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Saturday, 15 September 2018

Online Shopping ft. Ajio Part 1

9/15/2018 0 Comments
Hello lovelies!

We all love shopping online, don't we? Chilling at home in your nighties, swiping up and down on your fave website, comparing prices, getting a good bargain - all of this without even having to set foot outside of your home can be quite fun for some of us! While there are those who are skeptical about making purchases without trying it on and prefer shopping the traditional way, there are also some of us who love good deals. I have been shopping online (and offline of course!) ever since it was introduced in India. My first purchase was a pair of red heels from a random shoe store that surprisingly was legit and did deliver on time! I am already quite a shopaholic and you won't be surprised to know that I'm also an online shopping junkie.


A friend from work introduced me to Ajio sometime early this year and just before I moved here I went a bit crazy and picked up not one, not two, bit five dresses/kurtis! Ajio definitely has stolen a lot of hearts all over India and although, back then it wasn't all that popular, I still did put all my faith in Ajio and I sure as hell was not disappointed! But then again, we all have had our fair share of bad experiences with online shopping - it's usually a hit or miss kind of a situation. So here are a couple of things you need to know before you become a pro online shopper!



  • With popular websites like Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra etc., the chances of having a bad user experience are very rare. You can almost always trust them to deliver on time or before time and they usually have a good collection of products. And even if they do mess up, they have a very helpful customer care team with a very effective return and refund policy.
  • Brands do matter when you shop online and it's always a great idea to pick up stuff from brands you've heard of and used before rather than buy something random just because the picture looks appealing! And trust me, even with reputed brands, I have received defective or smelly products. That's why it's good to shop from websites with a good return policy. 
  • Don't get fooled by the images uploaded. Most of the times the product is nowhere close to what it looks like in the images on the website. 

  • The best case scenario, at least for me, is when I spot a product in the store and find the same one online for nearly half the price. Yes, that has happened to me a couple of times! So before buying something in a store, pull your phone out and check for the price online.
  • If you like staying up to date with the current trends, then you probably won't find too much of a price difference with clothes you find in stores and the same ones online. But if you don't mind wearing something that was in trend a couple of months ago and aren't available in stores, then you should pick 'em up online and expect massive discounts.
  • SALE - definitely my fave four letter word! Wait for the end of season sale and you won't be disappointed with the deals you get!
  •  When you are looking at a certain piece online, it's best to just buy it then and there rather than wait for the price to drop. The analytics engines of most good websites observe your shopping patterns and the moment a product gets a lot of views, the prices tend to increase. 
  • With online shopping, you need to be very patient. The shipping takes a while and if you feel the need to return a product, it takes some more time - so buying gifts or things you need urgently is a big no! 
  • Read reviews of products before you purchase them. When you absolutely hate something, the first thing you do is write a bad review. And if you spot more than two bad but logical reviews, then it's best not to buy the product.

So with all of that being said, let's talk about my outfit. I had no idea what one could wear to work in Sydney before I got here, so I went on a bit of an Ajio bender. I can't remember the prices - but I think I spent around 2500 INR for 5 dresses (which means this is a 5 part series, so brace yourselves! :p) and I was pretty happy with the quality. Kurti dresses have become so popular and literally anybody of any size, shape, age can pull it off. I loved the pattern on this one and realized I can also just wear it as a summer dress in Sydney. I paired it up with my Steve Madden boots to make it look edgy. 


So, what's your take on online shopping? Do let me know in the comments section below!

Love,
Hand On The Hip

Saturday, 8 September 2018

Simple ways to get rid of dandruff

9/08/2018 0 Comments
Hello everyone!

The term "dandruff" makes almost all of us cringe. Nobody wants to feel embarrassed at work or be too conscious to wear black. While the cause for dandruff can be literally anything, from a skin disease to just dry skin to climatic to stress, there are multiple ways to get rid of it too. Since I faced the worst kind of dandruff attack earlier this month, it inspired me to educate you folks about the same and talk about my experience. This is deffo not a sponsored post (although I do wish Head and Shoulders does take a look at this and hire me as their brand ambassador =D Too ambitious?) and I really want you guys to know that you're not alone!


