Thursday, November 26, 2015

Bags & Brands!

Hey All!

Hope we are all having a wonderful Thanksgiving and stuffing ourselves with pies and pumpkins. After all, we will be needing all that nutrition for the Black Friday shopping spree! I will be leaving for the Woodburn Premium Outlets in an hour and I can't wait to shop all night (yes, it is going to be open almost 30 hours straight, starting 6pm tonight). Before I do that, let me show you my pre-Black Friday finds.
I bought these purses a few days ago, and in my last post, I had promised to share some pics. In the past, I used to try to find leather alternatives for everything, if I could. Sadly, when that "if I could" comes in to the picture, it doesn't work too well. At times, I was preyed on by temptation, especially when I saw pretty leather purses or shoes. However, now I have decided to renounce leather all together. When trying to do something right, it is always best to do it all the way. Since, I have made up my mind about it, nothing with leather has been able to tempt me. I have turned thirty now, a couple of my strands are grey, so, what is the point of all that aging, if it does not bring a little wisdom (wink).
I hope you like the new purses. The pictures are followed by my interview with Yoyo Tse, a student journalist who is studying Fashion Journalism in the London College of Fashion. The topic was High Street Brands and their pricing strategies. Don't forget to check it out!

Faux-Fur Clutch - Aldo (similar here)

Velvet Purse - Bebe (link here)
Two days ago, I was interviewed by Yoyo Tse, a student journalist and here is how it went:

Yoyo: What is your opinion on the price of high street brands?

Me: When we use the term “high street brand”, it encompasses a major fraction of the fashion market. Although the pricing strategies and production processes for most high street brands are similar, some of these brands are slightly more affordable than the others. This mostly marginal difference can be due to various factors like logistics, focus on quality or cost of labour. However, to maintain a strong foothold, all these brands need to provide, at least acceptable quality at a competitive price. As the competition is very high and the market is teeming with new players, the current prices of most of the high street brands are moderately low, rendering them affordable to most fashion enthusiasts. Of course this changes when we talk about their high quality, premium clothing.

Yoyo: As you are probably aware of, high street brands have been launching premium collections and collaborating with designer brands and are including more expensive clothes. What do you think about this issue?

Me: Personally, I am not too affected by a designer tag. More appealing to me is quality and focus on ethical production processes. If I have to pay a premium, I would rather pay for sustainability and other righteous practices. Additionally, from what I have seen, some designer brands in such stores are aesthetically worse than their regular, more economical counterparts.

However, aside from a few disappointing cases, designer brands bring in more refinement and higher quality. Also, it is good to have more options and in today's world, there is a market for everything. Hence, collaboration with designers is a great move as it provides everyone, an opportunity to own designer clothing. Also, most designer brands have sale events now and then, and at reduced prices, these products are a steal.

Yoyo: Do you think that the premium collections and collaborations are affordable for students or people your age?

Me: Most premium collections are not really affordable for students who survive on stipends or smaller initial salaries (unless they diligently save for three months to buy that new designer skirt). So, the major target segment for such brands can not be students. It would be wiser to target an older, more established shopper who can afford to shell out a couple of hundred bucks every month.

Yoyo: Do you support high street brands to include higher quality clothes and sell them with prices similar to designer brands? Will you buy them?

Me: The price of clothing can go up substantially if quality and labour practices are bettered and that is worth paying for. On the contrary, an unreasonably high price which surpasses these cost inclusions, would make no sense and will lead to the brand losing its customers. So, I would like them to include higher quality clothes but if they are priced like designer brands then I would rather buy designer brands.
So, which purse did you like better? Drop a comment.

Thanks for visiting the blog and I hope you enjoyed the post! Keep spreading smiles!!

