DIY leather clutch & earrings with Hidesign

Hi girls,

Have you ever created anything ‘best out of waste’? I’m sure many of you must have done it in school. I used to love craft classes in school. Though our craft teacher was very strict, I used to really enjoy creating beautiful things. But after school somehow I never tried anything….Later when I finished medical education, I started using my creativity in styling my own outfits. An year back I started penning it down and that’s how blogging started. But I hardly tried ‘DIY’ing till now.

This is my 2nd DIY post. My first DIY was ‘tulle cape’. Now I have decided to do DIY experiments more often & share with you all.

I had never thought DIYing leather things would be so easy until I came across this ‘The Art of reuse’ contest by Hidesign. Last month only I discarded my torn leather jacket while cleaning my closet. If at all I had an idea that it can be reused, I would have got a chance to make lot of leather goodies. But never mind, there’s always next time….

So I was talking about ‘The Art of reuse’ by Hidesign……. When I came to know about the contest, I immediately registered and rushed to the nearest Hidesign store to collect my raw material. I had only two days with me to post my Artpiece on social media. So I had to make it in a day. In the ‘Art of reuse bag’, there were 7 pieces of leftover leather, a punch, needle and wax coated thread. It was a big challenge cause the leather pieces provided were quite small.

First, I decided the pattern in my mind and then cut the pieces of leather in desired shapes and sizes. After cutting, I made holes on the pieces by using punch and a hammer. After making holes I stitched them together. The thread provided by them was not sufficient….So I used brown wool for stitching remaining part. For securing the opening, I made two blue leather flaps with velcro. And finished it with a Hidesign logo which I made from blue leather piece.

Similarly I made earrings by using remaining small pieces. That was the easiest part.

Now comes the styling part!!!….. I paired my artpieces with an off shoulder white top and maroon harem pants. Completed the look with blue pumps, a blue nail polish and nude make-up and I was ready to go……

Check out the pictures below……

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The Art of Reuse bag
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contents of the bag
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material used
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marking
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cutting in desired size & shape

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marks for the holes
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making holes with hammer & punch

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stitching in progress
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Hidesign logo in making
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DIY Clutch & Earrings ready!
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Perfect ootd!
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This is how I styled it!

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I hope you all liked my DIY clutch and earrings. Do try it if you have leftover leather at home.

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Lonar crater

‘Scars are tattoos with better stories’ LONAR CRATER is one of those scars on earth caused by meteor impact and is extremely beautiful with so many interesting stories (facts) about it……

As usual we were on a lookout for offbeat places and came across this amazing place with unparalleled biodiversity!!! Lonar crater is a notified national geo-heritage monument created by meteor impact about 50000 years back. It is 2nd largest crater in world and the only hypervelocity impact crater in basaltic rock on earth. Initially it was thought to be of volcanic origin but later on studies proved that it is formed by extraterrestrial impact. It’s an oval shape depression which bears water in its central portion forming lake and surrounded by hills. Area is 1.13 sq km and average depth is 137m. Circumference at top is about 8km and at base is about 4.8km.

The water of the lake is saline and alkaline at the same time containing various salts and sodas. During dry weather when evaporation reduces the water level, large quantities of soda are collected. All the requisites for making glass and soap are produced here. Chemical characteristics of lake shows 2 distinct regions that do not mix, outer neutral (pH 7) and innner alkaline (pH 11) with its own floura and fauna. You can actually try it with litmus paper. You can experience the strong smell of rotten eggs at the lake indicating presence of sulphur. Small streams and freshwater springs on the shore fill the bank. High alkalinity harbours nitrogen fixing bacterias.

What makes this blue green lake more beautiful is the lush green jungle surrounding it and the old abandoned temples in the jungle. It’s quite interesting that there’s different vegetation at different levels, 1st ring is formed mostly by date palms, 2nd by tamarind trees and 3rd by acacia. The soil has high iron content. It can be tested with a magnet.

The jungle is rich in wildlife and is a birdwatchers paradise.

There are different tracks to reach the lake. The commonly used paths are one opposite MTDC resort and the other stairs from the Gomukh temple. We went trekking down from MTDC resort.

Temples in and around the crater: There are more than 12 old temples around that area known as Yadava temples or Hemadpanti temples (named after Hemadri Ramgaya). We visited Ramgaya temple, Daitya sudan temple & Gomukh temple.

Ramgaya temple- This temple is in the jungle surrounding the lake.

Gomukh temple- It is situated at the rim of crater and you get the most amazing views of the crater. There is an eternal fresh water stream.

Daitya sudan temple- This temple is Vishnu temple situated in Lonar village outside the crater. Carvings on this temple are similar to that of Khajuraho temple.

