Barely there

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Last week we saw the benefits and importance of good undergarments in intimately yours. But now lets dwelve a little further into the topic, as other than bra and panties there some more essentials that should be a part of every woman’s wardrobe.
   Shapewear and corsets are  the quickest way to proportion your body and get the fit you want. Slips and tanks allow leeway to wear transparent fabrics without being revealing. So lets take a closer look at the options available:

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1. Shaping briefs : high waisted underwear which have tummy control. They shape your entire middle section. Work with all outfits and give you more proportion.

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2. Thigh slimmers : these are high waisted  longer boyshorts till mid thigh which shape the thighs. Great for wearing fitted or flared bottoms to slim your shape.

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3. Waist cinchers : this is a mini corset but only for your middle area, it cinches your waist and is front open with hooks. Great option for figure hugging tops and dresses but ensure the fabric of your outfits is thicker so it is not seen.

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4. Corsets : these are long lined bras (strapless or with straps) which shape your torso. They are mostly back open and have a low back, so the hooks start only from your mid section. Good option for dresses and even anarkalis.

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5. Full body suits : they come in 2 styles .i.e. with thigh slimmers or in briefs styles. They come with an inbuilt bra, so they give you more proportion from the bust section till your thigh or hip section. They come in strapless options as well.

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6. WYOB ( wear your own bra) : similiar to the body suit, this gives you the option of wearing your own bra with the shapewear. It has straps and has a full back.

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7. Full pant shapewear : these are high waisted tights , so they cinch your waist and also slim your thighs and leg. Best suited for long dresses.

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8. Belly bandits : similiar to body suits but only till above your hips like a corset. They are a strappy version of the corset.

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9. Control top hosiery : these are stalkings with an inbuilt panty and a control top which acts as a tummy tuck.

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10.Slips : they are synthetic chemise which come in options of half , full or skirt options. These are worn under thin fabric dresses to make them more opaque.

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11. Tanks : these are cotton or hosiery material spaghettis or sleeveless tops. They are very thin and are worn with shirts or blouses as an undershirt.

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12. Booty panties : these are padded underwears which give more curves to athletic builds. They give one a fuller figure. They look good under denims .

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13. Petals and stick – ons : these are worn under plunging necklines or string or no back outfits. They smoothen and hide your breasts to be visible or outlined under sheer or light fabrics. Great option for backless cholis if you already don’t have built in cups.
   Thus, these are the different types of shapewear. The trick is that more the seams , snugger the fit. Ensure that the shapewear is comfortable, as if it slides down its a bigger size. It is used to give more structure and proportion and make your outfits fit better.

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  The growing trend has introduced us to many well known brands like spahnx and miracle suit. These are figure enhancers and act as an extra lining underneath clothes. But shapewear should never show or outline through your clothes, it is worn like a part of your body. Breast stick ons add to your body and give you the freedom to wear revealing outfits without worrying about too much of skin show then required. So, try some and show off your curves.

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Tress talk !

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Last week the focus was on curly hair , so continuing lets hair talk,  and see how it can be healthy. There are 3 types of hair :

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1. Straight: the hair is blunt and straight lined. Oilier than its other counterparts, silky and has a natural sheen. The easiest to grow.

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2. Wavy: straight at the top and curly at the bottom. The curls are loose and the texture is smooth. The easiest to style due its versatile nature.

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3. Curly: curly hair is further divided into different types and curls rock tells you in detail. It is dry and not necessarily always silky. The toughest to grow.
  
   These are the 3 main categories but lets see how we can get them to be healthy, shiny and manageable :

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1. Brushing : it is essential to brush and comb your hair. The round hair brush is your best friend as it increases the circulation of your scalp. I find that the wide toothed comb is the best to untangle wet hair and does ensure in smoother curls .

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2. Oiling : there are stylists who disagree but hair oil does give your hair more food for growth. But the trick is to apply oil only the scalp. And maybe rub some on your edges so there are no split ends.
Tip: for thickness, growth and sheen mix castor, almond and coconut or olive oil and massage on your scalp.

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3. Shampooing : it is important to wash your hair off all the impurities and grime. The milder the shampoo, healthier the hair. Sulphate free, natural oils and ingredients, keratin and hair protein are some of the varied essentials of a shampoo. The other thing to keep in mind while selecting a shampoo is what do you need it for? There is shampoo for volume, growth, colour safety, moisturizing, repair, texture,etc. The easiest way to check if it is the right shampoo is basing it on your scalp and the conditioner on your hair. Your scalp needs to hydrated, dry and non – flaky. So if your scalp is oily or flaky you need to get a shampoo which treats that. You can also take the  shampoo quiz to choose the right product.

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4. Conditioning : the conditioner works on moisturizing your hair. It locks in moisture and should be choosen based on your hair ends.

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5. Hair spa : you can go to the salon for hair spas once a month or in 2 months. There are many home remedies for deep conditioning like curd, heena, eggs, etc. One can also use deep conditioning or hot oil hair masks which de-stress your hair. These products not only moisturize but also deep condition as they are applied and left on for 30 mins with a hot towel wrapped around your head. This is relaxing and also enriches the texture and makes it less frizzy.

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5. Rinsing  :  one trick for shiny hair is rinsing it with vinegar once a week. Some people also feel that by rinsing it with mineral spa water also enhances the sheen. For dandruff free hair one should rub lime juice on the scalp and rinse it off.

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6. Leave ins : leave in conditioners are good for frizzy hair as they make it smoother. It needs to be applied after a hairwash by combing it through your hair with your fingers.

