Inspiration: Taylor Swift and her girl squad

The very first time I heard a Taylor Swift song it was sometime during my early college years; a time when my teenage angst didn't particularly care for her sugary sweet brand of music. These were the times when she was still bracketed as a country musician and wore cowboy boots with dresses. Years later, on a warm summer night, I chanced upon another song of hers. Taylor looked different with a blonde lob and red lip as she sung about eating breakfast at midnight and endless dreaming. Something about that particular carefree night, the melodious rhythm and eating breakfast at midnight seemed so appealing. So one thing led to another, and by the wee hours of the morning, I had heard the entire album.

Taylor Swift performing on stage for her 1989 concert tour with friends Kendall Jenner, Serena Williams, Karlie Kloss , Gigi Hadid and Cara Delevigne
Today, Taylor is pop artist with millions of fans worldwide, a DJ boyfriend whose modeled for Armani underwear and a squad of girlfriends consisting of the cream of today's young adult Hollywood celebrities. The gang spend many a night baking in her apartment, starring in her music videos and performing at her concerts; all of this while being exceptionally well-dressed.

I'm taking a look at the style of Taylor Swift and the closest cliche of her squad and breaking down their style.

Karlie Kloss

Karlie Kloss shows of her personal style and fashion sense in body con dresses, jumsuits and maxi dresses at red carpet appearances

The BFF of the squad who resembles Taylor a fair bit is the wonderful Karlie Kloss. She's a former Victoria's Secret Angel and supermodel who has walked for the likes of Tom Ford and Oscar De La Renta. Being a model, her appearance is always poised and perfect as she shows of her lean bod in a fitted silhouettes. Even her off-duty style is always on-point - relaxed yet chic. Karlie's also studying computer coding at NYU, the face of L'Oreal Paris and working on Karlie's Kookies, all at the age of 23. If that's not an example of beauty with brains, I don't know what is!

Selena Gomez

Selena Gomez shows off her personal style on her curvy body with layering and fitted gowns

Finding her feet as a Disney star, Selena Gomez has come a long way since then. She's broken out of the good girl mold with her own music career and even more popularly, her fling with Justin Beiber. More recently, she played villain in buddy Taylor's music video. When it comes to her style, Selena's got the curvy girl pat down as she enjoys clothing that is fitted at just the right spots and layering up a simple outfit. Her style epitomizes the girl next door with her casual, fresh looks

Gigi Hadid

Gigi Hadid shows of her personal style with her bohemian vibes at Coachella, hashtag jacket and gowns at red carpet appearences

With her roots from a Hollywood family, Gigi started out her career at a model for Guess Baby and later went on to be a Guess Girl. She's got the blonde bombshell looks with her beachy waves, strong body and magnificent glow so it's no wonder she's an ambassador for swimwear and lingerie brands aplenty, including Victoria's Secret PINK. Her style is extremely versatile - she can pull off the surfer babe vibe effortlessly with a bohemian cool influence to her look and can clean up just as well to stun on the red carpet in gorgeous, intricate gowns. Besides being a top runway model for the likes of Chanel, covering a number of magazines and making appearances in music video appearances all at 20 years old; Gigi is also the face of Maybelline New York.

Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner shows off her personal style in gladiators, shorts, fitted suits and blazers and gowns at red carpet appearences

Coming from a family that excels at making headlines, the stepsister of the Kardashian Klan probably needs no introduction. Kendall Jenner has grown up in the spotlight of the family reality show but really came to being when she sprung up as a model at 14. Since then she's gone onto walk the runways for Versace and Marc Jacobs and has her own clothing collection at PacSun. Kendall's style is a lot more demure than her family or the rest of the girl gang. Her thin, tall frame is often donned in tailored, sharp garments and formal attires that rare for a girl her age, but she still manages to look groomed.

