PARIS: Some Places to Visit

This blog post is inspired by Un-fancy.com. The creator of that blog is the reason I believe I first started dressing in a way that actually allowed me to feel confident and not guilty about spending money on clothing that actually lasted. I highly recommend you check out her post on what she packed and wore in Paris. I tried to implement the different categories that she shared from her trip to Paris, but with details from my stay.

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DAY ONE

AFTERNOON: We arrived in our Airbnb in Le Marais around 3pm. We decided to get food after walking around and exploring a bit. We ended up getting burgers that were made with waffles in lieu of a normal bun. Tre chic!

EVENING: I almost ditched the group to sleep because of my jet lag but decided to get drinks by a cute spot in front of our airbnb. As someone who doesn’t drink alcohol, I opted for a coke which was so darn good. Back at the airbnb we spilt the most delicious pastries together as a late night snack. It was then that I learned that I love pistachio!

DAY TWO 

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MORNING: Because of jet lag, we decided to watch the sunrise at around 5am by Ponte des Arts in the Latin Quarter. Before it was even 12pm we grabbed breakfast, saw the outside of Notre Dame and went inside St. Chapelle.

AFTERNOON: Early afternoon we visited Musee d’Orsay because it was nearby and saw the most beautiful pieces. I’m super grateful that was had an art teacher with us because she explained the importance of a lot of things that I would have otherwise overlooked.

Because I had booked a Bike Tour in advance, around 2pm I left for the tour while enviously leaving my friends who used that time for a much needed nap. At the end of the tour I saw the Eiffel tower for the first time.

EVENING: We walked around more and explored more of Paris before stopping by Luxembourg gardens and later getting Steak and Frites. Steak and Frites was literally the only thing on the menu. I learned that my Coke was more expensive than wine, but just by a little. We came back the the airbnb and as per tradition, spilt some desserts.

DAY THREE

AFTERNOON: The night prior, despite all my attempts I could not sleep. My super sweet vacay roomie boiled hot water for me in the middle of the night. I was coughing a storm and woke up in agony. I told the girls I would meet them at the Lourve. I met them around 2:30pm, saw Mona Lisa and realized I was going to pass out if I pushed myself any further. I left the group and passed out because of what I later learned was a fever.

EVENING: I woke up around 7pm and still felt weak and once I decided to get food, I realized that all the food spots by us were closed. It was Easter Monday. My only options was drinks or the grocery store. Because I was so tired, I bought some cookies and chips, and called it a day.

DAY FOUR

LATE MORNING: Praise the Lord, I got better! The girls and I grabbed some brunch at Seasons and we decided it was a shopping day! We were super content with all the progress we made the past few days (them even more than me considering my sick day) and wanted to take time to shop. 

AFTERNOON: We headed to the infamous Champ de Elysees and after spending an absurd amount of time at Louis Vuitton (inconsistent customer service btw), went to Ladurée for tea and desserts.

EVENING: Before heading to our evening activity, we stopped by Montmarte. We wanted to take a nap beforehand and decided to skip a real dinner because of the time crunch. We grabbed croissants, pizzas and whatever other random cafe snacks we wanted before heading in an uber. In the evening we headed to Moulin Rogue. I was entirely aware of what I was signing up for in the moment and although it wasn’t my cup of tea, it wasn’t as intense as I imagined it might be! I even kinda liked it.

DAY FIVE 

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MORNING: We started our day with a tour at The Palace of Versailles that we purchased through Headout. Though I was upset that customer service told us to arrive at 8am when we only needed to be there at 9am, it was still my favorite part of the entire trip. The tour guide was funny and informative. Meanwhile, the palace and gardens were simply stunning. 

AFTERNOON: The hard part about being in Paris is how long it takes to eat at restaurants. Because of time constraints, we decided to get a grab and go lunch before shopping in the area. I bought some cute pieces from Stradivarious and if you’re a smaller chest size I would recommend Oysho for lingerie.

