Budget Shopping – All under 5000

falguni patel, appleblossom, budget shopping, top 100 fashion blogs in India, fashion blogger, affordable shopping, style under 5000, frugal shopping, how to look stylish in budget,
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Haven’t we all fashion lovers drooled over the latest runway looks while secretly wishing for a genie to grant us the wish to own all of it? If it was a movie, Richard Gere would have come to the rescue in best case scenario or on not-so-sunny days, one would have gone broke like Rebecca Bloomwood from ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’.

But real life is a tad different. One struggles with the dilemma of avoiding the credit card bill nightmare while consciously pushing away the nagging feeling of being unable to shop that ‘Oh so Diva-esque’ look.

What if we gave you a cheat sheet to shop smart and look glamorous – all under 5000?

Yes, under 5000 only. 

It is actually easy to build a stylish wardrobe without spending a bomb.

First step is to divide the budget into five categories that create a complete look – Top, bottom, shoes, bag and fashion accessories.

  • Tops

Most of all online fashion portals have a section dedicated to products under 500. While you may need time and eye for details to find the right one, you can definitely purchase a classic piece under 500. In case the top that you are eyeing for isn’t under 500, we say wait… The stocks recycle every quarter and you will be able to buy the same top at discount after a month.  Penny saved is penny earned, isn’t it?  Buy from trusted portals to ensure the fabric quality though.

Check – Stalkbuylove, Bhane, Ajio

  • Bottoms

Women have multitude of options in bottom wear – be it a denim, jeggings, slacks, cotton pants, long skirt, denim skirt, flared pants or culottes. Trust us, all these can be bought under 999 if you care to search it well. Fashion Retail sector works on discounts in India – there is either a festive discount or seasons discount or long weekend discount. Wait for one, always.

Alternatively government handloom stores are the best bet for high quality handloom fabric and affordable rates. You know where to buy your next cotton skirts, culottes and flared pants from now, don’t you ?

Check – Gurjari, Rajasthan Emporium, Cotton World, Fab India

  • Shoes

The point about shoes is that they ought to be comfortable besides looking chic. Multi-retail format stores offer the best range of footwear in budget range. Opt for the rad white sneakers or comfy espadrilles, boho chic kolhapuris or classic ballet flats – all under 899. Certain online fashion portals offer 2 pairs under 899, quite a steal deal, right? If you choose to order online, do measure your foot size correctly to avoid returning of products.

Check – Streetstylestore, Ajio, Keri , Westside

  • Bag

Bags are best bought during your travel trips to different destinations. Udaipur sells the quintessential tan leather satchel bags under 1000. Streets of Delhi and Mumbai offer quirky embroidered jhola bags under 700. For the suave ones, check the clearance section of high street stores like Promod, H&M and Zara. They have mind boggling deals. Our shoestring shopper advice – pick them in all colours, if on discount, certain product are for keeps.

Check – Colaba Causeway, Janpath, Promod, H&M, Zara

  • Accessories

The best way to buy accessories in budget is through smart street shopping. Head on to the old city and be prepared to rummage through the treasure trove of the street vendors.  Do bargain, always. Also, there are interesting Facebook groups like Urban Tribal where sellers from across the country share their products along with price. Owing to competition, prices are very modest. One can buy the latest design statement neckpiece in german silver along with nose pin, earrings and finger ring, all under 1500. For the quirky ones, always check out flea markets in the city. You will bump into a new designer every time who is creating interesting jewellery.

Check – Pipa Bella, bylanes of old city, flea markets

If you dont believe this, check out my Instagram page here for daily style inspiration in budget fashion ( Well that one is almost always less than 2000) – Falguni Patel ( TheF_world )

( PS – This article was originally produced for and published in FEMINA Gujarat Edition. This is the unedited version)

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Summer of 2017

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While there are endless summer songs that paint the summers as the vacation season by the beach side, enjoying the sun and sipping martinis; the reality in India is far off from the music composers’ picturesque summer. The sun shines in its full glory raising the temperatures to 45 degree and beyond.

In such a situation, it is but prudent that comfort rules over fast-forward styles. Come summer and the fashionistas gear up for the sacred ritual of revamping the wardrobe as per the seasonal demands. The idea is to check the basics from the past stock and add few seasons’ delights to create a brand new summer wardrobe.

Fabric selection should precede the form of the style. Soft mul cottons, breathable khadi and classic linen are the go-to fabrics for the harsh Indian summers.

