‘I love bling, but I wouldn’t overdo it’
Shamita Shetty’s career choice has influenced her way of dressing and accessorizing. Bollywood loves bling, and the younger Shetty sister is no exception. But it’s not the blinding, all-over shine like many of her filmi colleagues. Shetty’s is a more updated style; she understands the word restraint and won’t wear a necklace if her earrings are making a statement.
Click here to watch slideshow: Lounge picks for bling dressers
Added to that, she has a stylist who is on call 24/7—her sister Shilpa. “Most of the time you see me out, I’m styled by her. She has a great knack of putting things together and adding that one element which makes the outfit stand out,” the 29-year-old says.
Shetty admits she doesn’t experiment as much as her elder sister. She laughs about a what-was-I-thinking moment she had at a recent premier she attended. “Last season yellow was really in and it took a lot of guts for me to buy and wear a yellow bag and shoes. As I was unsure of wearing such a bright colour, I put it together wrong.”
But she doesn’t often go wrong when she sticks to fitted dresses with stilettos, diamonds and metallic clutches. Shetty’s a shoe fiend and though she doesn’t know the size of her collection (“I’m afraid to count, it would make me feel guilty”), she reveals she has to keep ordering new cabinets to house her shoes.
Shetty says she and her sister, a watch and bag lover, do swap accessories. “Currently I have my eye on her Limelight clutch by Louis Vuitton.”
Your style is bling like Shamita’s if:
•You would accessorize a black dress with dangling diamond earrings and a diamond bracelet. Shetty says she would never wear accessories in very bright colours with black, so no coloured shoes. But she would add some element of gold, such as her favourite black stilettos with gold details. She would wear a chunky watch with diamonds—“Bling looks great with black.”
•Your daily accessories include a bit (or a lot) of ice. Shetty loves diamonds and says she almost never takes off her solitaire earrings, and has a diamond tennis bracelet on at all times. Added to this, her watches and sunglasses are embellished with diamonds or crystals.
•You would never wear costume jewellery. “I hate junk jewellery and only wear it for a shoot,” she says.
•You have a serious thing for high-heeled shoes. “I don’t know what it is with girls and shoes. I honestly don’t know how many pairs I have,” she says. Shetty loves stilettos; “they kill my back, but I can’t stop.”
• Your handbag is more likely than not to be by a luxury label. Shetty loves Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Chanel. “I saw how the LV bags are created at their factory and realized that the price is justified. They last forever and are quite timeless.”
•You buy sunglasses every season. “I never get out of the house without my sunglasses,” she says. Her current favourites are a silver and pink Chopard pair and a lightweight pair by Tom Ford.
•You love purple and colours in the violet family. Of course, black, red and white are favourites as well.
•You’re more likely to accessorize with bracelets and earrings and leave your neck bare.
‘I like to accentuate my Indian features with ethnic accessories’
Artist Payal Khandwala collects necklaces the way art patrons collect works of art. Big, beautiful necklaces that are too heavy for her petite frame are hung on the walls in her Mumbai home, and she’s even had some framed. Colourful beads in varying sizes, bright bangles and thick rope-like silver necklaces collected from around the world take up most of the space in her six drawers of “junk” jewellery. “I like drama in my look,” she says. You won’t see any dainty chokers or delicate earrings. In fact, her necklaces are usually so dramatic that earrings don’t find a place in her look at all.
Click here to watch slideshow: Lounge picks for ethnic dressers
Khandwala has a unique Indo-Western style of dressing (sometimes even pairing saris with jeans or dresses with pyjamas), which she came into about five years ago. She likes to “mix things up” and stay unpredictable. “I made a lot of mistakes. But that’s how you learn to filter out the unaesthetic and discover your own style. There’s a fine line between tacky and funky,” says the 34-year-old. She now cringes at the thought of the harem pants, colourful eyeshadow and plastic earrings she once used to wear. Khandwala understands that her “Indian” features are her strength and has developed her own aesthetic to accentuate that. She says she’s stopped following fads or copying anyone’s style. “I’m always looking out for accessories. I care about dressing and invest a lot of time in it,” she says.
Your style is ethnic like Payal’s if:
•You would wear jeans under your little black dress and accessorize it with a long necklace of orange beads, a hot pink scarf and flip-flops in the same eye-catching colour.
•You can’t get enough of accessories in bright colours. Khandwala loves green, orange, brown and red, but stays away from black, neons and pastels. “I can’t imagine wearing lavender,” she says.
•You wouldn’t be caught dead in crystals or any kind of bling.
•You wouldn’t wear heels. Khandwala wears colourful flip-flops with everything from jeans to saris.
•You would shop at markets and silver stores everywhere you travel. Khandwala’s favourite places are the Amrapali store; Janpath, in New Delhi; Colaba Causeway, in Mumbai; and the markets in Goa and Turkey for silver accessories.
•You wouldn’t carry formal bags. “They wouldn’t go with most of what I wear. It’s not my aesthetic,” she says. Khandwala prefers colourful jholas in different fabrics and embroidery.
•Antique, oxidized, chunky silver jewellery would form the bulk of your collection. Khandwala doesn’t really like the colour gold, so she doesn’t have any gold in her wardrobe—real or costume. Wood, metal and beads are more her style.
•You would wear colourful beads to accentuate your boho look. Khandwala wears the same beads or silver necklaces for daywear and for a night out. But she’ll layer three or four necklaces over each other when she’s out partying. “My accessories for the day are lighter and less dramatic,” she says.
‘My style of accessorizing is left of centre’
A plastic dinosaur skeleton necklace, a red unicorn-shaped plastic brooch, a Michael Jackson pendant, wooden bead necklaces with skull carvings and a whole lot of neon. Aashiyana Shroff’s wooden chest of accessories is full of quirky finds from all over the world. She’s often spotted overseeing operations at her Nariman Point, Mumbai, restaurants VongWong and Dragonfly in neon yellow ballet flats, or orange suspenders and her father’s bow tie.