Well, if you have been up to date with my earlier posts, you'd know that I recently moved to Sydney and started working quite recently. Since the only move in my life before has been from Mangalore to Manipal to Bangalore, I had not experienced living in a different country for more than a couple of weeks. Well, Mangalore and Manipal are coastal towns and while most visitors might find the weather annoying and sweaty, for someone like me who's been born and brought up there, it's paradise for my skin and hair. I experienced my first pimple when I was 22 ish and had moved to Bangalore! Yeah, that's how awesome the weather as well as the water in Western Ghats actually is! I spent around five years in Bangalore after college and it took a toll on my skin and majorly on my hair. Somehow, after experimenting with a bunch of hair care products, I managed to bring it to a state where it was under control to some extent. I realized that shampoos alone aren't enough and they work differently in different weather and water conditions. I'd use only specific shampoos that would keep my scalp moist in Bangalore since the weather was quite dry and use whatever I wanted to in Mangalore because it's not as harmful. But alas, the week I moved to Sydney, I experienced the unexpected!



The shampoo that works best for me (Pantene) turned out to be my worst enemy! Now I don't know if it was the harshness of the winter or the heat of the water I used or the shampoo itself or work related stress, my scalp exploded! I was shedding tons of white particles off my head all day long! I These particles then flew across and landed on my face causing acne. I had trouble focusing on work, I was always scratching my head and I felt grotesque! Finally, I resorted to certain measures that helped me clean my scalp in no time!

  • I picked up a very expensive bottle of Head and Shoulders shampoo. This has been known to be a lifesaver when it comes to dandruff and it never disappoints! I made sure to use this every other day till my scalp was clear! Clinic Plus and Clinic All Clear are some other options you can try, but H&S is globally available and recognized. 
  • I changed my pillow case and bed spread immediately. Dirty sheets can dirty your scalp and cause your skin to get irritated. I am going to try and ensure that I change my sheets at least once a month!
  • I also cleaned all my hair brushes and combs with hot water and some shampoo. 
  • I try to wash my hair as frequently as possible. They say it's not a healthy option to wash your hair everyday, but it's way better than going to bed with a dirty scalp. So if you work out everyday, it's best to wash it everyday too.
  • I am suspecting that using a dry shampoo could have also played a part in this ordeal. Hence, I have decided that I am going to wash it off the same day I use it or probably not use it at all.
  • Your diet also plays a role, but there weren't too many changes with respect to that in my life, so I don't know. I should probably try drinking a lot of water, maybe?
  • I was so annoyed at work, constantly checking my shoulder and running to the ladies room. If you are extremely uncomfortable, avoid wearing black and tie up your hair in a bun on days it gets uncontrollable.  
  • If it doesn't go with H&S, then pick up a strong ketoconazole shampoo or something that a dermatologist would recommend. I try to stay far away from this because I tend to lose most of my hair with these shampoos! It's better to have some hair with dandruff than no hair at all, right? :D
  • Regular hair treatments, hair spa, application of henna can be a great way to nourish your scalp! I tried this hair mask from Coco and Eve and it really helped me get that shine.
  • Try staying away from chemicals! These new shampoos in the market like SP, Tresseme, Schwarzkopf etc. are not at all advisable if you already have a dry or damaged scalp.
  • Natural remedies like lemon, curd, neem etc. seem to work wonders - will probably try them next time! Hopefully, there won't be a next time! :p
  • In order to avoid dandruff from causing acne on your face, it's a fantastic idea to do everything you can to keep your hair away from your face - messy buns, head bands, turbans - whatever it takes!

The key is to not worry too much. It's absolutely normal to go through a dandruff overdose phase and it's not the end of the world! 

Love,
Hand On The Hip

Wednesday, 5 September 2018

L'Oreal Paris Infallible Lip Gloss - yay or nay?

9/05/2018 0 Comments
Hello peeps!