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7. Dry shampooing : the latest trend and great option if you don’t want to wash your hair daily. You just spray it on  and then massage it onto your hair  and then comb it,  it immediately removes the grime and makes it look fresher.

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8. Serums : there are innumerable serums in the market but all for specific purposes . Some stylist feels they just add on grease to your hair, if you use leave in conditioner then avoid serums. Serums are good for taming fly aways and also protect your hair from heat if you use hair tools. You can select a serum based on its purpose.

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9. Styling : styling is done with tools or products depending on how you want to wear your hair. Products include mousse, curlers and sprays and tools are hair dryers, diffusers, flat irons, curl irons, tongs, etc. While using a product remember when you wash hair you use milder products as these are hard on your hair and can have damaging effects.
  The best way to have healthy hair is alternating deep conditoning and oiling weekly. Rinsing it once a week. After using styling products, try to oil the hair before washing it so it can have a little repair. Chemical treatments are good short term but long term they have damaging effects as they strip the hair of its natural protein and oils.
  These are some basic steps to have healthy, shiny hair which is smooth and bouncy. Hydration and moisture are the key points to keep in mind while choosing hair products.

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Bag-it up baby!

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Purses or bags are the most important accompaniment on a daily basis irrespective  of the size. From just being something to put your stuff in they have evolved into the biggest style statements. To the extent that there is million dollar industry based only on them and their prices going up by their exclusivity.
   Bag trends are based on shape, fabric, colour and most importantly designer.Bags can be divided into 3 types and then styles are different within them. Lets take a look at bag-ography:
1. Day bags : these are bags you use for work, school, shopping,etc. They are casual and are normally medium sizes. Lets look at their varieties :

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1. Satchels : structured handbags with square sides and 2 shoulder straps. Have lots of pockets and come in different fabrics.

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2. Hobos : crescent shaped bags with one shoulder strap in built in the shape. Mostly in softer fabrics, shimmery or quilted being the most popular variety. They are medium to big sized. Look great with casual wear, the leather ones can be used for work.

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3. Tote : a large mostly square or rectangle bag. Have small handles or straps with  pockets and flaps. Structured and a great option to carry tablets and notebook computers. Most popular with working women especially during interviews. A larger flat bottomed variety with one zip or opening held together by a button are also known as shopper bags. Very spacious.

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4. Bucket bag: shaped like a bucket and has a string pulled together instead of zips or buttons. It has shoulder straps and no pockets inside. Its a smaller bag so works well for casual or light work days as well

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5. Doctors bag : the female briefcase. Originally used to keep medicines and medical tools, but now more of a style statement for power dressing. It has a handle and has a flat bottomed and rounded side shape. The opening is hard shaped and clasped together.

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6. Feed bags : shaped like a basket and have short handles to be arm carried. Leather or cloth based very popular to carry small pets as well. Have an opening but no buttons or clasps to close it.

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7. Messenger bags : they are cross body or one shouldered bags which are a bigger version of the sling as they have a flap. Good for carrying laptops and documents. Go well with casual outfits and are made of soft fabrics.

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8. Crossbody bags : these have thick straps and are worn across the torso. Mostly are backpack or hobos in soft fabrics.
2. Evening bags : these bags are smaller and dressier. They are not necessarily for evenings as the name suggests but basically for occasions and social outings, where you don’t need to carry much stuff. Here are some styles :

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1. Clutch: the perfect accessory to complete your evening look. Mostly small and come in rectangle or oblong shapes. They can be hard or soft and have flaps or buttons. They are handheld so no straps. The newest trend is fold over clutch with come with a square cut out making it easier to carry and making clutches more spacious. These are more casual in nature.

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2. Envelope bags: square shaped bag and is stitched exactly like an envelope. It is a modern clutch gaining popularity. Mostly leather and is closed by press buttons. Great with dresses and skirts to get a polished look.

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3. Miniaudere : jewelled evening bags adorned with stones or sequins. Come in different shapes but have a metal opening with a clasp which has to be unhinged. Very formal and add some glitz and glamour to your attire.

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4. Baguettes : they are rectangular .i.e long from side to side and small from top to bottom. They have shorter handles and pair really well with a pair of pants.

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5. Wristlets : these are wallets or clutches with a wrist handle attached. Very small in size and great for just stepping out with essentials.

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6. Sling bags : its a smaller version of a messenger bag , mostly rectangular. Long  or chain strap used to sling over the torso or the shoulder. Have a turn clasp mostly and come in various fabrics.

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7. Batwas : the Indian evening bag, shaped like a potli or a sack and has drawstrings to close the opening. Made of soft materials cab be adorned with embroidery for a formal look.

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8. Cigar cases : these were a trend as they are hard cased miniauderies but with a short beaded handle to carry.
3. Weekend bags : these are bigger in size and also used as travel or overnight bags. They are used for carrying a lot more stuff. Here are some stylish options :

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1. Napsacks : these bags are have straps for 2 shoulders and come in sizes ranging from small to large. Mostly made of harder materials have different pockets to carry alot of stuff.

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2. Athletic bags : these are rectangular or oblonged shaped bags which also able to carry athletic apparel and equipments.

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3. Bowling bags : originally used for carrying bowling balls but now have become  style statement. The original bag was big and spacious but you do get smaller varieties to be carried on the arm. They have a handle and no straps.

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4. Duffel bags : the most popular overnight bag. Made of soft fabrics  with cloth handles, oblong shaped. Also used as a gym bag and is easy to carry.

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5. Weekenders : these are duffel bags but with long shoulder straps. Mostly in hard fabrics.  Have no pockets and can be stuffed in .

