My Shopping Bag – (Faux) Leather Love

First, let me clarify, wherever I mention leather in this post I actually mean faux leather. With the beautiful quality of faux leather now available, I see no reason to buy real leather. Of course, this isn’t true if your purpose is to keep warm. However, leather for me is purely about fashion and I won’t pretend otherwise. I guess this comes from growing up in cities where wearing leather (fake or real) for warmth was not required due to the mild winters. So wearing leather clothes was always seen as cool and exotic. Once I moved to London, I started buying a lot of (faux) leather clothes. So, all in all, faux leather was good enough for my purpose and I just don’t have the heart to buy leather anymore.

Leather clothing instantly ups the interest factor in an outfit. Try this – leather trousers and a tee instead of other basic trousers or jeans and tee. The effort involved maybe the same but if you are wearing leather trousers its instantly a chicer outfit.

(Once I started writing this post, I went through the number of leather items I have purchased and it became slightly embarrassing. I might have become the crazy leather lady.)

Item 1: Jackets

Yes, I am a little annoyed to have started collecting leather jackets already. I have been in London for just a little more than a year. But the first leather jacket I fell in love with and bought was just so cool and different from the ones I saw around. It was also surprisingly warm and perfect for my first fall in London. This has pretty much been my go-to jacket for the last year or so and its absolutely perfect for me since I wear so much black clothing.

Grey Next Faux Leather Jacket

Grey Next Faux Leather Jacket

I always suggest having a non-black leather jacket to wear when a black one is too harsh – especially in the daytime. Also, because a non-black leather jacket is still a little unexpected. The others colours I like are maroon or oxblood and dark green. Although, leather jackets in pastels are not my cup of tea (actually, coffee) there are a number of options for colours. Baby blues and pinks, mint and beige have been quite popular although with winter coming I would not recommend buying anything too expensive in such colours. For me, the grey one I got was just right, not too dark and not too light.

My sister (and co-blogger, of course) also bought me a faux leather jacket from Vero Moda. I think she got tired of hearing me talking about wanting one. This jacket is perfect for a slightly formal setting like a dinner to a nice restaurant and even casual Fridays at the office. I prefer to wear it with trousers and not dresses or skirts because it fall till the hip.

Vero Moda Short PU Jacket

Vero Moda Short PU Jacket

Unfortunately, the leather jacket obsession didn’t end there. I still wanted a cropped biker jacket to wear with dresses and skirts so got one from Forever 21 on the cheap. You will be seeing a lot of this on the blog – at least till the winter gets me.

Item 2: Pants

My first idea of leather pants was of this lady I saw, at a hotel as a kid. I have no recollection when and where and have no idea who she was. She was wearing the perfect leather pants with a white button-down shirt (I forget if it was silk or cotton). To me, as a kid who had never thought of the possibility of leather clothing, that was the coolest outfit ever. I have wanted to wear leather pants since.

I looked around for leather pants for quite a bit but was never able to find something in my size. I finally ended up buying a pair from H&M which were really great for winter.

Item 3: Leggings

Faux leather leggings was the only leather item I wore in Bombay – one of my essentials. I bought one from Mango and recently got one from Vero Moda – and I am going to keep replacing them when they run out. These are super comfortable, with a thin cotton shirt or tunic, even in the hot, muggy Mumbai weather and are definitely more interesting than wearing gym leggings.

In London I wear them with a thin cotton shirt as well – layered with a jumper and coat, of course! This is from a photo I took last winter near Piccadilly Circus and this is how I wore leather leggings for my Summer Wardrobe Challenge. Satarupa also recently wore this with a white tunic/ shirt and I loved her outfit.

Vero Moda faux leather leggings, white unbranded tunic shirt, H&M silver jumper, Forever New winter coat and Forever 21 white beret.

Vero Moda faux leather leggings, white unbranded tunic shirt, H&M silver jumper, Forever New winter coat,  lace satchel from a boutique in Linking Road, Bandra and Forever 21 white beret.

These leggings are available almost everywhere now, in grey, olive green and my new favourite colour, maroon or oxblood. I also liked Bidisha’s leggings mixed in with the lace patterns.