If there's one make-up product that I apply every single day without fail, it is a lipstick or a lip gloss. When you're running late and want to look fresh, a lip product is all you need to get that made-up look. When you don't have enough room in your purse and want to have some make-up handy in case you plan on going out after work, a lipstick is absolutely that go-to product you need. When your hormones are acting up causing too much acne (kinda like my situation right now!) and you need to cut down on make-up.... well, a lipstick is your best friend! Our mothers, even grandmothers swear by it and lipsticks might probably be the only make-up product they own. Last month I was out shopping at Central with my sister-in-law, trying out some lippies for her and I came across the L'Oreal Paris Infallible Lip Gloss that just blew my mind, quite instantly!


That brings me to the million dollar question - How do I know what lipstick I should buy? I have been a lipstick consultant (sounds like a fancy profession, doesn't it? :p) for a lot of my family members (proudly showing off :p) and while picking out a lipstick, here are some of the things I consider -

  • The shade : The shade needs to compliment your skin tone. I have noticed that nude shades don't suit me well and brighter shades like blush, violet, tomato red etc. make me look less dull. There's no hard and fast rule here and it's mostly trial and error. This particular shade called 'Aphrodite Kiss' looked fabulous on my sister-in-law as well. So, make sure you try it out before you make a purchase.
  • The brand : When it comes to make-up, it's best not to experiment too much. Try to stick to brands that have been in the market for a long time and read a lot of reviews on the internet (especially HOTH reviews :p) before you buy something. Some brands that never disappoint are Lakme, MAC, L'Oreal, Bobbi Brown, Maybelline, Revlon.
  • The feel : In contrast to my earlier statement, just because a lipstick belongs to a reputed brand need not necessarily make it the best product for your lips. Some lippies are not meant for dry lips and you might end up with chapped lips. Do pick out something that is hydrating enough and leaves the skin of your lips moist and glowing.
  • The texture : Matte or glossy? That's yet another concern that most people seem to have. I have definitely been a big fan of glossy lipsticks back in the day when I was a teenager, but lately I have been collecting matte lipsticks. It's entirely your choice, but a matte lipstick suits pretty much everyone! 
  • The duration : If you want your lipstick to last all day long, then you should opt for highly pigmented shades and brands. I could do a whole other post on this topic. But for someone like me, I prefer a lipstick that fades away on its own because it's not very healthy to use deeply pigmented make-up products. To be on the safer side, prep your lips with a lip primer before using these shades.
  • The price : Now the price entirely depends on how much you are willing to spend. The more you spend, the better your lipstick quality would turn out to be and they tend to last longer as well. That being said, there are some drugstore brands that are pretty amazing as well. 

Now let's get back to the review. Considering all these factors, I got the lipstick of my dreams for about 799 INR and it was the best decision ever made! Also, the fact that lipsticks are super versatile makes it even more desirable. I almost, always only carry a lipstick (kinda lazy that way!) in my purse and use it on my eye and cheeks as well. Over here, I have used one product as a lipstick, eye shadow and blush. What do you think?


Here are some things I liked about this product (and there's not a single con, trust me! Also, this is not even a sponsored post :p) -
  • The texture is pretty amazing! It's not too drying like most matte glosses or lipsticks are. 
  • The color I chose is one of my fave shades for a lipstick and I honestly think it suits almost all skin tones.
  • The bottle has enough content to last a really long time and I guess that's why the pricing is justified. 
  • It comes with an easy-to-use wand and application of the product is ridiculously easy.
  • As I mentioned earlier, the product is multi-purpose and doesn't really smudge, so it's works fabulously well as an eye shadow or a blush.

Overall, this product gets a 4.9/5 for me (the 0.1 has been deducted for the price considering I promote affordable fashion and beauty :p) and I would recommend this to everyone who wants to try out a new product. And for those of you who don't have a single clue about lipsticks, you know where to find me! :)

Love,
Hand On The Hip

Saturday, 1 September 2018

That saree saga

9/01/2018 0 Comments
Hello lovelies!

I recently received a DM on my Instagram from someone who loves ethnic wear asking me for tips to drape a saree! I was completely blown away because ethnic wear is not my forte. However, I am absolutely comfortable in sarees and know a thing or two about draping them. In fact, when it comes to chiffon or cotton sarees, I barely need 5-10 minutes to drape! It may not be traditionally the best way to drape a saree, but I can assure you that eventually it looks just as elegant and you'd definitely not have a wardrobe malfunction :p Anyway, for those of you who always take loads of time to get ready and need quick solutions, I have curated this post for you!