Taylor Swift

Taylor Swift shows of her style in crop tops and skirt and shorts and coordinated seperates on the stage and off duty as well

The girl in question herself and the glue of the girl gang. Taylor's got legs for days and works them for all their worth, whether decked up glamorously on stage or otherwise. From her tight curls, she's graduated to a lob and a side fringe with the ever present red lip. Taylor is known to favorite the crop top and she's often spotted with a number of permutations of it with shorts, pencil skirts and flared midi's.

Style-wise and career-wise, the girl squad is filled with models, singers and actors that are perfect style inspiration which I can't to see more of!


Style Files | The clothing connection

When it comes to my closet, I've got no complains. While I do lust for the handbag or two that refuses to leave my head every once in a while; I'm fortunate that opening my wardrobe every morning is like transporting myself to the wonderful world of Narnia. The possibilities seem endless although not with snow queens and talking lions, but with trinket boxes and innumerable outfit combinations.

Dayle Pereira of Style File is wearing a Forever 21 pink and black aztec print scoop back dress with black stilettos, rose toned makeup and a low bun hairstyle

And then somewhere within this mystic land of crisply ironed shirts and shoes of every shade, I have a few extra special pieces that I take a shine to, simply because they mean more to me than others. Take for one a pair of jeans that I've owned since college. A classic blue in a simple straight fit, they've stood me through landmark birthdays and college presentations. And since those good ol' days, I've amassed a fair share of fades, shades and fits in the denim department but somehow, those are still my favorite jeans. Then there's the bright pink sweatshirt that I treasure with all my heart which I've used as a security blanket when I went for a round of tests as well at to snuggle up with on many a chilly day. And yet, when winter comes around and I've got an array of blazers to choose from, I'd stick pick my pink sweatshirt over any of them.

A number of neutral and colourful bright bags are on display along with printed dresses in the French Connection store at the Palladium mall, Mumbai

Just like my closet, the world of fashion is something like Narnia - Surreal to the point of sometimes being unrealistic and with surprises around every corner. Picking your outfit can sometimes be a task fit for the Terminator or on some days, the clothes choose you. They seem to speak to you with faint voices generally reserved for spirits in movies; and say 'pick me!' While I've spoken about shopping from the perspective of fashion being an investment, it isn't always so cut and dry. There are million emotional aspects that come into play, whether you're picking out an outfit from your closet or snagging one on sale. Maybe you're feeling optimistically confident about your body that morning and you pick out the body-con dress that flaunts your curves. Or you're excited about your date tonight so you choose the red sweetheart neck top. Beyond checking the price tag of an item, our memories, minds and moods are working without us even knowing and stretching our hand out to pick up the workout gear, maybe after watching a motivational movie last night.

Dayle Pereira of Style File picks out her favorite pieces from a new collection at a store launch wearing a wavy bob, high waist shorts and wedges

Photography: Leo Alemao / Style File

I've often spoken about my passion for fashion and one of the things that I enjoy about it is how it is so much more than just an item of clothing you wear on your body. It is, in fact, something that can have an impact on your self-worth and your emotional state and is affected by it, in return. Whether you woke up on the right side of the bed this morning, your favorite colour is fuchsia or you're reminiscing about your birthday from three years ago, there's a lot more processes that run through your mind when you pick out the printed dress tomorrow morning


Personal Style | Pirouette

Exactly 12 months ago, I was in almost the same situation. I stood at a crossroads between a shiny, new path and one that felt like my comfort zone. And even though the comfort zone made me feel warm and fuzzy inside, I chose the latter, which I'm truly grateful for. It taught me a number of life lessons along the way, like inner strength for one, perseverance, the Hannah Montana syndrome and knowing when to take a bow. A year later, the crossroads and me have a reunion, although I'd like to think of myself as a slightly older, a little wiser and definitely more stylishly dressed. And of course, the shiny new path is the one I chose; the start of a new career, filled with new experiences.