Item 4: Skirt

At one point of time, leather mini skirts were the only option for leather skirts. Now the stores are flooded with leather skirts in different patterns – A-line mini skirts, pencil skirts, pleated mini skirts, and midi vintage look skirts. If you saw my last Shopping Bag post, you will see I took my first step into leather skirt territory by getting one with a faux leather laser cut pattern from ASOS.

Recently when the sister and co-blogger packed up her bags for a trip to London, she also got me a skirt I had lying around in my wardrobe and forgotten about so almost new! Its a black A-line mini skirt with some leaf prints on it and I can’t wait to wear it this winter!

However, the skirts I have my eye on now are the leather pencil skirts which look so polished and classic. The leather makes them interesting enough to wear out and the shape makes it polished enough for office. Other than the mini skirts which have stood the test of time, I think the leather pencil skirt will also be wearable for some years although I would be wary of stocking up on the pleated and vintage look skirts in leather.

Zara Faux Leather Skirt in Aubergine

Zara Faux Leather Skirt in Aubergine

Item 5: Shorts

Although leather shorts would be the perfect for Bombay, I don’t think I ever thought of wearing leather shorts till I saw (and bought) these ones from H&M.

H&M Imitation Leather Shorts

H&M Imitation Leather Shorts

I have been wearing these constantly with tights – definitely the dressiest outfit involving shorts!

Bonus items: Dresses and tees

There is no reason as to why you shouldn’t explore the idea of a leather dress or tee just because its not in my shopping bag (yet). I do own a leather dress (which will be making its appearance soon enough when winter gets in) but this was an item I bought a long time back and now don’t even remember from where. However, the shift leather dresses I see around nowadays are just perfect – casual and interesting at the same time. When it comes to leather, I am not in favour of very fitted and ‘body con’ dresses since leather as a material itself makes quite a statement. I like the shift and tee shirt styles. Similarly, for leather tees, I like the boxy shapes.

This Stradivarius is my dream leather dress. Note: The ASOS dress is real lather.

Stradivarius Short  Sleeve Dress

Stradivarius Short Sleeve Dress

Topshop Leather Look t-Shirt Dress

Topshop Leather Look t-Shirt Dress

ASOS Shift Dress in Leather

ASOS Shift Dress in Leather

Now about the leather tees. The one I have has lace and leather and is far from basic. But the boxy ones which you could throw on just like any other tee are the ones I appreciate. The unexpected colour of this top is just perfect winter cool.

Missguided Haraya Faux Leather Sheel Top

Missguided Haraya Faux Leather Sheel Top

How much leather clothing do you wear and own? Did I miss out your favourite leather item?

- Anisha

Diwali Dressing

I had a great Diwali with somosas, jalebis and gulab jamuns – hope everyone else did too. Also, had the chance to finally wear the Indian wear I had lugged all the way to London!

Tailored Raw Silk kurta and chiridar, ASOS Blue Leather Bag and FabIndia leather slippers

Tailored Raw Silk kurta and churidar, material from Greenways, Connaught Place, Delhi, ASOS Blue Leather Bag and FabIndia leather slippers

photo 3

Earrings from Lady Blush

Earrings from Lady Blush

Makeup details: Clinique Moisturiser, Smashbox Primer, MAC Foundation, MAC Gold Eyeshadow, MAC Blush (used on eyelids as well as eyeshadow), Eyeko Eyeliner and Lakme Lipstick.

Satarupa wanted in on my Diwali post as well. Also reported she was at home hosting her in-laws who came over with some yummy South Indian food. Groaned about how she ate way too many sweets and now needs to hit the gym! (I haven’t heard about her actually hitting the gym yet, though).

Tailored anarkali

Tailored georgette anarkali, material from Commercial Street – Bangalore

Shoes from Catwalk

Shoes from Catwalk

Not to be left out, Bidisha is here as well. She hosted some friends over at her place, which she decorated in true Diwali tradition – with lights and rangolis!




How did you celebrate the Festival of Lights? Hope everyone had a lovely Diwali! :)


Our guest blog!

First off we would love to thank Krupa for the lovely post on Diwali eye make-up. I hope you guys have tried out her excellent tips – they are so simple yet look so chic!