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6. Cosmetic cases : rectangular or square shaped and are used to hold make up or jewellery. Small and spacious make it easy to keep them in big bangs and handy for  touch ups.
   These are all the different bag styles but you can refer to bagology  and bag talk to see what suits you best.  Bags have become the most popular designer accessory which is now used to check your style quotient. Not only they are specific to fabrics but to even styles whether it is the Berkin Kelly or the bottega veneta quilted shoulder bag.

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  Gone are the days of the boring colours to match your shoes or belts, as the colours and fabrics now are used to add personality. Printed bags , patent leather, jute bags are just the tip of the iceberg as far as bag trends go. So choose your bags wisely as outfits can be rearranged to compliment them.
  Colour blocking (matchbox) takes away the monotony, but ensure you have the right bag for the right occasion. Professional bags look best in leather or harder fabrics as they give a more polished look. So experiment with your arm candy options .
 

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Posted from WordPress for Android

Intimately yours

Till now we have been addressing fit and cut of clothes but today lets focus on what’s underneath. Intimate apparel or lingerie is as important as the clothes we wear if not more. The fit of our clothes actually depends on the right fit of our undergarments.
  First lets understand what we will talk about today bra and panties. So let’s clear what are the essentials when you look for the perfect bra :
1. Getting measured : you can get measured at one of the retail outlets or you can measure yourself: 
by band :  which is around your back and meeting in the middle above your chest ( your ribcage) e.g. 32 inches .
By cup : measure around  the fullest part of your bust area which will be your cup size e.g. 34 inches so your size will be your band (above e.g.) is 32 + 2 inches is b cup . So this means that every inch more is a cup size ranging between a to h. You can also use the abtf (a bra that fits) app on your smart devices.
2. Snugness : you know your bra fits right when your band is snug .i.e. it should be hooked on to the middle hook. When in doubt, go for  a snug band size and a bigger cup size.
3. Coverage : one should not be spilling out from all sides, even if it is a demi cup or push up bra.
4. Check the fit : test the fit by lifting up your hands , if the band moves away from the body then the band is too big or too small. If it doesn’t move then it’s the right fit. Remember one important thing: bra sizes differ company to company and style to style.
  Bras are always divided in terms of bands and cups. So the
2 main differentiators for bands are :

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1. Underwire: these bras have an underwire in the band to give more support and lift. The support is from the underwires.

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2. Non wire :  these bras have no underwire but offer the same amount of support and lift. The support is from the straps.

Then there are 2 differentiators for cups :

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1. The moulded cups : the bra is smooth and contoured (shaped) which gives a natural rounded silhouette. These bras are mostly seamless and are for wearing under smooth tops or shirts as they don’t peep from underneath.

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2. Soft cups : the fabric is softer and takes the shape of your breasts. These bras have seams and some are seamless. The seams show, and they can be more visible under smooth fabrics.
  These were the main differentiators and which you prefer depends on your  preferences. Now, lets look at the different styles :

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1. Balconnette : the cups cover half the breasts and have thin straps and also come in strapless options. They mostly come in underwire and always have moulded cups. They give good support under very fitted outfits and formal wear.

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2. Demi cups : the cups are wide apart giving you more cleavage. They are more supportive and good for everyday wear.

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3. Full coverage:  the cups cover the entire breast tissue and come up hire on the cleavage. The straps are thicker and has more side band coverage. They give more support and can be worn under anything.

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4. Minimizer :  they give  full coverage and more sturdy as straps have no elasticity. They minimize your bust line and are good options for women who are very conscious.

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5. Sports bra : they are full coverage all around similiar to a crop top. They come in slip in options as well other than the regular options. The best way to wear a sports bra is to slip into it   rather than over your head. You should always wear a sports bra for any athletic activity as it gives more support as the fit is very snug, and stops extra movement.

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6. Padded bras : these are thicker  moulded bras that enhance your breast tissue and make your cup size look bigger. They are good for adding a size.

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7. Push up bras: these are similar to padded bras but the main difference is that the cup sizes are smaller but give more push to your breast tissue to enhance your cleavage. They are good to wear with deep necks .

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8. Racer backs : they are front open bras. Mostly to be worn under tank tops and ganjis.

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9. Strapless : these have no straps and mostly come in moulded cups. There are bandinis which are basically a band with cups in elastic fabrics. They are good to wear under spaghetti straps and halter styles.

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10. Bralettes : these are leisure or sleep bras. They are thin straps , non wire and slip on bras. They are for sleeping in or to wear at home on a lazy day.
  These are the different styles and varieties. The most important thing to keep in mind is snugness and containing the tissues when looking for the perfect bra.
  Since, we have covered bras now lets take a look at underwears and their varieties. The most important thing while buying underwear is the seams. These are differentiated by :

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1. Seamless : they have no elastic or seams on the edges or sides. They give an invisible look specially under fitting trousers and skirts or thin material outfits.

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2. Seamed underwear : you can see the edge outline and also have side seams. They can be worn under thicker materials.
Now lets see the different varieties:

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1. High cuts: these come up mid waist and the leg portions have higher cuts. They have are more control top for tummy areas.

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2. Bikinis : they are low waisted and medium cut on the legs.

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3. Hipsters : they are low waisted but have more side and back coverage.

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4. Boyshorts :these are mid rise and cover your entire butt area. They are good to wear under thin materials.

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5. Briefs: they are full coverage on all sides and come up mid waist.

