This post is my expression of style for the ‘A Style Of My Own’ blogger contest by Women’s Web and Trishla emart. Before you view the wonderful collections at Trishla emart, do read my blog about a style of my own. And press ‘Like’ if you obviously…like it! ♥♥

Flowery Prints for the evening
Prints for the evening

Thank heavens I’m a woman! I mean, look at all the amazing stuff I can shop 😉 (*snicker) Today, almost every single person claims to be a fashionista (even moi). But, my tryst with style began since my toddler days. Brought up in the beautiful locales of Goa, I had little access to fashion in the 1980s (although it’s one of the best places to flaunt your style). Yet, there was one collection that always held my fancy – so vibrant, and so beautiful. So stylish…that I longed to either shrink into those clothings or blow them up to my size if I had the power of *Sabrina (*the Teen Witch)! I always waited eagerly for my birthday. Because the gift was that one special outfit every year…

I am talking about the Barbie doll of the 80s. Although loathed now for ‘obvious reasons’, my little mind took fancy to her clothing (see pics below). The cuts and colours were many notches higher than the products available today. (Yes, I still peek into the children’s toys section to compare the changing fashion trends.)

In my teen years, as a student of the Fine Art College, creativity was the key. Ready-made apparel that fitted your body type was a rarity. Particularly if you were a tall, lean gal like me. (Sigh! Yes, even us ‘thin folks’ have our issues girls! There are two sides to the same coin.) And online shopping websites were never thought of or even imagined during those good ol’ days. We had the gorgeous and bold Madonna, MTV VJs – Sophiya and Nonie, Janet Jackson in her fab fitting jumpsuits and her stylish dance moves, and many Divas who scorched the TV screens.  With their stylish dancing and singing, they inspired me to imbibe style  on a day-to-day basis. 

So, how does a budding fashionista stay stylish with a shoestring budget during her college days?

Create. Re-use. Re-cycle.

The tribal painting that was converted into a top and was first worn by my sister, and then, Moi!

My family was always artistically inclined. My Mom was a well-known artist who often experimented on cloth to paint her masterpieces. But what happens when a certain painting does not go the right way? Turn it into a trendy top! (See pic on right – the front side is a tribal face done in Instant Batik medium..) Yes, you read it right! Luckily, I had a local tailor who did not charge a bomb or label herself as a ‘Fashion Designer’ (like every other person is doing these days). She was mighty gifted in converting plain fabrics into a stunning creation. Say…like a rags-to-riches story! Yay! So, I had a brand new top that looked like a designer piece. (And many more garments which I cannot accommodate in this blog!)

So there – my sister’s clothes were draped to fit my body. I chose colourful printed pants, dupattas that turned into sarongs, full-length jeans that were snipped away at the knees and the threads were pulled out by me….patiently….with a safety pin (*TWANGG!!). All in a bid to emulate the stylish divas on MTV. T-shirts were cut off to form cropped tops, old denim skirts recycled into stylish bags, and such other ideas. Fevicryl’s tube colours and fabric paints were used to create cartoons on my canvas skirt (borrowed from Archie comics, Wendy the Witch, Lil’ Jinx, etc.).

The result – a brand new collection every month that was not available in stores. That was my those dayscarefree, colourful, trendy….those days seem so long ago…. 🙁

And then…the teenybopper phase melted away to a new professional me.

Every woman (and man) probably goes through these transitions. When I think Me 6of a style of my own, I still adhere to finding colours and patterns that suit me, my body type. I did get the tag of fashionista over the years, with friends dragging me along for their shopping sprees. This was a bid to buy clothing ‘like mine’. But then, my style of clothing was not always available in stores. And my body type was not exactly popular a couple of years back. (Always labelled as ‘thin’, ‘not-eating’ types, ‘coconut tree’ because of my lean body and height…and what not! And yes, all this venom was spewed from the plus-sized women. Like I said, there’s always a different perspective to any story, which no one has bothered to pen down. And it’s not always the round-shaped women who are subjected to humiliation. I’ve been on that road, girls…trust me!)