Saturday, November 21, 2015



So, how did the weekend start? Mine started with some awesome shopping - two really cute purses and a coat. Yippie!! As eager as I was to share their pictures with you all, I couldn't take any today as I got home too late. So watch out for the next post...
Meanwhile, I have been reading a lot, and I really mean a LOT (another privilege that comes with being jobless). A major share of my reading material is history and I am so obsessed with it that I told my husband a few days back that I want to be an archaeologist. Of course he didn't take it seriously 'cause I say such stuff every month. You know, like while reading a science book, I want to be a scientist and as soon as I read a book on economics, well, economist I should be. So basically, I still am that fifth grade kid who wants to be everything. Not too bad, don't you think? I am also currently reading a book about ancient fashion from various parts of the world and I am so glad that at least I am closer to my fashion dreams, thanks to this blog and thanks to all of you who bear with it (yes...I am grinning at the screen)!
Talking about reading, I also read somewhere that a lot of women are tired of flared jeans and their skinny counterparts. Ditto for high heels and elvish pointy pumps. I can absolutely understand what they mean. Although I absolutely love my skyscrapers and skinny pants, I feel that comfort clothing should be encouraged more. If I want to, I should be able to wear loafers or sneakers to a cocktail party without being called lazy. Actually, in Portland you CAN do that, even in the fanciest restaurant, and that is why I love this city.
Last week, we had brunch at a lovely place called Jam and I went in my sweats. Best idea ever because I felt free to gorge on heaps of eggs and potatoes without worrying about any pant buttons popping! Here are some pictures of the outfit, I hope you like them.


Photographer: Ashutosh Vidyarthi
 Sweatpants - Abercrombie & Fitch (similar here)
Sweater - Banana Republic (similar here)
Shoes - Lauren Ralph Lauren (worn here before)
Bag - Tommy Hilfiger (similar here)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cozy Pinks!

Hi All!

Of late, the newspapers have been filled with tragedies (more pronounced ones) and the social media is abuzz with messages expressing condolence, grief and, not surprisingly, a lot of hate and anger. After reading some messages on my Facebook feed, I feel the latter two are doing more harm than good in this case - turning a lot of sensible, compassionate people into the villains that they are trying to fight. I am also surprised as to how selective our grief is! While I too grieve the Paris attacks as much as any human is bound to, I fail to see why we do not feel the same pain for the perpetual terror victims in Nigeria, Sudan or Beirut and Baghdad? Of course standing up for someone is better than standing up for no one at all but it would help eventually if we and our governments could gather some more courage and stand up also for those, who probably need our support the most.
Okay, okay, I know a fashion blog is the last place for such weighty subjects but this little blog of mine has also become my diary where I feel free to pour my heart out. I sincerely hope I don't bore anyone with my constant reflections.
Now, time for some cheerful trivia - you can shop at Nordstrom Rack and get a Diane von F├╝rstenberg sweater for a penny! No, I am not trying to promote the store, I am just saying what happened. I bought this pink DVF sweater for a penny this Saturday. It is a gamble because you cannot know if the item you have picked is going to be marked down to a penny, unless you take it to the cash register. So, I guess, I was lucky that way.
Here are some pictures that I took yesterday. I wanted the outfit to be very comfy, hence the stocky, flat boots. Let me know how you liked my penny-pinching purchase!




Photographer: Ashutosh Vidyarthi
 Sweater - Diane von F├╝rstenberg (similar here)
Faux Leather Skirt - Just Fab (similar here)
Boots - Guess (worn here before)
Watch - Tissot (worn here before)
Earrings - Old

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Festive Moods!

Hi All!

It has been a month full of lights and laughter, costumes and colors, fun and festivities.
Lot of different religions have brought in lot of different holidays, and I believe, that is the only good thing that any religion has ever done for humanity. Such occasions inject life into a dull monotonous life and bring people together.
I am not at all religious (not to be confused with atheism), and so I have never really bothered about the religious history of a festival, although I do like reading the interesting stories behind many of them. I feel, the more serious we get about the religious aspect of a festival, the more guarded we get about it. What is the point in keeping festivals limited to a religion or sect? Isn't it lovelier when such occasions make us all one big happy family. Isn't it more fun when everyone is having fun!
Anyhow, for people like me who grab every reason to dress up and eat decadent delicacies, every festival is a delight. Thankfully, there were so many festivals of late and we tried to celebrate as many as we could. 
So, here are some pictures taken on different festivals. Excuse the poor to mediocre picture quality, some of these were taken under very unflattering lights.
Diwali Celebrations at Home

Diwali Celebrations at Home

Halloween at OMSI After Dark

Navaratri Dandiya at Gujarati Samaj Portland
Hope you liked the pictures! Talk to you again, very soon!
Keep spreading smiles, love and laughter...


