Friday, April 20, 2018

Stay Cool In That Summer Sari: 11 Favorites To Inspire Your Summer Style

Summer’s in its element. If she was a lady, she’d be reigning the season in her marmalade and gold sari, her auburn hair swirling around her head in wild curls. Summer has fire in her belly and the sun in her heart. She rules with a fierce passion, weaving lava-hot sun beams into the dry landscape and trailing velvety ribbons of heat wherever she goes.

In one of my fav breezy Kota doria sari

But as Summer dances her wild dance, we on Mother Earth resort to everything cool and calm to seek balance in our lives. Chilled beverages, ice-cold luscious fruits, and gossamer fabrics.

Summer saris in crisp cottons, gauzy lace and breathable weaves are the perfect go-to-garments for our hot tropical climate. For this feature, I’m sharing a few of my own favorite summer weaves as well as showcasing what some of my sari sisters from across the country enjoy draping as the season notches up the heat. Get ready for a profusion of gorgeous summer saris that are lovingly worn by equally gorgeous women.

 Kanika Manaktala wearing her mom’s cotton sari and teamed with a top

Mukulika Sengupta in a Gamcha cotton sari

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

12 Things Nobody Tells You About Life As A New Fauji Wife

I got married to a man in blue 12 years ago, and even though I spent my growing up years in the defense services (we're called "fauji brats"), there’s a lot I didn’t know about the "other side of the fence". When I moved to a station in the boondocks (complete with fields of sarson and battalions of buffaloes), I truly understood how different it was as a service kid and a fauji wife/military spouse.

Married to the military

Are you a new fauji wife? Well, if you are, here’s some news for you. (And for those who aren't newly minted fauji brides, I'm sure some of the points will resonate!)

1. You’ll get a ‘welcome do’ that you’ll never forget. In my case, I was already familiar with the famous welcomes that new brides get, so when I was asked to turn up for a party in my pajama suit (they said it was a pajama party), I gave everybody a surprise by landing up in a silk sari. But if you’re lucky, your welcome will always be a memorable part of your time in the services.

Pick up, not pick up. Pick up, not pick up...

2. Picking up a plate at a party will never be the simple act that it always was. When dinner is announced at a party, the senior most lady (who is the wife of the senior most officer in the unit, generally the Commanding Officer’s wife) must pick up her plate before the next lady in the seniority chain picks up hers and so on. I remember goofing this up several times as a new wife and then being ‘counseled’ for it too (I’m very slow on the uptake when it comes to protocol and hierarchy).

3. You’ll get plenty of occasions to dress up like a queen. In fact, you can turn into a fashion diva, if you so wish. Whether you’re wearing a heavy sari for a formal party or a dress for a theme party, or salwar-kameez or crisp cotton for a welfare meet, there are plenty of occasions to dress up for.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Corporate Sari Style - Tips & Tricks To Make Saris Work For You At Your Workplace

by Ankita Priyadarshini

Corporate dressing for women has come to mean business suits in predictable combinations of black, grey, blue and white. There is neither much room to experiment, nor many options. While I have nothing against business suits, I prefer the freedom and elegance of a sari. Its flexibility to suit any shape and size and the comfort it offers for all-day wear, is what makes it a great work-wear option.

Ankita - dressed for work

Choosing and styling saris the right way goes a long way in helping you look put together while being comfortable. Some aspects to keep in mind while creating your sari look:

Fabric: The fabric is the foundation of your attire. If the fabric is uncomfortable it will be difficult to bear it all day and will show in your demeanor. Choose easy-to-carry, comfortable fabrics. Handloom cottons and silks are a good place to start. Try your sari beforehand to make sure it’s not too much to handle for a 10 hour workday. Lighter fabrics such as georgette or chiffon are acceptable if the sari is not sheer.

Some fabrics to begin with – Linen, soft cottons, silk cotton and Mysore silk are light and easy to handle. Choose breezy fabrics for summer and heavier silks or thick cottons for winter. Avoid stiff fabrics such as Organdy, Organza and Tissue.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Brigade That Builds Brands: Payal Mittal Talwar's take on building a business & juggling service commitments

Hello everyone! Welcome to 'The Brigade that Builds Brands'. It's all about fauji wives / military spouses, who make work work for them through multiple postings, back-to-back social commitments, spotty internet connections, long stints of single parenting, community mindset regarding how military spouses should or should not work and a lot more. 

Meet Payal Mittal Talwar, a Life Coach, Trainer, Co-founder of WINGS Team and Army wife. I was introduced toPayal a year ago, when I was looking for ladies to interview for my article about Military Spouse Entrepreneurs. Since then, we've followed each other's journey and Payal has been especially supportive of my sojourn as a Green Wellness Educator & Entrepreneur

Here's our chat about what it takes to build a sumptuous work portfolio, while also living and working at back-of-beyond bases.

C. Please tell us something about yourself – what do you do, where are you based and how long have you been a fauji wife.

P. I’ve been married for over 22 years – a fauji to boot as I’m also a fauji daughter and a fauji daughter in law.

I co-founded a company, WINGS team, with my best friend- Priyanka Renjen Kumar(a  fauji wife herself). We are into Life Coaching, training and facilitation, and content development (social media as well as academic).

Friday, April 6, 2018

10 Reasons Why The Sari Is A Sustainable Style Option

At a time, when it’s even more important to make choices carefully, even in the fashion and style arena, the sari – especially the hand-woven variety, offers us a sustainable way of buying and wearing. Wondering what makes the sari a sustainable style option? Here’s why:

Though cotton requires a large dose of pesticides to grow and silk is harvested from silkworms (both of which don't make it very eco-friendly), the sari can still be a more sustainable choice of garment over factory-made apparel. And yes, there are organic cotton saris and Ahimsa silk too, to choose from, if you’d like to invest in a wardrobe that’s completely free of pesticides and cruelty.

However, for those who have plenty of non-organic saris in their closet and are wondering if saris can be brought under the green style umbrella, here’s my two-ana bit about why it is sustainable in so many different ways:

1. Handloom saris promote an age-old craft and tradition.

2. When you buy handloom saris, you're helping keep this art alive + helping weavers to do what they are so good at doing.

3. You can create a fabulous wardrobe with just a few saris. Mix-and-match your t-shirts and blouses + accessories to create new looks.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

7 Things You Didn’t Know About Fighter Pilots

My husband is a fighter pilot. Hmm…now did I hear some oohs and aahs?! Because I always do whenever I mention this fact. With Tom Cruise aka Maverick having done a splendid job at creating this larger-than-life and smart-alecy image of fighter pilots, just the mention of this profession has people conjuring up Top Gun scenarios. 

Pic credit: The Fiscal Times

So, are fighter pilots like Tom Cruise in Top Gun? Do they wear their Aviator sunglasses all the time? Are they just as cheeky? Well, read on to find out.

I’ve been married to S aka Smokey Bandit for 12+ years now. I’ve also met and interacted with lots of other fighter pilots – his buddies, squadron mates, course mates and our friends. And this is what I have to say about the images and avatars that are attached to fighter pilots.

Here are the myths and truths (from my point-of-view):

1. The image: Fighter pilots have a larger-than-life persona.
Truth: These are guys with larger-than-life jobs, but down-to-earth personalities. Though not all of them are humble (c'mon we've all met a few stuffy ones, haven't we?), most of them are pretty easy-going.
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