CENTRAL DIARIES

Velvet

Imagine the soft textured feel of velvet and you are transported to thoughts of royalty. This fabric trumps them all when it comes to associations with luxury. So why does velvet enjoy this relationship with exclusivity?

We are obsessed with the hows and whys of fashion and so it’s not surprising that we ventured into an in-depth research frenzy of dissecting the grandness of velvet. For those of you averse to history lessons (yes, you there rolling your eyes) we broke it down into easy-to-digest factoids which you can casually bring up in random conversations.


Its story-time!


  1. Origin: Like all things luxurious and detail-oriented, Velvet also originates from China. (No surprise there). Dating back to almost 206 BC. Yes, that’s old. But can you imagine the talented people who used to make this fabric by hand tirelessly.
  2. Discovery: Much later the Europeans discovered this marvelous fabric and Italy was the first to start producing it during the 12th to 18th centuries.
  3. Who: For the longest time velvet was only accessible to the wealthy families, churches, and nobility.
  4. Mass production: Enter industrial revolution and bam there was Velvet for everyone. Women were wearing gowns, shawls, coats in this decadent fabric and lapping it up.

Enter 2017 and Velvet is back in the mainstream fashion game. Thank you, fast fashion.

If you’re a keen observer you’ve seen velvet in your frequently visited retail stores and have mildly considered it. The trend caught fire in 2016 and is still holding strong. While last year the waters were being tested, this year Velvet is here with a bang.

Now, you need to have a few key pieces in Velvet in your wardrobe and more importantly in specific colors. If you’re feeling lukewarm about the trend, start with a skirt, a bustier, crop top, or simpler still a tank top. However, if you’re raring to go, then pull out all the stops and straight up reach for a pair of velvet pants, a blazer, or a dress.

Regardless of which side of the spectrum you are right now, ditch the blacks and go for shades like canary yellow, emerald green, oxblood red, soft pink, powder blue, azure blue, and electric blue.

Picture this: An azure blue velvet bustier, navy blue joggers, silver ankle-strap heels, and a short black blazer. That’s 3 trends in one killer look. (Um you’re welcome)

Metallic

Metallic Women Clothes

Pack your bags ladies, we are fueling a rocket and travelling into the future. The dress code you ask? Voluminous hair and Metallics.

There isn’t a designer in sight who hasn’t dipped its models into a cauldron of silver, polished them, and spun them across the runway. Chanel, Armani, Bottega, Miu Miu, Michael Kors, Saint Laurent, Karl Lagerfeld, Balenciaga, and so many more. Each had their own distinct interpretation of metallics. While some focused on a Swarovski disco-ball like detailing others choose a more minimal tin-foil like appearance for jackets and dresses. And we are in love with all of it. (Magpie Mode: ON)

Sure, a silver pantsuit sounds great on paper, but you have to be a Gigi Hadid to have a place to wear it to and not stand out like a shiny sore thumb.So how can you, an everyday person imbibe this trend? We did a little brainstorming and scoped some products. Here is what our wishlist looks like.

  1. A silver pencil skirt
  • Okay listen, don’t write this off. You can dress this down and class it up with basics like a white or black solid top. And if you’re still unsure, throw on a blazer.
  1. Silver Boots
  • These are the best gateway product to get you into the trend yet not too deep. When you pair silver ankle-length boots with an outfit, you’re saying that you’re in with the trend but in a very nonchalant way. (Total cool girl effect)
Metallic Jacket Women
  1. Metallic Silver Knit
  • Winter is a few months away and you’re going to need some fashionable layers. A silver knit is just the right way to do it. Pair it with your skinniest black denims, black boots, and a deep plum lipstick.
  1. Futuristic Metallic Platform Sneakers
  • If you’re looking to double-up by mixing two trends then these are your go-to. Not only are platform sneakers great for some extra inches they can be styled with virtually anything from a short dress to skinny jeans. Plus, now you will have them in silver.
  1. Matte-silver Dress
  • Give your black dress a vacation and go for a dull silver bandage dress or midi dress. Accessorize with neutrals like black or white so that the look stays classy and not tacky.

Now that you have your starter list, you’re all set to release your inner disco child. Hey, just steer clear of skinny faux leather silver pants. Those, we do not recommend. Just don’t.

Embroidered Tops

White Embroidered Tops

A few years back we couldn’t have imagined witnessing what happens behind the scenes of a Sabyasachi or an Alexander McQueen show. Today most of us are so aware of what is hot and what’s not in terms of fashion and styling. Thanks to the limitless access to global fashion icons and influential brands we enjoy via Instagram and Snapchat.

Even if you aren’t specifically looking for it, your social media feed and targeted advertisements will ensure that you know what is trending on popular e-commerce websites and what the celebrities are wearing. No longer do you wait for the monthly issue of Vogue like the women before us would have had to.

