Who are your well dressed icons?

I have a couple whom I consider brilliantly dressed. Sadly neither of them are alive today.

Albert Einstein, because he had a cupboard full of identical black suits so he didnt need to agonise about what to wear every day. Unlike many of us who need to empty out our cupboards and do some war dancing before we find something worth wearing and even then feel inadequately dressed when we land up where we are supposed to land up.

Mother Theresa, because she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen (through photographs, never had the pleasure of seeing her in person), and no one noticed what she was wearing. Regardless of how many beauty queens mouth platitudes about their admiration for her.

Maybe there is a lesson I need to learn here?

Who are your best dressed icons?


About Kiran Manral

Kiran Manral is a writer and major social media influencer. After quitting her full-time journalist’s job when her son was born, Kiran became a mommy blogger on the internet, with a remarkably original voice. She was a journalist at The Asian Age, The Times of India, features editor Cosmopolitan, India Cultural Lead and Trend spotter at Gartner Iconoculture US, Senior Consultant at Vector Insights, Ideas Editor, SheThePeople.TV. Kiran is currently a celebrated author and an independent research and media consultant. She was shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards for Literary Contribution in 2017. The Indian Council of UN Relations (ICUNR) supported by the Ministry of Women and Children, Govt of India, awarded her the International Women’s Day Award 2018 for excellence in the field of writing. In 2021 she was awarded the Womennovator 1000 Women of Asia award. In 2022, she was named amongst the 75 Iconic Indian women in STEAM by Red Dot Foundation and Beyond Black, in collaboration with the Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor, Government of India, and British High Commission, New Delhi. Her novella, Saving Maya, was long-listed for the 2018 Saboteur Award, supported by the Arts Council of England in the UK. Her novels 'The Face At the Window’ and ‘Missing, Presumed Dead were both long-listed for Jio MAMI Word to Screen, and ‘The Face at the Window’ was showcased at the South Asian Film Festival 2019. The Kitty Party Murder was shortlisted for the Popular Choice award at the 2021 JK Papers TOI AutHER awards. Her other books include The Reluctant Detective, Once Upon A Crush, All Aboard, Karmic Kids-The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You, A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up, True Love Stories, 13 Steps to Bloody Good Parenting, Raising Kids with Hope and Wonder in Times of a Pandemic and Climate Change, More Things in Heaven and Earth and Rising: 30 Women Who Changed India. She also has published short stories in various magazines, in acclaimed anthologies like Have A Safe Journey, Boo, The Best Asian Speculative Fiction 2018, Grandpa’s Tales, Magical Women and City of Screams. Kiran lives in Mumbai with her family. Social media handles Twitter: https://twitter.com/KiranManral Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kiranmanral/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KiranManralAuthorPage Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kiranmanral/
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22 Responses to Who are your well dressed icons?

  1. Childwoman says:

    My mum and my best friend K are my well dressed icons.


  2. Childwoman says:

    But apart from them, I quite like Gauri Khan and Kirron Kher…


  3. Neelum says:

    Nandita Das and Kirron Kher for me


  4. Meira says:

    Has to be mom. Mismatched saris with no makeup, and yet manages to elicit more compliments than her two daughters put together!


  5. sraikh says:

    My fav bhua who always wears sarees and the most kickass jewellery. And has the most number of shoes and bag I have eve seen.

    Lately Mrs Obama.. oh my god, that woman has some fine taste not to mention beautiful toned arms.


  6. Anamika says:

    I quite like Madhuri Dixit’s style in her recent photographs. John Abraham, Sonia Gandhi, Obamas…they are impressive too. George Clooney and SRK…these 2 men are the ones where the personality and charisma takes over so I ignore looks and clothes. Well, GC is some looker though 😀


  7. Waheeda Rehman….that lady just walks in with a simple sari and a string of pearls and those size zero mini skirt clad chicklets just fade away!


  8. Priyanka says:

    My mom. She has the most exhaustive collection of sarees I have seen and still manages not to tear her hair out deciding what to wear for the day!!
    But one woman I really and truly admire for her attitude towards dressing is Indira Gandhi. Her short white hair, starched sarees, ramrod straight posture – without a stylist. And now you have our prez who pulls on a ghoongat and insists on wearing full sleeved blouses so as to represent Indian women!! Bah!
    But other than that Sharmila Tagore and Tanuja – simple sarees and minimal makeup spell chic like nothing else!