Now its our turn to guest blog on Istyle Awhile!  With winter fast approaching, we thought it would be fun to do a post about layering. We know how difficult it can be to keep warm and look chic at the same time. It can be tempting to throw on a fluffy sweater and call it a day,  but with a little effort winter can be your most fashionable season yet! So stay tuned  for that – it will be up soon on Istyle Awhile!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Diwali! :)


Drink of the Week: Banana Nutella Coffee Shake #DOTW

Well the weekend is here but instead of a Saturday night cocktail I will share a Sunday morning coffee recipe with you. Many of you may have cringed hearing this but I can assure you Banana Nutella Coffee Shake is divine! Do not diss it until a taste test has been done. I can pretty sure my co-blogger and sister Anisha herself is making a face reading my post – she doesn’t like coffee made complicated.

image 1

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Well, lets get on with the recipe and then tell me how it sounds and tastes!


A glass of cold milk
2 spoonful instant coffee (I use Bru)
1 table spoon Nutella
Half spoon sugar
3 cubes of ice
1 banana chopped

Put all ingredients in the mixer. Check for consistency and smooth out the banana chunks.

All the above pictures are of the Banana Nutella Coffee Shake in American Diner, Delhi .

All the above pictures are of the Banana Nutella Coffee Shake in American Diner, Delhi .

Drink ice cold. I love this Banana Nutella Coffee Shake and I hope you do too! I dream of adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream to it but I have to compromise somewhere. I tell myself it is healthy since it has banana and milk  but then I taste the Nutella and I really don’t care anymore!

Let me know how you liked it and if you would welcome more coffee drinks.

Banana Nutella Coffee Shake made at home.

Banana Nutella Coffee Shake made at home.

Have a great weekend everyone.

- Bidisha

Simple ways to add some pizzazz to your eye makeup

Hey everyone,

My name is Krupa and I blog at Ishtyle Awhile. I’d really like to thank Anisha, Bidisha and Satarupa for giving me the opportunity to guest blog at Frappes and Fashion. It is nothing like what they blog about so I hope you like the idea of something new.

Being a dancer, I know how important it is for my eyes to be highlighted. There is a lot of expressions that we show through our eyes, especially in Bharatnatyam. Even on an every day basis, kajal is like a staple in my makeup kit. Then we have those days when we want to look extra special. It could be for a festival or even a party.


Here are three ways in which you can do something beyond just kajal.


Look 1: Simple winged liner with a dash of gold

I know winged liner isn’t everyone’s cup of tea so if you don’t want to do a winged liner, just do a simple line. It works equally well. To bring out the gold liner that I have lined beneath my lower lash line, I used a black liquid liner on the lid. This gives that pop of colour that draws attention to your eyes but doesn’t need you to suffer with eyeshadows and brushes and whatnot.

Add mascara.




Look 2: Duochrome eye liner

For those of you who found the first look too simple, here is an alternative.

Line your upper lid with black liner and wing it out.

Take another liner that is preferably metallic and line just from the inner corner to half way across the lid. It should cover the black and then thin it out so from the middle of your eye, the black should start to peep through. You should have half colour and half black. Add mascara.

I didn’t remove the gold liner that I had used underneath the lower lashes. Instead I just lined my eyes with kajal.

The gold liner goes with the metallic khaki liner that I have used, but can totally opt to use just kajal, or not kajal.





Look 3: The dramatic liner

Now for those of you who aren’t scared by drama (some of us just thrive in the limelight. Hi fi girl!), this is totally for you.

I used the liquid black liner to make a thicker wing and also added an extension downwards to make the whole thing look like a fishes’ tail. The gold liner just peeks through between the tail.

I darkened the kajal on the waterline. Add mascara

There is no way that you won’t have all eyes on you with this look.

I was too lazy to remove the duochrome look and just extended it into this. You can opt for a complete black liner.




So which one is your favourite? Do let us know and oh, share pictures on Instagram or Twitter if you try this out. I would love to see how it turns out. Use #IshtyleAwhileFestiveEyes.

Can’t wait to see it.

Happy Diwali to all you lovely people!

 - Krupa.

Guest Blog ALERT!

I love makeup and spend some considerable time on Pinterest for looks to recreate. And then I swipe on my same old bright lipstick (Boots No. 7 Sienna, MAC Ruby Woo and now Revlon Colourburst Showy) to make up for the outfit which is lacking in colour (always!). And when its a really special occasion I use the MAC gold eye shadow I have – and that’s the extent of my makeup skills.

