Hello all, and welcome to Part 1 of my Vermillion Rhapsody Indo-Western Wardrobe (#VRIWW) blog series! I’m so excited to share this with you all! I am building a collection of the 100 pieces that I personally believe create the perfect minimal-yet-versatile wardrobe that combines both Indian and Western elements. If you’d like to follow along with the entire series, click here for all related links, and also be sure to sign up for my email list to receive new post notifications! Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I may earn a commission, at no additional cost to you, if you click on the links and/or make a purchase.
To kick off this series, I thought I’d start with a few basics to create a good wardrobe foundation to build off of in later posts. I’ll be discussing the four pieces that I like to consider my “uniform” for lack of a better term – if I have to throw something on in a hurry (or even just day-to-day), I’m most likely to grab these pieces. I like them because they’re so versatile – dressing down, dressing up, and layering are no problem for my basics.
To go along with the “basic” theme, I decided to shoot these pieces in a minimalist setting with my natural curly hair and basic makeup. So without further ado, let’s get started!
1. Plain Tee
Is there anything more classic? A plain white tee is about as basic as it gets, and for good reason – it can be sophisticated, glam, or relaxed depending on how you style it. It’s the ultimate blank canvas in terms of tops. But while a plain white tee is an easy go-to, having one in black doesn’t hurt either. Heck, you could even go for colors or patterns, as long as they adhere to your personal color palette! Just remember that not all tees are created equal; I recommend a good-quality, thicker fabric that will last over time. You’ll know it when you feel it, which is why I typically don’t order tees online. Believe it or not, I only buy my tees from Target! I personally find that v-neck styles look better on me, so I stick to that neckline only.
The other half of my uniform. I love skinnies in all forms: denim, black, khaki, and white. They are so classic and go with everything. I find that they transition well between seasons – they look great with boots in cooler weather, or with flats and sandals in warmer months. I will even roll mine up when the weather is much warmer than anticipated. They can be dressed down with casual shoes or dressed up with heels. Just like their plain tee counterpart, skinnies can be styled however you like. I also love that they are clearly pants (as opposed to leggings) – the heavier material and pockets means that I can wear them with both long and short tops without ever feeling exposed. For that reason, I like to wear them in place of pajamis when I’m wearing a kurta! I got my pair a while ago, but I believe these are the ones I have.
I like camis for the same reason that I like tees – they can play a variety of roles in a wardrobe and are just nice and simple. The reason I like camis is because they’re less bulky than a full tee and are great for layering under sweaters and cardigans. I limit my collection to a few solid staple colors: white, black, cream, and gray. This is another Target-only purchase, with the fabric being about as soft and durable as the tees I buy. I don’t go for any fancy designs since these are meant to go with everything and should be basic.
4. Boyfriend Jeans
While skinnies are my most versatile bottoms, boyfriend jeans are one of my favorite. They are the perfect balance of comfort and effortless-deconstructed-chic that’s not overly feminine, which ends up making them extremely feminine, ya know? They are perfectly relaxed for pairing with a tee and flats for a quick trip to the grocery store, and they’re edgy enough to make a statement when worn with heels. These are hands down one of my most-used buys of 2017.
But wait. There’s a story behind these.
Boyfriend jeans were never really on my radar – I never thought I could pull them off because I’m short. One day, Vikram and I went shopping and we stopped at Banana Republic because they were having a big sale. I found a pair of boyfriend jeans in my size and of a quality I liked (which is rare), so I brought them into the changing room with me just for fun. I tried them on and fell IN. LOVE. They were p-e-r-f-e-c-t and I was amazed that something so cool could look so good on me. But then I showed them to Mr. Vik and he was…not a fan. He told me I should at least think about them before buying them, because they were final sale. So you know what I did? I didn’t buy them. Yep, you know where this is going.
I tried but I couldn’t stop thinking about them, so the next day I went back to Banana and – you guessed it – they were sold out. In store and online. I was heartbroken, to say the least. So what did I do? I decided to search for another pair of boyfriend jeans that were just as good, if not better, and also in my price range because let’s be real, jeans can get pricey. I ended up searching for OVER A YEAR for another pair of boyfriend jeans that were even half as good as the Banana pair.
I finally found my current pair of boyfriend jeans at the Levi’s outlet store. They were the last pair in that style. They were my size and a quality I liked. And they were on the clearance rack. (You’ll come to realize that bottom-of-the-barrel, one-off sale situations are kind of a recurring theme for me. These are the closest I can find.) The situation was all too similar to my lost-but-never-forgotten Banana pair, so I snatched them off the rack and raced to the fitting room to give them a whirl. While I’ve accepted that no jeans will ever measure up to that Banana pair, my Levi’s came awfully close and I decided to buy them.
The moral of the story? Never take your husband’s fashion advice.
I’m kidding – Mr. Vik actually has a great sense of style (why do you think I listened to him in the first place?) but I still kid him about those jeans. And I probably always will 🙂
So there you have it, folks! We’re 4% of the way towards my full list – I hope you’ll join me for the rest of the ride! I’m looking forward to sharing some new pieces next week, and as always be sure to follow along with my daily escapades on Instagram!
Until next week,