There's just something in my heart that tells me to never stop moving; once bitten, twice shy be damned because we all know how stagnancy breeds moss. Watch a ballet performance and you'll witness how gracefully they carry themselves through every point and pliƩ. Every pirouette lifts them off stable ground, turns their world upside down and in a moment, they are back to reality, standing strong and poised. Every once in a while you're bound to make a mistake or two or trip down a flight of stairs. Forgive yourself for it because it happens to the best of us. All you need to remember is, no matter what life throws at you, dust yourself off, tie up that top knot and get going.

Looking every bit a ballerina, Dayle Pereira of Style pairs her grey polka dot leotard with a blue skater neoprene skirt, gold glitter ankle strap heels, a monogram rose gold satchel bag and a top knot

Looking every bit a ballerina, Dayle Pereira of Style pairs her grey polka dot leotard with a blue skater neoprene skirt, gold glitter ankle strap heels, a monogram rose gold satchel bag and a top knot

Forever 21 grey polka dot leotard [worn as top] | Forever 21 blue neoprene skirt [previously seen here] | Michael Kors monogram satchel [previously seen here] | Pavers England glitter ankle-strap stilettos

Photography: Leo Alemao / Style File

Looking every bit a ballerina, Dayle Pereira of Style pairs her grey polka dot leotard with a blue skater neoprene skirt, gold glitter ankle strap heels, a monogram rose gold satchel bag and a top knot

Looking every bit a ballerina, Dayle Pereira of Style pairs her grey polka dot leotard with a blue skater neoprene skirt, gold glitter ankle strap heels, a monogram rose gold satchel bag and a top knot

While this look was shot sometime in the distant past, i felt a connect between how life feels currently, the french tips on my nails as well as the ballerina bun. The polka dots and bright pop of my favorite colour definitely adds to the femininity. I also barely resemble my former self above, especially when it comes to how different my hair looks now. While I've gradually been opting to go shorter every time I go for a chop, I've found it so refreshing to style as well as how chic I feel with it.

It feels great to be back on Style File with a renewed perspective and I'm looking forward to much more!


Beauty | Monsoon no-makeup tutorial + review

After my rant on whether the monsoon will ever arrive in the city, they finally did! While I am thrilled to bits at settling into the cooler climes with the rains; what I do detest is smudgy mascara & dripping foundation - an unfortunate side-effect of a makeup routine that isn't suited to the season.
I've recently been introduced to a variety of new launches from a few cosmetic and grooming brands and after dabbling with them, I've created a beauty tutorial that is understated, simple to whip up within a few minutes and most importantly, it is perfect for the rainy days ahead.

Step #1 - Primp that hair

Using my Braun Satin Hair 3 blow-dryer, I've blow dried my hair to reduce the frizz that occurs in the monsoon season as well as to get smooth hair

Every monsoon, I've noticed that my hair tends to become frizzy and lifeless during the season. While heat styling tools are best avoided, my next best option is blow-drying. Since chopping my hair into a bob during the summer, I've found myself relying much more on blow-dryers. Once I started using Braun's Satin Hair 3 blow-dryer, it only further affirms my faith. For the look, I've blow-dried my hair naturally with a styling brush while keeping my waves in place and my fringe pinned back.

The highlight of the Satin Hair 3 is how drastically it eliminates frizz and how smooth my hair feels after it, because of its ionic properties. This pint-sized blow-dryer definitely packs a punch much greater than its size. It comes with a detachable nozzle for precise drying and 3 settings to adjust the temperature and air flow. Here's the kicker - it folds magically into half of its already tiny size which makes it portable to travel with.

Price: Rs. 3,200/-

The Braun Satin Hair 3 blow-dryer comes with a detachable nozzle, has a 3 speed panel for temperature and air flow adjustment and is foldable in order to be portable to carry while travelling

Step #2 - All about the base

Using my L'Oreal Paris Infallible Stay Fresh 24 HR foundation, I've pumped a small amount of it on my wrist and apply it on my face with a Real Techniques brush for an even finish

Once I've cleansed and moisturised my face, I move on to foundation. I've previously spoken about my fondness for products that go beyond their description and maximize their utility. The L'Oreal Stay Fresh 24 HR foundation from their Infallible range does just that.

