Playing it up with the basics!

{Shirt - Ann Taylor, Jeggings - Local Boutique, Necklace - Forever 21, Bag - Java Plum, Shoes - Zara}

Even a simple shirt and trousers could be just as chic and sexy as a maxi dress would be. In my earlier post featuring the silk shorts I talked about how I wore that outfit for a meeting and a reader left a comment asking for something more office appropriate. Well, since I was going in for a casual meeting regarding blog purposes and the day being super hot, the outfit was appropriate in my opinion. But, I understand that would not be the situation for the most of you! So, I took upon this challenge and styled a simple office appropriate outfit(kinda semi-formal) and I do plan to style one more outfit for the offices with strict formals dress code.

This look features an abstract print shirt paired with jeggings. Now, since the jegging fabric is not denims, it could pass for semi-formals. I have always worked in places which require no formals at all and jeggings have always been my go to option. They are more comfortable than denims for long hours and they fit great! People working in Fashion magazines, export houses, fashion houses, or at their own boutiques or enterprise can easily carry this look in multiple ways! It is that simple. It amazes me how we always keep going back to basics and they never ever fail us. You just need to add your personality to the basics and you would shine through the crowd. In my case, I added heels, threw my hair up in simple casual updo and added a bright lipstick that would make it up for the dark palette of my outfit. I like how the lips brighten up the whole look and make it Summer appropriate. You all can also restyle this simple shirt and pants/jeggings combo and add your personal touch to the look! And if you do, I would love to see! Share the pictures with me on Instagram, tag me by the username @StyleFashionEtc and I will check out the pictures :)

Stay chic!

Fitness Series: Diet Plan I

"Diets higher in protein and moderate in carbs, along with a lifestyle of regular exercise, have an excellent potential to help weight loss," says University of Illinois protein researcher Donald Layman, PhD.

In my previous post in the Fitness Series, I talked about few general fitness tips but today we will be diving deeper into evolving our food habits. I would like to clarify beforehand that all the content of this post is out of my own experience and they all worked for me. And I am sure, if you follow these tips, you will lead a much healthier lifestyle. 

To begin with, you need to understand the basics of nutrition which comprises of six elements:
1. Good Fats - Peanut butter, nuts, fruits, olive oil, egg yolks, etc
2. Carbohydrates - Whole wheat, cereals, whole wheat pasta, rice, oatmeal, apples, etc
3. Proteins - Chicken, sausage, egg whites, sprouts, cottage cheese, etc
4. Vitamins - Veggies, skimmed milk, supplement tablets etc
5. Minerals - Salt, bananas, veggies, pistachio, almonds etc
6. Water

So, your body needs a mix of all these six types of nutrients throughout the day in order to regulate metabolic processes, build and repair tissues and provide energy. But, you need to take these nutrients in the right way or to be more accurate, the right mix...

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I know a lot of people who skip breakfast just because they do not have enough time to eat in the morning. In fact, I used to be one of those people. But with time, I have come to realize that it is very important to have a hearty breakfast. I will give you two reasons: Firstly, your body needs food to process and energize your body after 7-8 hours of sleep and secondly, if you eat your breakfast, you will not feel so hungry all the time throughout the day and you will have the energy and enthusiasm to make your mornings more productive. 

Your breakfast should ideally include all the six nutrients: good fats, proteins, carbs, vitamins, minerals and water. A few breakfast ideas to help you along:
1. Oats, milk and bananas - While buying oats, look for the one which says 'no added sugar', add skimmed milk and bananas(or strawberries) and you have a perfect ideal breakfast.
2. Brown Bread Sandwich - My personal favorite! Take two slices of brown bread, spread a little mayonnaise (made with olive oil, and yes, they are available in the market), add slices of cottage cheese (cottage cheese is NOT paneer, it has 20% less fat than paneer and is easily available in the market), few cucumber, lettuce and tomato slices and you have a yummy yet healthy sandwich!
3. Omelette - Well, spanish omelette is my favorite but the easier version could be made just by whipping up few eggs with finely chopped tomato, onion, spices, capsicum and salt. 
4. Sprouts - Sprouts are full of proteins and they taste just as good when you add chopped cucumber and tomato with a hint of lime juice.
5. Pancakes/Waffles - You do not need to refrain from pancakes all the time and you can give in to your pings of cravings a few times. If you absolutely refrain from food you love to eat, you will never be able to be on a healthy eating habit for a long time. So, once in a while indulge a little. 

