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A 30 something blogging about her love affair with Fashion.....among other things!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Never worn challenge: Printed shirt

As the end of my Never worn challenge is approaching, I feel like rushing to wear all the items I have not worn yet. Take this printed shirt for example, I struggled to wear it. Strike that, for it is not true. I wore it four times this month: once for a lunch at a friend's house,  two times for lunch with the family and today to run errands. So basically it was not hard to pull off. But I hated how it looked the first two times. I paired it my fave harem pants and my plaid jacket or a cardigan ( Sorry no pics!) The reason I did not like it was that the shirt is not wide enough to hide my muffin top. In fact the asymmetrical design ( short in front, long in the back) and small slits on the sides, makes my waist looks wider. And this is not a look I want to go for.

However after weeks of working out and trying to eat right, the shirt seems to fit me much better now. Plus I think that changing from loose pants to more slim fitting ones made a difference.

I took these pics at Cafe Coffee day in Koregaon park and the bathroom of La Sicilia in Dhole Patil road. I am sorry for the poor quality.

I have to say that I was ready to toss this shirt in the "to give" pile but after wearing it with skinnies, I changed my mind. It is a keeper even if it wrinkles easily and the printed birds faded a bit after wash. It is just a fun and basic shirt. Plus it is so airy that it will come in handy in the scorching upcoming months. So this one is a keeper.

Bird printed shirt - Patang
Pants - Brandmart 
Loafers - Westside 

Monday, January 20, 2014

DIY crystals embellished blouse

Being able to do things (such as making clothes or jewelry) on your own is so fun and inspiring. I go to the mall looking at things or read a magazine and think : " Oh! Beautiful! But I am not going to buy it. I am going to make it". It happened with this yellow blouse I had thrifted two years ago in Houston. I love the color but never got around to wear it. And after two years, it is a bit tight. I was about to toss it  when I saw a pic of a similar blouse with embellished sleeves in a magazine. I immediately went looking for crystals at my neighborhood stationnary shop. I did not find clear crystals but settled for jewel tones ones. At home, I dug the blouse and decided to loosen it up a bit by adding side panels. I cut some left over soft cotton fabric in black and stitch them on each sides to add width. My method is messy and lazy but I got the desirable effect. Plus it is right underneath the arms, so it is barely noticeable. But my initial thought was to add panels in sequin fabric.

Anyway, after that I lay my blouse flat on the floor and lay the crystals on top in the desired design. Use a ruler to make sure that they are all aligned properly. Then put some fabric glue on the back of the crystals one by one and glued them to the blouse. Once you are done, let it dry for 24 hours before wearing the blouse. It is a very easy and cheap project.  The blouse cost me less than 5$, the glue is 17 Rps and the crystals cost me 10 Rps for a bag of 15 crystals. And I have enough left over for another project.

The blouse, the glue and the crystals ( they are flat)

So what do you think? One thing is for sure, I am never tossing another clothing item before figuring out a way to revamp it first.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Stop laughing! It's rude!