The L'Oreal Paris Infallible Stay Fresh 24 HR liquid foundation comes in a thick glass bottle with a plastic cap and has a creamy texture and thick liquid consistency

The thick glass bottle comes equipped with a sturdy plastic pump that dispenses the foundation easily. The creamy liquid allows for easy application of the foundation and the formula is opaque enough to provide full coverage, if layered on. While I use a foundation brush for my routine, usage of clean fingertips is good enough to blend in the creamy liquid. Just like their recent Cannes 2015 launch, the highlight of L'Oreal's Stay Fresh 24 HR foundation comes down to its matte finish which makes the skin feel nourished throughout. What makes it perfect for the monsoons is the fact that it is waterproof. Even while stepping out in the rains, I faced no smudging and was thrilled that my base was intact.

Price: Rs. 1325/-

Using my L'Oreal Paris Infallible Stay Fresh 24 HR foundation, I've pumped a small amount of it on my wrist and apply it on my face an even finish and full coverage

Step #3 - Seal it in

 Using my L'Oreal Paris Infallible Stay Fresh 24 HR powder foundation, I apply it on my face matte finish, even texture and sheer coverage

The best way to protect a good base is by sealing it in with a powder. With oily skin like mine, I stick to powders that promise a matte finish. A pleasant companion to the liquid foundation that I'm using is the L'Oreal 24 HR Powder Foundation from the Infallible range.

The L'Oreal Paris Infallible Stay Fresh 24 HR powder foundation comes in a sturdy plastic case with a transparent top and a second compartment beneath the pressed powder for a sponge and mirror

The second you spot L'Oreal's 24 HR Powder Foundation, you'll notice that there's something unique about it. That's because of the additional compartment beneath the powder, which is for a sponge and mirror.
I use a buffing brush to blend the powder thoroughly into my skin so that gives me a natural finish. The powder sets my base pleasantly and it gives me the matte finish I long for, at least for a couple of hours. When wore on bare skin, it still manages to provide a sheer layer of coverage. While you may need a touch-up if you wear it at a long stretch, that's exactly what the additional compartment was made for. The thoughtful concept and stellar packaging make this product a winner!

Price: Rs.1250/-

Using my L'Oreal Paris Infallible Stay Fresh 24 HR powder foundation, I apply it on my face matte finish, even texture and sheer coverage

Step #4 - Add in some colour

Using The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick, I apply it on my lips for a tint of colour and sheer pigmentation

Being a makeup look that is likened to 'no-makeup', I needed to add colour that would give me just a flush and a sheer tint. Any old lipstick wouldn't fit the bill and that's when The Body Shop's Lip & Cheek Velvet Stain came to my notice.

The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick comes packaged as a retractable crayon in a coral pink colour, gives a a stain of colour to the face

Encased in a retractable crayon, the color payoff of the Velvet Stain is as 'au-natural' as possible. The highlight of the product is its dual usage on both, lips and cheeks. When applied directly to my lips, my bright poppy shade transformed into a pinkish coral tint. For my cheeks, I've applied the product onto my clean fingertips and proceeded to blend it into the apples of my cheeks.
The pigmentation of The Body Shop's Velvet Stain is just sheer enough to cheat your way to rosy cheeks. Once applied, the creamy texture of the product blends easily into the skin, lending a tint of colour while giving a natural finish.

Price: Rs.995/-

Using The Body Shop Lip & Cheek Velvet Stick, I apply it on my lips for a tint of colour and sheer pigmentation

Step #5 - Lash it out

Using the Faces Glam On mascara, I've applied it on my eyelashes for fullness and volume

I've only come to learn of how crucial mascara is to me, much after I got acquainted with makeup. While it used to be just a product that darkened my lashes, it has come to be the one that opens up my eyes and uplifts my look to an extent that I can skip most other eye products.
The Faces Glam On mascara is one that makes me feel like that. After using an eyelash curler, I apply a layer of of my mascara and if I'm feeling adventurous, a second layer. The way it volumizes my lashes is magnificent as the difference in fullness can be seen for itself. While it is water resistant, exposure to water when you're wearing it is avoidable. The conical shaped brush separates each lash and gives the eyes so much definition.