EVENING: Before dinner, I went off to the original Shakespeare and Company on my own. I wanted to buy a book for my personal library. I met back up with the girls and finished the evening with dinner in the Latin Quarter at Maison De La Lozèro, my favorite meal of the trip! My friend even let me try a bit of snail. They offered a Prefix menu at a steal but because I somehow felt stuffed, I decided to go with one delicious entree.

DAY SIX

MORNING: To end our time in Paris, we grabbed a delicious brunch of sorts at The Broken Arm , a cafe and shop, while reading our respective books.

AFTERNOON: And just like that, it was time to take a cab to the airport and head home. 🙂

Now That It’s Cool To Be Indian

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Something odd that has been brought to the surface recently is how things taken from Indian culture that once evoked responses of disgust are now “cool”. I read a post on the Facebook group #SubtleCurryTraits about how the stereotypical “white girl” who years earlier considered turmeric disgusting in “yellow rice”, now adds tumeric to their chai teas for the “health benefits”.

Well, the tide has turned. The teenage heart throb of my youth, Nick Jonas, chose to marry the stunning, Priyanka Chopra. But despite this change in heart by America as a nation, I’d argue that things really aren’t better. You must be thinking- isn’t this sudden love of all things Indian supposed to be great news? Indian culture may now be “in” but the truth is that I still know too many Indians who are ashamed of their culture, petrified of being labeled a FOB and are unable to erase the years of shame that we’ve associated with being Indian because of pop culture’s previous narrative. A message in which the worth or lack thereof, of an India in media was communicated by the void of people who looked like me on television shows, ads or magazines
and honestly, even within India’s own media that continues to refuse to include women of medium or darker shades on media platforms.

We still live in the same country in which I heard the white kid next door telling me that my people should get out of his white neighborhood. There are still people who are told that they smell like “curry”, presumably from people actually knowing what curry smells like. Or you still find the white guys on dating apps who only like Indian girls and treat an entire people group as a fetish. This leads to whole groups of desi people who refuse to engage in anything that associates them with their culture. Forbidden activities include but are not limited to: eating with their hands, being caught speaking their mother tongue or even spending a week in India.

The truth of the matter is that it’s not actually cool to be Indian. It’s only cool in the same way that people like dressing up on Halloween or decorating their Christian tree once a year, it’s exoticized. But even when this fad changes, I’ll still wearing my lengha blouses mixed and matched with American gowns. I’ll still try to rock my lengha skirt with a button down and my salwars pants with American tops. Because just as much as I identify as an American as my nationality, I am still and will always be Indian and that doesn’t need to be cool to you. It’s me.

Confidence & Clothes

*See the original post on Instagram*

In retrospect this outfit was beautiful. But I honestly felt so ‘extra’ wearing it until I reached the area by the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Near FIT, everyone was wearing the most creative things and you almost stuck out more plain old clothing.
I asked my friend Lauren about how she is so darn confident and one thing she taught me was how when picking between a safe sunglass look and a bold one, she chose the bold one. Part of confidence meant being okay with sticking out.
As a minority and as someone tall-ish, I always feel seen and rarely try to attract more attention. Everyone knew the one of ten brown kids in school.

But I’m learning now that it’s okay to stick out, it’s okay to be noticed and be seen if it’s for reasons that are authentic to you. Time to try out bold outfits more often I guess. 😅

📷: @mallariproductions

 

The Dress That Doesn’t Fit

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*See the original post on Instagram*

Fun fact: The dress I’m wearing here was thrifted for less than $30. It seemed like such a steal, it still had the tags on and was from Nordstrom. I bought in on a whim, assuming it would fit me. Another fun (or not so fun) fact, it doesn’t. It zips halfway and then meets the point of no return and lies open. The two halves of the zipper just decided that they refused to meet and the distance between them was too large to travel.