It’s surprising when she says her distinct sense of style is a recent development. “It’s not the sort of stuff I had the confidence to wear earlier,” says the 25-year-old, who, till about four years ago, dressed in simple jeans, T-shirts and rimless glasses. Today, one of her signature accessories are her retro eyeglasses—a pair of oval plastic frames in pink and a similar pair in beige and white.
Click here to watch slideshow: Lounge picks for quirky dressers
Shroff even experiments with creating her own accessories; she’s made a couple of necklaces by stringing together funky beads and lace. Animal pictures have been cut out from comics to make brooches. Despite her unconventional style, Shroff is always on the right side of quirky, never entering tacky territory. She manages this by never going overboard. If she’s got on a pair of neon shoes, the rest of her accessorizing is restrained.
A fan of the feline, she’s got four possessive cats at home— two strays and two Persians. Her collection of scarves, necklaces and bracelets with cat and tiger motifs takes the fascination forward.
Even her staff at Dragonfly has to live with her obsession with eccentric accessories. “I have battery-powered leaf-, star- and flower-shaped brooches that light up. I often force my manager to wear one, so I can track him in the crowd,” she laughs. “He tells me, ‘I’m not paid enough to wear a glowing heart on my chest’.”
Your style is quirky like Aashiyana’s if:
• You would accessorize a plain black dress with neon pink or green ballet flats and a chunky necklace in gold or silver.
•Animal motifs would dominate your accessories. Shroff has owls, elephants, lions, giraffes and bats, besides cats, tigers, horses and dinosaurs on every type of accessory.
•You wear neon pink, yellow, green or orange shoes, necklaces and belts. “Neon is mesmerizing,” says Shroff. White would be low on your list.
• You wouldn’t be caught dead in real gold jewellery and diamonds. “I hate diamonds. They add nothing to your personality. Costume jewellery may not have any monetary value, but for me my collection is precious,” she says. Plastic, fur, paper—anything goes as long as it’s eye-catching.
•You wouldn’t overdo the quirky. Shroff picks out one or two statement pieces to go with her outfit.
•You would never carry designer bags. “I don’t get the obsession with brands. And how can one justify the prices?”
•Your favourite places to shop would be flea markets, antique shops and vintage stores all over the world. Shroff’s picked up pieces from the streets of Thailand, Hong Kong, the UK and China, but her favourite is Australia.
•You would slip from work to party in the same accessories. “I never go home to change after work. For some people my pieces may be too much for the day, but they are perfect for a night out,” she says.
‘Almost all my rings are family heirlooms’
Former model and actor
Neesha Singh, a former model, an actor and now a stay-home mother who is in her late 30s, follows the style advice she got from her father and brother a long time ago—“less is always more”. Not a big shopper, Singh’s collection of jewellery is mostly classic hand-me-down pieces from her “very stylish” mother. “Even today, my mum will use rollers in her hair and be impeccably turned out for breakfast. Like her, I, too am ready for the day as early as 7.30am, when I leave home to drop my daughter to school, and do not need to change a thing until evening.”
Most of Singh’s accessories, such as her handbags and sunglasses, have been presented to her by her brother Vikram Singh who is also her style icon. Her current favourites are a pewter-coloured Fendi bag and a Giorgio Armani bag. “I don’t like large, oversized handbags. Bags should be roomy, sure, but not huge.”
Click here to watch slideshow: Lounge picks for classic dressers
Unlike her mother, whom Singh terms as the Imelda Marcos of the family, Singh’s shoe selection is based more on comfort than style. She is partial to boots, though, and wears them in winter with just about anything. “My most expensive pair of shoes ever, are probably from Joy Shoes in Mumbai and cost Rs3,500.” She shops for shoes and boots anywhere—the roadside market at Greater Kailash-I, M-block, to Shoe Garage at Shahpur Jat, New Delhi.
Four accessories that Singh never leaves home without are a 100g silver belt wrapped around her waist, a diamond jhalak nosepin, a wristwatch and a silver kada with an evil eye pendant soldered to it.
Singh, who is often spotted at Delhi’s Polo Ground sporting hats, says her romance with them started a decade ago when she moved to Singapore. Again, like her handbags, the hats she wears are not over-the-top, large assembled pieces, but have small brims which do not hide her face.
Your style is classic like Neesha’s if:
•You would choose to wear just one piece of jewellery such as a pair of jadau or pearl-drop earrings with a plain black sari. “I prefer a bare back or shoulders to a low neckline. That’s why earrings work best for me.”
•Your daily accessories include sunglasses. “I cannot step out of the house without my sunglasses.” At present, Singh alternates between five pairs of shades—three Chanel pieces, including a diamante-rimmed one, a Prada and a Dior.
•You love collecting and wearing hats. At present, she has more than 20 hats and caps. “I started wearing hats and caps to protect my most precious accessory—my skin—but now I enjoy showing them off.” She collects hats from anywhere—the latest one was bought at Chak tuk Chak, a flea market in Bangkok and cost around 600 baht (around Rs800)—but she does not own a branded one...yet.
•You cannot do without a pair of pearl-drop earrings.
•You prefer classic pieces of jewellery that your mother and grandmother wore. “Almost all my rings and solitaires are family heirlooms, as are some of my best earrings.”
•You would never wear necklaces, earrings and bracelets all at once. “While I do buy and wear costume jewellery once in a while, I stick with my one-at-a-time rule, always.”
•You love to wear white above all other colours. “I dislike colours like neons and am not particularly partial to black either.”
•You can be spotted wearing calf-length boots through the Delhi winter.