Price: Rs. 449/-

 Step #6 - Finishing touches

I've filled in my brows with a brow pencil for fullness and definition in the area and have lined my waterline with a nude pencil for a fresh, open eyed doe like look

To add my finishing touches to the look, I'm adding more definition to complete my eyes. While I have relatively full brows, I merely dot on a dark brown shade of eyebrow pencil on bare spots and blend it in with a smudger brush. When it comes to brows, take note that they're meant to look natural and unlike they've been drawn in with crayons so a little goes a long way.
Being a minimal look, I'm giving my eyes a fresh, 'slept-for-10-hours' kind of feel. To do that, I've used a shimmery champagne crayon which is from the ScandalEyes range by Rimmel which you might know, I adore. I recommend a skin-tone, nude shade for this step as using white veers towards looking unnatural.

The final no-makeup tutorial for the monsoon season is understated and minimal with a little colour and a burst of freshness

Photography: Raynor Pereira / Style File

And there you have it - the final look! The products used are suited perfectly for the monsoon season ahead and will prevent any runny makeup. I enjoyed creating the look which fits my generally minimal tastes well and can be worn well in a formal environment or on days when you want to take it easy. While it does cheat on the 'no-makeup' part, it certainly passes for it and is a look that is fresh and natural.

Hope you liked it!


Life | Pre-monsoon of 2015 Snapshots

While I've never been the monsoon's greatest fan, I do make an exception on select occasions *read: days spent indoors watching it pour outside* I love the eternal never-ending summer vibe but when howling winds and gloomy skies came calling in June, I decided to take the necessity that is the monsoon in my stride and not only get set for the rains, but dress for it as well.
So I sat there and prepared for it like I did in the previous years however, after a month and a half of wondering where the monsoons really are, what we've got are a few flash floods and tragically humid days spent trying to deal with it. 

Windows with raindrops and streaks of water to see foggy headlights on a long drive in the monsoons
Blurry headlights on a wet monsoon drive

Dayle Pereia, blogger at Style File dressed in a floral bodycon dress and burgundy accessories attends the Levis press day for the launch of the denim collection for women
Recording a video at the launch of the new Levis collection for women. I've got my hands on a wonderful pair of Levis 711, which hits stores at the end of July - make sure you check out the range of denims that fit like a glove! 

a basket full of grain drizzled loaves of bread freshly out of the oven in a checkered napkin for a weekend breakfast
There's nothing like waking up on the weekend to a basket full of loaves of bread that are freshly pulled out of the oven

Dayle Pereira, blogger at Style File spends her movie night with Hollywood flick Dallas Buyers Club and a tub of butter popcorn
Kicking back on movie night with Dallas Buyers Club & a tub of buttered popcorn

Childhood photograph of Dayle Pereira, blogger at Style File as a baby with he father and brother
Sharing daddy dearest's arms with Ray

Dayle Pereira, blogger at Style File takes a car mirror selfie of he reflective sunglasses and raindrops in the car
Pretending it's still summer with my reflective aviators and rainy day drives

Humid summer afternoon with a mason jar filled with rose water and chia seeds as a beverage
Beating the heat on humid afternoons with a whole lot of rose water and chia

Dayle Pereira, blogger at Style File takes a car selfie wearing plaid, a cap and kohl rimmed eyes
You can't get me, hot sunny days

The first of the monsoon rains in Mumbai with raindrops in the concrete jungle
Hello there monsoons

A rainy afternoon lunch with bight plates and a bowl of tom yum thai pan asian soup with egg, seafood and ramen noodles
Spending a rainy day indoors with a bowl full of tom yum seafood and ramen soup
So while I'm a summer lover at heart, a little part of me is hoping for the rains to come in full swing so I can spend many more days in, watching it rain with a bowl of steaming hot soup.


