Vintage Styles That Will Stay Evergreen

Like red lipstick and good manners, some styles outlive seasonal trends and live on forever. And while the most versatile of designers confess that ultimately clothes are nothing without the confident and happy women wearing them, we know that some garments are so timeless and beautiful, they almost take on a life of their own…

The Benares sari

Forged with love, sweat and toil by traditional weavers in the historic city of Varanasi or Benares, the benaresi sari is considered to be among the most exquisite of garments in the world. Rich in history, the intricate weaving techniques of these gold and silk creations have been handed down from weaver to weaver over generations. Worn by brides and on other special occasions, these vibrant saris are known to last over generations and are handed down from mother to daughter. Whilst the popularity of the sari has not diminished, the original weaver families are disappearing because of poor conditions of work and unscrupulous middlemen. So, patronage of this art is crucial to the survival of these resplendent saris which will never go out of style.

The shift dress

Whilst paeans have been written on the LBD or the Little Black Dress, the elegant shift dress is the most versatile dress in the world. From the Queen of England to movie stars, this versatile silhouette can be cut from any cloth and come in any hue. Essentially, this knee-length, sleeveless dress is so popular because of its ability to complement all body types. This simple cut is also easy to tailor, easy to accessorize and above all, easy to wear.

The chiffon blouse

This year we see lady-like ruffles and pussy-bow blouses are back in vogue. But the fashionable truth is that the feminine silk blouse, like the sari blouse, has never been out of style since its introduction in the 1800’s. Its sophistication and versatility have ensured that it is a must-have garment for all women. Choose a silk pussy-bow blouse or a button-down blouse in white, cream or a pale pastel hue.

The pencil skirt

The sleek pencil skirt is undoubtedly the most popular and evergreen of silhouettes for a skirt. Whether teamed with a white shirt for work, a pussy-bow blouse for brunch, or worn with a crop top to a club, its body-fitting form flatters most body shapes. Beloved by women the world over in the neutral and slimming black hue, choose a pencil skirt with a small slit at the back for comfort. Another tip when shopping for a pencil skirt is to get one with a lining underneath the fabric so that it falls well.

The khadi kurta

Another indigenous fabric that is associated with Gandhiji and the freedom movement, khadi and its story is deeply embedded in Indian culture. This handwoven fabric is mostly made from cotton, although wool and silk can also be mixed. The khadi kurta transcends fashion trends because of the earthy character and durability of the fabric. A versatile garment, these can be worn by anyone – men, women, and children – and are appropriate at myriad places – from Parliament House to place of worship.


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Shibi, like the song in ‘West Side Story’, is oh so pretty, witty and bright! Modest too, but we can discuss that later. A Chennai native (34) who now dwells in the capital, there is nothing she loves more than a good story. Except for a good handbag. A self-professed shopaholic with impeccable taste, the young women’s rights lawyer and mother was ‘discovered’ by an Indian Express editor in Chennai at a famous boutique eight years ago and she has not looked back since. Fashion writing allows her to combine her two greatest loves and Shibi has been published in The Hindu, the Indian Express, Femina, Scroll, Bodahub, Hi-Blitz Magazine and many more. A militant optimist, Shibi abhors armchair activism and suggests that everyone ‘Be the Change’ instead of complaining about Modiji. Or run for POTUS – anybody seems better qualified than Trump. She also loves animals and has orchestrated many a doggy/kitty rescue; her most fervent hope is to see the status and treatment of both animals and women improve in India and the world over. Also, she requests you to RECYCLE and to REUSE. Climate change is real, people. Jai Hind!