  9. Kiran Manral says:

    Childwoman: No love, I’m far far far away from well dressed…trust me. And yes, Kirron Kher’s saree collection is to die for, but she does seem a little over the top for me. But what is wonderful is that she carries it off brilliantly.

    Meira: That is mom for you.

    Sraikh: Yup. With you on Mrs Obama. She’s getting better by the day. On the flip, Carla Bruni, with her background as a haute couture model is getting into dowdy territory…

    Anamika: I’m with you on Sonia Gandhi and Mrs Obama. I had hated her inauguration suit, and that black red dress, and a recent puffed skirt with cardigan ensemble, but most of the times she manages to dress well, with minimal fuss. I wonder how we all forgot Jackie O. As for George Clooney, well I have a thing for grey haired men, I’m not even looking at what he’s wearing.

    cluelesschick: True, with her face like hers, nothing else even matters.

    Priyanka: Agree completely. Not so sure about Tanuja, but Mrs Gandhi and Sharmila Tagore are classic. And now the current Mrs Gandhi takes the legacy forward.


  10. choxbox says:

    mom. zero make-up and simple sarees but looks so classy.



  11. Bhavna says:

    While I agree with most of the above, amongst the new hip ones- I like Priyanka Chopra. I am NOT a fan but she always manags to look so cool and elegant and hardly ever wears anything over the top, she ends up looking like a really stylish woman next door.


    • Kiran Manral says:

      Bhavna: I agree. She has the figure and the bone structure and the poise to go understated and yet look like a million bucks.


  12. BEV says:

    i like michelle obama’s style some of the time. preity zinta rocks western wear…for indian wear i love the old time actresses – from nargis to waheeda, they all had this amazing allure dressed in nothing more unique than a sari, which everyone of that era wore every day…my mom can rock a simple sari ensemble when she wants to, too


    • Kiran Manral says:

      Bev: Absolutely. Just simple sarees and the sharpness of their features, and their incredible poise. When can we hope to reach there?


  13. Priyanka says:

    Kiran, not sure if I will ever reach there. Since moving to Mumbai, haven’t worn a saree to office (thanks to the local train journeys). So its only on festivals that I end up draping a saree, and now am outta practice. If this keeps up I will no longer be comfortable in sarees and can forget about poise altogether.
    Am wondering, how to combine Mumbai commuting and sarees. Hmm…


  14. Natasha says:

    Classic, understated elegance is what I like.

    Sonia Gandhi, Naina Lal, Nandita Das. They all have brilliant bodies, but don’t feel the need to flaunt it.


  15. I am here from Dipali’s blog 🙂 This is interesting 🙂 I like anybody in colourful, cotton saris or skirts (lehengas with tops), flowers, creative bindis, glossy hair, interesting blouses… I think Soha Ali Khan dresses very well!


  16. Eveslungs says:

    My mother . She was always impeccably dressed even if it was to go to the kitchen, She wore the simplest of handloom sarees in vivid colours and later in beiges and creams . Minimal jewellery and make up and she was an absolutely elegant woman. Sadly Im the wrost turned out person I’ve ever met.


    • Kiran Manral says:

      Priyanka: The days when I did the train commute in sarees, I used enough safety pins to make it like a zip up dress.

      Natasha: Exactly. Covered up. Sharp. AND brainy-sexy.

      Indianhomemaker: Thats a nice look too, but one that I could never carry off at this advanced age…

      Dips: How incredibly adorable!

      Eveslungs: I dont think so, every picture Ive seen of you is so very elegant, crisp and smart…mothers are another league altogether though…I hope one day my son will say that my mom was always so well dressed and well turned out.


  17. Era says:

    Hi, came to your site from Dipali. I totally agree with your choices and reasoning for Einstein and Mother Theresa. To be so comfortable in ones own self and project such positive vibes is truly a gift.

    For me there was a lady at our church when I was much younger who always looked stunning. Never flashy or gawdy, her attire was always attractive and unique.


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