We all know that we need to drink 3-4 litres of water everyday but you can always spice it up and drink it in the form of green tea, juice, etc. right? So here are a few easy and yummy drinks that would keep you healthy and glowing from within:
1. Water - no explanations necessary!
2. Green Tea - Green Tea is most effective when taken with lukewarm water and no sugar but if you like, you can add a hint of lime juice and honey to make it taste better! Or you can make green tea and then let it cool down a little and put it in your refrigerator for few hours. Chilled green tea is sooooo good, I tell you and especially with a hint of cinnamon powder!
3. Fruit Juice - Fruits are best if you eat them directly as your body gets the fibers needed but juice can be the next best thing too! Just don't add extra sugar, the sweetness of the fruits is enough. 
4. Milk - I have been drinking 2 glasses of milk everyday throughout my childhood till I turned 18. I have started drinking milk again now but only skimmed milk. It provides you with various vitamins and keeps your bones strong. Drinking 150-200ml everyday with your breakfast is more than enough. Or the second best thing could be lassi or spiced buttermilk.
5. Coconut water - I love love love coconut water! I try to get natural coconut water whenever possible but if not, I always have a stock of packaged ones in my fridge!
6. Green Smoothie - The formula is - 1 cup leafy greens (spinach, kale, etc), 1 cup liquid (water, coconut water, milk) and 2 cups fruits (banana, mango, berries, avocado, apple,etc)
7. Fruit Smoothie - I personally love blueberry smoothie. They are so filling that I can just have a smoothie for breakfast!

The nutrients are all the same as breakfast but you need to cut down on carbs and increase protein content. Few healthy lunch ideas:
1. Chicken+veggies roll - These are easy to make and they taste good too. Just chop your chicken and green veggies in small pieces and cook them with a little olive oil and salt. roll them up in whole wheat chapati and serve with green chutney or hummus.
2. Boiled seasonal veggies + Roasted or Grilled chicken/cottage cheese + whole wheat bread/ whole wheat rice
3. Whole wheat chicken/mushroom pasta  + boiled veggies 
4. Sushi - Veg or non-veg, they are always delicious!
5. Roasted chicken or cottage cheese main dish + half cup brown rice + Black beans
6. Plain Dosa + Sambhar

To be continued...

Designer Diggs | Grecian Maxi by Supriya Gupta

{Maxi Dress - Supriya Gupta, Cuff - H&M, Shoes/Midi Rings - Forever 21, Sunglasses - Paperlillie}

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who's the brightest of them all!

In Summers, the few keywords almost every fashionista swears by are Maxi dresses, whites, brights and golds. Now, you can imagine my delight over this particular maxi dress. It's a summer dream come true! Packed with a beautiful gold neckline, punch of fuschia and beautiful Grecian drapes makes this attire just as perfect for a cocktail night as it would a romantic dinner date. The attention to details like the little quilled circular touch to the waist belt or the draped hem making up for the absence of slits while adding a graceful design element vouches for the viability of the dress.

I chose to keep the maxi as the focus of the whole attire and kept accessories to the minimum by adding a gold cuff and few midi rings. The shoes had to be nude as I didn't wanted any other color fighting for attention in this look. And the sunglasses had gold accents because why the hell not! This outfit is probably my personal favorite so far, it's glamorous, it's bright and it will for sure turn heads. As they say, 'Go bright or go home!'. This maxi is truly a prized possession and for the price, it's a steal! The collection comes out soon, so make sure you grab one before they sell out.