Time flies. It has been a year since we started living in Pune. And so many things happened from our first week in Pune up to now. I am getting used to life in here. I even started to enjoy myself. But there is one thing I will never get used to: people pointing at me and laughing. I usually get stared at and it was not a surprise because I knew that staring was common in India. Therefore, I do not mind it that much unless the person does it for a long time, at which point, I glare back. But what is most annoying, is when people just point at me and start laughing. The girls usually giggles and have the decency to just talk about me in a hush hush way ( but I still know). The men are more obvious, but the kids are blatant. Once I passed a group of school kids my older son's age. They saw me and just exploded in laughter, pointing at my face. I went up to them and used the little Hindi I knew to ask them what was wrong. They looked at me almost terrified and stopped immediately. One of them dared to answer " nothing Mam!". I went my way not even looking back.
 Unfortunately it was not the only time. Every time I go out, people will stare and point and laugh. I am not sure as to why. I get that they may have not seen many Africans walking around but it could not be because of my skin color. Some Indians here are darker than me. Is it the way I dress? I admit, it is a bit different from what people are used to, but it is in the least shocking for I try to be as modest as possible. I really do not know why.
 But one thing I am sure of, depending on my mood, if I see you laughing at me, I will either laugh back, glare at you or ask you what is the matter.
 I lived in many places, and traveled a lot, but I never experienced something like this. Even in Japan, back in 2000 when people were not used to seeing many Africans, I was never laughed at. People stared but they tried to do it in a such a subtle way, you barely noticed. And the most courageous ones would come up to me and ask me questions. I welcome that attitude. People are different. For sure if I was living at home ( never been to India) and I saw an Indian woman walking down my street in Dakar, wearing a Sari, I would look at her, and I would hold the urge to go talk to her for there would be so many things I would want to ask her. I am curious and I understand that my being in Pune would raise some questions. But do not laugh because it is just rude. Come to me, and ask me questions. Some people did and I answered, sometimes they did not even speak proper English but it did not matter to me. I tried with the little Hindi I know to answer.
Anyway, that is just another rant about life here. By the way, this is what I wore and got laughed at at least twice or three times today in Pune. 

A little bit of manly, a little bit of girly and a touch of bad-ass!

Scarf - Big Bazaar
Shirt - thrifted from Hubby and pimped ( check how here)
Dress -thrifted
Shoes - Head over heels via Westside

So, what do you think? Did I dress so poorly people had to laugh? Or am I just too sensitive?

Friday, January 10, 2014

It's a date! ( Never worn challenge: Printed Jacket)

The hubby took me out for lunch the other day, without the kids.  We tried the lunch buffet at the Hyatt. Needless to say that it was exquisite.
Here is what I wore:

Printed jacket - Ross
Lace Peter Pan collared top - M.G. road
Pants - Max
Shoes - Oriental traffic via Don Don Down

For this date, I wanted to go with a black dress. I had this style of Kate Beckett from Castle I wanted to reproduce. I even wore it only to change at the last minute. My shoes did not compliment the look ( I had t-straps, not ankle straps). I realized that I had too many sandals and flats and not enough pumps.  I need some grown up pumps, something probably with a pointed toe and not so super high heels.
Anyway, I went for black slacks and a cream top instead. You can never go wrong with black slacks. And I am in love with this top. I found it on M.G. road. I think I said more than once on this blog that you can find the best deals with the street sellers in M.G. road.  Those guys unfold their box full of goodies right there on the pavement. Sometimes they hang one or two items in trees to attract customers attention. That is how I spotted this blouse. I love the lace collar and the fact that it is longer in the back, long enough to cover the butt. It is sleeveless but add a cardigan or a jacket and no one would ever know.

Details of the lace collar

Zipper on the pockets 

Oh, and the back of the top comes with straps so I can make a bow. 

The lunch was great. I just wish hubby and I took more time for each other, enjoying each other. We love our kids to death but taking some us time is necessary once ( or twice) in a while. Life is too short...