This year we have witnessed a resurgence of quite a few beloved trends of the past, stuff which would have been around when our mothers were in their teens or 20’s. And a lot of seems to be military inspired as well, think Shantanu & Nikhil’s A/w 17 Couture line and you will know what we are talking about. Detailing on clothing has become a major focus, it is more about the embellishments and embroidery than anything else. The intricacy, the colors, the texture, and the distribution of embroidery is what is catching our eye this season.

Embroidered detailing is reigning the runways since the onset of 2017 and while it began with being splashed everywhere from denims, to moto jackets, to shoes, and tops. What has remained popular in India up until now are the tops with embroidered details. Anytime you go out to a restaurant for a casual meal or for a party you will notice quite a few women in shirts, crops, and tops with embroidery.

The trend is no longer age specific either, women across the board are embracing the trend and are boldly wearing loud embroidered shirts even at the workplace. In fact, you walk into your favorite retail brand and you will see embroidered products in mass numbers and in various styles. From a brighter country style of embroidery pattern and colors to a more modern-voguish monotone palette with embellishment detailing as well. There is a time and place for both these styles.

When it comes to scouting out the best while you’re shopping, look for tops which combine one or more trends. Like go for a one-shoulder top with embroidered detailing around the neckline, or go for a crop with embroidery on the sleeves, or an off-shoulder with embroidery patches all over. For those of you who are lovers of the classic nothing beats a solid white shirt with bright embroidery on the lapel or shoulders, it’s the ultimate for workwear and it can be up-styled for a Sunday brunch as well.

Also, if you’re the good-with-your-hand kinds you can just as easily get a sewing kit and DIY your way to a custom shirt. If you are nodding while reading this and is considering it, then we really envy you because the last time we used a needle was in an art & craft class in school. (Shameful!)

Bell Sleeves

Ball Sleeves Women

There are regular sleeves and then there are Bell-Sleeves, the names sounds cute but they mean serious fashion business. Of course, this is nothing new to you, these sleeves have been doing the rounds in all our favorite brands and being worn by any and every celebrity under the radar.

Let’s indulge in a mini-flashback to see where these babies came from, after all bell-sleeves aren’t a new creation. Okay so we did all the digging for you (while you’re happily sipping on tea probably), and here is the long and short of it in 5 quick seconds:

  1. The bell-sleeve originated in Japan in the year 794 (What?! Yes, that’s a legitimate time-period)
  2. By 1500 the wealthy of the west had adopted it and personalized it with embellishments (No surprise there)
  3. Over the next 100 years the sleeve came and went with various iterations
  4.  Celebs like Stevie Nicks, Christina Aguilera, Britney Spears, wore the trend to death between the 60’s to early 2000’s
  5. (Remember Britney in Crossroads? – Google it!) Back to 2017 and here we are still talking about and crushing over a 1,223yr old trend. (Best history lesson ever, right?)
Red Ball Sleeves Top

The focus this time around though is on a chic and controlled bell sleeve instead of flouncy and fly-away sleeves. If you’re looking to give your sleeves a twist of new-age fashion and your personal style a shiny new upgrade then look for dresses and tops with fitted sleeves that flare dramatically after the elbow or at the edge of the sleeve.

Go for fabrics which are textured, stiff with elastic, and fitting. What happens with a dress or top like this is that while it fits you well like a glove the most dramatic part of your outfit and center of attention becomes the bell-sleeve. Since the fabric will be textured and stiff the bell-sleeve itself will have a mind of its own and will sit firm on your hand.

And if nothing else, you can make your significant other take you by the hand and escort you out of cars just so you can fawn over your bell-sleeve. (You can tell we have been spending way too much time taking the “Which Disney Princess Are you quiz?” Dammit Buzzfeed)

Disha Patani’s Red Hot look at the launch of Kolkata Central

Actress Disha Patani looks sexy, hot and beautiful in her red outfit at the launch of Kolkata Central.

Disha Pathani at Central
Disha Pathani in Red

The All New Whitefield Central, Bangalore

Central’s been revamped and the shopping experience at their new stores are something else now. I’ve visited their store off Residency road, Bangalore, which they rightfully call the HD store for good reason. So, I was super excited to drop by their store at VR Mall in Whitfield, Bangalore that’s recently opened. They’ve got over 150 brands in store and have everything from Women’s footwear, men’s footwear, handbags, women’s western wear, women’s ethnic wear, youth wear, men’s formal wear, men’s casual wear and will be introducing cosmetics there too! The store’s located in the basement and is spread out to accommodate the numerous brands available to make your shopping experience exciting and comfortable. I for one don’t like it when there are too many things camped into one space so dropping by this store where each section is well set up and spaced out is what would get me going back to the store to shop there over and again. Once you drop by I’m sure you’ll feel the same way too!