Unnati Silks has taken the saree market by storm. They have a wide variety of prints, materials and styles to brag about. I had heard and seen so many cool prints that combined Indian traditions with modern day depictions of art. I was really excited when I could pick up a saree from their collection, however I was hugely disappointed to open the package and find a plain-ish blue uppada cotton zari border saree inside! You might be wondering why I am complaining about it and my mum had the same question! Well, I was really expecting something with "bicycle" prints on it or some kind of abstract art. I had to make do with whatever I had received and quickly put together two different looks. I found an old green blouse in my closet that I thought went really well with the blue of the saree. I then picked up some jewelry I had purchased for my wedding and adorned myself with it. And as far as draping a saree goes, it only comes effortlessly with loads of practice! I have been draping a saree on my own ever since I was 13. So, yeah :D

1) I first tried to go full-blown traditional with this saree by wearing big gold earrings, bangles and a waist chain. I pleated my pallu with great difficulty and pinned it up as well. I definitely like this look for a traditional saree like the one I am wearing, but probably won't try it for chiffon sarees.




2) The next look I tried was with my pallu falling out. I didn't think it would go well with the stiffness of the saree, but somehow it did work. The best part about my waist chain is that it's super versatile. I wore it around my neck this time just to highlight my outfit. I think it looked really pretty. What do you think?





Here are some tips to make your saree stand out -
  • Try wearing a contrast blouse always! Chuck the blouse piece that was meant to be and get something else stitched instead.
  • You can play around with prints, shimmer, embroidery and much more for your blouse instead of going the traditional way.
  • Accessorize well! Grab some junk jewelry and give your outfit a twist.
  • Pallu out or pallu in? Totally depends on what looks good on you! If you're on the bulkier side, then definitely pallu out, but if you are on the thinner side and you want to look plumper, then tuck your pallu in nicely.
  • Wear a waist chain to accentuate your curves.
  • Drape your saree differently if you dare!

Eventually, since my mum liked the saree quite a bit, I let her keep it. But only recently did I find out that it was way shorter than normal sarees are supposed to be and the saree could lose it's texture if poorly maintained and the saddest part of all - the color literally came off on my skin after a while! Overall, I'd give Unnati Silks a 2.5/5 only because of the length and the quality of this particular saree, but I am sure they have some good stuff too and are quite affordable. Their website showcases some of the prettiest and most elegant sarees the internet has ever seen in a decent price range. Do check out their collection!

Love,
Hand On The Hip

Friday, 31 August 2018

Catching up

8/31/2018 0 Comments
Hey guys!

I've had so many DMs, Whatsapp messages, phone calls and a lot of question marks on everyone's faces regarding my return to the motherland a couple of months ago. Well, I didn't really anticipate it either. I was so sure that I would come back only after a year that I flew my parents all the way to Mumbai so that they see me off and shed a tear or two. Thanks to the constant change in immigration rules of Australia, my "dependent" visa process was taking a ridiculous amount of time and I found myself in this weird state where I couldn't just resort to working in India or stay idle in Australia. Thankfully, getting my work visa was the next best option available and my company was kind enough to get things done at a much faster pace!

From one of the events I attended - saying hello to Bengaluru :)
Now that I am back in Australia, six months and ten pounds later, I can't tell you guys how disappointed I am in myself for posting literally just once this month! (Wow, can't believe it has been a month - I hope you missed me :p) From not knowing what to do to keep myself occupied the very next day to not knowing how days suddenly seem way shorter that it actually is, the transition has been pretty sudden. Fortunately, I made good use of my unexpected break by spending quality time with friends and family, exploring Australia, getting a lot of photoshoots done (also shot at the airport because I did not wanna waste any time! :p), being an active participant in the Tableau community (work related stuff - did not wanna lose touch with my skillset!), attending tonnes of gatherings and functions, fixing my mum's virus-infested pen drive (had to causally mention that :p), unbelievable amounts of shopping and much more. I am glad I got a chance to relax and refresh before I got back to the grind.