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6. Thongs :  have  more front coverage than back. They are good for very fittted clothes as they give no outlines.
  These were the panty options but it is important to keep in mind that the underwear should show no outline under thin and fitted fabrics as  no one wants to see an outline.
  Undergarments actually give us the overall fit and look of the outfit. If you are wearing the wrong bra or underwear in terms of fit and fabric then it looks sloppy.  e.g. lace bras under smooth t-shirts or a seamed underwear under synthetic khakhi pants. You can not only see the outlines but even the fabric will stand out from underneath. So, it is very important to keep in mind the style, fabric and fit while choosing intimate apparel.
Special thanks to Lubna Varcie for her knowledgable contribution.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Curls Rock

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Curly hair is one of the many hair types but it is even more complicated than it seems. Being a curly hair girl, I know the problems and also the solutions now. When I was young or sometimes even now I always want straight long hair but now or rather for a while now I love my curly hair.
    The biggest issue has always been finding the right hair cut. As every curly hair girl knows that your curls shoot up, so if you have shoulder length hair, the reality of when it is straight is its below your shoulder atleast by an inch. Its important to understand that when you get a haircut always keep margin of an inch or 2 for it to  shoot up.
   Before we get into more curly health hair first lets look at the types of curls :

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1. Wavy : hair is straight at the top and has soft opened curls just like waves in the water.

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2. Soft curls : hair has open curls like the shape ‘s’ from top to bottom. It has more volume but very soft.

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3. Coil curls: springy ringlets which are normally tight. They spring up the most. The hair coils up even after brushing.

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4. Mixed curls : they are a mix of soft and springy curls. Hair texture is not super soft and has more volume.

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5. Tight curls : hair is like an open ringlet . The curls are tight but not springy.
  You can also read up more on
curls to know in-depth which is your curl style.
   What you have to realize is that your hair is different and people actually pay to get those gorgeous curls. It is not hard to maintain curly hair but important to find the right product. I find that curly hair is naturally dry so one has to ensure the products used are moisturizing.

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  There are a range of curly hair products but your best bet is buying a good curly hair shampoo and conditioner. I have been a fan of T.I.G.I Curls Rock range, but have also switched around. I have realized leave in conditioners  work better than regular conditioners. Hair masks actually make the hair smother. Even oiling your hair once or twice a week makes it more mositurized.
  Serums are good for frizz control which has a nice selection from John Freida and Frizz ease. If not curly hair shampoo I find that sulfate free shampoos work best for curly hair, as they give it more moisture but then ensure you use one or more curly hair products whether  serum or leave in conditioner as they actually enhance your curls and make it healthier.
Curly hair needs brushing and not combing, I let mine air dry mostly than blow drying it as find that my curls look better naturally and plus that ensures no fly aways. But even brushing on a daily bases I avoid as it makes hair too frizzy and makes it look bushy. Argon oil, mythic oil, keratin products are more moisturizing.
  What  I love about my hair is the volume and the thickness, you have a head full of hair. The lack of blowdrying just makes it easier to handle. Even when I want to wear it straight, I prefer its blowdried as flat irons make hair coarse. My hair is mixed and takes a while to straighten and even then doesn’ t last too long. I totally avoid using any chemical intensive products for straightening or shine or even colour for that matter as I feel it just makes hair more brittle and dry.
   I am being tempted to try some colour, and when I do will let you know which is the best option. The density is an asset to curly hair, but sadly frizz exists for  every curly hair type. People are now getting more experimentive be is short or long hair. Here some tips for styles depending on your face cut :

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1. Round shape : shoulder length either pinned or side swept works best as it gives more symmetry.

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2. Oval shaped : the long bob or short hair works best either straight up or side swept as it makes your face the point of attention.

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3. Heart shaped : loose side swept
or banged layers work best as they add layers to your face slimming it.

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4. Square shaped : middle parted loose hair around your face makes it softer shaped.
  Thus styles are just giving you a general area which will work for you. But as long as your hair is healthy and makes you feel confident it is perfect. Here is some more curl gyan.

Here are some simple steps on how to style your curly hair naturally :

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1. Oil : if you oil your hair ensure its only the scalp and edges as then you absorb more moisture.

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2. Brush: brush your hair with a round bristled brush before a hair wash to tame and detangle it.

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3. Shampoo and conditioner : use sulphate free and preferrably shampoo and conditioner for curly hair for better results which also have no frizz.

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4. Hair mask : if you use a hair mask, leave it on for 15 minutes after the shampoo and divide your hair in sections and massage it onto your hair and not scalp.

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5. Dry: when you are towel drying ensure you don’t rub your edges too much as that results in flyaways and split ends. If you use a dryer , then use a diffuser for better curly effect.(I avoid it as I think it makes curls less defined).

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6. Leave in conditioner or serum : use a coin sized amount and run it through your hair in sections. Then scrunch up your edges to lock the moisture into your curls so they can have nice ringlets and are tight.

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7. Mousse or hair spray : use these only to hold the curls. The more product you use the heavier your curls will be. I personally avoid as I prefer a natural softer effect of curls.

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8. Amplifiers : these really define your curls and hold them. Great for special events as they make your hair the wet curl effect.
This the  best way to enhance your curls, they are hydrated and bouncy.

  Curly hair does not need too much styling. I sometimes  straighten my bangs, so my top hair is fizz free and curls more defined as they are only styled when wet. There are some products now which add volume like a dry shampoo, good to use  a day or 2 after a shampoo. I avoid brushing my hair a lot as it makes it frizzier and opens up the curls.

One important thing to remember humidity makes your hair very frizzy making it like a bush. So ensure, when you are in tropical countries or most of all during summer you always use a serum or leave in as that ensures in lessening the frizz and making hair less bushy.