So, you may wonder, what exactly is a ‘Style of my own’ in my current phase of life? 

Once I grew comfortable in my skin, my height and my weight, I found my own style of dressing. At this phase, my style is always something like I have outlined below –

  • Comfortable 

    Love Palazzos in fresh colours
    Love Palazzos in fresh colours
  • I feel stylish, sexy, and confident 
  • Makes me stand out
  • Gives me a spring in my step

Yes, that’s me. And that goes for every woman out there. I defined my professional style of clothing by adhering to my budget. After all, a penny saved is a penny earned! But then, can we ladies do without gorgeous clothes, accessories and make-up?!! NO!! 

A hand painted dupatta in Tie and Paint technique

 (Blog continued below – please scroll down)

  I define my style as thrifty. No, not stingy. Just thrifty.

And, it does not translate into buying cheap clothing. It’s about picking what suits you. (I’ve seen the latest collection in the malls and just because zany prints or shapeless silhouettes are in vogue, I will not buy them. Even on sale…never. Because certain prints do not suit me at all.)

I am proud to be a quick shopper (and I have absolutely no patience for those who mull over clothing for hours). To define and retain my sense of style, a quick check at the EOSS (End of Season Sales) at leading outlets is a must. Pick what you need and what you find quirky or different from the lot. Mix and match to create new looks. Add handmade creations from exhibitions to your wardrobe. Not only do you help the artist, you buy a creation that is not mass-produced in factories.

So, my style check always includes:

  • Long and short tops  
    Love these soft animal print heels
    Love these soft animal print heels

    Me 3
    Summery flowers on my heels
  • Well-fitted jeans or cotton trousers
  • Pencil skirts
  • Gowns
  • Quirky Sarees
  • Attention-grabbing footwear
  • Chunky/Elegant Jewellery
  • Hand painted garments (either my own or purchased from exhibitions)
  • Recycling my ‘old forgotten’ garments
  • Lip gloss, Kajal, face cleansing lotion, mild perfume
  • Loads of positive attitude
  • Kurti’s with a smart silhouette for work
  • A smile 🙂

What I avoid:

  • Feeling inferior while flipping through glossy magazines that portray the perfect woman. Or, that is what they think. I’ve worked with the media and I know how the perfect skin tone is achieved or cleavages are enhanced. (No prizes for guessing it’s Photoshop.) 
  • Buying things I don’t need
  • Buying something because the advertisements insist it’s in vogue.

Now, if you want to have all of the above…I’ll tell you a little secret. Raid the malls during the EOSS for tops and well-fitted jeans. Invest in good bottoms, footwear, and bags. Explore local boutiques for stylish gowns and skirts at moderate prices. (You will find them reasonably priced and the variety is stunning.) Keep a check on sales on shopping websites for styles that suit your budget. Bargain with street shops for tribal or elegant jewellery (I’ve seen the same stuff priced higher at expensive looking stores…and no, the quality did not differ). Some stores online have statement pieces at decent prices. Every woman has a unique personality and I have kept my style as

Tried my hand at designing my own saree blouse
Tried my hand at designing my own saree blouse

neat, eye-catching, and always willing to try something different. (Sometimes a gypsy, sometimes an elegant Audrey Hepburn.) I experiment with bold colours and like to add an element of quirkiness to everything I wear. No matter which gloss I use, I never forget to smile. (Unless Monday is around the corner.) And of course, a home-cooked diet (Btw – I was labelled as a hopeless would-be cook prior to marriage due to my interest in fashion, but I have proven people wrong thanks to step-by-step recipes shared by food bloggers!) 

But then, that’s about me. And me being me, I am off for an online window shopping spree at Trishla emart. Because if I win this contest, I need to book things I need…asap 🙂 Cherrio! 

So, have you found your meeting point of style-meets-comfort zone yet?


Author: Kashmira Lad

Indian Fashion Blogger with a Focus on Women Empowerment.  

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