurt. Add water and salt. Mix well and check for salt. It should feel a little salty because the rice tends to absorb salt quite well. So, don’t worry if you find it quite salty at this stage. Somewhat like your tears if you have ever cried and tasted it too 😀

Increase the heat a little, and let the water start to boil. Now, add the soaked and strained rice.Let it cook partly covered.

After 5-7 minutes, you will see that the rice has absorbed all the water. At this stage, reduce the flame to the lowest setting. Cook completely covered for 10 minutes. Then switch off the flame and let it rest for another 10-15 minutes.

Just before you serve, add fresh coriander. Serve with your favourite curry or a simple raita/spiced yoghurt with onions, green chillies and cucumber.

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Home is definitely where the heart is

In this new age, almost every house has one person who lives far far away for various reasons. Whether it is the software engineer son who is sent away for a two-year stint to the states or some random country in Europe or the rather simple daughter who gets married to one and tags along with the IT husband living abroad, or the foreign loving youth who want to earn a degree in one of these places, or simply a person who just wants to live away from India, we all have such kind of people as relatives,friends and neighbors. And every time one or many of these people come back home, we hear them say how much this city of Madras has changed and one always ends up comparing to the life in the new country. And it doesn’t stop there, every thing seems big and special. For e.g, a cup of filter coffee or being at easy access to so many good Indian restaurants or simply looking at movie posters while driving by. Ok, I think I will make a small correction to one of the things above, yes I am a filter coffee mad. And it is awfully special for me when I get to have the best of it. So, like filter coffee, we all have so many things that we are attached to. We simply miss it while we are away and crave for it.But when returning home becomes an occasion, it makes you want to notice the things you probably never remembered it existed in the first place. I do not know how many of us feel this way, but over the years, I have become one curious little(I know I am not little but I just like to think so in my head)cat that is constantly lurking around corners of my home simply to feel how it used to feel while I lived here once upon a time ago.

It is the things that we all love about our homes which is different but all of these feelings may well hold true to any of us visiting home in any part of the world. Because, home is where our hearts belong to originally. If you are reading this while you are back home, then I only want to remind you to cherish every bit. While, if you are some one who is about to visit home or someone who is lucky enough to be living close to/in your own house from the time you were born, then remember to take a quite little walk around and notice every darn thing with no real purpose for you may end up picking pieces of your heart from corners that you were once fond of as a child.

Oh dear, what a sentimental freak of a post! As it is said in Tanglish(Tamil+English), “ellam oru flow la varardhu” which kind of means speaking in a manner of flow without thinking deeply. In this case, its precisely me speaking just happy-tear-filled gibberish.

And I am breaking my rule of leaving you with recipes at the end. Here are a few shots from different corners of my (parents) home. House blog 1house 2.jpg