THE TASTEMAKERS

BUILD IT

Curating a wardrobe that stands the test of time is just as hard as it sounds, but our guest columnist Mandavi Khanna has some pro tips

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I seriously wish I had a hundred bucks for every time someone stood in front of their overflowing closet and wailed what will I wear to that party tomorrow?

And we all do this right? Well, maybe not all of us.

Ok, fine, I do sometimes find myself in this situation. But, honestly, it's rare. My friends tell me all the time oh you have so many options. You won't have any trouble figuring out what to wear. And it's true I do have a lot of clothes. But do I wear something new every time I go out? No! Let me tell you — some of my best pieces are years and years old. I'll forget about an outfit, won't wear it for months and months and suddenly, just like that, it'll be perfect for that dinner I have to go to. And my friends will eye it and say see you always have something new.

The thing is, and I just can't say this enough, one has to systematically build a wardrobe. Over time. Year after year. Season after season. It involves going to fashion week, attending the exhibitions, scouting for new labels on the net, emailing designers for look books or even simply staying in touch with the latest designs by making the rounds to the stores on a regular basis. It's hard work. Don't snigger, it's true! And it doesn't mean you buy stuff every week. Or maybe in my case it does. But for a normal person what it means is that when you do buy something, make it count!

It's better to buy one piece that will remain stylish and elegant for years to come than to buy one trendy thing from Promod, Zara and Aldo each. Can you do without that shirt? Most definitely. Can you skip the dress? Hells yeah. Do you need the shoes? For God's sake no. Walk away from that mall. You'll thank me. Especially once you bump into your second cousin twice removed wearing the exact same Zara dress at the next family get together.

The good news? There are so many Indian designers out there now that are creating fabulous outfits - both western and ethnic - at a pretty damn affordable price point. Think 15000/- or less. Check out a few of them here and get busy building. There's always that next party to think about.

Mandavi Khanna is the co-creator of Vintage Affaire,

a 100%-for-charity volunteer initiative. She writes a lifestyle blog at

www.notjustavintagejunkie.com

www.facebook.com/notjustavintagejunkie

MY FAVOURITES

Statement pieces under Rs 15k

Kiram Uttam Ghosh

KIRAM UTTAM GHOSH

Emerald Pleated Wrap

Rs. 14950

Bodice

BODICE

Culottes with Binding

Rs. 14400

Urvashi Kaur

URVASHI KAUR

Grey Striped Long Jacket

Rs. 12550

Urvashi Kaur

URVASHI KAUR

Ecru Print Dress

Rs. 12300

Twinkle Hanspa

TWINKLE HANSPAL

Night-sky One Shoulder

Rs. 8500

Bodice

BODICE

Twill Drape Dress

Rs. 13050

Ikai

IKAI

Black Shibori A-line Kurta

Rs. 10150

TWINKLE HANSPAL

Night-sky One Shoulder

Rs. 8500

Love Birds

LOVE BIRDS

Red Double Moons Silk Dress

Rs. 11200

Twinkle Hanspal

TWINKLE HANSPAL

Ivory draped maxi dress

Rs. 12550

Jodi

JODI

The Bukhara Maxi Dress

Rs. 12206

Twinkle Hanspal

TWINKLE HANSPAL

Wild Waves Skirt

Rs. 10500

Am Pm

AM:PM

Ivory Tunic with Palazzo

Rs. 14950

Kavita Bhartia

KAVITA BHARTIA

Black and White Asymmetric Dress

Rs. 12250

Love Birds

LOVE BIRDS

White & Red Jumpsuit

Rs. 10500