Summer fashion evokes the photographic images of girls wearing frilly peasant blouses and denim shorts in the green fields. But summer fashion is more than that, isn’t it?

We recommend these 5 classic staples for the summer of 2017.

  1. Surreal White

The quintessential white enjoys the prime spot in summer fashion since centuries. Classic white peasant top in flowy cotton is an absolute must-have. Add some drama to your whites by opting for tops with bell sleeves, billow sleeves, puff sleeves or off shoulder cut. Detailing on the sleeves is the new wave of fashion this year.

For the classic fashion lovers, opt for chikankari long kurta and team it with pastels or citrus hues depending on your mood of the day.

 

 

  1. Flirty Florals

More often than not, fashion is inspired by nature, no wonder, summer bloom and florals go hand in hand. 70’s fashion has made a huge come-back since two years now and the flower-child-decade inspired fashion is here to stay. Why not add in some 70’s floral print dresses with bell sleeves to add sepia tones and retro vibes to your polaroids? Opt for floral maxi dresses for quick brunch with friends and short shift dress for an evening party. Tangerine orange, Mint green, sea blue, woody brown, lime yellow and bubble gum pink are the colours to watch for.

 

 

 

 

  1. Boho Skirts

Long skirts make for a perfect ensemble for indie fashion lovers. Nomad inspired bright floral prints, ajrakh print, tie & dye, bandhani, ikat or leheriya – choose from an array of Indian crafts skilfully used in this easy breezy silhouette. Team it with long kurta or pair it with crop tops. For the fashion forward squad, add in a denim patch worked jacket to amp the boho-chic summer quotient and revel in the 70’s summers. Candy pink and canary yellow are the two colours to add in your boho -inspired summer wardrobe.

 

 

  1. Khadi Saree

Handloom sarees have made a huge come-back with an ever -increasing brigade of new age designers creating contemporary drapes. Cotton handlooms from Kolkatta, Ikat from Orissa, Chettinad South cotton from Tamil Nadu, Ajrakh block Print from Gujarat and Dabu print from Madhya Pradesh are perfect for cotton drapes. These are soft breathable fabrics, flowy and easy to carry through the day. Team it with denim shirts, off shouldered top or linen crop tops to add a little chutzpah to the styling. For the ones who love arty fashion, khadi linen sarees in neutral tones like beige, ivory, grey, blush pink and pale blue are a must have this summer season.

 

  1. Bottom basics

With the ever evolving fashion scenario, we have umpteen options to select for bottoms other than denims. Summer definitely calls for shorts in cottons and linens. Team them with nautical striped tee-shirts or pair with solid coloured loose cotton blouses. Eccentric prints in shorts are the new cool. Avoid body hugging denims and embrace dhoti, palazzo and harem pants in fluid drapes for the warm summers.  Androgynous fashion lovers can opt for cargos in olive green, navy blue, khakhi or taupe.

 

With these wardrobe staples, add your personal touch by styling with different scarves, vests, cover-ups, bandanas and hats.

We have got your basics right, haven’t we?

( PS – This is the unedited version of the article originally published in Femina Gujarat) 

 

Free size Fashion – Guest Post

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Women are commonly made to believe by media and society that they can’t pull things off because of their body shapes. They are conditioned to believe that skinny and slim is beautiful whereas bigger sizes are not. To top it up, if you are a ‘plus size’ your options are limited. Fashion brands generally cater to standard S,M,L and XL sizes. Fashion shows, magazines and fashion bloggers – more often than not, all promote small sizes only.

Have you often heard these statements?

Don’t wear short dresses. You have thunder thighs.

Don’t wear sleeveless tops. You have chubby arms.

Fitted dresses are meant only for the skinny women, stay away.

Crop tops are for women with sculpted abs only.

You are ‘plus size’ please dress accordingly.

Do these voices pull you down?

We say shut out these noises!

At Store Untold, a unique platform for eclectic styles that are curated for all body types, we believe that there is something like having your own personal style amidst the chaos and clutter of ‘should’, do’s and dont’s.

We feel that trends are just a point of reference to use creatively and not THE thing to follow. If you like being on trend, hell yes, you have the right to try it; all you need to do is twist it with your own creativity.

Use trends to your advantage. Use them in a way that they highlight your best assets. Use colours, prints, chunk, embroidery, layers – whatever is on trend, on the leaner parts of your silhouette. It’s a simple rule!