About the designer:
Supriya Gupta launched her label out of her passion for Indian wear, Sarees in particular. Her ability to conform to the requirements of her clients is what makes her stand out from the crowd. Unique designs, new concepts, skilled craftsmanship and her ability to deliver the most fresh color combinations ever won us over. If you are impressed by this maxi (which is a piece from her new collection),wait till you see her impeccable sarees. She has something to offer to everyone, be it a high school girl preparing for her farewell, a friend attending her best friend's wedding or a new age woman going for her kitty party! And not just that, she has ventured into a whole new level of creativity with fishtail sarees, velvet and crochet sarees, french knot embroidery and what not! Her desire to strive for perfection reflects in her work, from the fabric she uses to the embroidery and embellishment quality. Click HERE for a small glimpse of her saree collection. You can go over to her Facebook Page if you would like to see more of this budding designer's work : Supriya Gupta.

Hits and Misses: Bags and Shoes

{Top - Zara, Pants - Monsoon, Shoes/Necklace/Ring - Forever 21, Bag - Java Plum}

My love for shopping online keeps me bumping into interesting new brands and one of my recent finds is a brand called Java Plum. I have been wanting to invest in a pure leather bag for a while now, I was actually bored of my everyday bags which are usually black or tan in color. I also tend to gravitate more towards structured bags but I needed something in a softer hue and slouchy silhouette for the summers. They are easier to carry on the shoulders and you do not always have to carry them on your arms which is a pain while shopping. I came across this website which is apparently a new and upcoming Leather Studio. The thing that I was most excited about was their free return policy. If I didn't liked my purchase, I could send back the bag immediately. I needed to feel the leather and see the quality of the bag and I was really impressed with not only their quality and finish but with their quick service as well. I felt like I needed to share this with all of you as there are very few brands out there who provide excellent service.

The leather is Italian and great attention has been paid to the design and quality of materials and craftsmanship. The leather has a gorgeous texture, look and feel. And the design is chic, stylish yet functional. It fits upto 12 or 13 inch laptop which is perfect for me and the bag that I have chosen has a bright fuschia lining! It looks pretty inside out! And that's not even the best part, it has a key hook so that I do not have to go through the frustration of rummaging for my keys! That is honestly my favorite part. This is a feature I use all the time. I have not taken out my keys from the hook since I started using the bag, and every time I am about to leave my home, I just take out the keys, while it is still attached to the hook, lock the doors and flip it back in. So convenient! The leather has an oil-tanned finish that allows the natural character of the leather to show through and has a soft silken feel. It is also water-resistant which came in handy last night when I had to make a run for it in a sudden outburst of nature [That being said, leather should anyway not be drenched in water]. It also comes with a pink, black and red canvas strap which would be perfect to liven up any dull outfit. I will whip out those babies the next time I am wearing a monochrome outfit! I can just go on and on about this bag, I am so in love with it. I am rarely this impressed by the quality of a product and have been carrying it everywhere! It's funny how it complements every single of my everyday outfits. Guys, do check out this brand if you are looking to buy a new bag, here is the link to the website - Java Plum, and the bag I bought - Canvas Strap Bag.

I wore this outfit for a movie and lunch. I would admit though, I wore the heels just for the shoot this time. I just could not wait to wear these beauties and I am SO glad I did because I got to know during the shoot that these are not as sturdy as they look. The ankle strap did not hold at all. They came off more than seven times on plain ground during the shoot only and let's not even talk about stairs! I am really disappointed in these and especially because I got them in two colors. I guess I will be taking them back to the store to return, such a shame for such gorgeous shoes! Letting you guys know so that you also don't get tricked by the their beauty. Damn! I should have listened to Aman when he told me to get just one pair first. Anyhow...

Stay Fabulous!