Best time to visit: Early mornings, afternoons can get too hot and not advisable in the late evenings. We went at around 3:30 pm but since it was raining weather was pleasant. It takes around half an hour to reach the lake.

Best season to visit: monsoons (the lake looks more beautiful because of the greenery), Nov-Dec (For bird watching)

Place to stay: Only 1 good place to stay at Lonar, MTDC resort located at the rim of crater……. spacious cottages as well as dormitory. Decent no frills accommodation with great location. Decent food with very basic dining area, indoor as well as outdoor with good views of  the crater.

How to reach: It is about 500km from Mumbai by road. We drove to Lonar via Pune, Ahmednagar and returned back via Nashik.

Nearest railway station- Aurangabad 5hrs, Jalna- 3hrs.

Nearest airport- Aurangabad

From Aurangabad and Jalna, you have to go by road…… road to Lonar is not very good. It’s full of potholes.

What to wear: It’s better to wear trekking shoes and pants. As I din’t know about the trek part, I wore a long skirt and juttis. Luckily my juttis were very comfortable but I regret wearing a long skirt, though it’s looking good in pictures!!!

I wonder how such beautiful place is not yet popular! When we went there, even though it was a weekend, I could see only 2-3 groups of tourists…… It’s a great weekend destination in Maharashtra for nature enthusiasts.

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Lonar crater lake from above!

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Walking through the jungle….
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Millipedes mating
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Into the crater…

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Litmus paper test …..alkalinity proved!!!
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High content of iron in the soil….proved!!!
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Exploring Ram Gaya temple….

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Lovely view from Gomukh temple!

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Eternal stream at Gomukh temple!

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Daitya sudan temple!

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Entrance to the MTDC resort
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Lovely cottages
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Our cottage

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Dining area and reception, MTDC resort
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Dining area
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View from the dining area
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My favourite place in the room!!!

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Road scenes around Lonar!!!
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Scenic route on our way back to Mumbai!!!
Our route….

 

Offbeat places in Switzerland 

Hi,

I’m gonna be writing about offbeat places in Switzerland which may not be ‘offbeat’ but are not commonly visited by Indians!

Interlaken, Jungfrau, mt. Titlis, Lucerne, Zurich are commonly visited by Indian tourists. Indians who have grown up watching Bollywood movies, visit Switzerland with lot of expectations. But go back with the feeling that Switzerland is overrated. Not that these touristy places are not beautiful, but the essence of Switzerland lies in its untouched countryside. It is so picturesque that even pictures and videos cannot do justice. You have to experience it….. Lush green meadows, sound of cowbells, sound of a distant church bell, cows n goats grazing in the medows, snowcapped mountains, cute l’il swiss chalets decorated with flowers….. This is real Switzerland!!!

We drove around eastern and central Switzerland in June for 10 days and these are few of my favourite places…..

1. Farm stay in Gais: Gais is a picturesque small village near Appenzel. This village recieved the Wakker Prize for the development and preservation of its architectural heritage. All you can see is mountains, green medows and cute wooden swiss chalets….. straight out of Yash Chopra movies!!! I think every Indian will be able to relate to this after seeing pictures. We stayed in this village overnight at Vogelnest. It an old wagon in the middle of the medows in a farm. It was compact with a bed, dining area and a toilet. There was sitting area outside too. There’s a small grocery store owned by the host selling organic products. For dinner we bought some stuff from the store. Barbecue facility is also available. Best thing was waking up in the morning to the amazing view of green medows n cows grazing. Breakfast is given in picnic basket. We had our breakfast outdoor with this amazing view. It was like a dream!

2. Restaurant on a cliff, Berghaus Ascher: Berghaus Ascher is a cliff which is 170 years old. Initially it was a hut housing framers, goats & cows then converted into a restaurant. It’s open from May to November. For reaching this restaurant, you have to take a cable car from Wasserauen to Alpstein & then 2km hike downhill across Wildkirchli caves. It was a good 45min hike. So good hiking shoes are recommended. During the cable car ride you get beautiful views of Appenzel hill landscape, Sankt Gallen, Thurgau & lake Constance. View from the restaurant is great. They do not reserve tables. So make sure you go early. During lunchtime, it gets very crowded. They serve yummist Rosti (traditional swiss hash browns). It was the best rosti I have ever tried. It’s actually a side dish. You can have it with meat, eggs or salads. For going back again you have to climb uphill to the cable car station.