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Sweater Starts!

Hola Chicas!

The only good that comes from being technically "jobless" is that you get a LOT of time to know yourself. I have had plenty of such time in the last twenty seven months of my life.
When I quit my job to accompany my husband to a new country, I was aware that I would have to sit at home all day long since I did not have a work visa. Never before, I had so much time to kill, and honestly, all those sudden hours of idleness were like a drug for the lazy, lethargic me. For six months, I was high on Netflix and YouTube. However, six months of unrestricted television is enough to make anyone nauseous. Soon, I started haunting the library, reading, writing, volunteering and of course, blogging.
When I started this blog, I did so only because I liked shopping and writing. It seemed like a great way to indulge in both these hobbies. After all this time, I have realized that it has proved much more than that. I have started viewing fashion differently and more importantly, I have started giving "trends" less importance than before. Strange thing coming from a fashion blogger, right? Not really. The more you delve into the world of fashion the more you realize that there are unlimited variations to it. Every fashion season brings ten new fabs and fads, and these seasons change every week. Great for those who can keep up but if I bother about that, I will go crazy!
Then why do I still love fashion? I love it because the clothes that I wear, express who I am. Wearing whatever I want gives me a sense of freedom and an outlet for my creativity. It is not about how many clothes or shoes I have (of course the more the merrier) but about whether I have the freedom to dress the way I want - a low-cut satin gown or sweatpants. I write this blog to share this ideology and to keep fashion fun.
Hope you enjoy the pictures of my first sweater-outfit this winter! We shot these right after I bought this sweater. Since, the sun was going down, I just ran out barefoot to get these shots...

Photographer: Ashutosh Vidyarthi
Sweater - J.Crew (similar here)
Jeans- Paige (similar here)
Bib Necklace - Aldo (similar here)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Welcome Winter!

Hello All!

Winter is officially here and now is the time when I stack away my summer stuff and unfold my winter faves. Anyhow, all that is done, and now I can strut in my coats and jackets. I have started a bit of winter shopping already, although, I am eagerly waiting for the Thanksgiving sale. On my list are booties, a coat and some scarves.
I wore this outfit a few days ago. The jacket is actually from last year, though I never got a chance to wear it last year. It is still warm enough during the day to be able to wear a plaid shirt and a faux fur jacket. This plaid shirt was actually a summer purchase and I love it for its simplicity. The colorful shoes that I have paired with the outfit look cute but I must admit that they are very uncomfortable. So, I will be wearing them very occasionally, taking care not to twist my ankles or topple front-forward!

What's on your winter shopping list or better still, what summer/fall favorite will you turn-around to make it work for winter?

Photographer: Ashutosh Vidyarthi
Vest - Vince Camuto (similar here)
Shirt - Banana Republic (worn here before)
Pants - Chemistry (worn here before)
Clutch - Van Huesen (worn here before)
Shoes - Just Fab (similar here)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hit the Calves!

Hey All!
How have the Monday blues been? I have been feeling quite gloomy all day. For starters, the heavens can't stop drooling - it rained rather ominously entire week, last week. Secondly, a rather depressing PMS is driving me crazy, and to top it all, I started watching "Call the Midwife", which is a great TV Series but is terribly emotional. So who is eating cake and crying in front of the TV? Yup, that's me!
Anyhow, the sun barely made it for a few minutes yesterday and that's when we decided to go shopping for a bit. I ended up buying nothing but at least I got to take some pictures and eat some pie.
Here are some pictures of me in my favorite calf-lenght skirt and my new plum top that I bought on sale last week. Hope you like the outfit!
Photographer: Ashutosh Vidyarthi
Skirt - Express (similar here)
Top - Ann Taylor (similar here)
Booties - Ann Taylor (worn here & here before)
Crossbody Bag - Coach (worn here before)
Watch - Tissot, Earrings - Old