They’ve got all the current Spring/Summer 17 trends available in store like off shoulder tops, bell sleeves, cut out tops, flowy summer maxis and much, much more to suit everyone’s style as well! With brands like Vero Moda, Only, Kazo, And, All, Label Ritu Kumar and Soch, just to name a few, you’re sure to find some beautiful pieces to make you look and feel your best. All of you know I absolutely love my footwear and they have brands like Nine West, Clarks, Van Heusen and a bunch of others that got me all excited. Their footwear and handbag section’s so well organized, it’ll make you want to just stay there! There are honestly so many more brands that you’ve got to go down to the store to really have a good look! So, drop by the Central store at VR Mall in Whitefield to really enjoy your time shopping!

Central Store
Womens Clothes
Branded Tops
Womens Wear
Branded Shoes
Branded Heels
Fancy Tops

Shopping at Whitefield Central

Lately I’m facing a lot of difficulties getting dressed. It sounds funny coming from a blogger who blogs about style but while I always try to pre plan my outfits, somehow they don’t seem to work because of the weather that we are facing. I tried styling this jogger pants with multiple tops and it took me about an hour! Which left me very less time to do makeup and believe me when I say I have started going out to be tiresome because I just feel I don’t have anything to wear! I know a lot of girls complain about this but I either find my clothes outdated or I’ve worn it too many times that wearing it again bores me. So this weekend, I decided to go to the newly launched Whitefield Central at VR Bengaluru because Central has always been a shopping destination for me since I came to Bangalore and I was pretty stoked to hear that they are now open in VR Bengaluru which is much closer to where I live. Again, dressing up for shopping was also tiresome and I had made up my mind that I would certainly pick up something when I visit the Central store.






With the intention that I would not leave the store without new tops, as I mentioned earlier I never seem to be satisfied with the tops I have, I went to the new Whitefield Central to check the brands that they housed. Well if its at Central, it is trendy and the new store has the best brand collection of 150 brands. With multiple options to choose from, it does take time for someone as choosy as me to shop but you end up being totally satisfied with your purchase. I say satisfied because for someone who went shopping on a budget, I could compare prices, try different brands and buy the ones I liked within my budget. Now the store is huge, so this time I decided to shop together with my Facebook supporters help via Facebook live. It was my first ever online interactive shopping experience and I never expected it to be so much fun. Well lugging around a huge shopping bag and talking to a phone must have looked weird to other shoppers but I was in a dilemma with so many options to choose from that I really needed suggestions!  Not that I expected to get the help that I did via the live session which makes me feel I should do it more often and interact as much as possible with everyone who has been really supportive.





So with the support that I got via comments on FB live and the pieces that I picked up, I was able to actually come up with some great finds! I was looking for a basic top – something that I can wear any day with anything but I ended up adding other things too like a Chiffon Maxi dress, a Skirtall to my bag because these were very different and I found that they would be perfect to combat the summer heat as well. So this is how I spent my weekend shopping at Whitefield Center and my favourite picks. I hope you like them and do let me know which one do you like the most!

Love,

Nilu Yuleena

Teal

Every year Pantone declares the color of the year in the most extravagant way and it sends the world into a tizzy. This isn’t restricted to just fashion, beauty, tech, interiors, and larger graphic design applications are all in the mix.

Think about this, last year Rose Quartz was chosen as the color of the year. And before you know it rose gold was trending like nobody’s business. Ikea launched an entire range in the color, rose gold accessories, especially watches, became hot property. Women were running to their hair colorists for highlights and dyes in shades of rose. You blink and there were distinct interpretations of rose quartz everywhere. So feminine and so romantic.

Rose quartz, gave way to Green in 2017, rightly referred to as Greenery. And if you’ve been observant you would have seen colors complementary to green and shades of green trickling into your everyday world. True blue – which is a complementary shade to green has taken over the world of watches and accessories. Luxury watchmakers are blending in this shade to perfection. However, the two shades which are enjoying the most popularity are olive green and teal.

And between the two, our love is leaning towards Teal. Interestingly, the color gets its name from a species of Duck. Yes, you read that right. Google ‘Eurasian Teal’ and look at the detail around the duck’s eye and you will know exactly what we are talking about. See? Hang with us and you will stumble upon some cool things.

Okay, so if you’re going to venture into adding teal to your wardrobe. Fret not, because we have created a list of colors you can mix teal with based on your mood.

  1. Drama-Mama Feeling wild? Then skip the basics and style your teal colored top or dress with colors like Fuchsia Pink, Bright Orange, Electric Blue, and Flaming Red. Outfit Idea: Flaming red midi-skirt, teal button-down shirt, and white sneakers or heels.
  2. Vintage- Babe Like us, if you’re a lover of all things vintage then these are the shades you need to add to your teal outfit. Powder blue, Millennial Pink, Green Lily, Light Gray, and Lilac.
  3. Outfit Idea: Teal pants, Millennial pink sheer blouse, and black brogues or ballet flats.
  4. Monochrome-Moody – Tonal dressing is the name of the game and it takes a little bit of mastery to pull off a kick-a** look. The best shades to create a teal-toned outfit are Forest Green, Emerald Green, Olive green, Moss green, and Silt Green.
  5. Outfit Idea: A silt green top off-shoulder top, teal flared pants, Nude heels, and accessories in shades of emerald green.