Go ahead and experiment and enjoy your curls, cause as they say curls rock.

Posted from WordPress for Android

Brim-ful of Asha

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We rarely use head gear, mostly during the summer to save our skin from the sun and winters to save our ears from the cold. From being part of outerwear, head gear has now become an accessory to add to a look.
  There are many different styles which also change as per  occassions and use. Lets take a brief look at  hattery and at some options :

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1. Caps : these are casual headgear, they don’t have a overall brim but a front one covering the forehead. They are newsboy caps (twill)  baseball (cotton or leather)  and even suncaps (straw). They are now more of an accessory even for night outs instead of just protective outerwear. Baseball caps look good on round, newsboy on square and oval faces.

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2. Fedora : it is small and mostly made out of weaves or felt with a band on the brim. Have been vogue recently for a fun look. Straw versions are good to beat the heat. Work best on round and heart shaped faces.

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3. Berets and beanies : these are knit hats and only cover your head. Mostly baggy and cover your ears. Berets are smaller. Good for the winters, and a great accessory to go with your coats.
Berets go well with square and round faces and beanies for oval shaped.

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4. Fascinators : these are headbands or clips attached to a small hat or feathers. Some even come with a net veil, they are very formal. Worn during derbys, weddings and formal gatherings with dresses. Look good on most face shapes as are more of headdress than a hat.

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5. Floppy hats : woven hats which have a soft and floppy brim. Worn at the beach to shade one from the sun. Look good on heart and square shaped faces.

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6. Derby hats : these vary in sizes and shapes. Coming in small to large brims and made of weaves or satin. They have flowers, bows and feathers attached and are quite the headturners. Worn formally over dresses and suits. Big brimmed work for oval and square shaped. Small brims for heart and round shaped faces.

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7. Cloche hats: these are bell shaped hats. They are made of weaves or even felt. They are hard hats and don’t flop easily. Worn over dresses or pants, give a very English feel. Work well with oval and square as add some roundness.
  These are the basic hats which can be worn for use and also to add to look. Your hat does not have to match your outfit and accessories. Its important that the hat fits as it should not be too loose or even too small. As it either looks sloppy or like it is  perched on top of your head. The hat colour has to look good on your skin, just like makeup as it is on your face. Its important that it compliments it and you can refer to match-box for coordination tips.
    The biggest confusion for most  is : if I should or shouldnt wear a hat? Will it cover my face too much? Will it look over the top? The answer is if you feel comfortable and confident to carry it off then you should. Whether day or evening you have options to go with most outfits, be it summer brunches or winter high teas or coffees. They can compliment your look and be a different accessory than the regular run of the mill necklaces, earrings or scarf. They add more structure to your face and are perfect to play with bright lipstick colours as your face is partially hidden. There is also a misconception of them being tom-boyish, but with wide variety of styles available you can be the girliest girl.
  As long as the hat compliments your look and goes with the outfit you are good to go. Just ensure that you don’t mismatch it for e.g. wear a fedora with an evening dress or jeans with a derby hat. Ensure the hat is intune with your look. Experiment and don different  hats and face- hats.

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Posted from WordPress for Android

Match-box ?

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Since we were young girls we were given the idea that matching looks good, but now we wonder how much of our outfit should be matching. In the 90s the trend was to match from head to toe which I always thought it looked overdone.
  The right word actually should be coordinated. Fabrics should line up together and colours should compliment each other not dull or brighten it. You cannot wear a red outfit , red shoes with red accessories and lipstick you would just look red. Too much matchingness even occurs if ones outfit is a mix of colours. Now lets take a look at some scenarios and tips to enhance them:
Casual wear :

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Scenario 1: Salwar suit with a printed Kurta of black red and white with a red Salwar and the dupatta with the same colours as the Kurta. So instead of going for black or red shoes and a red bag, try white shoes and a bag of similiar shades. Don’t do red or black earrings but instead try pearls. And no red lipstick am sure all if you thought of that but try just a dark liner and half kajal. What this will do is since your Kurta is so busy the red lipstick will just pull all the attention but the eye will divide the attention and try a very sheer red chubby stick for the hint of colour. So what is this doing , since your outfit is so busy and colourful already we play it down by  picking out the most basic shade. So it is coordinated and matching if you must. It is very important in every look to decide what is the focal point, for e.g. in this look the printed Kurta is the
Centrepiece of the look so everything should compliment it  and make it more eye-catching.

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Scenario 2 : lets try the most basic of all jeans and top. So if you are wearing a dark wash blue jean and a white top how would you accessorize and coordinate ? Accessories will play a pivotal role as that’s what will add colour lets take an example of coral . Since this is a day outfit , you could do a Coral print loop scarf,  a brown or tan belt with coral shoes or sandals and do a brown bag or vice versa. Wear a statement watch and studs or small earrings no coral but preferrably with some white. Coral lipstick? Might get too bright try a light coral blush for a fresh look and do neutral make up. This was just an example, but what it means is if you are wearing solid over solid add some colour in print. Shoes and bags or shoes and belt or bag and belt is not necessary but having them in the same colour family does make it more put together. Jewellery calls for one statement piece .i.e. big earrings or bangles or statement necklace. This helps keeping your look casual and not too blingy. So add colour, shoes and bags in colour are in vogue. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colours especially if its a plain outfit.
Semi formal :

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Scenario 1 : A kurti with ikat print of black and white with orange tinged zari borders and black churidar. Sandlas can be black, neutral or orange. Bag preferrably black. If bangles then no ring if no bangles then a watch n small rings. Jewellery preferrably solid maybe a long chain necklace or maybe small jhumkis or balis. Make up should be played down maybe a bright lipstick. This e.g. shows that even if you are wearing basic black and whites it is not necessary that everything is black and white but a bit of colour actually adds to the look. The colour can also be completely different but does not have to be overall and can be limited to one item.