3. Appenzel town: Appenzel is a small town in north-eastern Switzerland at the foot of Alpstein known for rural customs, traditions such as ceremonial descent of cattle in autumn and cultural events. this car-free town with pretty lanes with boutiques, small stores and buildings decorated with frescoes. There’s nothing much to do in the town but a stroll through the pretty lanes is worth. It’s a base for visiting nearby places. But we chose to stay at Gais village nearby and visited this pretty village after Berghause Aescher. 2-3 hours are enough to explore the beautiful lanes.

4. Highest Jacuzzi in Europe, Diavolezza: Ah…. This was the best part of the trip. Diavolezza is near st. Moritz. It was on my bucket list. There’s a jacuzzi on the sunterrace of Diavolezza restaurant at 3000m above sea level with unrestricted views of Bernina massiff and piz Palau. Temperature of the water is 40degreeC and the temperature outside was 4degreeC. They provide bathrobes, towels, slippers, fruits and water. There’s a cablecar to reach Diavolezza. It was a perfect touch of adventure to bathing experience!!! After this amazing experience we had a cheese fondue at Diavolezza restaurant admiring the beauty of snowcapped mountains. Make sure you go there when the weather is good coz the Jacuzzi is of metal and its not safe when there’s lightening. We were lucky that weather improved when we reached there.

5. Piz Gloria, Schilthorn: This is a summit in Europe, in the Burnese Alps of Switzerland overlooking the valley of Lauterbrunnen, above the village of Murren. The summit has a panoramic view of Titlis, Jungfrau, Monch, Eiger, Vosges mountains and black forest. To reach Schilthorn, you can take the cable car (Stechelberg-Gimmelwald-Murren-Brig-Schilthorn) or you can walk. Hiking paths from Gimmelwald takes about 5 hours. We went up by cable car & while climbing down we skipped the cable car from Murren to Gimmelwald and came down walking. The route through these villages was very picturesque. Piz Gloria : The panoramic revolving restaurant at the summit was featured in 1969 James Bond movie- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. A black ski run featured in the film starts at the summit to Brig. The ‘thrill walk’ at Brig is a must do…..It was fun!

6. Murren & Gimmelwald: Murren & Gimmelwald are the small car-free villages at the foot of Schilthorn peak. Both the villages are picturesque with swiss chalets decorated with colourful flowers, fountains, greenery and unobstructed views of mountains Eiger, Monch & Jungfrau……Straight out of a story book. We had coffee and icecream at this beautiful restaurant Alpein with lovely view at Murren. At Gimmelwald, we came across this shop called ‘honesty shop’. Its Europe’s first village store which depends entirely on trust and honesty. There are no shop assistants, cameras or supervisers. Just pick what you want, put correct money in the envelope and drop it in the honesty box. How cool is that!!! Walking through these villages was an amazing experience.

7. Camping at Lake Brienz: Blue green lakes of Switzerland look surreal. I have always wanted to stay near a lake and I came across this camping site on the shores of lake Brienz. There are colourful small wooden houses with 2 beds. As it was camping, washrooms were outside but were clean. The whole camping area was well maintained and beautiful. Camping by this turquoise blue-green lake surrounded by Alps was truly memorable! (except for the bed bugs….)

 

Style diaries with ‘Fashiana’

Hi all,

This post is gonna be very colourful and I’m really excited to share with you all. I have created 3 different looks in collaboration with ‘fashiana’.

‘Fashiana’ is women’s clothing brand from Jaipur. They have a huge collection of products ranging from women’s wear to home decor…….and everything is so colourful. All these products are made in India, handcrafted by local craftsmen using indian prints and techniques. These are perfect for Boho and Indian fusion looks.

I’m in love with their ‘Mandala’ products. Mandala design is a complex abstract design which is usually in circular form. I have been thinking of buying a mandala mat since very long time…… So I was extremely happy to receive palazzo pants with mandala print from Fashiana.

I recieved two palazzo pants and a long skirt and I created 3 different looks. I’ll start with my favourite, check it out…..

1. Boho beach look: I wore blue mandala print palazzo pants for my 1st look. These are my favourite and white pom pom detailing is the highlight of these palazzos…..pom poms look really cool and feminine. I paired these with a blue sequined crop top coz I wanted to show off beautiful mandala design on the upper part of the pants. Kept accessories to minimal with only a silver nose ring and completed the boho look, styled my hair with small front braids. And added blue shimmer flip flops to complete the beach look. Its perfect for a beach party!

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2. Glam chic look: For this look I decided to go ‘print on print’. I wore these beautiful monochrome mandala print palazzo pants with a pink printed scarf top. These pants have mandala design on the lower part, so I chose to wear a long top with it. The lower edge of the top perfectly complements the mandala print on the pants. Kept accessories to minimal with only a watch and a silver metal sling. Completed the look with comfortable cherry pink suede box heels & two low buns. You can wear this look for a day outing.

