Tag Archives: Silver jewellery

A Soft Spot For Silver 2: Indian Designs

I like to call this FabIndia chic as the look is best supplied by this brand & its me-toos. It’s about Indian prints, natural fabrics like cotton or silk and traditional jewellery designs in silver or wood. In the past few years, FabIndia have added a decent jewellery range to their merchandise, which complement most looks. But their designs are best matched with their own pieces – kurtas, kurtis & mix-match salwar kameezes. Like a lot of urban women, I’ve found this look perfect for everyday work wear since it is comfortable, smart & appropriate for most situations from a board meeting to a temple visit to an impromptu after-work drink with friends.

Here’s my must-have collection that matches the Indian end of my wardrobe.

These are (from left to right):

  • Silver filigree ear hoops: FabIndia
  • Thin silver chain: Neighborhood silver store
  • Elephant pendant on silver base: FabIndia
  • Silver bangle: FabIndia
  • Silver ear danglers with green semi-precious stones: Goa flea market

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If you liked this post, follow the rest of my love affair with silver at A Soft Spot For Silver.
Also catch my Indian looks on I Love Ikat! and Kanjeevaram Cool.

* Cross-posted to Divadom.

I Wear: I Love Ikat!

I was under the impression that Ikat was an Orissa-based textile print craft with close cousins in the southern Pochampalli. The internet however, informs me that this art form is also present in Indonesia, Cambodia and other parts of Central Asia. In the recent times, these intricate line-based designs have also been spotted on the Western runways.

My favorite source of Ikat prints is of course, FabIndia and some other similar shops like Cotton Cottage. Clothing, accessories, linen…you name it and I’ll never be tired of Ikat. My bed always has a bedspread of Ikat print on it. Actually, I have two such bedspreads in different colours & Ikat styles so when one is in the wash, the other one covers my bed. Ikat is never far from me!

I already have plenty of the standard FabIndia kurta design – round neck with slit, straight cut, side slits, 3/4 or full-length sleeves, knee-level in different colours – to be worn with white/beige/black chuddidars. Even so, when I spotted yet another at the FabIndia sale a couple of years back, I couldn’t resist picking it up. This even though, the piece in question was XXL and I usually wear M or S. Of course I looked like a peg inside a tent in it. But I thought I’d improvise and wear it over a black spaghetti top, with a shoulder drooping off, sew up the side slits to make it a dress and accessorize with a funky belt. That look, I’m afraid to say, didn’t quite work since the silhouette isn’t quite suited to the cool casual of a loose dress. So instead, I snipped off a patch at the bottom to make it knee length and decided to wear it as a superloose (and equally comfortable) salwar-kameez.

My Indianwear has been largely untouched these past few months on account of the weather (it’s heartbreaking to see a splash of mud on a pristine chuddidar!). But I decided to take it out on this occasion when it looked like the monsoon was on its way out. I had a temple visit & a few house errands to run with mum.

The traditional way to wear it would have been with a black or even a white chuddidar and I did indeed a couple of times. But then I found this block-printed chuddidar at the back of my cupboard. I bought it for a French colleague a few years back but she didn’t think she’d be able to pull it off and decided to retain only the french-collar kurta & dupatta that I’d paired it with. I returned with this pair figuring I’d find something to wear it with. In the time since then, I’ve matched it off and on with a plain kurta. But plain kurtas aren’t really my style (I don’t like that extra-big patch of solid colour) so this chuddidar has largely lain unused.

To my delight, I found it matched my Ikat kurta perfectly! The kurta is green and white and black while the chuddiar is black & white. The prints are different but don’t clash at all. In fact I think the starkness of the chuddidar‘s block print actually accentuates the subtle class of the kurta‘s Ikat.

The rain began just as I was stepping out so I ran back in and grabbed one of my trusty scarves, this time a fine silk one in black that I’ve never worn before (well, except to pose for a display pic for this post). More and more I find scarves are really becoming my thing. This is one of the few times I’ve paired a scarf with a chuddidar-kurta but it worked so well, I think I’ll do it more often now! Apart from protecting my throat from the damp monsoon winds and my hair & face from the traffic pollution, it also added some definition to the neckline of the kurta. Without it, the kurta did still seem a tad shapeless but with the scarf, the look just suddenly came together.

I considered wearing a green semi-precious stone/silver set to match the kurta. But with so much going on in terms of prints, I decided that would be too much and settled for my old favorite – basic, plain silver in delicate designs. First, my latest favorite earwear – faux silver bird eartops from Accessorize. Then, my trusty steel watch from Casio on the left wrist, a heart-charm bracelet from Estelle on the right with my favorite square silver ring.


This bag is yet another in a large collection of cloth bags that I have, embellished, embroidered or otherwise decorated in various ways. I haven’t ever used this one since mum brought it back for me from Dilli Haat last year.

And finally, on my feet, an old, old pair of embroidered leather mojris from Janpath market, New Delhi (boy, I sure do own a lot of stuff from Delhi, don’t I?).

It’s been raining since I left home, which is a pity. But the outfit is so comfortable, I’ve not felt the need to change, even after I got back. There’s nothing quite like Indianwear, after all. The scarf makes even the chilly, unhealthy damp manageable and all in a crisp, clean, stylish look.