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Scenario 2 : A pair of grey pants and a purple printed wrap top. Now this is a basic colour scheme outfit. Shoes could be black or brown or maroon, bags may match but can also be another solid colour. Even if your belt is not visible it can still be in the same colour family or your shoes. Jewelery should be one toned in silver or black and more in the form of single pieces .i.e. bracelet or earrings or chain necklaces long. Make up can be played up in terms of shadow in place of liner, now remember work make up is always only one bold item, which means if you do eyeshadow then no liner and if liner no eyeshadow. Lipstick and eyes rule is the same and blush during the day should be very light , one could also opt for a light bronzer for a sunkissed look. This look shows how one tones can actually take up your look up a notch.
Formal look :

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Scenario 1 : a Saree for a wedding, now I know weddings are the occassions where heavy jewellery is showed off but what if your Saree is super heavy? So lets say you are wearing a net Saree with
Stone work especially on the borders. First of all ensure that the blouse is a solid preferrable silver or gold depending on the colour of the thread embroidery of the Saree. If the Saree is a neutral shade then opt for a coloured velvet or thick silk blouse. Now jewellery, 90% of sarees have a heavy anchal ( the pallu part from the shoulder) leaving a thick border in the front, if you wear a heavy necklace opt for smaller earrings or if you do chandelier earrings skip a neckpiece altogether. If you do alot of bangles then do a  small ring or do a heavy bracelet . Avoid cocktail rings altogether as your Saree is busy enough. Bags should be cordinated with the blouse and shoes though are covered should be one colour. Make up now, I know women get excited with colour especially during occasions, I saw it during my wedding where my make up artist thought I should do turqoise shadow to which I objected as I thought a pale shimmery pink with a blue liner would suffice since as a bride you are already blinged out. My advice dull gold or shimmer gold or silver shadows with coloured liners add a nice party look without looking over the top. One creamy lipstick in a subtle shade or a bright shade if the Saree is neutral will suffice .I would still say subtle makeup makes one look more polished. If you have a blingy outfit you need to add accessories which tone it down but if you still want to wear heavy jewellery ensure that its more classic than blingy as heirloomy pieces add elegance. Ensure that colours don’t clash but compliment and tone each other down.

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Scenario 2 : A cocktail or evening dress with print, now solid colours are easy as they can be played up. So if the dress is the focal point, how do you style it ? Lets say its a peacock blue and jade green  jacquard dress. Its a stiff material so probably fitted, now since its an evening dress and already colourful, you have to be sure that the accessories are toned down. If you wear a diamond or crystal tennis bracelet then wear small dangly earrings. If you wear necklace then studs and no bracelet. If you wear a cocktail ring then try big earrings. The jewellery should preferrably be solid and neutral .i.e gold, silver, diamond,crystal, pearls, rose gold, platinum, etc. It can have single stones of sapphire or emeralds to bring out the colours. Now shoes and bags, shimmer gold, silver,bronze or neutrals. If you want to do colour then it should be a deep hue to compliment the dress like a dark pink or burnt orange or even a deep green. Your bag is mostly small so can be a raw silk one colour clutch complementing your dress, jewellery or shoes. Make up here can be either played up eyes or lipstick matching the colour of the shoes. Now this shows that neutrals actually add to formal and it is not necessary for everything to match. As long as they match or coordinate with one item it will suffice.
  Thus, matching in a coordinated way actually makes one look polished rather than each item being matched or one shaded. You have to keep checking for jewellery which is a gold, silver or pearl colours as not all colours go with gold, silver and white. Colour blocking is a part of coordination as it adds colour in a nice way to a monochromatic look. Don’t be afraid to experiment with prints and definitely not in black or white backgrounds as colour on colour can make you pop but then remember to tone it down if you don’t want to stick out like a sour thumb. Matching of bags to shoes or belts or clothes is not necessary just as 2 items are inline of the same shade makes one look put together. Bling on bling with loud make up needs to be avoided even if it is a wedding, use a centrepiece if your look and play around it. One should not look done up rather that their best features are enhanced to make them look lovelier.
   Thus, I hope now it has changed your meaning of matching and opened horizons to experiment with colours and accessories so coordinate away 🙂

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Lipstick jungle

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Lipsticks tend to be the focal point of your entire make up but now eyes have become more important. Personally, I am more of an eye make up girl and mostly go for nude lips but recently have started experimenting a bit.
  So the first thing is  how do you know which colour looks good on you?  that actually depends on your undertone. How do you know what is your undertone ? The colour of your veins tell you your undertone .i.e. if your veins look blue then you have a cool or a pink undertone and if your veins look green then you have a warm or yellow undertone.
      An undertone is the tinge of your skin colour. You can have an either undertone irrespective of your skin colour. Asians in general have more of a yellow undertone irrespective of being fair, wheatish or dusky. How to know which colours  work on your undertone ?
1. Pink undertone : go for brighter colours in pink and reds with a blue tinge.
2. Yellow undertone : go for corals and berry shades.
  If this method still confuses you the best way to judge if a colour will work for you is that the lipstick shade should be one shade darker then your natural lip colour and always try on the shade preferrably with little or no makeup to really tell how the shade looks on you. You can also refer to 
lip service for more ideas.