We are getting an intense weekend-vibe from the Monochrome-Moody look and are itching to try it ourselves.

Sharara Bottoms

If you are a Bollywood aficionado like us, then you would remember the time when Sharara bottoms were splashed all over the screens. To the point where there is a legitimate song called, ‘Sharara’. And it goes something like, ‘Sharara Sharara main hoon ek Sharara’ and Shamita Shetty is doing her thing in a black shiny Sharara bottoms with high-slits. We kid you not, tell us that you remember?

These beautifully voluminous ethnic pants have been iterated over the years and been styled in various ways. What remains a classic is the traditional look which would comprise of super flared delicately embroidered Sharara bottom, paired with a short kurti with heavy embellishments, and a light zari dupatta to tie the look together. A look like this will still make many a-heads turn at a wedding.

In terms of Sharara styling we have come a long way from Shamita Shetty’s outfit. Today, these pants are good to go whether it is a casual or festive occasion. Something like a stark white pair of Sharara pants with a skinny fit till the knee and a generous flare towards the end paired with a white and gold embroidered kurti would be just the right kind of dressy yet chic for a festive occasion.

Given that there are just that many festive occasions one shops for in a year, we are loving the casual-wear interpretations of these floofy pants. For a night out, or party you can ditch your skinny jeans and palazzos and find yourself some basic Shararas and pair them with a cute crop. So, there is drama at the bottom and some peek-a-boo action on the top. If that doesn’t scream party, we aren’t sure what does.

Along with more traditional fabrics, you can also look out for Shararas in lycra, so they will be in the same fabric as your leggings only with a much more flattering and unique look and fit. Also, a great escape from the overdose of palazzos all over the place.

And if you’re looking for a tune while you’re dressing up in your super dramatic Sharara pants, then well you know what to do. Just be warned, it will get stuck in your head.

Layered (Ethnic)

Red Layered Ethnic Kurta

Layering and playing around with fabrics, styles, and silhouettes is truly underrated when it comes to Indian ethnic-wear. Tell us that we need to layer a shirt and jeans and we will do it in a jiffy, almost on autopilot. When it comes to a kurta though we are totally flummoxed and fumble around for a scarf to layer on our neck. What did you just read? – A poor attempt at layering is what.

First things first, we need to put together a list of layering essentials. You will need four key pieces of clothing and from there on the possibilities are interesting to experiment with.

Let’s dive right in

  1. A Duster Based on your personal aesthetics choose between a plain or printed duster. For those of you new to the game, a duster is a full-length layer which works for both western and ethnic wear. You can wear a duster over a full length anarkali kurta and leggings. It will add an additional layer of drama to your anarkali and beats wearing a dupatta.
  2. A Cape Capes have become a designer favorite and we are happy for its inclusion in ethnic wear. A sheer cape with light embroidery or bead work at the edges is a clever addition to your saree and blouse since it adds a new dimension of interest. A cape would work best with a blouse which isn’t loud so that the cape is the hero of the outfit. The only thing to remember is to stick to sheer fabrics so that you can see through and get a view of the blouse and top-half of the saree. The idea here is that the cape must look like a playful illusion. (Think Sonam Kapoor from Cannes 2014)
  3. A Short Jacket Ethnic jackets are not a new trend but we don’t experiment enough with them. Be it a basic straight kurta and jeans or leggings or a traditional silk kurta and bottoms. The right ethnic jacket becomes an accessory to the outfit. Go for sleeveless jackets in sheer with embroidery or Swarovski crystals or sold fabrics with glass and embroidery work in bright colors. But don’t hold back on this easy layer.
  4. A Blazer The underdog of layers is our favorite. Also, the only layer which requires a little more attention to detail than usual. A thin short jacket is what you will need, and an ethnic waist belt. Make sure your saree is in a light fabric with minimal work and not heavily embellished. Add on the blazer and wear the waist belt at the smallest part of your waist. The visual excellence this look creates is devastatingly good, and you cannot help but love it.

If there is a layer you are loving but aren’t sure how to style it. Drop us a line, we love a challenge.

Indigo

If there were any color in India which was more beloved than fuchsia pink it would have to be the deep blue and rich shade of blue called Indigo. For years we have been hopelessly in love with this color, be it our grandparents, our parents, and us in recent times. The color runs strong and just changes the form in which it comes into our life.

While we cannot explain our culture’s deep fascination which Indigo, we do love the multiple ways in which it manifests itself. Be it the unbearably beautiful blue pottery, tie and dye indigo fabrics for upholstery, and printed sarees and dresses in indigo. This color seeps into our everyday life and well we are yet to meet someone who doesn’t just love the color.

At this point of time we are possibly having the biggest celebration of indigo globally. From runways to street fashion, the color is just sending all kinds of bohemian vibes and we are lapping it up.