So when we had the chance to have Krupa, biochemist and blogger at Istyle Awhile give us some tips on makeup after her extensive experimentation with makeup as a dancer and beyond, we jumped at that chance! And the best part is that she agreed to show us some great makeup looks for the eyes – and right in time for Diwali.


Our guest blogger, Krupa

And some of her looks even involve gold eye shadow. :-)

So watch out for her post tomorrow so you can get ready for a colourful Diwali!

- Anisha

Sunday Soul Sante : Bangalore

Last Sunday I went to the Sunday Soul Sante, held here in Bangalore. For those of you who don’t know what that is, its basically a flea market filled with fun, kitschy things, and there’s food as well as live music. This was my first time going to Soul Santé, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Needless to say I was blown away by the riot of colors, the people and just the whole ambience of the place!


The most creative colorful wind chimes you have ever seen!


All sorts of beaded handmade bags, belts, headbands and dream catchers.


Glow in the dark splatter paintings.

Photo by Nirup Divakaran. _MG_6178 Photo by Nirup Divakaran. _MG_6180 Photo by Nirup Divakaran.


Hand crafted dreamcatchers

Photo by Nirup Divakaran.

I started out with an idea of spending a couple of hours browsing though the stalls, but there was honestly so much to see that I was there basically the whole day. Whenever walking in the bright sun got too much, we took breaks and sat down to listen to the live bands playing, and enjoyed a glass of cold beer! Heaven :)


Custom made terrariums


Colorful digitally printed cushions, canvases, posters.


Printed T-shirts, posters, banners.


Handmade jewelry


Custom made figurines and toys


Very pretty and colorful magnets, compacts and mirrors


Custom made tiny replicas! They looked so life like!


Hand made pottery


Beautiful fresh flowers and plants


Crop tops


Colorful pots for plants and other knick knacks


Ashtrays, wall clocks and trays made from actual flattened bottles!


A live band performing

Even just people watching was fun. There were girls in flower headbands, flowy dresses and the whole atmosphere had a very “music festival” vibe to it. I couldn’t get enough of all the amazing colorful outfits everyone was wearing. Here’s a great article capturing some of the style of the people there. Thanks Sahana for finding it :) What surprised me the most was the sheer size of the event. This map here (which was conveniently placed right at the entrance) will give you an idea of how big the event actually was. There were more than 200 stalls!


A very detailed map of the area. Over 200 stalls!

There were local artists displaying their paintings, handmade jewelry, flowers, home décor items, candles and even vintage furniture! There were live bands performing throughout the day, fashion shows, and I believe a dance troupe took the stage at one point during the day, though I missed that.


Handmade candles


Vintage frames and furniture


This was a just a display piece. Though the stall owner got quite a few offers to buy the headpiece!

One whole section was dedicated to food, and it was not disappointing. There was Goan food, barbecues, burgers, momos and even a salad bar! I had the pulled pork sub from The Roadkill stall, and a lemon iced tea for lunch and it was great! In addition, there was chilled beer being served at impromptu bars set up throughout the place. What more could you ask for?


Assorted desserts. I loved the red velvet cupcakes!


Grilled chicken!


Lanterns being released at night.

The whole point of the Santé is to give an opportunity to local artisans to display and sell their creations. Some of the things on display were so creative and pretty, that I wanted to buy it all! I initially just wanted a dream catcher for my bedroom, but I ended up with a whole lot more. I’ll be doing a post with what I bought soon. Till then, heres a peek at one of the items I got – this amazing head piece! I immediately decided to wear it of course :) IMG_0772 In all, I was very impressed with how the event was organized. There was enough space for everyone to walk around and see all the beautiful things displayed. The stage/entertainment area was bang in the center so was easy to find when you wanted to sit down. At no point did it feel like it was overcrowded, and everyone was so well dressed and colorful that it was a joy just to people watch!

The only downside I would say was that some of the stuff was definitely priced higher than they usually are in their online or their regular stores. But I guess that is the norm for these kinds of events? I’m not sure. Though there were also some people who had come from different cities just to sell their stuff, and these flea markets are the only places they sell their wares at! It was a really fun experience I have to say. A must see if you are ever in Bangalore when one of these is taking place. I loved it and I cant wait to go back to the next one! I hope you enjoyed all the pretty pictures :)