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   So what is the best way to judge which type of lipstick will look good on your lips:
1. Thin lips : stay away from darker shades as they outline your lips more and go for more neutrals and lighter shades. Opt for cream rich and glossy shades as they add depth and make your lips look plumper. You can also use lip plumpers as well as they add thickness. Use a lip liner of your natural lip colour and then fill them in for a fuller effect.
2. Medium sized lips : use lip liners with darker shades for a fuller effect. Gloss in light shades will also pump up your lips.
3. Thick lips : avoid a lip liner and apply a clear gloss to the middle of the top lip for a glossy effect. As too much gloss will pump of your lips even more.

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Now lets take a look at the different styles of lipsticks and lip tools :

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Step 1 : use a lip balm or chapstick  to moisturize your lips so they are hydrated throughout.

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Step 2 : tinted lip balms and chubby sticks can also be used instead of lipsticks for a lighter day look. They are moisturizing, glossy and sheer and give some colour to bare lips.

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Step 3 : use a lip liner, this step depends on you and your lips. It helps keep the lipstick from spreading and also gives it a more defined look.

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Step 4 : lipstick, now here there are many varieties to choose from :

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(a) cream or moisturizing lipsticks : great for all lips especially if your lips dry fast . Add fullness as they are more opaque.

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(b) satin or sheen : these lipsticks are glossy and are good plumpers.

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(c) matte lipsticks : they are dry and don’t come off easily. They have no shine but look great if a little balm or gloss is added. Great for thicker lips as enhances the natural shape.

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(d) frosted lipsticks : these give a sheer shine or matty shine. Mostly come in opaque colours but dry very fast.

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(e) long lasting lipsticks : these lipsticks are stain resistant and last upto 8 hours. They are creamy and thicker as they have to last longer. Great for working women as the colour stays on the whole day. You can use a lip brush to apply the lipstick with more precision.

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(f) lipstains : these are glossy but dry very fast and are long lasting. They are sheer but fuse well with your natural colour.

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Step 5 : lip gloss. This has evolved from the berry flavoured chapsticks and  now even preferred to lipstick at times. Used during the day without lipstick and used during the evening with to add more to your overall look.
  Finally here is a little gyan on what shades look good on which skin colours. This is just a general idea for which colour family should you stay in while choosing your lipsticks :

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1. Fair : opt more for reds, pinks and apricots. They bring out the rosiness of your natural skin colour.

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2. Medium to wheatish : opt for more peaches, nudes and berries as they compliment your complexion.

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3. Dusky : corals, browns and wine colours look good on your skin tone.

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  Thus, these are few steps to keep in mind while selecting your lipsticks. But please remember never match your lipstick to your outfit as your face tends to be lighter than your body skin tone so the colour will not necessarily look good.  Lipstick should complement not contest with your outfit. If you wear an orange top go for a brown or nude shade to even out the brightness effect. If you like darker or brighter hues then opt for minimal eye makeup to balance the drama of your look. You can also look at  shade gyan for more ideas.

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Chunari Chunari

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Last week we covered dressing for weddings and on Monday scarves. So keeping the topic in mind drapping is what follows next. The drape of the dupatta is very important as it not only helps in style but also accentuating your figure and outfit. There are many ways as they also change depending on outfit and occassion. ( shaadi shine)
     The drape of the duppatta also depends on the fabric.Lets take a look at them and how they can enhance your look :

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1. V shaped. : the regular or most common way, the dupatta is worn on both the shoulders forming a v depending on the pinning. If pinned on both shoulder after being folded it forms a v. The look is very starched and proper if the material is stiff or bulky e.g. cotton or net as the borders are used to outline the dupatta. It shows your entire outfit but makes one shoulders look broader and weighed down.

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2. U shaped : the dupatta is draped on both the shoulders like the v shape , the difference that it is pinned on one shoulder. Its not stiff and is slightly flowy. Its pinned on one side and showcases the dupatta from the other side. It gives more proportion to the body.

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3. Full u : the dupatta is tied on one shoulder and draped over the other. This drape is fuss free as its opened in a u shaped in front and the back and leaves your hands free. Mostly worn on heavy outfits like lehenga and ghararas and heavy Salwar suits. It showcases the borders and the beauty of the duppatta and is best worn with plain tops. It focuses more on the arms and also gives one a longer and slender torso.

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4. Open dupatta : there is no pinning and the dupatta is just draped over the shoulder and streched ove the front. It is draped entirely over the top. Its like a veil over the torso, excellent options for transparent fabrics and for elongating the torso. Keep in mind the fabric should be flowy, great option for petite women to add more to their frame.

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5. One shouldered : the dupatta is put on one shoulder and pinned. Its draped on one side but in a slightly looser manner. It focus more on the outfit as the dupatta is just for colour and texture. It works on all body types and looks great with all kurtas especially anarkalis.

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6. Wristlet : here the dupatta is pinned on one shoulder and then tied on the wrist or to a bracelet of the opposite arm. It looks great when that arm moves as the dupatta adds texture to the outfit. Great for embroidered and heavy dupattas. Even for dupattas which more for style like printed dupattas which enhance the outfit with colour.

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7. Around the neck : this is worn like a loop scarf . Great for softer dupattas and plain ones. Great for casual dressing and a fuss free look. More of a daytime style and looks good with straight kurtas. The other version could be as just around the neck and not shoulders, defines your shoulders and works well on wide necklines or even when you want to showcase bodice embroidery or work. Beware of the shortcomings of  this style as the focus is on the bustline.