Now, we are sure you already have a few pieces in your wardrobe in indigo, be it a top, jeans, a dress, a kurta, or even a saree. So, we thought it would be fun to share a list of colors you can mix with your indigo’s with.

  1. Workplace appropriate: Go for shades like Camel Brown, Light Gray, Tan Brown, Olive Green, Bright White, Baby Pink, Bronze, and black
  2. Brunch or lunch-date: Canary yellow, Flaming Red, Rusty Orange, Fuchsia Pink, Dark Purple, Gold, and Magenta.
  3. Evening-out: Play with night tones like Silver, Navy Blue, Azure Blue, Oxblood Red, Forest Green, Emerald Green, and Charcoal Gray.

Indigo is just that perfect shade between a light blue and navy blue. Just the right kind of intensity for work-wear and at the same time not too drab for an evening out.

Floral

Floral Print Ethnic Wear

Hello to the end of 2017 and here we are still rehashing the ‘Floral’ trend. No, it isn’t surprising since florals bloom on the runways in one way or another almost every year. It is only the method in which it gets interpreted each time around which is interesting to witness.

This year, trends have been all about revival of the 80’s, patterns are bold, colors are bright and silhouettes are strong. Designers are mixing patterns and colors on a caffeine rush and the results are drool-worthy.

For a long time, florals have been synonymous with femininity pertaining to soft colors, rolling fabrics, small patterns, and all things romantic. Not anymore though, dark and dominating flower-power is the message this year and it is apt given the surge of women globally standing up for what’s rightly theirs. Be it the workplace or social issues, we are hearing more voices uniting and not backing down. And we must say, it is the need of the hour.

Silhouettes are structured, prints are out-there, and the colors are bursting with infectious energy. Florals have got a facelift and we aren’t complaining. And you know the one designer who has caught our fancy? Michael Kors. If there is anyone who is doing florals right this season, it is this magician.

Everything from retro-esque bikinis, structured jackets, pantsuits, wrapped dresses, short crops, to minis are going to be splashed in floral prints and ready to be integrated into your ever-expanding wardrobe.

If you’re looking for something dark and dominant go for tops or dresses in black with yellow or red florals, or opt for a white blazer with black flowers. If you’re swaying towards the dreamier kind then go for sheer fabrics with watercolor-like floral prints. While we recommend going full-floral with a dress, if your personal style leans towards the ‘I’m not into prints’ then your gateway into this trend is accessories.

Neat messenger bags, and tote bags with florals embroidery or bags with floral decals stuck-on are a great way to add the trend to your look while at the same time maintaining your love for the minimal. You can also add another dimension to your look with a pair of floral embroidered shoes. We are thinking a pair of luxe velvet slip-ons in navy blue with some ornate floral embroidery details at the tip. Not only is this a casual way to add the trend to your wardrobe, you will also have an interesting pair of shoes for years to come.

Love it or hate it, florals are cropping up everywhere and we cannot stop them from claiming a fashion season which is rightly theirs.

Festive Skirt Shirt Crop Blouse

Traditional Festive Skirts

Over the last couple of years Ethnic skirts have made a scorching comeback thanks to designers like Sabyasachi, Manish Malhotra, and Tarun Tahiliani who have rolled out collection after another featuring dreamy ethnic skirts paired with equally desirable blouses and tops. Today ethnic skirts are all about sheers, heavy embroidery, rich colors, delicate florals and patterns, and majestic fabrics.

Gone is the misconception that ethnic skirts are dowdy and too casual for an ethnic clothing occasion. And as is the case with any searing trend, the ways to style an ethnic skirt have grown and expanded and the lines have been blurred and we love it when that happens.

Your ethnic skirt doesn’t have to be restricted to the top you bought it with or just ethnic-wear for that matter, you can play around and jump on the fusion-wear bandwagon as well.

Here are the 3 ways we like to style our heavily embroidered and super-dressy ethnic skirts

  1. Crisp Shirts Fusion wear is hands down the best thing to happen to our generation. It gives us a chance to experiment and push the boundaries of self-expression. We think a basic crisp collared shirt in white or black make for the perfect companion to an ethnic skirt. The look is chic and experimentive. And can be accessorized with edgy pieces. Make sure the shirt isn’t too loose or too tight, it must just sit right when tucked in. Our choice of accessory would be a chunky watch and a glorious maang-tikka.
  2. Crop and Dupatta A crop is the easiest way to style your ethnic skirt and an off-shoulder crop is even more fun. Pick two colors from your ethnic skirt which you would like to highlight, amongst the two choose one for an off-shoulder crop and another for a dupatta. Ideally the dupatta should be the brighter color as compared to the crop. This would help create a visual balance. Pin the dupatta on one side of your outfit so that it stays taut and you’re good to twirl around.
  3. Blouse and Cape This is the only look where an over-the-top blouse is not on the memo. The emphasis here is on a basic sleeveless blouse with a deep neck and short length. Skip the embroidery and embellishments. Instead focus your energies on a sheer cape with delicate embroidery on the border, sitting all prim and proper on your shoulders, while your ethnic skirt continues to be the center of attention. Don’t forget to do some crunches before strutting around in this look.

