East Meets West on the 36th Floor

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As I type this, my packed bags are at my feet, as we get ready to head to New Dehli. (This time tomorrow, I’ll be driving to the Taj Mahal in Agra! Cue the goosebumps!) Here in Mumbai, we have seen some wonderful sights, like the Elephanta Caves, where we climbed 60 flights of stone stairs to see ancient sculptures of Shiva.

The last few days in Mumbai have been eye-opening. After years of living in New York City, my husband and I realized how much we take Western accessibility for granted. For example, Mumbai’s streets are not walkable — there are no sidewalks, just places where mopeds and cars are not currently driving.

So when we leave the hotel, it’s always via private driver — and we often feel like we are observing Mumbai through sheets of glass, like a tiger at the zoo. I think this really comes through in today’s outfit photos.

Sea Green High-Low, Floaty Thermal: Free People | Olive Leggings Pants: Uniqlo | Sandals: Isabel Marant (Consignment) | Scarf: Thrifted | Turquoise Ring: YSL (Consignment) | Peacock Cuff: Vintage
Sea Green Floaty Thermal: Free People | Olive Leggings Pants: Uniqlo | Sandals: Isabel Marant (Consignment) | Scarf: Thrifted | Turquoise Ring: YSL (Consignment) | Peacock Cuff: Vintage

We took these photos on the 36th floor of our hotel, the Renaissance on Lake Powai. This hotel is awash in Western comforts, including a beautiful pool, spa, gym and yoga studio. The hotel is also far removed from the city — you have to walk half a mile to reach the roadside security gate (complete with explosive-sniffing dogs).

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The outfit is another example of how I used Western clothes to echo Indian dress. The floaty sea-foam green thermal has a ragged, high-low hem, which loosely resembles a casual shalwar kameez. Leggings are integral to Indian dress (especially if they scrunch up by the sandal-wrapped ankle), so the olive Uniqlo pants create the perfect silhouette.

As always, the scarf is integral to the look. This $5 khaki version was plucked from a thrift shop bin. (I often find that the cheapest items are the ones I reach for most often.)

The view from the 36th floor lounge at the Renaissance.
The view from the 36th floor lounge at the Renaissance.

The outfit’s green and brown palette was certainly inspired by the view from the hotel. The smoky gray-blue sky. The pale blue buildings. The steely railroad tracks. There’s a certain beauty in this muted scape — like our surroundings have acquired a hard-won patina.

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The weather has been absolutely glorious — 80 degrees and up. As we head into New Delhi, my wardrobe will switch gears. (It will be 60s during he day, dipping into the 40s at night.)

The blog will be lagging behind my real-life movements (I still have another Mumbai outfit post that will go up later this week.) To follow along in real-time, check out the Instagram feed. Namaste!

The infused water I am too scared to drink.
The infused water I am too scared to drink.