With this post, I profess my love for two of the best things to happen to fashion: power dressing and crisp white clothes.
Rewind to India, circa 2007. With an iron box in one hand and a pleat-full in another, I am cringing at my middle school uniform. “The sleeves are too long and so is this ugly grey skirt,” I whine to my mother as she braids my hair and secures them with ribbons.
I then watch as my mum rummages through my closet to find that navy blue sweater that I thought I had hidden very well. Sigh. Nothing gets past my mum. Neither the tacky sweater nor the fact that I tried to sneak out with rolled-down socks. Yep, I tried to fold my crew-length socks down in an effort to stylize my uniform a bit. I hated that I had to walk away from my jewelry stash without wearing a single piece of bling. And to my dismay were Serena Van Der Woodsen, Blair Waldorf and her minions making uniforms look like a sartorial dream with their sequins and sparkles. If anyone who knew me back then is reading this, you knew I had a bit of a shopping addiction and just how much I disliked wearing the same thing everyday, didn't you?
Tuxedo Dress: Forever 21 | Earrings: Miraya | Shoes: JustFab | Bag: H&M
In hindsight, however, if it were not for my seemingly dull and drab uniform back then, I doubt that I would have ever found solace in telling stories through what I wear. Wearing the same thing as everyone else in my school for five days a week instilled the kind of school pride that, overtime, matured into a sense of belonging. The uniform that I thought was stifling my self-expression was actually my greatest lesson on introspection, self-discovery, and expressing myself through my words and actions. That’s mostly all I got on the major, consequential side of things. But it was the little things like ironing my outfit everyday, doing a neat job on my hair, and experiencing what it is like to have a morning routine that eventually added up.
In ways more than one, I pay homage to my good ole' uniform everyday. I have signature outfits. I plan my outfit and pull accessories the night before. I like seeing everything in one place - my ironed outfit, jewelry, shoes, and whatever else. And I like the "extra" fifteen minutes of sleep in the morning (who doesn't?)
A big shoutout to this delightful neighborhood bar + cafe called Room 389: with its boozy coffees and a hipster-meets-comfy vibe, this cozy Oakland lounge is my favorite discovery of the month! Laydee Kaye and I chanced upon this place while looking for a place with wood-paneled interiors and this was just what we were looking for. Browse through the gallery below for a detailed look at their gorgeous literary decor and more from this shoot:
Connect with me via Instagram for more such East Bay gems, everyday power dressing inspiration, and glimpses into my beautiful chaos.
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Miraya originated as a concept magazine for a Publishing class, but much of it now exists online and has been adapted for this blog. The core remains intact, and that is to explore the changing landscape of contemporary Indian fashion through the international lens, engaging readers in a creative juxtaposition between tradition and modernity. It is spearheaded by the Founder and Creative Director, Namrata Loka.
Namrata R. Loka
Founder & Creative Director