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3. Indian fusion look: I created this look with Fashiana’s fuschia pink long skirt. This skirt is very pretty with camels all around the border, looks like a lehenga. I teamed it up with a crisp white shirt and a pom pom belt. Accessorised it with jhumkas, lot of metal bangles and gold wedges. In this look I decided to go bold with a big pink bindi. With this pretty ethnic skirt, you are sorted for coming festive season.

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So, tell me in a comment which one did you all like? You can buy these here.

Go, add some colour to your wardrobe with Fashiana.

The Idyllic Lake Como 

We spent 14 days exploring Switzerland and Northern Italy. We had lovely experiences throughout the trip and I can’t wait to share it….

Switzerland posts will be coming soon……

From Switzerland we drove to Lake Como via Stelvio pass. It was very scenic. We stayed in Lake Como region for 2 nights at 2 different places on the different sides of the lake.

These are the places we visited

Lake Como is the 3rd largest lake in Italy and one of the deepest lake in Europe with the depth of 1300ft. It is of glacial origin. Lake Como region is upscale resort area since the Roman times. This lake is inverted Y shaped surrounded by Alps and beautiful towns. It has been called ‘the most beautiful lake in the world’. No wonder celebrities like George Clooney, Richard Branson have homes on the shores of this beautiful lake. It has been a favourite getaway for wealthy people. These towns are known for legendary historic villas with beautiful architecture, gardens around the villas and funicular which goes up to the mountain town Brunate from Como. Main towns are Como, Bellagio, Menaggio, Varenna, Lecco….

To experience most of it, we stayed at 2 different sides of the lake.

1st day @ Hotel Paradiso sul lago @ Brunate.

2nd day @ B&B Da Melissa @ Vercana near Domaso.

I would recommend to stay in a hotel on a cliff for amazing views. There are many lakeside options too. Both the places where we stayed were on a cliff offering breathtaking views. Though Lake Como is known as upscale resort area, there are plenty of beautiful budget accommodations offering nice views of the lake.

We drove on both sides of the lake but roads on the western part is scenic than eastern which has all long tunnels.

We reached Hotel Paradiso sul lago at around 3pm. Since it is high up in the mountain town Brunate, we drove uphill through narrow roads. After checking in, we immediately hit the pool which offers great views of the lake and the mountains and then went to the lighthouse nearby. Everywhere in that small town there are viewpoints to see gorgeous views of the lake.

Narrow roads to Brunate
Pool with a view @ Hotel Paradiso sul lago

This breathtaking view 😍😍😍
The Lighthouse near our hotel
This amazing view from the Lighthouse

In the evening we went to Como by a funicular. View of the lake is beautiful while going downhill and it is the fastest way to go to Como than driving all the way. We reached Como in 15 minutes. We spent some time at the lake and had dinner at the lakeside pizzeria. There are many such lakeside restaurants at Como.  Lovely lake and yummy pizza by the lake!!! It was an evening well spent!

Funicular
Lake Como while descending
Pizza dinner with by the lake @ Como

Next day, we planned to go to Bellagio and explore some villas. But because of thunderstorms, villas and private boats were closed. But still we decided to explore the streets of Bellagio. Drive from Brunate to Bellagio was via Como was very scenic.
Bellagio is known as ‘pearl of the lake como’. It is wonderful town with narrow pebbeled streets, luxury stores, handicrafts and obviously lovely restaurants….. We spent nice 5-6 hrs restaurant hopping n hogging on yummy gelatos!!! But we couldn’t do anything else coz of heavy rain.

Rainy morning!!! Lovely road to Bellagio!!!
Beautiful promenade skirting the lake como @ Bellagio

Lunch by the lake @ Bellagio

Pizza with a view @ Bellagio

Then we headed to our next destination on the opposite side of the lake at Vercana near Domaso. There are 2 options, to go on the opposite side…..either drive all the way or take a car ferry. We took a car ferry at Bellagio ferry terminal to Cadenabbia. From Cadenabbia we drove till our destination. This was faster. We reached B&B Da Melissa at around 6pm. It was a beautiful room with a balcony on a cliff offering lovely views. Though it was cloudy, the view was beautiful. We booked it through air bnb. Melissa (host) personally welcomed us with a homemade yoghurt cake, wine and chocolates.

Car ferry to Cadenabbia

Welcome by the host
Yummy yoghurt cake!

Since we were tired and we had a wonderful view from our balcony itself, we spent the whole evening in our balcony admiring beauty of the lake. We even had dinner in the balcony. Again this was a wonderful day! Even the bad weather couldn’t spoil our time at Lake Como.

