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A 30 something housewife blogging about her love affair with Fashion.....and travelling and food!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Open season

It is officially winter time in Pune. Nothing too dramatic since it is a mere 24 inside my flat. However mornings and nights are chilly enough to make me crave thick blankets and knits. I have been happily digging inside my Winter clothes suitcase to grab sweaters and jackets, and boots. I never really liked the cold but I love the layering look so you can imagine my excitement. Plus it is a good reason to wear my fave boots.

Today was Xmas eve. I did not plan anything special except to entertain the kids. I went down to the gaming center at the mall and let them go crazy.


Cardi-jacket - gift from my Dad, had it for 18 years and counting...
Shirt - Sunder shop, M.G. road
Pants - M.G. road
Boots - Shimamura
Bag - Omake from Non-No magazine







As I said earlier this cardi-jacket was a gift from my Dad. He bought it during one of his business trip in Italy or Egypt, I am not sure. I remember wearing it for Xmas and New year's eve bash back in 1996. It was perfect to layer over the metallic and skimpy top I wore back then. And it is still perfect to layer on a less skimpier shirt. The cardi-jacket is more snug but I never want to part with it because it has a sentimental value. If ever it becomes too tight, I will just turn it into a top. Seriously, I won't cut such a fine fabric ( very airy velvet). I will just frame it.

Merry Christmas!


Monday, December 23, 2013

Tioman getaway

Winter 2001, just after the events of 9/11 reshaped the entire world,  I traveled to Tioman Island, Malaysia. I stayed in Berjaya hotel where I ate, snorkeled and met some interesting people there. I rang the new year there. Fast forward 12 years, 1 marriage, two kids and 20 kilos later, I am back. The resort is not what it used to be but we are still having fun. The city is more developed which makes it easier to get out of the hotel. But we do not at all because we are quite content with what is here: cartoons on TV for rainy mornings, pool and beach for sunny afternoons and affordable local restaurant just outside of the hotel. It is a very simple and relaxing holiday.
Holidays at the beach should be simple and I do not need a lot to make me happy: good food, good bed, a book or two and Internet connection. I also discovered that I like sketching by the sea. I just wished I had taken my sketch book and pencils with me. But a pen and paper will have to do for now. Things like that happen when you decide to pack light. I only have two bottoms with me and one of them is actually a dress that I wear as a skirt. Never underestimates the power of black pants and a white skirt. For a moment I had doubted the dress/ skirt because it was white and floor length. It had rained heavily one night and I was worried to get mud stains on the hem. But the skirt held good. Plus it is in light fabric so it can dry easily if ever I feel like washing it.
Anyway today I am sharing with you pics of one of my fave outfit during the trip, pairing my fave black pants with a short Anarkali tunic. I could not resist this fun piece after seeing it on the racks. It was so colorful hence perfect for a day under the sun hanging by the beach or the playground.









Tunic - Star Bazaar
Pants - Max
Bangle - Moroccan stall at Africa Festa fair in Yokohama

After a week doing nothing in Tioman it was time to head back home. We transited via Changi airport in Singapore and had a lovely visit from one of our friend there. But let me tell you that now I have discovered my favorite airport of all time. Changi is the bomb. It has almost everything you need: restaurants catering local and international food, fast food joins open 24h, play area for the kids (the world longest slide among them), shops and not only the high end stuff you usually find at airport, lounge chairs where you can sleep or watch TV on a huge screen, free Wi-Fi, and what else....? I heard there are some lounges with pools. Obviously you will have to pay but if you are stuck there and need to recharge, why not? While we were there they were building a huge Sponge bob square pants attraction for the kids. Too bad it would officially open days later. But that just gave us a taste of what things would be come Xmas time. Our Singaporean friend told us that the government wants to make Changi airport not only a good airport but also a hangout destination for the locals. I am thinking they are doing great. I just wish to encounter more airports like this one in the future.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mickey Mouse

As I am taking these pictures, fireworks are banging outside my balcony. I am not sure I have told you already but I live right across the river from a hotel and behind a hall. It means that whenever there is an event like a wedding or a concert I get treated to free fireworks. On busy weeks, I get to watch three. Some are short, others long but they are all so loud. It is a blessing in disguise. I thought I would be bored by now but every time I hear them, I rush to take a look. My kids enjoy them as well and they like to sing Fireworks by Katy Perry, while watching them. How do they know the song? Madagascar 3.