Summertime Madness

{Silk Shorts - Zara, Shirt - Local Boutique, Bag/Shoes - Aldo, Necklace - Splash, Ring/Earcuffs - Forever 21}

The heat has taken over almost all the aspects of life. It's what we talk about, shop about and care about. The weekend was spent hunting for the perfect sunscreen for face and a lip balm with highest spf available. Light airy clothes are flying off the racks in stores. The AC is almost never off and when it is off, we are frantically calling electricians to come see what's wrong! I think you get the point, right? It's madness!

In such times, I switch to lightweight fabrics that allows my skin to breathe. The silk shorts have replaced the denim shorts and how! Cute prints and airy fabric makes for a perfect bottomwear in Summers. They can be paired with a simple block color t-shirt or a shirt and makes for a perfect outfit for going out to movies, lunch date with friends or just some casual shopping. But if you want to turn up the style-o-meter, pair these with a complementing print shirt, sky-high heels and add a statement necklace. Some clever detailings here and there and you are ready to rock the party.

I kept the look classy and simple as I was going for a meeting. You can hardly ever go wrong with a classic white shirt and they are always business appropriate. Kept the rest of the look simple with pulled back hair, a simple long necklace, bag and shoes in subtle hues and fuschia lipstick to add a punch of color. The structured bag adds sharpness to the whole attire. I am mostly impressed by the multiple wearability of this outfit, I can wear this to a brunch, a meeting, shopping or any other daytime event. And be comfortable while doing it all!

Stay Chic!

Fitness Series: Beginner's Tips

Hello friends! Hope you all are having an amazing week!

Today, I will be talking about a highly requested topic for my Fitness Series. I got many Instagram comments, tweets and emails asking me how I lost weight. Well Yes, I joined a gym and that's the main reason but controlling your diet and watching what you eat makes for 50% of the reason. Let's start with some general fitness tips and we will dive into proper diet charts, what to eat, what not to eat, etc in another post. Remember, in no way I am criticizing anyone for being fat but I am trying to motivate people to choose a healthier lifestyle.

1. Lifestyle Change, not a Crash Diet!
First step is to make up your mind that it is more of a lifestyle change than a crash diet, this will help you stick to your new habits and not go back to old ones. I have always faced this problem of slowly returning to my old eating habits and not sticking to my new diet plan and that results in gaining back all the weight you lost and more. This time around though, I was certain and aware of the fact that this is my new lifestyle and no matter what this is what I am going to stick to, not only because I want to lose weight but also because I want to lead a healthy lifestyle. 

2. Include Workout in daily routine
Along with controlling your diet, it is important to include a little workout in your daily routine. If you think you do not have the time to go to a gym, let me tell you something: I also thought the same until one day I decided my health is more important than my work and joined a gym. My working hours (including travel time) started from 8:30am and ended at 8:30 pm which is basically 12 hours a day. It was difficult at first but once I got into the habit of waking up at 5:30am and reaching the gym by 6am, I did not miss a day! I workout 6 days a week, only taking off on Sundays and for about 1-1.5 hrs daily and have lost 5kgs in past two months. I have also taken Personal Training on which I will elaborate in another post but yes, that also helped a lot. 
If you absolutely do not have time to hit the gym every morning or evening, try doing light exercises at home. Go for a brisk walk, jog around the block a few times, meditate, do yoga, aerobics or just put on your favorite music and boogie woogie woogie till you just can't boogie no more!

3. Drink Water
Yes, this one you have probably heard like a million times already but trust me, this actually works wonders. Water will flush out all the toxins in your body and apart from helping you lose weight and making your skin glow, it will also keep you full during the day so that you don't crave for snacks and give into whatever is easily available which is usually fried junk. 
Keep a bottle of water where you spend most of your time and keep drinking throughout the day. You can add flavours like a slice of Lemon or Peach in the bottle while adding no extra calories!