We believe there are no standard norms of shapes for women. Hence at Store Untold,we try to sell a lot of fashion that is free size. Store Untold sells fashion in a way where there is something for everyone.

Here are some versatile options that are free in size and can be worn by many women.

(A lot of them are high on trend)

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Maiti Pistachio Asymmetrical Dress

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Kirtika Marsala Cowl Dress

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Kirtika Tribal Skirt

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Kirtika Ombre Blue White Tunic

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Mahodari Yellow Swing Dress

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Mahodari Blue Chevron Dress

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

Mahodari Indigo Tunic Dress

Falguni Patel, Fashion Blogger in Gujarat, Fashion & Lifestyle Blogger, Top 10 blogger in Gujarat, Fashion Critic, Fashion Writer, Stylist, Aesthete, Appleblossom, Untold stories, Ankita Mantri Lahoty, Srishti Nadhani, Guest Blog , Plus size fashion, India

SVAG Bug Shirt

We hope you embrace your kind of beauty – be it thunder thighs, chubby arms, apple shaped top or pear shaped bottom. Be your own kind of beautiful.

About Store Untold:
Rebellious. Wacky. Out-of-the-box. Off-the-wall. That’s Store Untold for you.
Driven by a long-standing desire to redefine the kind of cookie-cutter fashion options available today, Store Untold was founded by Ankita Mantri Lahoty and Srishti Nadhani in 2014. Today, it has become a source of eclectic and quirky fashion brands picked from across India, primarily chosen for their unique designs and wacky styles. Srishti has completed her Fashion Styling course partly from FAD International, Pune and partly from the London College of Style. Thereafter, she worked with a Lakme fashion Week label called QuirkBox. With her roots in business and love in fashion, Ankita has an eclectic taste in all things arty. Her skills lie in varied things, including graphic designing, styling and photography. 

Store Untold

( This was the first Guest Blog post on Appleblossom in our series of Posts that will be published soon)

Araaish in Ahmedabad

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Ahmedabad is getting glamorous and how? 

Just about few days back, the city witnessed show by Queenie Singh and Rhea Pillai. And today, Mana Shetty, Maheep Kapoor and Vikram Phadnis were in town for a glamorous exhibition that served the purpose of ‘Fashion with a cause’.

Araaish, one day exhibit, turned out to be a huge success at Hyatt, Ahmedabad. A fund raising arm of ‘Save the Children India’, an NGO started by Mrs Vipula Kadri back in 1988, is run by Mana Shetty. Suneil Shetty is the ambassador for the NGO. After having done 50 shows till now, they made their debut in Ahmedabad market today.

Celebrity jewellery designer Maheep Kapoor, Mana Shetty and ace fashion designer Vikram Phadnis were present at the exhibit today along with Araaish organizers Samia Alam Khan, Manzoor Alam Khan and Sharmilla Khanna. All for ‘Save the Children India’ charity.There were about 50 brands displaying at the exhibit including apparels, jewellery and home decor.

We (Team Ciceroni) got a chance to interview these celebrities and know more about their collection.

So the brands that I loved today are –

1) Vikram Phadnis

He started his journey as a choreographer but moved on to being a Fashion designer. Vikram Phadnis has been dressing up celebrities of the ilk of Salman Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai, Kareena Kapoor, John Abraham, Katrina Kaif, Priyanka Chopra, Vidya Balan and many more since last 25 years.

‘It wasn’t planned. It all fell in place organically. I wanted to create fashion for masses. I did not want fashion to be inaccessible. My label is very modestly priced. My collection at Araaish today starts from 12000 onwards and goes on maximum of till 30000‘ says Vikram Phadnis in an exclusive interaction at the exhibit.

He had a display of sharara sets, ready to wear saree, saree & blouse sets in his festive collection.Indeed his collection was worth a dekko and buy.

2) ‘Save the children India’

Mana Shetty’s NGO ‘ Save the Children India’ had organized this fundraising event Araaish. A part of their NGO supports and empowers destitutes by teaching them sewing and making them self sufficient for their livelihood.

Mana Shetty had designed the special collection of Tie & Dye tunics and Skirt & kurta sets. Besides these, there were table runners, gift bags and tissue holders that were lovingly made by the girls from ‘Save the Children India’.

Price -Tunics – 4000
Skirt sets – 6500

Gift bags – 350

3) Rose tree
A label by the mother daughter duo – Rani Kamini Singh and Princess Chandni Singh from Seohara , Rosetree is all about organic fabrics and natural colours. Aditi Jain, curator from Ahmedabad, presented Rose tree at Araaish today. The label was displaying beautiful and elegant sharara sets in rose colour, ivory, electric blue, grey and sombre yellow.The designs reminded one of the royal era indeed..