Anyway tonight, I was invited to a barbecue by some friends. I could have gone with tee and jeans or tunic and jeans but I wanted different and comfy around the waist as I knew I would be indulging in good food. What's comfier than a maxi dress? Nothing in my book. So I grab this "in your face" maxi and added a dark  jacket to tone it down.


Jacket - Max
Dress - M.G. road
Shoes - Sole to soul
Bag - Utsav fair
Mickey mouse ring - Clover center

I love the jacket. I was about to buy a second one in leopard but I did not want to get too carried away. I should have because it is so versatile.


 Furthermore, the Neon color of the dress makes me happy. They had the same one in royal blue but I discovered that as much as I love the color it does not love me back. Plus, I found the gem on the streets of M.G. road. The shops are full of good deals but the best bargain is with the street vendors. Trust me on that!



Mickey Mouse Bling Ring

And this ring, Swoon! I always wanted a mickey mouse or Minnie mouse tee ( and I am working on an embellished tee but it is taking forever). So I could not resist this blinged ring that I spotted at Clover center while buying accessories for my business. It is one of those things that just makes me happy. My youngest son who adores Mickey was jealous that I was sporting such a jewel and I bet that if his fingers were bigger he would wear the ring. Lol!



Leather tote and beaded shoes


Never worn challenge : Pleated skirt

To kick off my Never worn challenge, I picked this wine red pleated skirt. It was the last thing I thrifted in Japan before moving to India. I had seen this jewel at the thrift store for weeks before deciding to get it ( the system of the shop is that prices on items decrease as weeks pass by). Truth be told I wore it once to drop my kids at school but I hated how I styled it and how it looked on my extra pounds. And needless to say that I have not worn it since. Until I was once again inspired by Pinterest. I swear the person who invented that thing is a genius.



Cardigan - random shop in M.G. road
Tee - 390 Mart
Skirt - Don don down
Belt - Zara
Shoes - Max








I love how the entire ensemble turned out to be. I think a tee is the way to go for a casual look. I just wished the skirt was a bit longer but I can still make it work. I will wear it more from now on. This one is a keeper!

Never worn challenge

If you are anything like me, there are plenty of clothes in your closet waiting to be worn. I want to remedy to that. So for an entire month, I will wear all the clothes I have never worn. And if by the end of the month, I do not wear a single one, it gets donated or sold.
Here are the items on my list:



Striped pants
What was I thinking? Now I have to find a way to style these without looking like beetle juice.


Pleated maxi skirt
The last thing I thrifted before leaving Japan. I love everything about it expect that it is not long enough. I also find it too classy for casual days..


Lbd
I went crazy and bought two of these. They are cute and should be fairly easy to pull off. But they are confined just because I need a special occasion to wear them.


Printed blouse
I bought this fairly recently, 7 months ago. I was attracted to the print and to the softness of the fabric. So it does not make any sense at all that this baby has never seen the world.


Printed jacket
I bought this jacket between two pregnancies, which means it has been sitting in my closet for more than 5 years. I thought about donating it once or twice but a good jacket is hard to come by so I kept it.


Printed maxi dress
I love the bold colors on this maxi dress but it is way too long coz I purchased it when I was 7 Months preggers. I did wear it once for 5 minutes with platform heels and even got some compliments but since I am not really a high heel kinda girl, this beauty is still confined to my closet. A visit to the tailor can easily solve the issue but...

It is funny how almost all the items on the list are printed. It just proves to show that as much as I love prints, I have not mastered them yet. 
In the following days or weeks, I will post about wearing them or not. I am excited to see how I will be styling these clothes. Hopefully I will like the styling so much that  they will be included in my dress cycle. But if not, a lucky girl somewhere will enjoy them.  Stay tuned!

Monday, November 18, 2013

New address

Hello my readers.

I just wanted to let you know that I changed my other blog address from odetofashion.blogspot.com to odetofash.blogspot.com.

Some bug or virus was attached to it and I already apologized for it. It took me a while to figure it out. I am not that Internet and computer savvy.