All this talk about ethnic skirts, has some calling our single friends asking them to get married soon. We need an occasion after all.

Banarasi Dupattas With Gold and Cream Festive Wear

Banarasi Dupatta Designs

We are suckers for fashion-history and total research geeks when it comes to anything runway related. The most intriguing aspect is dissecting where a particular trend, product , designer, or fabric originated from and what the creative journey thus far has been like.

One of our current love affairs is a sizzling one with the Banarasi Silk. This fabric which is a brilliant piece of magical work is a fine balance of Mughal-style craftsmanship and Persian motifs and designs. In fact, the method and creative process which goes into making a beautiful Banarasi is an art which has been passed down from one generation to the next.

A Banarasi Saree, as blindingly beautiful as it is not easy to handle unless you’re a natural with a saree or have years of carrying one with ease. Our fix for this is a Banarasi Dupatta, it is convenient to drape over your kurtas, and at the same time has the same sheen and artistry a saree would. Plus, it doubles up as a superhero’s cape. (That’s right, you read that correctly)

This season, we have our hearts set on one Banarasi Dupatta. Okay okay, picture this, a creamy white dupatta with weaves of gold in a dizzying pattern or delicate motifs in gold with a bold border in gleaming gold.

A classic color palette of gold and white is just the kind of staple one needs during the season of endless festivities. You can pair your gold and white Banarasi with a monochrome look, so that your dupatta is the show-stealer.

  1. Bombs Away A floor-length anarkali kurta in soft pink or fuchsia pink are just the right partners in crime for a Diwali lunch party, a reception, or just an occasion which calls for dusting out your ethnic-wear.
  2. Dream Theme A mustard yellow and gold kurta with mustard leggings adorned with the Banarasi dupatta in gold and white are just what you need for a mehendi party.
  3. Nothing Baesic A rusty brown-red or light brown silk kurta with flared palazzos in the same color and fabric are just what you need to make your gold and white dupatta pop and pounce.

*Accessorize with a gold maang-tikka. Another something we are crushing on this season.

Next time you wrap yourself in a Banarasi, take a moment to think about the idea that you’re wearing a piece of creative history. A father would have once taught his son how to weave and dye the silk to perfection and you get to adorn that secret today, years later. (Goosebumps)

Ruffle

Earlier this year, the ruffles made a comeback and what most of us perceived as a cute revival of the long gone 60’s trend has now grown into a full-blown larger than life being. Not only are ruffles getting more attention than imagined they are taking over the runway every season with a fresh new twist.

What we love about ruffles though is how damn playful they look. Just picture one of your friends walking towards you in a top bursting with ruffles, doesn’t she look like a beautiful cake topper? With tiers of ruffles bouncing and cascading into such spectacular imagery that it’s criminal to look away.

Ruffles can be your next killer look provided you style them to work for your body rather against it. Here are some quick styling to-do’s so that you don’t get too ruffled. (Ha! See what we did there?)

  1. Ruffles are Sheer If you don’t want to draw attention to your arms and bust then ruffles in soft fabrics and solid colors are your way to go. Extra points if you’re able to find a top in a sheer fabric.
  2. Ruffles in a Tier If you have a slim torso and lower body, then go for dresses and skirts with ruffles at the bottom with a fitted top. When your outfit is ruffle heavy at the bottom, show some skin on top like bare arms or a deep V-neck.
  3. Ruffles Done Easy If you have curvy hips and thighs, move the ruffles upwards for maximum drama. Go for a one-shoulder or cold-shoulder top with a ruffled neckline or sleeves, and pair it with skinny denims and mega heels to work those curves.
  4. Ruffles get a Job An interesting piece to add to your wardrobe regardless of your body type would be a basic top with mega-mega ruffle sleeves. These ruffles mean serious business and we cannot emphasize enough how mega the sleeve should be, go as big as you get. Finish the rest of the outfit in classic ankle-length denims, a pencil skirt, or a mini, and some heels or platform sneakers.
  5. Ruffles run Deep Another piece we are currently crushing on is a deep V-neck top with big ruffled edges all along. It the perfect top to keep you going from a Sunday brunch to a night out. A solid color like a white, red, electric blue, metallic shade or classic black are perfect for a top like this.

All this talk about ruffles has us dreaming of creating a special section in our wardrobes for just ruffles-everything. Now all that is left to figure out is how to rob a bank…hmm.

One Shoulder

Did you think that the one-shoulder trend popped up across the last few seasons? Um not really. Iconic women like Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Diana were flashing their proud shoulders in gorgeous gowns at a time when most of us could barely put together a chic outfit.