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

At the movies

I went to watch the Wolf of Wall Street the other day. I was tired of always watching 3D animated movies with the kids. I wanted a change. So on a fairly free Monday morning, I went by myself.
Now there are a few things I should tell you about cinemas in India ( or at least Pune). I have been to cinemas back home, in the US, in Japan even in Australia and Singapore but there is nothing quite like cinemas in India. For starters, prices usually differ depending on where you seat, the closer to the screen, the cheaper. The last seats are called high class and can sometimes double in price the ones in the front. I am used to tickets being the same wherever you seat. Anyway prices also change depending on the time and the day. The earlier sessions are cheaper so it actually helps to go on a Monday morning at 9 Am. I spent 70 rupees for the movie as opposed to 150 rupees for the Saturday afternoon session.
The other interesting feature of cinema in India is that they play the national anthem before the beginning of the movie. And everyone in the theatre is expected to stand up. I get that but after almost a year here, I am still not used to it. I think that it is still tolerable. What annoys me the most is the intermission at the middle of the movie. The movie is stopped for some time to allow people to go and buy more snacks. It is actually very useful when you are with two kids whose bladders were about to burst because they drank their large drinks the first 10 minutes of the movie. But it cuts the flow of the movie and it is hard to concentrate once it is back on. Anyway enough with the weirdness of cinemas in India. Now let us talk about the movie.
I do not want to give too much away but it was an entertaining feature. I did laugh a lot. I was also disgusted a lot. I mean if the entire movie was fiction I could still bear it but since it was based on a true story, I could not believe my eyes or ears at the debauchery, obscenity and excess that were portrayed.  After the first 15 minutes I decided never to invest in anything a stock broker tells me to. If all these shenanigans were happening in a not so major investment firm back in the 90 s, imagine what was going on in the major ones. I shudder  at the thought. No wonder there was a recession. But I also get it; if I was making a million dollar a week, God only knows what kind of excess I would do. For starters, I would own a 100O pairs of shoes, and do not get me started on clothes, bags and accessories. I would fly 1 st class to great locations like Maldives and Bora Bora ans stayed in the most expensive suites.
But I digress. Now there seem to be a debate about this movie and the guy it is based on. Scorcese and Leo seem to portray him in a good light, ignoring his innocent victims. Some people even offer to boycott the movie so that the guy will not benefit from it in any way. Needless to say that I do not think there will be an Oscar nomination. It is true that we do not get to see the victims in the entire movie. They are sometimes heard and Leo and his gang make a mockery of them in the movie. But in all fairness the movie was not about them, it was about the guy and how he made his money and how he spent it. It was about him, and his problems, his rise and his fall. If the victims want their side of the story heard, they should write a book and make a movie about it. That sounds harsh but that is the awful truth. Now how many people will go watch a movie about how poor people or mid class people got cheated out of their money by some sleazy stock broker as opposed to a movie about those sleazy stock broker and their lavish lifestyle?  I think not too many, right? We want to know about the rich and famous, not the ordinary. We go to the movies to get entertained, to get away from our lives or our problems.  I feel sorry for those people and in a way I hope they get justice. But let us put politics and agendas aside and see things for what they are. It is a just a movie, made to entertain us. And I for one was highly entertained. Leo was as usual great. The movie was not as great as I expected. My standards are high after watching The Departed. But it was worth all the 70 rupees I paid. And I will watch it again once it comes out on TV.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

All that glitters (Never worn challenge: LBD 1)

During the holidays, the family decided to go try different restaurants. With all the good restaurants in Pune, it is sad that we are going to the same places over and over again. So for our holiday lunch at Sigree restaurant I wore my Lbd.

Cardigan - thrifted
Lbd - XXI via Brandmart
Shoes - gift

I had this Lbd for months now. I got it for cheap at Brandmart, a discount shop located in Koregaon Park. They have name brands for nothing. I usually go there to pick up dresses and tees. And the best part is that they do carry my size.
I do like this Lbd but the deep neckline and lack of sleeves always makes it hard to style. But not today. Today I pulled my golden cardigan and sequined tank to compliment the dress. And I think I did a great job if you like the "matchy matchy" look like me. Turns out I just needed a cardigan to pull it off. However I am not 100% sold on the dress because it is too short. I think I will feel better pairing it with dark slacks next time. Until then it goes on the " I am not sure pile".

Sigree was interesting. The location is good and the setting nice enough. They have a buffet lunch but the appetizers served directly at our table stole the show. My favorite was the tandoori white fish. It was melting in my mouth with an explosion of spices. The buffet itself lacked variety. I would like to go back there but I will just stick to the appetizers

For more on the Never worn challenge, read this and that.
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