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8. Half Saree drape : mostly used for lehenga and ghararas but the trend is growing even for patialas. The dupatta edge is tucked in on the waist on the side and then it circles the hips to come on the same side shoulder where it was tucked in . Mostly frequented by brides, or even more on lehengas. It gives more structure to a flowing bottom and is a good way to highlight your waist.

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9. Gujrati style : it is tucked in on the waist on one side and then goes over the shoulder of the opposite side. It is not snug on the hips but loosely over it, one can pin the edge at the back below your blouse if you are conscious of your stomach showing. It is a nice way to showcase your entire outfit, now becoming popular even with patiala salwars.

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10. Edge pinned : this style came into light during ram-leela by Deepika Padukone. It is worn in the similar fashion to the gujrati style but  the edge is pinned on one shoulder and the other at the waist. It really showcases the edges and borders and forms a triangle. Great for tassles and also for lehengas with short blouses. Your back is open so looks with great with a low back or tie back chills. The focus remains on your torso , great for petite frames.

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11. Wrapped up : here the duppatta is used a wrap, it can be opened or folded and held by your elbows in place. It is like a back veil and great waybto showcase outfits with work in the front. Enhances ones shoulders and front torso. Good option for curvy women , as it gives more proportion.

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12. Men’s shawl style : the dupatta is folded and worn on one side and is wrapped on the opposite arm on the elbow taking the dupatta from the back. Great with collared kurtas. The other variation is it is wrapped on the opposite arm but from the front. Great for very adorned outfits and looks great with the right Kurta as per Kurta klad.

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13. Head cover : here the dupatta is worn on the head, face open and left on the shoulders. One can even wear 2 dupattas where one is on the head and the other to cover the torso this is mostly used by brides. But if you are just covering your head you can variate it with pinning on one shoulder or using the u shape or around the neck. These styles are more traditional and great options for religious gatherings.

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14. Kardhanied : the dupatta is tucked in one the waist and then taken from the back to the opposite shoulder and fanned out. A kardhini or belly chain is used to keep it in place. One can also put it over the head, this is very traditional rajasthani and looks great with gherdar lehangas.

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15. Hyderabi style : only used on the khada dupatta. The dupatta is tucked in the back at the waist and then one side is taken in the front like an anchal and the other is worn on one side like a shawl. In front they look like 2 seperate dupattas forming an upside down v shaped. It focuses on the entire beauty of the dupatta and its borders. Mostly net or georgette showcase an entire different look of suit and the dupatta.

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16. Drapes : these are actually kurtas which have a dupatta or a drape attached at the waist or the back. Mostly chiffon or softer materials, used most with the anarkali styles making it more flowy. Its good for athletic frames as adds more curves.
  So these are just the a few styles to drape the dupatta. The drape actually depends on the outfit and how you want to showcase it to enhance your figure and the beauty of the outfit. Formal outfits are more adorned so keep in mind to show their beauty, but again the dupatta should add more form and structure to an outfit to make you looked proportioned and polished. You can also refer to drape gyan for more styles.

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Scarfed

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Today lets look at scarves. Either women love it or not. Personally, am non chalant about them.It does add some colour and maybe some class depending on the style and print.
  So am going to cover the different types of scarves, stoles, etc. They can be divided in terms of fabrics and style. So here are types :

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1. Shemagh scarves : normally donned by arabs, they are chequered and come in linen or cotton material. They look good with collared tops, shirts or Kurtis in plain colours.

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2. Infinity scarves: these are like a loop mostly of linen or cotton fabrics. Best used on plain t-shirts or tanks to crank up the style quotient.

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3. Skinny scarves : mostly made from chiffon, silk or wool. Used to wear under jackets to keep cold at bay, and also to add texture and style to boring winter wear.

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4. Stoles : they are like mini dupattas though a little smaller in length and breadth from it. Mostly made of silk or wollen blends. There are linen, net and mixed fabrics available now as they are paired with Kurtis for a fusion look

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5. Shawls : these are mostly wollen cashmere and pashmina being the most sought after. Normally used during winters or chilly evenings to keep one warm.

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6. Mufflers : made from wool or jersey fabrics, wrapped around the neck and used to keep warm during winters. Tie around like a tie under coats to keep the cool air at bay.

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7. Bandana scarves : normally square or triangle shaped worn around the neck, wrist, hair or hips. These come in different fabrics of cotton to silks and satins.

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8. Wraps : mostly in silk, georgette, soft wool or lace. Worn around shoulders of sleeveless evening wear as a cover up or style accessory. They even have even beaded or embroidered options.
  These were the styles and their
scarf guide. But now lets look at what the fabrics say :

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1. Cotton : linen, knit and cotton are regular and used to dress up casual attires during the day. Or even to keep cool during summers and use to cover from the sun.

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2. Silk : silks and satins, are dressy scarves. Whether paired with an evening dress or formal work outfits. They are used around the neck, shoulders or hair to add more style.

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3. Jersey or wool : used during winters for warmth and also to break the monotony of layers.
4. Chiffon : mixed fabrics normally used for semi or formal looks. They add print, colour  and texture to brighten and outfit.
  These are the broad classifications of the different types and styles. Though, mostly worn around the neck the way they are worn add the different styles. If worn like a tie or loop it gives a more hip look but in a casual manner. If draped around the neck can look more formal. Wrapped around your shoulders then are useful to keep yourself warm or cover up. If draped on one shoulder look like a duppatta to just add to the style of your outfit. If tied around the neck in a triangle style can be used as inserts in your neckline to give your monotonous shirts a turn. If tied around your hair, works as a hairband and also gives you a seventy’s feel.
  Thus, use it as an accessory and add some texture to plain outfits to colour them in.

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