L to R: A friend's wedding, some family time

L to R: Some more family fun with my sisters, my grandma with her siblings
I started working literally two days after I landed in Sydney with no time to let the jet lag fade away, with no time to get acclimatized to the harsh Aussie winter, with no time to get used to walking around in skirts and tights! My scalp went absolutely nuts because of the weather and saw the worst dandruff attack ever followed by loooaaads of acne. My feet are in a million pieces because of the insane amount of walking. And with work - well, let's just say the culture is very different in India. There's definitely a lot to learn, but it is going to be one crazy ride! But I am absolutely loving the discipline here (...not! :p), the fact that I get to start afresh on all fronts, a new life (feels like my marriage has only just begun!), a new wardrobe (my husband ain't gonna like this :p) and loads of shopping at Kmart and Target! :D

L to R: The day I left for Sydney, one week after arriving in Sydney

The only photoshoot I do these days - my OOTD posts!
Them views that keep me going!
I am yet to form that rhythm where I am most productive at work and also have time for other things in life (don't be surprised if I suddenly decide to move back home :p), but otherwise, all is well. Just wanted to update you guys on what's been happening in life and make sure you check out my Insta posts and stories regularly for daily updates, new Aussie products and brands I have been trying, OOTD posts, travel posts, food posts and much more! And, do stay tuned for some blog posts - have an enormous amount of pending posts in my archive that would be coming your way!

T'was good catching up!

Love,
Hand On The Hip

P.S. Have just thrown in some raaaaandddomm photos, so don't worry too much about them!

Sunday, 5 August 2018

Divided by distance, united by hearts!

8/05/2018 0 Comments
Hello loves!

Happy Friendships' Day! Today's post, as you might have already guessed, is about friendship, a little something dedicated to these two ladies who are my constants! In a class of eighty kids of an all-girls convent school (yeah, my school is weird like that and they like to over-accomodate!), you can kinda feel lost. You could say that I was a bit of a loner back in the day, but after precisely three friendship breakups, trying to form a girl gang of eight in high school and failing miserably at it, the three of us spun off and I found myself stuck with two crazy girls I call my besties now.

DPD Forever and Always!

We've known each other for over twenty years now and although we are literally in three different continents right now, our friendship grows stronger with every passing year. From our first drinks to our first heartbreaks, gaping over the awesomeness of the friendship shared among Aamir Khan and his entourage in Rang De Basanti and hoping we'd give up our lives for one another (we'd probably just kill each other instead, just for fun!) to playing 'Hansa', 'Praful' and 'Komolika' in school plays that were major flops to living together in a shady-ass, cockroach-infested house in Bengaluru, I think we have done it all and can safely say that these two are my go-to people for everything!

Annual rituals!

Dimple aka Wimbly aka Mint Babe aka Dimz

Dimple is the sober one among the three of us. She has always aimed to be a good student and academics was of utmost importance to her. When we were ten and we spoke for the first time, she proudly told me that she's never been hit by a teacher before and BHAM! The teacher spotted her talking to me in the middle of a class and slapped her wooden ruler against Dimple's back - sad story, but that's how we ended up becoming friends. We are quite similar and have always had the same things happen to us at the same time (we were ever born ten days apart!) and it did not amuse us at all when we were once asked if we're twins! From getting tattoos together to wearing similar outfits and flaunting it with joy to finding our husbands at the same time, it's uncanny how we are always walking hand in hand. Dimzie is now a hi-fi techie in the US, always gives great advice about life and is an empathetic human being. She carries herself with much poise and is one the most fashionable women I've known. But underneath all that grace and elegance is a goofy person who's effortlessly funny and is constantly entertaining us with her spontaneous jokes. I love you loads and I really hope we have kids at the same time! :p

When this cutie threw me a bachelorette party in Vegas!