4. Rethink your drink!! 
Cut out all the sweetened beverages from your daily routine. No Pepsi, no coke, no Tang, no Ice-Tea, no Starbucks! You can most certainly indulge in these drink once a week but you need to realize, they don't only make you fat but also makes you a bank of potential diseases!
I have completely stopped drinking coke or any other fizzed drinks, it was very difficult especially during movies because you know, we always ordered "Popcorn and Coke" but now we take Water instead of coke. And if you really fancy these drinks, have few sips and throw out the rest. This tip was particularly very difficult for me to follow but Aman made sure I did it, so we basically used to purchase coke when we really craved it and after sharing half a can, we threw out the rest of it. We also indulge in Vanilla Ice-Blended Coffee once a week :P
For a more clearer perspective, have a look at the chart below, it helped me so I am hoping it will help you guys too in realizing how much sugar does these beverages actually contain. 

Image source:
5. Say NO to Alcohol 
Every Cosmopolitan or Martini you order, packs 100 calories at least. And I am sure, everybody is aware of the "Beer Belly"! But if you do not want to look like a stuck up person in a social gathering, have a glass of red wine but no beer please!
Red wine contains resveratrol, flavonoids and saponins. The latter two protects you against cardiovascular diseases. And resveratrol is one of the most powerful antioxidant compounds which can help reduce the saturated fat accumulated in the arteries. Red wine also helps tooth decay, prevents cancer, reduces fine lines and wrinkles and keeps your bone strong. Word of caution though, an ideal serving is 150 ml and it should be consumed by healthy people only. 

6. Stay away from Fried Food!
Any kind of fried food, be it burgers, french fries, chicken nuggets, they are not good for your health in the long run. Sure, they are yummy and finger lickin' good but would you really make yourself  unhealthy just so that your tongue can be satisfied for few minutes? 
When I started with controlling my diet, I used to slip every now and then when it came to french fries, but after a couple of times I started feeling guilty and bad every time I ate them and hence, I decided, I need to feel better about myself and not eating junk food actually felt rewarding! It's been over 6 months or so I haven't been to McDonalds. I go to KFC sometimes for their fiery grilled chicken though, because it's grilled, not fried. 

That's all for today! In next post, I will be sharing Diet Charts in detail. And if in case, you decide to start a fitness regime, do check out my previous post in the Fitness Series!


Striped Maxi Skirt

{Maxi/T-shirt/Midi Rings - Forever 21, Waistcoat - Zara, Necklace - Koovs, Bracelet - Aldo, Clutch/Knuckle Ring - H&M, Shoes - Steve Madden}

You might notice in this and the previous post that my hair color is gone. Well, it's not. These are just few photoshoots we did long before I got my hair colored but didn't find time to post them. This was actually one of the looks featured in Cosmopolitan's March Issue. My obsession with maxi was at it's peak then and I was busy collecting all colors, prints and fabric I could. And I am glad that I did so because now that the temperature is hitting 44 degrees, I can be all comfortable in my flowy georgette maxis. Just need to tone the tummy a bit more so the crop tops can find a way into my wardrobe!

Stay chic!

Make your ripped denims look classy & chic!

{ Ripped Denims - DIY, Sweatshirt/Rings - Forever 21, Necklace - Zara, Shoes -, Clutch -, Cuff - H&M}

I have always loved my ripped denims and shorts. There is something about these ragged old pieces that appeals to the child in me and the stylist in me always wants to style these with their contrast counterparts. Giving a torn/ripped denims a chic twist is a challenge in itself. And whenever I come even close to this word, the Barney Stinson in me makes a lil noise in my head saying "Challenge Accepted!".

I paired the denims with a printed sweatshirt from Forever 21, I usually am not a fan of sweatshirts (Neither am I big on sweatpants, but that's besides the point!) but this print really caught my eye. With a classic color combination and the print, it looked like a work of art. I knew it on the first sight that I will be pairing it up with some pearls and ripped denims. I have worn this sweatshirt with a maxi skirt, shorts, pegged trousers, bodycon dress and what not! And it has always taken the outfit a notch up, I love this darn piece of heaven!

Stay Chic!