Style Files X Influencer Isha Malhotra On The Power of Styling

by Preksha Mangla
Style Files X Influencer Isha Malhotra On The Power of Styling

There is a huge difference between wearing clothes like you normally do versus styling them in a certain way. However, it may not be possible for everyone to infuse this habit into daily dressing. When you think about the iconic moments in pop culture like Deepika Padukone in YJHD or Alia Bhatt in Dear Zindagi, you must know that there is a lot of styling involved in creating those looks. The same applies to everyday fashion, too.

Styling plays a pivotal role in shaping our perceptions and leaving a lasting impression. It holds a transformative power and can change the way you dress, feel, and are seen by others.

To help you get started, Style Files got in touch with Isha Malhotra, a fashion content creator (with a following of 24.5K on Instagram), who shares insights with us on styling clothes effectively. Letโ€™s dive right in!

Q. Styling outfits on a daily basis can be a bit of a challenge. I think we all struggle to make basic outfits look good. Can you share some styling tips or strategies that donโ€™t require us to spend a fortune?

A. โ€œI believe everyone should invest in high-quality classic pieces, like plain white shirts, straight-leg jeans etc. Once you have the basics you can accessorise the look with either one unique item from your wardrobe, like a statement bag – or jazz up the look with a belt, jewellery and maybe sunglasses. And do make sure the hardware on your accessories match with each other โ€“ especially if youโ€™re new to styling!โ€

Q. What is one item you consider challenging to style? How would you wear it if you had to?

A. โ€œOne item I actually find challenging to style is a vintage cardigan โ€“ the thin woollen one with buttons at the front. I find them to be quite unflattering on my body type. If I had to, Iโ€™d style it with a pair of wide-leg jeans and a cropped tube top, and Iโ€™d either leave it unbuttoned or just button up the first one.

An item that people find hard to style in general is printed pants โ€“ Iโ€™ve been asked about this multiple times actually! An easy way to style them would be to take one of the colours in the print and find a top in that colour, it could be a sweater, a tank or even a statement top. If the pants are quite a statement in themselves, try not to overdo it with the accessories โ€“ unless youโ€™re into maximalism, of course!โ€

Q. Tell us about a time when you transformed a basic outfit into a fun one? What elements did you incorporate, and how was the response from your audience?

A. โ€œThis is one of the times I turned a basic look into a more elevated and fun one! The base was black parachute pants and a pink tank top. I added a textured, black and white cropped jacket along with a pair of orange heels – I made sure that the tone of the orange complemented the pink of my tank top! For finishing touches, I added a dusty pink bag. My audience appreciated the final look!

So, once you start experimenting with your personal style, you will learn a lot about how different fabrics, textures and colours suit you.โ€

Watch her do it:

Q. Mixing and matching can be intimidating for some people โ€“ how does one mix patterns, colours, and accessories to create visually appealing outfits?

A. โ€œPlaying around with prints and patterns can surely be intimidating! One way to mix patterns would be pairing two patterns which have the same base colour. Another easy way is to pair a large print with a more detailed and delicate one. For example, you could pair a large floral-printed midi skirt with a satin shirt which has a ditzy print – both with black as their base colour.

When it comes to mixing colours, an easy place to start here would be colour blocking – which is pairing colours that are placed opposite to each other on the colour wheel. The combination usually turns out to be quite unique and exciting!

As for accessories, if youโ€™re just starting out – you can create a very put-together and classy look by making sure the colours are similar if not the same. For example, if youโ€™re accessorising your look with a belt, bag and loafers, try to make sure the colours of the pieces are the same. The same goes for jewellery – the colour of the metal should be the same for an effortlessly stylish look!โ€

Q. How do you approach versatility in fashion? Can you suggest some must-haves that can help us elevate even the most basic outfits?

A. โ€œVersatile fashion is simple fashion โ€“ it includes pieces which you can dress up and dress down as well. I believe the simpler the piece of clothing is, the easier it is to style. An example would be the little black dress I styled in this reel:

Some wardrobe staples I think everyone โ€“ all genders โ€“ must have would be a white shirt, straight-leg jeans, a neutral-coloured blazer, trousers, plain T-shirts (the fit and length according to your preference), and white sneakers.

For women, a little black dress, transparent heels, and a medium tote. For men, a belt, loafers and perhaps a polo neck tee.โ€

Q. Fashion and style evolve constantly. How do you stay up-to-date with the latest trends? How do you incorporate them into your outfits while staying true to your unique style?

A. โ€œTo be up to date, I try to catch some trends from runway shows โ€“ the ones that catch my eye. There are a lot of micro trends every season, but I try not to focus on them as investing in them isnโ€™t very sustainable. Sooner or later, fashion trends always come back – so I usually always find something that works in my closet!