Frama aka Deepthi aka Depthi aka Deepti aka Depz

Well, yeah, she had no idea what her actual spelling was until recently. I still don't know how her name is spelt to be honest. Depz and I started being friends in eighth grade when we ended up being bench-mates. I was this super snobbish nerd and she was a total tomboyish goofball and as years passed by, she somehow managed to bring out the prankster in me and well, I will take credit for encouraging her to study a little bit! :p My favorite passtime in school was to poke her, pinch her and distract her in class and eventually get her in trouble with the teachers. Luckily for me, she was always unsuccessful in taking revenge despite multiple attempts and was a great sport. We were so different that it amuses me how we ended up being such great friends! She has now grown into a responsible, career-oriented woman who is also a caring mother to a beautiful baby girl. Every time I whine and complain about the world being a pain in the neck, she always plays the devil's advocate and tries to challenge my opinion, followed by an insult and a gaali. I guess that's how it has always been and probably always will be. Much love to you, b@#%$ (that's what we fondly call each other!) and I hope your daughter doesn't read this! :p
My girl and I on her wedding day!
I don't know how one would get through the day without having best friends and I am super lucky to have these two morons in my life. And when the three of us are together, it's absolute madness! They've taught me so much and are always making me laugh. I could actually write like a 450 page book (and also like a part 2 and part 3) on these two and all the insane things we've done together, but I guess that's for another time. Also, I've been spending days together hunting for a single normal picture of the three of us and it seems like an impossible task, so please make do with these goofy ones! :D

We all have our "fashion disaster" moments!

Plotting Frama's murder in Snow City!

Well, that's as normal as it can get!

Aah, here's a better one!

And nope, back to being weird!

True friends don't need to converse everyday, as long as you know that you're in their hearts and they are in yours, it's a relationship that won't ever die. On that note, I hope you have a delightful friendships' day and make sure you let your girls know how much you adore them.

Love,
Hand On The Hip

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

30 staples that every girl should have in her wardrobe

7/31/2018 0 Comments
Hola!

Welcome back to my page! I know I have been quite irregular here because it has been a crazy couple of months. Well, I am back now and my new post is going to brighten your boring week right away! But before that, I wanted to share some good news with you guys since you have been my support system all these months. I finally got my work visa and I am flying back shortly to kickstart my career and my marriage in Oz Land! Yayyyie!

After spending the first quarter of this year in India, the second in Australia, the third in India again, I have realized how different the fashion scenario is over here and down under. If you guys remember (and have been following me on Instagram), when I left for Sydney back in March 2018, I was obsessed with ethnic dresses (and gave Ajio some good business! :p), but it has proved to be absolutely useless in Sydney and I certainly don't wanna feel out of place. I could probably wear them to brunch or for walks along the Darling Harbour, but it definitely doesn't qualify as something I could wear to work or a fashion event. Because I did not carry a lot of stuff, I ended up wearing basics most of the time and that's when I realized the importance of basics. I've put together a list of outfits, shoes and accessories that every girl needs to have in her wardrobe and they're some things that won't go out of style ever. Let's get started!

1. Basic white/black/yellow tee
Basic, plain tees are often underestimated and you don't know when they could come in handy. They go with literally anything and on days you don't wanna make much of an effort, you could always just throw in a plain tee and some denims. Invest in some basic colors and you'll be surprised how often you'll end up wearing these pieces.


2. Blue denims
I am honestly not a major fan of black or gray denims. All of my denims are of the color blue! I think a pair of well-fitting denims can go a long way. They're super casual, can also be worn with a blazer to work, accepted in almost all countries across the globe and look really chic. Ideally, I choose to go with skinny jeans because they suit all body types and accentuate your figure.


3. Ripped jeans
Not everybody is comfortable sporting a pair of ripped jeans, but this is one of the most stylish things I have in my wardrobe. I've worn ripped jeans to a casual day out with a basic tee and I've also worn the same denims with a crop top and some heels to a club. Ripped jeans are extremely versatile and have their own charm. But of course, if you're uncomfortable, then you can stick to regular jeans.


4. Black/white leggings and palazzos
I am really going to miss wearing kurtis to work! Ugggh! But while I was working in Bengaluru, I'd pull out my dusty old Indian clothing probably once in two months and wear them to office. If you're not much of a kurti fan and don't want to use up all your storage space with leggings and palazzos of all colors and patterns, just pick up some basic black or white ones that go with every kurti! I also end up wearing these leggings are thermals or sometimes on tunic tops.


