Five fashion lovers rummage through their wardrobes to resdiscover that one piece which embodies sartorial joy

Feel-good fashion.


We all have that one trusty staple or special piece in our wardrobes that we keep returning to—your first expensive big girl dress, a vintage top discovered serendipitously in Europe, a necklace your grandmother passed down to you. New or old, expensive or thrifted, these possessions serve purposes far greater than merely utilitarian. They bring a smile on days we need a pick-me-up, they serve as keepsakes of precious memories, they make us feel like we can conquer the world (or day), and basically never fail to deliver. Bazaar India asked five stylish women to dig into their closets to unearth such a piece, and share their sartorial sparks of joy with us.

PERNIA QURESHI, Fashion Entrepreneur

From vintage Chanel to custom couture from the world’s top houses, the fashion entrepreneur’s wardrobe is a veritable trove of treasures. As one of the most stylish women in the country, Pernia Qureshi is often seen walking that line between classic and cool. She’s happiest in pieces that are feminine yet fun, but never run-of-the-mill. One such outfit she owns is a black dress with a twist from Obataimu, a conceptual store in Kala Ghoda, Mumbai that she likens to a speakeasy. The fitted ruched number with cape sleeves is one Pernia says she sees herself wearing for decades to come. “It’s made from this unique stretch fabric developed by the brand, and it just takes the shape of your body so beautifully,” she says. The mother-of-one turned to it twice for a dose of pregnancy chic, including styling it simply for a New Year’s Eve party when she was six months pregnant. “It complements you no matter what shape you’re in,” she adds.

RUCHIKA SACHDEVA, Founder and Creative Director, Bodice

Designer Ruchika Sachdeva’s fashion label is celebrated for its unique exploration of indigenous weaves and techniques within a contemporary context. Her personal style is just as cerebral and pared-back as her design diktat, revelling in quiet luxury, superior construction, and a balance between the feminine and the masculine. A go-to that she feels best captures her sartorial codes, and one she practically lives in, are her Issey Miyake plissé pants. But she prefers to find her match in the men’s section. She owns them in several colours now, and turns to them for everything on her calendar, be it work, yoga, travel or night-outs. “It’s a technical gem, and quintessentially Issey Miyake, making it one of those iconic designer purchases,” feels Ruchika. “Since I get mine from the men’s section, it almost feels like I’m breaking the rules a little bit. My style is about putting unexpected pieces together, so I’ll wear it with a very feminine sheer knit top for a balance of contrasts,” she adds. As a designer, what Ruchika values most is pieces that are not only comfortable to wear but put your mind at ease too.

DIVYA SAINI, Founder, Bodements

Divya Saini’s raison d’etre when playing dress up is all about re-wear and reuse to reduce waste. By extension, Bodements, her brand of upcycled clothing is steeped in the very same philosophy. So, don’t be surprised when you spot her in looks that are repurposed from head to toe—that’s just Divya’s way of expressing herself while being mindful of her consumption. A piece that she considers special is a stone-coloured cropped jacket and bralette set she upcycled out of an oversized men’s velvet blazer bought from a vintage store in Paris. She chopped it herself to taper the hem, and had her tailor finish it. They played around with the sleeves, used the pocket flaps to create a bralette and turned the leftover fabric into a scrunchie. “My style is classic, but also very edgy. What I wear needs to be cool and high on fashion. This jacket set is the perfect amalgamation of all these elements,” says Divya, adding, “Looks that are entirely remade are essentially what I stand for.”

PUJA SHAH, Co-founder & Designer, Aurus and Moi

The Ahmedabad-based jeweller’s design narrative is rooted in creating pieces that tap into the wealth of Indian crafts but speak of our modern times. Her personal style is no different. Puja Shah confirms that everything in her wardrobe is an extension of how she thinks and lives, curated to visually capture the person she is. She is proud of her heritage and flaunts that in how she dresses. Her sensibility, she adds, can be best described as timeless and India modern, with an eclectic touch. Puja constantly gravitates towards pieces high on craftsmanship and repeat value. Indian weaves are a staple in her collection, whether inherited as a part of her legacy or bought with the intent of eventually passing them down. A black crepe Bandhani sari from her mother is one of her most cherished possessions. Easily three decades old, it features ambadal or mango motifs, and is a drape Puja has turned to for several important events, styled differently each time to befit the occasion. “But I do tend to wear it with a vintage pachikaam necklace or earrings,” she adds.

OONA SHAMBHAVI D’MELLO, Visual Artist and Co-founder & CEO, MySustainOnline

As a champion of sustainability, Oona Shambhavi D’mello not only walks the talk but dresses the part too. The Goa resident is most at home in simple, fuss-free designs, but what seals her buying decisions are a brand’s eco-conscious manifesto. “I like to know how my clothes are made,” says the multi-hyphenate artist. “I am very interested in not just the quality but also how transparent the brand is. I do look up their commitment to circularity and climate positivity,” adds Oona. She derives pleasure from fashion when she knows she’s wearing labels that value impact—just like she does by supporting ethical designers. It is for this very reason that sustainable clothing brand, Reformation occupies ample shelf space in her closet, so much so that she even wore it to one of her wedding functions—an off-shoulder maxi with a thigh-high slit, paired with a necklace that she upcycled from her mother’s choker. She is all about fashion with a side of storytelling, “preferably pre-loved by those who I love. A mix of new and antique never disappoints.”

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