Fashion in a way is such a nostalgic trip down history with small tie-backs to women in various points of time who wore the same trends we now wear so casually by the masses. A few years back a one-shoulder was just meant to be in the form of a glam gown which let’s be honest, only a celebrity would have had an occasion to wear it to.

Today, the story reads a bit differently be it a casual lunch with friends, a weekend rager, a family outing, or just a date, there is a one-shoulder top or dress made for that occasion. The trend is spotted on everything from a casual powder blue summer dress to a risqué bandage dress. There are no rules and everything goes.

This season, and as always you are in control of how you interpret and chose to wear the one-shoulder trend. We think it oscillates between being laid-back to sexy. You can dress it down with a white and blue striped one-shoulder shirt with some white denims or classic blue denims and some high wedges in camel. Alternatively, you can go bold in a metallic or bright dress or top with a plunging one-shoulder neckline. (Hubba Hubba)

Accessories play a key role if you’re going for a one-shoulder look. You want to make sure that your shoulder pulls the outfit together and remains the center of attention. This would work best with tassel earrings which sweep your shoulders in a color which is preferably a contrast to the top. If ginormous earrings aren’t your thing then go for something small yet shiny. The idea being that every accessory you wear pulls towards the shoulders and your face.

While styling your one-shoulder outfit a few essentials to keep in mind though would be to invest in some great strapless support-wear to keep the girls in check while you’re flaunting your shoulders. And always keep some double-sided clear tape handy just in case your one-shoulder outfit wants to set itself free and has the urge turn itself into an off-shoulder.

Sweatshirt With Either Denim Or Jogger

Slipping into a sweatshirt over your jeans has always been synonymous with the ultimate comfort and casualness. Think back to your high school and college days and we are sure a certain favorite sweatshirt comes to mind which was your go-to for when you were too lazy to bother. (Read: No clean clothes)

Over the last few years however sweatshirts have emerged with a fresh face courtesy celebrity stylists who are making it look cool again. Be it Chris Pratt, David Beckham, Liam Hemsworth, Nick Jonas, Aaron Paul, you name a fashionable celeb and there is a paparazzi shot out there of them wearing a sweatshirt with jeans or joggers with the coolest sneakers to boot.

In today’s day sweatshirts are more than just comfortable staples, they are a statement by themselves. Better-fitted, stylish prints, bolder brand logos, and quirky statements. And no longer does a sweatshirt have to be worn when you’re unwell or playing sports. A stylish one can be worn to a night-out as well.

Here is how you can choose between a baggy or smartly fitted sweatshirt:

     

1. Broad Shoulders

  • You can choose either a baggy or fitted one and can afford to experiment with prints, bold colors, big logos and messaging.

2. Wider torso

  • Go for a fitted sweatshirt over a baggy one to avoid adding visual bulk to your look. Solid colors and smaller logo detailing will work best for you.

3. Narrow Shoulders

  • Fitted sweatshirts are your best friend and when it comes to colors and prints just go with the flow.

If you’re going for a baggy style pair it with slim or skinny fit denims and casual shoes or lifestyle sneakers. However, if you’re leaning towards a well-fitted sweatshirt pair it with joggers or slim fit denims and complete the look with lifestyle shoes or boots.

And if you’re still looking for a little more inspiration, just hit-up one of the celebs mentioned above and thank us later.

Paneled Shirt

The ticket to going from ‘meh’ to ‘hot-damn’ is a paneled shirt. We might just have oversimplified it but then we know a good trend when we see it.

There are only so few ways you can style a casual shirt when you’re heading out on the weekend or have a special occasion to turn up the heat for. While a well-fitted shirt in the right color and print will do the trick most times, a shirt with paneled detailing is a new staple you might just have to add to your wardrobe.

So, what is this paneled detail we are going on about?

Typically, a casual shirt which is divided into two halves either by color or print.

For example: visualize a shirt mustard yellow with the bottom half of the shirt being navy blue. (Nice, right?)

The colors don’t necessarily have to be contrasting as described above, they can seamlessly blend into each other like from white to powder blue, black to grey, blue to dark grey, olive to brown, solid to print — it’s just an endless array of combinations so that you aren’t limited. Whatever tickles your fashion bone, there is something for you.

The versatility of the paneled detailing is what we like most about it. Our stylists say that you can wear a paneled-detail shirt with slim fit formal pants and oxfords for a formal occasion while at the same time a bold paneled shirt can be paired with your favorite pair of denims or joggers and your coolest sneakers and just like that you’re set for the weekend.

Give your printed shirts a break next weekend and grab some paneled shirts to make eyes-pop. Now who doesn’t want that.

Electric Blue

Electric Blue Mens Suit

There isn’t a color as beloved as blue amongst both genders and across nations. Especially amongst men, they have gotten so accustomed to wearing the color that it’s almost second nature. Whether it’s work or casual wear, blue is almost always a natural choice unless advised otherwise.