5. LBD/any black dress
An LBD or a little black dress NEVER goes out of style! I have around ten LBDs and feel like
I can never get enough of it! When you don't wanna look over-dressed, yet classy and sexy, an LBD comes to rescue. If you are concerned about the L in the LBD, then you can also opt for maxis or dresses that come below the knee.


6. Statement neckpieces
When your outfit is too plain and boring, just add a nice statement neckpiece to give it that glam factor. You can do a little bit of layering with subtle chains if you'd like. You can also invest in oxidized metal and wear them with your kurtis or ethnic dresses. But a nice neckpiece can light up your otherwise dull outfit.


7. Boots
I've been obsessing over boots since I was a teenager. Back in the day, I did not have any money to throw on some footwear that I'd never wear (well, you'd die in a pool of sweat if you wore boots in Mangalore!) and decided to wait for a while when it would actually be useful. Ugg boots or gum boots or those pretty ones with heels - just get at least one of them and you'll see how they make a simple pair of jeans and a tee with a jacket look extremely badass!


8. Sneakers
Sneakers are so trendy right now and the amount of comfort they bring into anyone's life is immeasurable. You can pick up some printed sneakers, but personally I stick to white or black as they go with any outfit, a dress or denims or practically anything. But also ensure that you buy something that are uber comfy to walk in!


9. Printed cotton dresses
Printed dresses are always my go-to outfits in summer, winter, spring, for parties, for brunches, for a trip to the grocery story - well, I practically live in them! I usually hunt for florals or stripes because they are my fave kinda prints, but you can also find something else that you might like. I also like cotton dresses because my skin needs to breathe.


10. Black skirt
A black skirt, long or short, is yet another piece that needs to be a part of your closet. When you're in no mood to wear trousers or jeans, a skirt like this comes in handy. Black skirts go with tops of any colors, prints or patterns and sometimes, they end up making the outfit look like a one piece.


11. Red/bright pink lipstick
It doesn't matter whether you have a tonne of foundation on your face or not, but a bright red or pink lipstick is all the makeup you need to look like you've made an effort. Lipsticks are always multi-purpose and if you don't believe me, check out my video on Instagram where I used a lip gloss on my eyelids, cheekbones and lips here.


12. Black camisole/tank top
This is something I can't live without! I have worn them with practically everything I own! I don't think twice before I pick up a printed skirt that I have no matching top to wear with. Why? Black tankini to the rescue! I am a hoarder of shrugs and I always pick up those with crazy patterns. Why? So that I can flaunt them with a black cami underneath. They also serve as body warmers or something to wear underneath a see-through top.


13. Denim jacket/shirt
Not a big fan of sleeveless clothing? Pair your floral dress with a denim jacket and you'll be at ease as well as look stylish. A denim shirt also helps you achieve this. Also, if you have printed pants or palazzos that go with nothing, a denim shirt is a great way to style them pants.


14. Black/grey shrug
Shrugs are another amazing way to wear sleeveless dresses without any discomfort. While jackets or blazers are not very summery, shrugs are a great alternative. They look very classy and save you from the embarrassment of exposing your unwaxed underarms. And of course, a basic black one or a grey one that goes with all your outfits is worth investing it.


15. Blood red nailpaint
Too broke for a manicure? Paint those nails red! Red is a color that suits all skin tones, all nail lengths and women of all ages and never goes out of style. They look good with dresses you can party all night in or lehengas you might wear for your cousin's sangeet ceremony. It's a must-have in your grooming kit!


16. Black/brown sling bag
Sling bags are a woman's best friend! You can dump your whole world in a teeny-tiny sling bag. It's good to have a basic, sturdy black sling bag or a brown one if you like which goes with all your outfits. But do ensure that it has enough room for your wallet, lipstick, keys and some breath-mints.


17. Golden/silver saree blouse
If you've been living abroad for years together and have to fly down to India all of a sudden for a wedding ceremony, then keep aside a basic golden or a silver blouse that would go with most sarees. You can buy a saree accordingly at the last minute and still look like you've prepped for the event for months together!


18. Hoodie/oversized sweatshirt/t-shirt
A hoodie or a tee, preferable oversized, is such a blessing for those who hate wearing a bra :p When I have to run to the store or go downstairs to pick up mail, I quickly slip into one of these and walk outside my door confidently. They're also something you can wear on your denims when you're in a very lazy mood and don't feel like waxing or dressing up.