Anyway please check out odetofash.blogspot.com. I promise to have new articles for you to read soon.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dandiya night

The kids and I went to their school's Dandiya night. Dandiya is another Indian festival ( more details here). I was very excited about going because I heard that there would be Garba, a dance with sticks. I fell in love with Garba after watching it in one of my favorite movie Bride and Prejudice. The dance was so beautifully choreographed that I wanted to see it live. 
Well, during the festival at the school, the children and the teachers performed and it was as good as I expected it to be. But the highlight of the night, was to see everybody in their Indian attire. As a fashion addict, it was a feast for the eyes to see all the bejeweled Ghagra, Sari, Anarkali, Choli and more. It was a kaleidoscope of mirrors, sequins, beads, lace, tulle, tassels, gold, silver, colors. Oh, it was overwhelmingly pretty! I just wanted to take a picture of everything, touch every fabric and drool over how it was made. It was pure fashion orgasm. Too bad my camera does not do well at night. I managed to snatch some pics I want to share but please overlook the poor quality.
As for myself, I went for an easy look.



Kimono - Forever 21
Bodysuit - H&M
Skirt - Thrifted
Necklace - probably Charming Charlie
Braided bracelet  - Gift
Anklet and Ring bracelet - accessory shop in Japan


Accessories

Dandiya sticks


I had this Indian inspired skirt that I wanted to pair with a sparkly top. But at the last minute, I dug a bodysuit and added a kimono. I knew that I wanted something that twirls in case I wanted to learn the Garba but I also knew that I did not have anything in my wardrobe that would match the Indian outfits I was about to see. So I went simple. But seriously, I think it is about time I find myself this little piece of Indian dress that is fabulously gorgeous. I am afraid of Saris since I am sure I would never be able to drape them but I am willing to invest in an Anarkali, Salwar or half Sari. But where to start?


For me this woman was the best dressed there. From the outfit to the accessories everything was just perfect.


Twirling skirts



My favorite Sari of the night. It was icy blue with beaded rhinestones. I need to get something similar before I leave this place.


Dancing girls


Embroidery

Who wore it better?

I wanted blue skinny pants for a very long time but never found the right pair. I was about to give up when I stumble into this random shop on MG road that had some blue pants in stretchy fabric and in my size. I bought them on impulse instantly regretting it because they fit but not as well as a skinny jean. In other words, they are not jeans, which I think have more support. Plus these tend to sag at the bottom always forcing me to pull them up (something I discovered after I wore them for a day)
Anyway, I went home with my new skinny pants, and I am faced with another problem: the styling. I am tired of always going safe with white blouses and denim shirt but what else to pull? I forgot about the pants until I saw a pic of one of my cousin on Facebook rocking the blue pants with a coral blouse. I am thinking that I do have a pink blouse that slightly resemble hers so why not steal her style?


VS




Black open cardigan and Pants - Same random shop in M.G. Road
Pink blouse and Coral shoes -H&M




I won't lie. She wore it better. This girl was a child when I left my home country. And now she has grown into a beautiful and stylish woman while I was away. I feel a bit ashamed to take cue from the younger generation but hey Fashion is ageless right?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Fashionably late

I was invited to a party at a lounge not far from my place. I was excited as anyone could be because it was a grown up party meaning no kids allowed. I panicked at first because I did not have a babysitter but a quick chat with my helper solve the issue.
Anyway the party was from 4 to 8 pm. I arrived fashionably late at 4:35 to discover the place half empty. Apparently India is like my home country Senegal, people show late at events. No fuss! I chatted with the people who were there and assessed everyone's style. There was no dress code but people dressed up. It was casual chic. Girls wore figure hugging or babydoll type cocktail dresses with lace, animal prints, floral prints, sequins paired with booties or pumps or platform. The preferred length was above the knee. But some girls showed up wearing Indian Anarkali and gowns. The boys were very casual with some wearing colored denim paired with velvet jackets or crisp white shirt. It was a young crowd so the outfits were trendy, sexy and colorful.
As for myself I went for my Leopard maxi dress with red accents.

Maxi dress - H&M
Shoes - thrifted
Necklace - Fidak fair back in 2002


I did not want to go buy something special as my wardrobe is bursting with dresses I never wore. I chose this dress because it hides my problem areas. Other dresses that I tried could not camouflage my butt and thighs. Moreover most of them being sleeveless, require a jacket, something I did not want to do under this heat. I did struggle with the accessories particularly my scarf. I guess I wanted something in the golden family. Anyway, it just made me realize that my wardrobe is not completely party ready. But that is alright because I party like once a year anyway.




Remind me never to take pics after the party when my make up is ruined by sweat...


