Girl Talk: The Fashion Edition

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From the evolution of style in our 30s to the outfit recipe we swear by, this edition of Girl Talk is dedicated to all things fashion. Read about our different shopping styles and the 5 must-haves Priyanka, Payal and I cannot imagine our closets without. And do drop a line on some of your fashion favorites!  

How has your style changed in your 30s?
Priyanka: I am less apologetic. I know what I like by now and am less worried about how I may be perceived for it. Given what I do, the irony doesn’t escape me. (But then, some of my favorites have always been women who have owned their individualism regardless of whether their style is personally relatable or not.)

Shradha: The biggest change is that I am definitely more comfortable in my body in my 30s, and that comes across in my style choices. I now choose silhouettes that flatter my shape, and they don’t have to be part of a trend report. 

Payal: In my teens, I was a tomboy. In my twenties, I lived in denims. ALL. THE. TIME. Now, that so much of my work is about fashion, I regret not trying new things back then like I do now.  But, I don’t foray too far from my comfort zone. I have a good idea of what I can pull off and what I need to stay far away from! :P

Via Priyanka’s Instagram

What’s your go-to fashion formula?
Priyanka: Preppie with a twist. A nice collared button-down with a pair of ankle-grazing denims topped off with either an obnoxious pair of Charlotte Olympia Kitty flats or an equally obnoxious bag. You get the drift.

Shradha: Cropped dark wash, skinny jeans + anything & everything and then I add a dash of drama via a statement print, earrings, big sleeves… sometimes it’s one thing, sometimes it’s everything. I am a maximalist at heart. 

Payal: Adding one eye-catching piece. Be it a piece of jewelry, top, bottom… whatever…


Via Shradha’s Instagram

What’s your shopping style?
Priyanka: Optimistic! I have bought many an item either hoping to fit into it magically three weeks from now or for that magical event whose invite seems to get inexplicably lost in mail, every time. Seriously though, am a cautious shopper. I don’t really do impulse purchases… I want to be 100% sure when spending my hard-earned money. (All bets are off during Birthday month though! :p)

Shradha: I go through phases of not shopping at all and shopping all the time. After years and years of questionable shopping, I don’t buy anything without asking myself this one question: Can I walk out the store wearing it right now? This rules out buying two sizes too small, dresses I will never need and those tops that need that magic bra which I will never find. After wasting too much of my paycheck and contributing to an embarrassing amount of landfill, I try very hard to avoid fast fashion. This has resulted in buying less, but better, which in turn has resulted in mindful shopping. Now, excuse me while I shine my halo ;) 

Payal: I didn’t pay much attention in my early 20s. I do regret that. Now, in my 30s, I try to buy an individualistic piece that I feel will stand the test of time. I appreciate new styles and trends but don’t care to run out and try it right away. I go with gut. Sometimes you see something that you absolutely fall in love with right away. Sometimes, it just takes a bit longer. I also joke how I am a Samantha (From Sex and The City). If there was a fashion equivalent word for “Trysexual”, that would be me! :P Once I’ve picked up a striking piece from one label, I move onto another. One Of Every Thing possibly sums up my closet! ;)

What’s that ONE thing you can’t stop buying?
Priyanka: Red lipsticks and bags. Those are two things but one does go into the other, so there.

Shradha: Black tops. Every time I meet a black top that I don’t need, I convince myself that it is the last time because I have found The One. So far, I have about 50 The Ones. (I really, really need an intervention.)  

Payal: Currently, saris! Otherwise, am always on the hunt for a striking piece of jewelry. 

Via Payal’s Instagram

Five fashion things you can’t imagine your closet without?
Balenciaga Denim Jacket: It goes with everything and drapes perfectly on my shoulders.
Payal Khandwala Zipper Tunic: Has rescued me from many tricky ‘what do I wear to this’ moments.
COS White Shirt: It is low maintenance, has a great collar and is a flattering length. Oh, and has pockets. What more do I need?
FabIndia White Kurta: It’s a classic white kurta that should be mandatory in everyone’s closet.
Charminar Bangles: They are anthracite grey, sparkle in the nicest way and work with almost everything. Besides, it’s like having a bit of home with me.

Zara Black Blazer: It’s wrinkle-free and has pre-scrunched sleeves. It pulls together every M-F outfit and makes me feel like a boss.
Striped Linen Top by Ruti: I discovered the brand Ruti when I moved to California 2 years ago and have invested in their basics every time they go on sale. The cost/wear of this particular top is definitely a negative number!
Block heel sandals by White Mountain: I found the perfect everyday heel in DSW and wear them to work almost everyday. It was the best $30 I spent.
Classic Chanel Handbag: It’s black caviar and I’ve had it a while. If my bags were on fire and I could save one, this would be it!
All Saints Leather Jacket: I found it after 1.5 years of looking. It’s beautifully distressed and a must-have in foggy San Francisco.

Can I say I hate this question: it’s like asking who is your favorite child! I love every piece in my closet. Even my tattered tees and pyjamas that I really should be retiring! :P
Proenza Schouler PS1: Between the color and functionality, it’s just such a versatile piece. I will cry the day it completely breaks down on me.
Aldo pumps: Nude pumps that are just the right height, match my skin tone and go with every outfit.
Flared Denims: I used to wear ‘em in my early 20s and can’t stop wearing them again these days. I love how they can make you look so tall and statuesque. Which I am totally not.
White shirts: Have a variety of them: Linen, crisp cotton, over sized. You can create so many outfits around the one basic piece. They also help in highlighting all my beloved jewelry pieces.
Raw Mango sari blouses: Given my sari obsession these days, am glad to have scooped a few of them up. I am able to mix and match non-stop.

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  1. :D great read. I realised I would have no answer if to choose fav pieces from my closet. depending on my mood, I hate everything or majority of it hahaha

  2. Loved it; this is the best kind of talk!
    @Shradha, can you please share which one of AS jackets you got? I have been looking for one in black for so long and have bought/returned multiple. I do have IRO in light Pink and one AS Suede light brown but haven’t been able to find the black I love. Thanks in advance

  3. Lovely post, felt like girl friend chat over a cuppa of chai. :-)

    Priyanka – good to know you are from Hyderabad too! :-) Charminar bangle shopping is/was the highlight of my childhood. My naani lives in Old City.

    • No retailers in the US but you can find them on Pernia and Ogaan’s online sites sometimes. You can also contact her directly via Whatsapp. Details are on her Instagram profile. They are pretty good with responding.

  4. Can you also do a piece on affordable clothing? I know affordable is a relative term but I am sure there are many like me who would not spend so many Benjamins on these brands. Something like a cheaper alternative.

  5. Fun read.

    Shraddha, I have a suggestion for you. We need an online dictionary of Indian fashion. A while ago, Payal talked about ‘navi’ way of draping a saree. Had to google the term to get the point. Being a fashion content writer, it is right up your alley to compile a dictionary on uniquely Indian fashion sensibilities, terms etc.. It can be an exhaustive and important compilation.


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