Price – Sharara sets – 16000 – 20000
Kurta – 10000

4) By Aditi Amin

By Aditi Amin is a four year old high end jewellery brand started by an investment banker Aditi Amin. Her label is ‘style statement’ centric and had avante garde vibes. She makes bracelets, chandbalis, chokers and neck pieces with eccentric sensibilities.

By Aditi Amin has a pret collection priced moderately from 1000 to 3000 whereas her signature couture collection starts from 2000 to 10000. She displayed a dreamy pret range of pearls & semi precious gems jewellery line at Araaish besides her signature bracelets and neckpieces.

5) Seams Pret and Couture

Sajeda Lehry, a SNDT graduate from Mumbai has been designing since last 12 years, but she started her label ‘Seams Pret & Couture’ only in 2012 along with partner Yunus Rajkotwala. Primarily a resort wear range, her collection was a surreal poetry studded with pearls in  pastel shades. Vintage was the theme of her collection displayed at Araaish. One could spot laces, pearls, floral and pastels in her line.

Price – Tunics & Dresses – 6500 -17000
Lehenga- 25000 – 75000

6) Nay- ked

Garima Chawla, the designer of Nay-Ked, believes in creating modern contemporary silhouettes in pure fabrics like Georgette, crepe, satin silks. Her label is effortlessly chic, current and always for fun garments. It is a young label that caters to resort wear & evening cocktail parties. She had an interesting collection of dresses in grecian drapes. To top it up, it was affordable luxury for the urban woman.

Price – 5000 – 8000

7) Azuli

Nikki Merani, the designer of Azuli, has been designing since 8 years now. Her label Azuli is inspired from princess Azuli of 18th century. Her design thus involves elegant drapes that personify feminity. Her collection had an essence of nets, laces and pastel shades. She brought in interesting off shouldered festive capes that can be teamed with pants or skirts. She also had sulwar sets, anarkali dresses besides long dresses.

Price – 8000 – 35000

8) Sk’n
Sakshi Kandya Nowlakha was the most refreshing label at the exhibit today. Based out of Bangalore, Sk’n focuses on bringing collection that breaks the norms of dressing. Each piece is separate-  tunic, pants, cape. The colour palette is perennially neutral because she feels colours & trends will come and go, what will remain classic is neutrals.

They work only on handloom fabrics. It’s just a 13 month old brand and we say watch out for it fashionistas.
Price – 3500 – 20000

9) Maheep Kapoor for Satyani Fine Jewels

At the exhibit today, Maheep Kapoor was displaying her trademark  chand bali range along with others like neckpieces and finger rings as a part of her designs for Satyani Fine Jewels. Being a luxury jewellery brand in diamond and gold jewellery, her travellers range came as a pleasant surprise for the working class. Priced modestly from 15000 to 100000, Maheep Kapoor creates fine jewellery in yellow, white and rose gold set with pearls, precious stones, semi-precious gems and gem materials.

10) Studio Bhavik Shah

Started by Bhavik Shah, a Fine Arts graduate from MSU Baroda and NIFT Gandhinagar, Studio Bhavik Shah is known for its mix and match sensibilities. For his current collection, he created motifs from Persian architecture and Moghul buildings and translated them in contemporary ethnic wear. The routine Marodi and gota Patti work is done in innovative style to make it attractive for the youth.He displayed jackets , sulwar suits, anarkali and sharara sets at Araaish today.

Fabric –  Mulberry silk, raw silk, cotton, Chiffon

Price – Regular range 3000 – 8000

Festive range – 14000 – 18000

11) Maayera Jaipur

A 2.5 years old label catering to footwear and apparels, Maayera Jaipur is all about hand block prints and organic fabrics. Ajrakh cotton kurta, tunic and dresses were available in organic cottons, mainly in shades of whites and pastels. They also had fabric jootis available.

Price – Jootis – 2000 to 4000
Dresses – 3500 to 7500

It was a must visit exhibit for the ones who look for new labels in luxury segment. Some brands were really worth the money. All I am excited about is that Ahmedabad is witnessing a glamour wave, I hope it stays and changes the way people dress!

( PS – Excuse the quality of images. Since the review is done on spot, we make do with mobile camera always)

Until Next Blog…