Some girls at the party


This girl had the dopest Anarkali but what impressed me were her shoes. 7 inches platform with rhinestones. So cute yet dangerous....

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Alterations

I hate tailors. Ok, "hate" maybe a strong word, therefore let us just say that I do not like tailors. On one hand they never quite do what you ask of them. This one will make that midi skirt a maxi skirt just because he thinks it is modest, and that one will make that dress tight just because he thinks it will be sexy enough. I mean I need a tailor, not a designer so you can keep your input to the minimum please.
On the other they never respect deadlines. They will tell you come retrieve that dress on Saturday and when you show up, they have not even cut the fabric yet they are taking on new customers. They usually blame it on power cuts but I think it is just pure lazyness.
With all that, you understand why I prefer to shop retail than going to a tailor.
I thought things would change when I came to India. There are many tailors here and they do not ask for crazy prices. But how to decide if they are good enough. After procrastinating for many months, I decided that I needed to give them something to alter first and if I was satisfied with the result, I would move on to more serious business like a dress.
I chose one tailor across the street from my house. I liked it because it was so close. But the location is not that great for it is dirty and reeks of urine. The shop itself is nice and well organised. I met the tailor who barely speaks English and he was not friendly at all. On top of that he lacked vision. He would just look at a garment and say things like it cannot be altered, when I know for a fact it could. Finally he agreed to alter a tunic top that was getting too tight. The job took him two days ( or at least he asked me to come back in two days). And voila the result



Printed tunic - tailored back home and altered in India
Pants - Max
Shoes - Forever 21
Nickname necklace - DIY

The whole thing cost me 120 rupees (less than $2) but I did not like the experience. I would like for a tailor to be good and punctual but he needs to be creative. He needs to look at that jumpsuit and tell me "yes we could turn it into a maxi dress but you will need to buy more fabric" instead of " it can't be done".
I am still on the hunt for a tailor like that, and pray that I find it because there are so many things I want to design....my mood board is bursting....


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy Eid Al Adha

It is Eid and I am sad. I am in India, miles away from my family aka parents, brothers, cousins, aunties and uncles. I got my smaller family with me and we are going to make the most of it but it is not home. Eid for me was the ultimate festival back home. All my cousins, family friends ( mostly Christians) will come to hang for the day so the house was packed. We would cook tonnes of food: french fries, mustard onion sauce with olives and barbecue mutton among other delicacies. The entire day my Mother would busy herself making the house appropriate, first barking orders to the help and aunties to clean it entirely and then bask it in incense. My Dad who is allergic would retreat to the backyard washing the mutton with my brothers and uncles. Then before the guests would arrive, my Dad would have sacrificed the sheep, cleaned it, carved it and handed it over to my Mother who would season and cook it. It was a long process and often we would eat in the late afternoon. But we did not complain much as we had other entrees to snack on, and all these people to have fun with. Then around five, everyone would disappear. We would all wear our best attire and go visit relatives and friends. For women, it was a pleasure to walk around in high stilettos, decked in jewelry and fresh braids or Senegalese twists, they new dress recently stitched in the latest style. It was like a fashion show. The ambiance was peaceful and jovial. The children would go door to door asking for Ndeweneul or money offered during those occasions.
Over the last few years, I spent Eid at my in laws and although we were a smaller group, it was still fun. My mother in law would insist on getting us new clothes, oversee the entire mutton barbecue operation and throw us out of the house as soon as we finished eating and cleaning up so that we could go visit relatives. I would work all day and look like Cinderella before the ball because I had charcoal stains all over my clothes, and on my hands and sometimes face. But the fun part was turning into Cinderella afterwards. Dressing up the kids to match their Dad's clothes was so cute as well. And boy, they all looked so handsome.

I miss all that. I miss my family the most during those times. I could celebrate on my own but it will never be the same. And since I do not have friends to invite or visit here, I just went out for a nice lunch.  Here is hoping for a better Eid next year Inchallah.


Anyway, wishing you all Happy Eid Al Adha wherever you are and whomever you are spending it with.


Kaftan - Zara
Pants - H&M
Shoes - Sole to Soul
Necklace worn as headband - thrifted
Bracelets - gift from Hubby



This Kaftan is super old, more than 10 years. It is pure silk so even after all the years, it is still good. I am planning to make me another one using scarves. 


Played with Henna again

T- straps sandals





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