Admiring the gorgeous lake!!!
Dinner with a view in our balcony…..

Next morning, we were to leave for Switzerland early but the weather God decided have mercy on us….. so we changed our plan and went to Bellagio again to catch up with the things which we missed the last day because of rains. We drove till Cadenabbia, parked our car and went to Bellagio by public transport ferry.

Woke up to this view and it was a lovely sunny day!
Homemade breakfast and this view!

From Bellagio we decided to hire a boat to one of the many villas along the shore of lake como. Water limousine ride is highly recommended if you want to experience luxury at it’s best.  Though the water limousine ride is expensive (200euros for an hour), it is fabulous and worth every euro. Along lake como there are 19th centuries villas with beautiful gardens which add to the charm of the lake. We visited villa del Balbionello by water limousine. This villa is easily approachable by boat. This is the place where Casino Royale & Stars Wars – Attack of the clones were filmed. This villa with it’s paradisiacal garden in the backdrop of lake como makes it a perfect romantic fairytale location.

Water limousine ride!!!

Villa del Balbianello
The iconic arches at the villa!!!

Waiting for the water limousine…..

With these lovely memories we went back to Cadenabbia by public transport boat n headed towards Switzerland…….

STAY ROOTED, WEAR ROOTED!!!

Yesterday was World Environment Day and it gives me great pleasure to introduce you all to ‘Rooted’, a brand which offers comfortable yet stylish apparel made of natural fabrics like khadi, organic cotton, handloom cotton.

I was grown up in an environment where my parents always taught me to live sustainably and respect environment. We have been practicing it at home as far as possible by using natural things and by recycling. I’m glad to have collaborated with Rooted. Not just their clothes, i’m even in love with the name ‘Rooted’ which means grounded or deeply established. Their fabric is sourced from the NGOs across India. So it helps local Indian handloom workers to grow. In this way they support ‘Make in India’ movement.

All their dresses are of free size. Since I wear extra small size, initially i thought, it would be difficult for me to carry loose oufits. But when I tried them on I just loved the loose fit…..so comfortable yet so stylish!!! Loose is the new chic now…. This natural fabric is breathable, perfect for Indian hot weather (specially Mumbai weather). Not just the comfort, there’s so much variety in their clothes. They have something for everyone from formal wear to casual wear. I’m in love with their clothes and they are gonna be my wardrobe staple.

I have created 5 different looks wearing 5 different dresses. Check out the following pictures……

1. Indian formal look

2. Sunday Brunch or Summer lunch date look

3. Carefree traveller look

4. Summer chic look to hang out with your girl friends

5. Airport look

Let’s explore the world of ecofashion and try to live sustainably and save environment.

STAY ROOTED, WEAR ROOTED.

Little Black Cape Dress 

Hi,

Lbd is a wardrobe staple for women. It is rightly said ‘one is never overdressed or underdressed with a Little Black Dress’. Whenever you have to attend a party or any event in the evening and you don’t have much time to decide on your outfit or there are some days when you are not in a mood to experiment a lot with your outfit, for those days lbd is the safest option. You can never go wrong with lbd.

Though I like to play with different colours in my wardrobe, I’m biased towards black. I never get bored wearing black. Black colour leads my wardrobe. I would like to share with you all how I styled my cape lbd which I wore for my cousin’s birthday party @TheDeltin, Daman.

I bought this beautiful black cape lbd online from ridress.com. A week before the party, I had undergone a surgery. So I was not in a mood to experiment a lot and wanted to wear something which would be loose over my tummy. I chose to wear this cape lbd with relaxed fit. It was really comfortable and cozy because of the fit and the cape. I teamed it up with zara black boots with clear heels and a clear clutch from accessorize. These days I’m in love with clear accessories. I looking forward to buy some more ‘clear accessories’. Those boots are with box heels which are broader on the lower part, so are super comfortable to walk and what I loved most is gold sparkles in the heels. I accessorised it with a statement necklace and a bracelet. Completed the look with red1 shade of maybelline lipstick (LIP gradation by COLORsensational). I’m in love with this series. I even bought other colours of these. It’s matte, highly pigmented and glides well on the lips giving smooth finish.

I created classy look with my lbd. But you can add pop of colour in your accessories and create fun look. Instead of statement necklace, you can wear big earrings or just keep it simple with no or minimal accessories and wear dressy embellished shoes. You can go for any footwear with nice heels like pumps, stilettos, wedges. For more sophisticated look you can add a belt. Lbds are truly versatile.

Did you all like how I styled my cape lbd?…..Tell me how would you like to style your lbd?