DIY | Hidesign Art of Reuse + Handmade sunglasses case

My love for DIY projects is one that needs no proof as an entire DIY section on Style File makes that evident enough. From sequinned wrist wraps to ombre nails with a glittery finishthere's a thrill about crafting something from scratch. It's also a wonderful way to be thrifty, upcycle and add personalisation rather than pick a generic store bought item.

So when I learned from Hidesign about the Art of Reuse project that they hold annually, the DIYer in me was gung-ho to dive into it.

For the Hidesign Art of Reuse contest, Dayle Pereira of Style File handmade a sunglasses case with crocodile embossed leather panels, stitching and a matching trim which can be seen with reflector aviators, lipstick and tropical prints

The concept of the project is to reuse materials provided in a kit to create a complete product for your icon; something similar to the wealth from waste projects we did as school children. To get everyone fired up, it's also a contest and participation is completely free. Once you register yourself and pick up your kit from a Hidesign store or purchase it directly from Amazon for Rs.10, you will receive these items inside.

For the Hidesign Art of Reuse contest, Dayle Pereira of Style File received the DIY kit which included leather scraps, waxed thread, a fabric punch and a needle to craft their item for their icon by upcycling the materials provided

The leather scraps and waxed threads are remnants from Hidesign who craft leather bags and luggage, which I think is a great initiative. When I first saw the unshapely scraps and the slightly intimidating fabric punch, I was in disbelief if it would even be possible to create something of all this but after slowly taking my time to figure out what I wanted to do with it, it was actually quite enjoyable.

For the Hidesign Art of Reuse contest, Dayle Pereira of Style File sketches a draft of her sunglasses case to craft her item by upcycling the materials provided in the DIY kit

Since the scraps were unevenly shaped, I figured that I could probably get a sunglasses case from a single large scrap. To start off, I sketched a rough diagram of what I had in mind. Maths having never been my strong suit, I threw caution to the wind and winged it in terms of measurements. Somewhere down the line when fitting my sunglasses into the roughly shaped draft, I realised that triangular panels of crocodile embossed leather would add a smidgen of sophistication and to my luck, I had just enough of the embossed leather!

For the Hidesign Art of Reuse contest, Dayle Pereira of Style File is in the final stages of creating her sunglasses case with embossed crocodile leather panels and stitching and has to put the final touches on the leather item

To sew the two leather panels to each other is the point when the fabric punch came in. Before using it, make sure you place a hard surface such as wood or stone below your fabric. Then position your punch, pointed side just above where you want a hole in the fabric. Hold it steady and using a hammer, hammer the flat side of the punch till you get a nice, even hole. This being my first time using the tool, I was slightly nervous but using it but slowly and steadily does the trick. Measure the area you need to punch holes into for your stitches and carry on doing so in the same manner.

For the Hidesign Art of Reuse contest, Dayle Pereira of Style File is in the final stages of creating her sunglasses case with embossed crocodile leather panels and stitching and has to put the final touches of the crocodile embossed leather trim on the leather sunglasses case

I've spoken previously about how essential fabric glue is to any DIY kitso using it to glue the edge of the flap and strips of the embossed leather, I created a trim that would match the panels and bring the whole case together.

For the Hidesign Art of Reuse contest, Dayle Pereira of Style File handmade a sunglasses case with crocodile embossed leather panels, stitching and a matching trim which can be seen with reflector aviators, lipstick and tropical prints

So there you have it - a complete look at how I handmade a sunglasses case for the Hidesign Art of Reuse project. Make sure you participate and submit your entry for the contest which is open till 31st of July. Not only is it a fun project and a great initiative to reduce waste, you might just win some wonderful prizes which includes a trip to Pondicherry and designing your own Hidesign bag!




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