In fact, if you look around your workplace the number of people you will see wearing a shade of blue will amuse you, whether it’s a shirt, denims, or a pair of shoes. This season though, the blue that is coming back is not a shade you see every day, it is a shade which shocks the viewer. Lo and behold- the Electric Blue is back and how.

There are a few unverified theories on where this neon shade of blue originated from and the one we found most fascinating was about a Prussian scientist, Dr. Busenitz. In an attempt to cure hiccups, the experimentive doctor injected silver nitrate into his living patient’s bodies and as the nitrate ran through the body the muscles began to glow a neon blue. Albeit a painful experiment Busenitz didn’t stop there until he found a way to extra the most pigmented shade of blue which we see today.

The extraction of the color blue and its many shades has always been an expensive method which is why the richest of shades are often the most expensive and for the longest time were worn only by the royalty. Thanks to industrialization though and mass-manufacturing of fast fashion shades like electric blue are readily available to us at the click of a button.

The few products that we see as absolute must-haves in electric blue this year which you can incorporate into your wardrobe based on how adventurous you’re feeling:

  1. Sporty sneakers
  2. A blazer
  3. A complete suit
  4. A windcheater
  5. Socks – If you’re not ready to go full-blue yet
  6. Lounging / Running shorts
  7. Brogues – Yes, give your brown ones a rest
  8. Tie + Pocket square combo
  9. Sporty sweatshirt
  10. Bright electric blue watch – (This is a personal favorite of ours)

This is probably going to be the most exciting revival of electric blue we have seen so far. We can’t wait to see how it unfolds.

Digital Print

Digital Print Shirts

Every season it seems that men’s fashion hits a new high and just when you think, ‘How will it get better next season? ‘Something interesting always creeps up. And this isn’t necessarily out of the box stuff, just good old tweaking of existing trends to make them more appealing.

A few years back prints came crashing down the menswear runway like a blast from the 60’s, there were bright yellows, reds, pinks, electric blues, greens in prints like mega flowers, topicals, abstract, and geometric. It was a fantastic feast for the eyes. And a signified a turning point in allowing men to get experimentive and turn on the swag machine.

Quirky prints on men’s clothing has enjoyed a few good years of success and is not backing down just yet. We think it is just seeping deeper into mainstream fashion and men who might have previously been wary of prints are now indulgent and isn’t that just the best news?

Most men are comfortable with micro prints and medium sized prints. The most popular being micro prints like boats, arrows, flowers, and random symbols. However, this season we see prints being a lot bigger and abstract in design. It’s time for digital prints to shine.

These prints are bold and make a statement. It could be a large landscape plastered across the front and back of a casual shirt in pastel hues, or a black and white monochrome print of animals on just one side of the shirt, or a random geometric object populating the entirety of a t-shirt or just one large symbol sitting dominatingly on the front of a shirt. Some might look dizzying yet there is symmetry and it is visually fixating.

Regardless of the how grand or subdued the digital print is, one or two additions to your wardrobe should set you up for those party-focused weekends or possibly a third date. We say third date because that’s the date you can be most flashy at. (Hey! that’s the experts say.)

Checked Trousers

Checked Trousers

What is today a common print we see stocked up in most stores was originally banned from being manufactured for over 50 years.

Checks originated in the 1500s in the Scottish region but only became mainstream when the British and American manufacturers started experimenting with the print. Between the 1850s-1900s the pattern became a rage from being used in interior decoration to full-blown pant-suits for men.

It was only in the mid 90’s that the pattern became associated with being rebellious when lead members from iconic brands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam threw on a checked shirt and made grunge fashion cool.

Forward to 2017, checks continue to be ruling the roost and we must say that they aren’t too shabby. And you know what we have our eyes on? A dapper pair of checked trousers.

If you’re serious about trying something new then these are the kind of pants you need in your wardrobe right now

  1.  Slick Navy-blue and black checked trousers – For work: Pair with a crisp black shirt and black oxfords. Roll-up your sleeves to keep it casual-smart. – For fun: Pair with a polo neck in black or white and a pair of leather slip-ons in dark blue, black, or white.
  2. Classic Grey and White checked trousers – For work: Pair with shirts in white, black, pink, maroon, or mustard. Go for black lace-up shoes and keep ‘em shiny. – For fun: Pair with casual shirts, polos, or Henley’s in pretty much any color you’re in the mood for. Our money is on a trendy lavender shade. Trust us, it’s going to work. Stick to casual shoes in white or black.
  3. Playful Green and Blue checked trousers – For work: If you’re feeling quirky enough to wear these to work then you should make it work to perfection. Pair with either a white or powder blue shirt and brown shoes to complete the look. Also, don’t forget to double-up on the swag. – For fun: These pants are all about the fun. Pair it with your casual tees, or casual shirts and throw on a bow-tie if you’re feeling extra spiffy.

Don’t shrug away these pants just yet, give them go and get ready to get severely checked out.

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