How to Wear

Style spy: Bengaluru's cool crowd

The city's swish set tells us all about style and the city

  • Ruhi Sheikh
    27, Founder and creative head, All That Hype

    CV: I did a Bachelors in Commerce from Christ University, Bengaluru and went on to clear my Chartered Accountancy exams. In 2009 I founded my blog, Republic of Chic, dedicated to clothing and travel, which threw me into the realm of fashion. My latest venture, All That Hype, is a creative content shop that uses words, visuals, design and video to help brands share their stories.

    THE BENGALURU GIRL steps lightly around the fashion trap with an air of comfort and uncontrived self-assuredness. The city likes labels that are creative and affordable. While fashion is a priority, other ‘soulful’ things like food, good wine and travel rank pretty high too.

    MY STYLE tends to be casual with a quirk, like leather pants with gem encrusted sandals or a  sequinned sweater with mannish trousers. On a night out I’ll pair a crisp white button-down with a lace skirt and spiked heels but if I’m working from home, you’ll find me in pyjamas.

    WHEN I’M SHOPPING for basics, I’ll find myself at Zara but for those ‘work of art’ pieces I love so much, I troll the internet for deals on everything from Dior to Dion Lee.

    Silk crop top, Hemant & Nandita; Silk skirt, Ashish N Soni; Leather jacket, Superdry; Suede wedges, her own

    Photographs: Maneesh Mandanna; Styling: Daniel Franklin; Make-up and hair: Sabrina Suhail; Location Courtesy:The Ritz Carlton,Bengaluru

  • Rachana Reddy
    27, Accessory designer

    CV: I graduated from the London College of Fashion in 2007 and started working on my own label. I debuted my first accessory collection at Lakmé Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2011, and now retail across the country at stores like Bombay Electric and Taj Khazana.

    THE WEATHER and vibe of Bengaluru help it strike the perfect balance between relaxed and smart. In terms of fashion, the city is still developing a voice and for this reason, I find it highly rewarding to have my label based here.

    I LOVE TO MIX high street with designer labels. I like to wear contrasting elements, like body-con dresses with oversized jackets and little black dresses with pop-coloured accessories.

    MY CREATIVE INCLINATION started when I was quite young. I would find random things from around the house and turn them into funky accessories – ones I would wear very proudly indeed!

    Embellished chiffon dress, Sanchita; Suede wedges, wooden clutch; both her own

  • Renee Nabam
    20, Fashion student and blogger

    CV: I am currently studying Fashion Design at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Bengaluru. My blog, Nyishi Nyijir, is an outlet for my inspiration, interests and rants – I am drawn to the idea of personal style archived on a platform, which serves as a means to communicate a thought process.

    THE CITY has a casual, self-assured vibe. To some, myself included, this may come across a bit lazy, for e.g. the alarming fondness for flip-flops. But at the same time, I am free to dress in my eccentric style – Bengaluru, conservative as it may be, leaves each to their own.

    I GO THROUGH PHASES with my style, and am still discovering myself through constant experimentation.What I wear is influenced by my state of mind, which in turn is determined by the book I’m reading or my film of the moment. The one thing that is constant? I never wear skinny jeans.

    BEING A COMPULSIVE SHOPPER I always find something at thrift shops and flea markets to fit perfectly into my wardrobe. I also love shopping online – Asos, Urban Outfitters, Stylenanda and Ebay are favourites.

    Cotton t-shirt, adidas Original;. Chiffon fringed jacket,; Embroidered organza skirt, Hemant & Nandita; Canvas and wood wedges, her own;Cotton socks, Happy Socks

  • Komal Basith
    29, Founder and editor,

    CV: I graduated from the London College of Fashion with a degree in Fashion Marketing and Promotion in 2005 and went on to work in fashion PR in Dubai. In 2007 I joined ELLE, where I worked as a features and beauty writer for almost five years. And in 2013, I started to address a lack of digital content on beauty – it’s a platform for an honest, unbiased take on beauty, targeting a smart, well-travelled, fashion-savvy audience.

    BENGALURU HAS ALWAYS been about not having to fit into a mould,and its style reflects this.The city’s fashion vibe has evolved considerably over the last few years as people have more access to brands and information – it is understated yet confident.

    MY WARDROBE is defined by luxury basics – nothing makes me happier than a well-cut silk shirt. My quite minimal style provides the necessary foil for my outgoing personality.

    I LOVE TO SHOP at vintage stores when I travel. My favourite article of clothing is a black cocktail dress that was originally made for Joan Crawford by an MGM Studio designer back in the ’40s. Equipment and Joseph are my go-to designers for shirts, which are my style staple.

    Chiffon blouse, Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna; Leather leggings, patent leather pumps, metal cuff; all her own

  • Tina Sareen
    30, Fashion designer

    CV I studied Fashion Design and Technology at the London College of Fashion, and topped it off with a year at the Melbourne School of Fashion in 2008. Three pieces from my final design project were selected for a limited-edition collection by Asos, giving me the boost to return and start my own label LBD in 2010.

    WHEN IT COMES TO STYLE this city doesn’t take itself too seriously. You never feel the pressure to dress up too much here, so it’s perfect to have fun with fashion.

    MY FIRST FASHION MEMORY is of playing dress-up with my mother’s wardrobe, while flipping though pictures of her and her gang of friends from the ’70s and ’80s.

    EASY YET ELEGANT would perfectly describe my style. I like customising my clothes and admire the old-fashioned style of dressmaking, which reflects in my label. I am a lace-and-pearls kind of girl and I love shopping for fabrics, threads and buttons for myself and my clients.

    Embellished silk dress, Jenjum Gadi; Cotton trench coat, Rahul Mishra; Buckled patent leather stilettos, Steve Madden