19. Colorful scarves
Scarves can help the same outfit look different each time you wear it. You can buy a couple of them in different colors, of different patterns, with tassels or with embroidery. They look really cool and also a great element to add to your Indo-western ensemble. They're widely accepted in almost all countries, so I am definitely going to pick up some for my stay in Australia.


20. Hoops
So if you don't know already, I LOVE hoops! I have them in every possible color, shape and size. Hoops are minimalistic and at the same time, the epitome of elegance. It's the perfect accessory for someone who likes to keep the accessorizing to it's bare minimum. I am definitely one of those people!


21. Metal strapped watch
A watch is yet another accessory that changes the whole look of an outfit. A metal strapped watch is a timeless beauty. Hehe, see what I did there? You might be shabby from head to toe, but a simple silver or rose gold watch can change that from crass to class. I am not much of a watch person, but on days I feel like looking sober, I wear a simple watch and that truly makes a difference.


22. Shimmery flats/pumps
Although bling isn't everybody's thing, it's the perfect footwear for any party! No matter how boring your outfit may be, shimmery footwear makes the entire outfit look peppy and bright. Golden flats work well with Indian as well as western outfits. A pair of silver bellies can look snazzy with all your plain dresses.


23. Sunglasses
Sunglasses can be quite tricky to choose with so many options available. It's always a good idea to invest in one pair that fits you perfectly, looks smashing on you and is of a reputed brand. For my face structure cat-eye, wayfarers and round frames looks pretty good. You can also buy some funky cheap frames that you can wear every once in a while.


24. Black stockings/tights
Wearing short dresses or dresses for that matter aren't everybody's thing. Apart from protecting you from the cold, stockings also can be considered a major style statement. Buy a basic pair of black tights that go with all your dresses and skirts. You can also opt for some trendy printed ones.


25. Night dress
Nighties are something our mums would swear by even now. We are the "shorts and tee" generation and I've come to notice that it's awkward to be found lazing around in shorts while an unexpected visitor walks in. A t-shirt dress or a knee length night dress is the perfect outfit to chill at home in.


26. Black/brown belt
Adding a belt to your outfit not only helps you look slimmer but also adds a certain charm to your look. Even when sporting a shirt and some denims, a tucked in shirt with a belt makes one look more confident and formal. A belt is an accessory you can't not have in your wardrobe.


27. Denim/khaki shorts
If you're not a very feminine person and not a big fan of skirts, then denim or khaki shorts are perfect for you. Pair it with a simple t-shirt and sneakers while traveling and you can also wear a nice lacy crop top in the night as you set the dance floor on fire. Denim shorts are way more versatile than you think and are fun to wear.


28. Jhumkas
I am an ardent fan of jhumkas and try to collect them in every possible color or metal. They go really well with any Indian outfit and are perfect for weddings, Diwali parties, ethnic day at work and more. If you've settled abroad, then you should probably buy as many as you can while you visit India and probably try wearing them with your jeans as well?


29. Checked shirt
Shirts with checks have multiple uses. If you tuck it in, it looks more formal and if you wear it with the buttons open, they act as a jacket/shrug. Black and red, black and white, black and blue are some of the color combinations that look simply amazing when it comes to checked shirts.


30. White/black shirt
White shirts are something normally you'd be bored of considering you've worn it all through school. However a white shirt or a black shirt is yet another piece that can be worn with formal skirts or denims. It's always fun to style basics and every time you wear 'em, you can style it differently.


With that, I think your wardrobe has all the things you need to look good, feel good and not spend too much on clothing. These pieces that I've talked about have not gone out of style for centuries. They will continue to reign the fashion kingdom and you can always be the queen. And remember that you don't need to spend too much on fashion, you can always create new looks with whatever little you have.

Love,
Hand On The Hip

P.S. I have multiple photographers to thank for these wonderful images, unfortunately, due to time and space constraints, I can't mention each and every name here or even the brand names for that matter. Do send me a message or comment below if you're interested to know the details of any photo.