What to Wear in Rainy Seattle: Introducing Aakanksha Agarwal

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"Wait-a-minute! Is that my favorite shirt you’re wearing?" A sentence used far too often and chidingly with my little sister, and vice-versa. Digging into each other’s wardrobes and unearthing new treasures was a regular occurrence, even though we are 8 years apart. She’d raid my closet when she wanted to borrow a sophisticated dress, and I would scour hers for the most ripped of ripped denims.

And boy, did we miss it when we moved cities, and then continents! When in fashion school, I used to have swap parties with my closest friends. And at the end of the day, we would all go back home glowing and happy, with our sartorial goody bags. In retrospect, this is what sisterhood is all about. Sharing secrets, and well, swapping clothes.

In fashion school, I learned the rules, and then taught myself how to break them. The most interesting style epiphanies will always be deep within you. India is a land of colors, textures and amazing prints. I worked as a celebrity stylist and fashion journalist in Bollywood (Mumbai), and it was a humbling and enriching experience. I’m lucky to have worked with phenomenal people like Priyanka Chopra, Lisa Ray and Ali Fazal.


In fashion school, I learned the rules, and then taught myself how to break them.

While celebrity styling is a very glamorous profession, there is an incredible amount of hard-work that goes on behind the scenes. It was very gratifying, my job. It was a great feeling to make people feel good about themselves. If there was one thing that was bothering me a bit, it was the sheer amount of clothes and accessories that I was hoarding. I loved fashion with all my heart, yet something at the back on my mind urged me to cut down on consumerism.


I loved fashion with all my heart, yet something at the back on my mind urged me to cut down on consumerism.

Moving from Bombay to Seattle brought about a fresh set of fashion challenges. Used to living in my platform heels and skater dresses, Seattle saw me make a utilitarian shift to skinny jeans and sneakers. Let’s just say my patent leather jacket is my new best friend. Given the grey skies, I’ve also made a conscious effort to add in a pop of bright color to my look. To steer away from the monochromes I usually favor is difficult, but sometimes, a swipe of bright red lipstick just does the trick. I was itching to update my wardrobe, to suit the capricious climes of this city.

So when I met Ambika Singh of Armoire, and she told me what the company was all about, it was a bingo moment for me! It bought a wave for nostalgia and reminded me of sharing my wardrobe with my sister. This is truly the perfect wardrobe solution. Minimize space, maximize style – in one stylish masterstroke. With brands like Yumi Kim, DVF and theory to name a few, you’re spoilt for choice! Armoire solved two of my biggest fashion conundrums - to maintain a minimal, stress-free closet, and to dress seasonally! Then there is the whole feeling of delicious anticipation, when you wait for your clothes to arrive in the mail.

So I did what any sensible, fashion-loving adult would do, and signed myself up for an infinite, trendy rental closet.


Here are the four things that I coveted the most and are perfect to kickstart the season...

 
 

A hug in a shrug

For as long as I can remember, I have been a throw-on girl. Easy shrugs, pretty ponchos, eclectic pashminas, gold-buttoned preppy cardigans – I love em’ all. So when I saw a bunch of beautiful printed shrugs on my stylist-curated choices, I was hard-pressed to choose just one. So I narrowed it down to two – one monochrome poncho, that will be right at home with a red pout. And one colorful, patterned longer shrug, that I bet will really pop out with an all-white look. These two beautiful babies will make the transition from still-nippy weather to summer so cozy (and stylish!) for me.

 
 

Sweater weather

For me, style is all about mixing chic staples with trendy, seasonal pieces. The key to wearing a trend is that it should resonate with your innate sense of style. We all are guilty of having our uniforms for maniacal days, and I have mine. A gorgeous sweater with skinny jeans is my sweet style spot, a repeat offender in my closet, and one I’m glad to have. So when I saw a snug-fitting, maroon v-necked number, I had to have it. A couple of layered, gold necklaces and its ready to go. What’s not to love? Do I need to add, that this is just perfect for date night.

 
 

The LBD (Little blue dress)

Dresses that cinch the waist are a no-brainer for me and make me feel my best.This dress made me want to be strolling in a French seaside town, stat. If only I knew how to wish myself there! While i’m still working on my powers of teleportation, I do have an unlimited ‘armoire’ in my arsenal. So what I’m planning to do is put on this very pretty dress, and sit in my favorite brunch spot with the sunlight streaming in, and enjoy a summery cocktail. Ah, here is the power of clothing, that takes the mundane and makes it magical. The power of transformation!


The one thing constant about my personal style is that it’s constantly-changing (pun totally intended!). And that said, it makes me very happy to be associated with Armoire, a company that epitomizes style and dynamism. I’m a new girl in the city trying to walk through the rain, and still have my fashion moment. I’m watching out for interesting style experiments and to document them while I’m at it. So stay tuned and watch this space for a lot more style talk.

xoxo,
Aakanksha

Follow her at @aakanksha.a