Incorporating trends doesnโ€™t necessarily mean using only trendy pieces to put a look together. You can start with simple, chic pieces from your wardrobe and spice the look up with a trendy piece which you’re comfortable with.โ€

Q. What are some recent trends that you have been loving? And how can we, too, wear this trend?

A. โ€œIโ€™ve been loving maxi skirts this fall. Theyโ€™re super versatile and you can pick between so many styles! My current favourite is the mermaid style – itโ€™s a bit on the glamorous side but can be super flattering. You can style maxi skirts with sweaters, cropped tanks, and honestly even wear some as dresses!

Another favourite is the โ€˜cherry redโ€™ colour that has been trending – especially in bags. If you donโ€™t want to invest in any pricey pieces, you could go for a glossy red lip instead!

Even quiet luxury – itโ€™s one of the easier trends to incorporate into your wardrobe. Quiet luxury entails pieces made with good quality materials and muted colours. No logos are necessary.

Other than these, I love oversized, structured blazers, vests and knee-high boots as well – they have been carried forward from the last couple of seasons!โ€

This is how she has styled a maxi skirt:

Q. Itโ€™s a common misconception that to look stylish you need a big budget.
How do you suggest we style outfits without burning a hole in our pockets?

A. โ€œYou can look super stylish without breaking the bank! You can start off by building a capsule wardrobe, one piece at a time. Purchase versatile, classic pieces to begin with. You can add bolder and more interesting options to complement the basics as you go along. Invest in accessories that can be worn with a lot of your outfits – like hoop earrings, black or brown belts or a nice pair of sunglasses.

There are so many amazing brands out there that you can shop from. Some of my favourites include Cider, Miakee, Vero Moda, RSVP, Twenty Dresses and Forever 21. Youโ€™ll also find many options for sunglasses and classy gold accessories on Nykaa Fashion.โ€

Q. Whatโ€™s your one go-to clothing or accessory piece that instantly elevates any outfit?

A. โ€œI always reach for a small handbag to elevate my outfits. Itโ€™s such a useful and important accessory, in my opinion. For example, if Iโ€™m just in a lounge set – all I need is to pick up a shoulder bag or a sling to match, and Iโ€™m ready to head out! I believe it makes me look and feel more put together.โ€

Q. Your product recommendations for our readers to get their hands on?

A. โ€œHere are some products you should definitely get your hands on if you want to incorporate some trends in your wardrobe:

American Eagle, Women Blue 90s Boyfriend Medium Wash Denim Jacket:

Twenty Dresses by Nykaa Fashion, Off White Turtle Neck Boxy Short Sweater:

OXXO, Textured White Ice Milk Cardigan:

ONLY, Pink High Neck Puffer Jacket:

Lipsy, Camel Brown Button Detail Longline Cardigan:

NA-KD, Structured Buckle Detail Cardigan Off White:

SHOP STAPLE, Live in Your Linen Waistcoat:

Cover Story, B&w Striped Pullover:

Sateen, Beige Self Design Pattern Blazer:

Mode by Red Tape, Women Black Solid Sweater:

Cider, Solid Blazer With Belt (Set of 2):

Forever New, Mischa Crew Neck Knit Jumper:

Truffle Collection, Black Solid Boots:

American Eagle, Women Blue Oversized Waffle Knit Sweater:

London Rag, Solid Tan Casual Boots:

RSVP by Nykaa Fashion, Show The Snow Boots:

CARLO ROMANO, Solid Black Leather Ankle Boot:

And here are some if youโ€™d like to stick to the classics:

American Eagle, Women Blue Next Level Super Mid-Waisted Flare Jeans:

VERO MODA, Black Double Button Blazer:

Miakee, Parisian Mood 2 Piece Co-ord (Set of 2):

High Star, Women White Pure Cotton Solid Oversized Casual Shirt:

Forever New, Lyla Petite Wide Leg Pant:

Levi’s, Women High Rise 501 Regular Fit Jeans:

RSVP by Nykaa Fashion, Black And White Checks Straight Skirt:

Miakee, Wide-Leg Wonders Pants:

Forever 21, Black Solid Mini Dress:

Miakee, Fabiola Off-Shoulder Top:

Twenty Dresses by Nykaa Fashion, Mid Blue Wide Leg Mid Waist Solid Denims:

Quiz Clothing, Wine Scuba Crepe Chain Halter Frill Hem Midi Dress:

MISH, Women White Solid Knee Dress:

Forever 21, Black Solid Bodysuits :

Q. Confidence often plays a significant role in making a style statement. What recommendations do you have for those looking to boost their self-confidence through fashion?

A. โ€œI think the first step to feeling more confident in your clothes is learning about your body shape and styling yourself according to what you think compliments it the most. For example, if you have a well-defined collarbone, you can dress in a way that highlights it – perhaps with an off-shoulder sweater!

Once you get a better understanding of what silhouettes, colours and patterns suit you best, youโ€™re good to go! As they say, you look good, you feel good.โ€

There is indeed a lot to play with and explore when it comes to styling clothes, it is all in your hands how you pull off what you choose to wear. Hope Isha Malhotraโ€™s tips helped you understand the power of styling. For more such influencer insights, stay tuned to Nykaa Fashion!

Leave a Comment