Elle editors challenged themselves to a wardrobe makeover
Here's what happened...
Even at Elle HQ, we sometimes find ourselves in a fashion rut, sticking to what we think works best and seldom venturing out of our comfort zones. But in the spirit of expanding our horizons, we decided to do the very thing we challenge our readers to: Take a trend, and make it your own. So what happened when our beauty editor was forced to add a touch of high-wattage shine to her otherwise neutral palette. Or when our digital editor traded in her wide-legged pants and summer dresses for kurtas and a pre-draped sari. Were there tears and drama that would put the Kardashians to shame? Or did we land up re-evaluating our entire belief systems? Read on to find out…
Mamta Mody, Beauty and Health Editor
Sequins cami, price on request, Superdry. Metallic cropped bomber jacket, Rs 17,300, Dhruv Kapoor. Denim jeans, price on request, Levi’s.
Cotton t-shirt, Denim jeans, all model’s own. Polyester sequin sleeve parka, Rs 9,030, Zara.
Metallic asymmetric top, price on request, Rohit and Rahul. Denim jeans, model’s own.
While I always have something gold in my make-up kit, metallic colours and embellishments never feature in my pared-down outfits. Luckily, the trend has matured and sequins aren’t so bad when paired with a comfy duster jacket. Maybe I’ll consider a glittery sweater in the future.
Neville Bhandara, Features Editor
Challenge: Formal dressing
Linen shirt, price on request, Thomas Pink. Viscose sweater, Rs 1,990, Cotton chino trousers, Rs 2,490, both Zara. Sneakers, model’s own.
Silk turtleneck knit sweater, price on request, Gucci. Denim jeans, model’s own.
Cotton shirt, price on request, GAP. Checks tropical wool suit, price on request, silk pocket square, price on request, both Philocaly.
I’ve always had a hard time finding and/or fitting into formal silhouettes. Most off-the-rack clothes don’t fit me anyway, and when it comes to formal dressing – jackets swallow me whole and the trousers hang off my frame. When I was given this challenge, that’s exactly what I thought would happen again… that I’d look like a waif, drowning in oversized clothes. But our fashion team scored some pretty neat options. I’ve still got my eye on that pink Gucci turtleneck though.
Rochelle Pinto, Digital Editor
Silk brocade kurta, price on request, Raw silk pants, price on request, both Payal Khandwala. Studded danglers, price on request, Pipa Bella.
Cotton kurta/shift dress, price on request, Cotton lace cutout slit bottoms, price on request, both Shift by Nimish Shah. Gold danglers and heels, both model’s own.
Cotton jacquard bustier, Rs 7210, Lycra splatter high leg sari, Rs 14,440, both 431-88 by Shweta Kapur. Heels, model’s own.
Born and raised in Goa, my poor command over Hindi and anorexic collection of ethnic Indianwear provide an endless supply of jokes for my friends. I’ve even managed to shock designer Manish Malhotra who once met me at a wedding and asked incredulously, “You’re wearing a black dress to a shaadi?” Don’t get me wrong — I melt over the beautiful weaves and vibrant colours of handloom saris. I just can’t pull them off with any modicum of grace, a fate my mother has grudgingly resigned herself to.
But Shweta Kapur’s pre-draped sari and Nimish Shah’s breezy separates give this awkward duckling hope. No longer am I plagued by nightmares of stepping onto my own pleats and enacting an impromptu ‘Draupadi’ in the middle of the dance floor. Who knows, maybe I’ll even impress Manish…
Salva Mubarak, Senior Features Writer (Digital)
Challenge: Feminine silhouettes
Cotton midi dress, Rs 1,990, Zara. Polyester shirt dress, Rs 2,895, Marks & Spencer. Faux leather platforms, model’s own.
Cotton midi dress, Rs 1190, Zara. Cotton shirt dress, price on request, H&M. Canvas sneakers, Model’s own.
Cotton midi dress, Rs 1,990, Zara. Polyester net dress, price on request, H&M. Polyester blazer, Rs 3,990, Zara. Faux leather platforms, mesh danglers, both model’s own.
My go-to style usually has people mistaking me for an overgrown 13-year-old boy. So this challenge presented a double opportunity for me — to see if I can dress in a traditionally feminine way, and to present myself as an adult who pays her own bills. When it comes to fashion, I automatically gravitate towards low-maintenance looks and dark colours, which has prevented me from exploring the world of dresses, pretty prints and bright colours. I tried on many variations of ‘feminine silhouettes’ before settling on ones that were closest to my definition of feminine and low-maintenance.
One of the first things that I noticed, aside from the fact that my legs were in urgent need of shaving, was that I felt more ‘grown-up’. I’m now sure I will be taken more seriously if I wear something that doesn’t quote Star Wars. I also learned that dressing like ‘a lady’ was something my parents had been hoping I would grow into. The challenge gave them immense joy and newfound hope for me, except for my relationship with the colour orange which my mother proclaimed does no favours for my skin tone. Will I ditch my usual uniform of oversized graphic tees and jeans? Maybe not yet. But I won’t mind throwing on a dress the next time an important meeting rolls out.
Styling: Salonee Khosla and Urvashi Singh