In the past, when I put on clothing, I felt as though it was my responsibility to fit in my clothes. That my body should change to meet the demands of changing fabric.

“When I lose weight, I’ll wear those pants”

“I’ll fit that dress after I start working out”

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Newsflash, I now eat (pretty) clean and workout regularly but as I tried my best to zip up this dress I realized that it just wouldn’t fit, that it may never fit. That my torso is the smallest part of my body. That it’s pretty much as small as it can get for me while still being healthy and that even if I lost more weight, my naturally medium frame would need to be smaller to fit that dress.

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So I decided to be okay with this dress not fitting. To be content with the fact that my bones and chest are broader than this dress is willing to wrap around. Instead of running after an unattainable and likely unhealthy perfect, I decided it’s okay for me to love my body even if it would never be a size 2 or 0. That maybe it means there’s just more of me to love.

Is Ethical Shopping Just Too Expensive?

When I first started shopping ethically, I felt ashamed of any piece of fast fashion that I owned that wasn’t thrifted. Now that I have tried to dress ethically for a few months now, I realize that there are times when I’m okay with not buying something new ethically or thrifted. With my currently lifestyle, it isn’t always practical for me. But I can, at the very least, try my best to buy ethically whenever it’s possible. It’s actually more wasteful to just get rid of my old clothes than to actually try and reuse them in new and fun ways. The outfit below is mostly ethical and what’s kinda funny is that the ethical pieces were actually the huge bargains compared to the non-ethical pieces.

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Top: Everlane (Ethical) $25 with a $10 off code, $15 with free shipping

Belt: Jcrew $20.70 (Similar, not Ethical)

Pants: Target (Thrifted, Ethical) $8.99

Coat: Burberry (Second-hand, Ethical) $208.51, Burberry Coats purchased new retail for around $1700 for fully cotton options. When I looked online, used Burberry coats normally cost around $400, mine was a steal! (Similar, Ethical)

Shoes: Marshalls (Similar, Expensive but Ethical)

 

Thank you for the awesome photos, Mallari Productions!

How To Style a Lengha

If you’re an Indian woman, chances are that you have a lengha sitting in your closet. It feels like such a shame to me that such a beautiful garment could be worn maybe once or twice and then completely forgotten. Which is why I decided to show you some ways to style a lengha.

Special thank you to my friends at Mallari Productions for such amazing photos.

First Look: Traditional Outfit 

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Second Look: Lengha Botton and tank top 

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Last Look: Lengha Top and Leather Skirt 

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Comment down below, which of the looks is your favorite? If you don’t already, make sure to follow my Instagram account to stay updated on my latest photos of outfits.

The Second hand Burberry Trench

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I never imagined I’d own a Burberry trench coat one day. $1,700 for the cotton version seemed like way to steep of a price tag and I would not pay $700 for the Polyester version.

And then I decided to try thrift store shopping in an attempt to slowly build up a more ethical closet. One day it suddenly hit me- a used burberry trench coat would be much cheaper than a new one. I decided to scour The Real Real and  passed by a lot of beautiful Burberry trench coats because I wasn’t financially willing to pay just yet. Let’s be honest, even a used Burberry trench coat is super expensive. I had even decided I didn’t need Burberry (which I still don’t) and purchased a used Zara trench on Tradesy for $40. Really expensive for a second hand Zara trench if you ask me but still less than the $200-700 used Burberry can sell for. The seller cancelled the order, I got my refund and decided it was a sign.

One day I pulled the trigger and I cannot tell you how happy I am that I did. You can watch an unboxing on my channel and see me like a little kid on Christmas. At $200 for the coat I honestly think it is worth every single penny. It looked brand new one when I received it, going to show how amazingly some people care for their items. I’m hoping this will be a piece in my closet for years to come.

Are there any designer items you’d love to have in your closet one day? Are you also a fashion lover like me? Do you think there’s anything wrong with owning crazy expensive pieces? Let me know in the comments down below.