I Wear:

  • Green & black & white Ikat kurta: FabIndia
  • Black & white block print chuddidar: FabIndia
  • Black silk scarf: Cottage Emporium, New Delhi (Rs.485)
  • Beige embroidered mojris: Dilli Haat, New Delhi (Rs.250)
  • Black mirror-work cloth bag: Dilli Haat, New Delhi (Rs.175)
  • Faux silver bird eartops: Accessorize (Rs.345)
  • Steel watch: Casio (Rs.2000 odd)
  • Silver heart charm bracelet: Estelle
  • Silver ring: Local silver shop, Khoka market, Vileparle West

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If you liked my Indian look, also see me cool up the Kanjeevaram saree.
Follow my love affair with silver on A Soft Spot For Silver.
And here’s more on my scarf style at Scarf It Up!

A Soft Spot For Silver 1: Lock & Key

Silver is my favorite metal. It’s one of my favorite colours. It is also my birth metal, given that I’m a July-born Cancerian. A touch of silver always brightens up my look and my mood. I’m never seen without at least a single silver ornament.

From right to left:

  • Imitation silver key ear danglers on clasp-holders
  • Sterling silver chain bracelet with heart charm by Estelle
  • Imitation silver lock ear studs
  • Single imitation silver key ear dangler

I mix and match these by pairing a dangler with a stud. Or a earring as a scarf ornament. Or as a charm on the chain bracelet. Locks & keys go together after all. All of these have been picked up over the years, off roadside stalls, except for the chain bracelet, which is available at the Estelle counter at Landmark.

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* Cross-posted to Divadom.

I Wear: Streetsmart Colour

It’s no big secret that I love bright colours. Drama is my middle name and my personal style spells it out in BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS. The weather (among other things) tends to impact my mood and you can usually tell with reasonable accuracy, how I’m feeling inside by the colour of the sky. So the dull greys and browns of a Mumbai monsoon play such havoc on my humour, that I need plenty of cheerful colour to give me a reason to smile.

My usual preference of course, is for natural fabrics because of how comfortable they are. Synthetic fabrics like nylon, polyester etc are scratchy on the skin and unaccountably warm to wear. On the upside, they don’t crease or fade and they dry quickly. Perfect for a Mumbai monsoon! Like any good Mumbaiker, I have a stash of monsoonwear that’s been accumulating for years since it will probably never tear or wear out. Most of these pieces exit my wardrobe only because they’ve driven me crazy to the point of distraction by how durable they are. There is of course, also the fact that they always seem to fit better than any of the natural fabrics because of their stretchiness and their firmness in holding shape. Still, the lack of comfort keeps them from becoming a bigger part of my wardrobe. As it is, the only synthetic fabric pieces I own have loose necklines or are flowy rather than fitted to allow for some ventilation.

On this rather rainy (and *sigh* depressing) weekend, I had to step out for chores, general out-of-house-mood-lifting-walk and other things. I suited up as follows:

First of all, a bright fuchsia peasant top with puffed sleeves, an embroidered yoke, a tie-up at the throat and bunched-up waist. I like this one because it’s relatively airy, especially when I knot the tie loosely. The ends of the tie are really long and hang down to the waist even after knotting, thus saving me from little-schoolgirl-type (ick!) bows. It is a feminine style but the bold colour saves it from erring into diabetic.

I wore these with a pair of trusty blue denim capris. I know denim is hardly practical for this weather (it takes sooo long to dry!) but I needed something that wouldn’t show splashes and in which I could park my butt on less-than-fancy places too. The pair is actually at that odd length (which Neha calls pseud for some reason) but I rolled them up as far as they’d go, which was my knees. Much better, methinx. Less BTM (behenji-turns-mod), more practical girl-next-door.

And now the piece de resistance (*ahem* note use of pseud French words)! This glittery zari pouch is from another of my many Connaught Place rambles. Back when I bought it, I knew it was too small to carry as a handbag but I fell in love with the bright embroidery anyway. These past few years, it has been home to my deck of Arabian Nights tarot cards. (I thought the colours made it mighty appropriate). But on this dreary day, I needed something more than fuchsia to pull me out of the monsoon funk so I picked out this pouch and strung it cross-ways. The handle is a thin black thread and the bag is small square that just about fits in a mobile phone, a small wallet and a handkerchief. What else do I need?

If this wasn’t enough colour, I decided to push it OTT with my trusty yellow darlings. And to give my mood a pair of literal wings, my new pair of silver bird earrings, a gift from mum:

So here’s my look! I didn’t exactly turn heads in my bright ensemble but I felt a helluva lot better! (With the poor visibility afforded by these rains, I’m probably safer from being run over because of these blinding colours!)

I Wear:

  • Fuchsia pink top: Lokhandwala market
  • Blue denim capris: Levis
  • Yellow moccasins: Catwalk
  • Zari pouch: Connaught Place, New Delhi
  • Silver bird earrings: FabIndia

* Cross-posted to Divadom.

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If you liked them cheery yellow shoes, also see them walk in Brown Girl In The Rain and The Boheme At Kala Ghoda.

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