Greetings from Mumbai

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The packing process for my 3-week trip to India was intense. It started several weeks ago, when I moved all my winter clothes into my closet and packed away my summer and spring clothes. This proved to be a nice head start for this task. I diverted summer tunics and drawstring linen pants — clothes that otherwise would have been destined for “under the bed” — and plopped them in an empty suitcase.

Then I came up with a preliminary “mood” for the trip’s outfits, which revolved around ultra-classic colors like camo and khaki, some ethnic pieces like a Moroccan fringe tote and lots of gold jewelry, I started jotting down outfit ideas culled from my existing wardrobe. The day before the trip, I made a quick trip to Uniqlo for some last-minute items — and today’s outfit is a hybrid of old items and new.

Pants/Leggings: Uniqlo | Blouse: Kenzie (Lord & Taylor) | Scarf: Levi's | Sandals: Trademark
Pants/Leggings: Uniqlo | Blouse: Kenzie (Lord & Taylor) | Scarf: Levi’s | Sandals: Trademark

The blouse has been in my workwear closet for years (last seen on the blog here and here). The top is stylistically perfect for India primarily because it is collarless. In fact, none of my packed shirts have any collars to speak of.

The shoes are another stand by — you last saw them here on the blog.

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Next, I used an old silk scarf I picked up for $10 at Levi’s a few years ago. (I packed about a dozen scarves in various colors, materials, widths and lengths — stay tuned.) I also packed a copy of How to Tie a Scarf: 33 Styles to inspire the knot. (This is the Montmartre style, and you can see the instructions here.)

The new item of the bunch? The Uniqlo pants, which are actually leggings — currently on sale for $20. (No shocker there — I’m gone for three weeks, and I have no idea how much weight I’m going to gain from the double dosas I’m eating per day.)

I visited one of my husband's suppliers outside of Mumbai.
I visited one of my husband’s suppliers outside of Mumbai.

I visited a chemical favorite in the outskirts of Mumbai in this outfit. (The outing reminded me of the Dharma Initiative in the TV show Lost.) I was incredible charmed that I was asked to wear the hard hat during a tour — yet my open-toed shoes elicited no concerns.

This type of outfit — classic and tailored with a utilitarian and safari-esque bent — brings to mind a famous outfit worn by Princess Diana.

Princess Diana campaigned  against land mines in 1997, and that outfit has clearly stayed with me, even after nearly 20 years.
Princess Diana campaigned against land mines in 1997, and that outfit has clearly stayed with me, even after nearly 20 years.

There are some key differences, if course. Diana’s jeans are actually jeans. (Plus, they’re Armani.) But I think I was able to channel the spirit of the ensemble, almost 20 years after the original was worn.

I’ll be continuing my updates from the road. Expect more outfits, glimpses at the cities we visit and travel tips for Southeast Asia. And to those who celebrate, Merry Christmas!

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