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Need Style? Borderstan Welcomes Khelan Bhatia

by Borderstan.com January 21, 2011 at 6:00 am 1,700 14 Comments

Khelan Bhatia Borderstan

Khelan Bhatia: corduroy jacket from Uniqlo, plaid shirt from J.Crew, scarf from Club Monaco, Levi’s 511’s, shoes by Tretorn.

Borderstan welcomes Khelan Bhatia as a new contributor. He will be writing weekly columns on style, so pay attention male readers!

Greetings, Borderstanis. Welcome to the debut of my musings on style, fashion and all things fabulous.

Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed a renaissance of cuisine, art and music in the District. Similarly, Washingtonians have kicked it up a notch on the style front, especially in Borderstan.

Week after week, I’ll be focusing on new trends, essentials for the season and cute outfits worn by fellow Borderstanis while offering style advice to all those that ask.

What you won’t see from me is excessive bitchiness and negativity, such as Can you believe she wore those shoes from three seasons ago? or Did he look in the mirror before leaving the house?

Think more Tim Gunn and less Michael Kors. BTW, if that reference is lost on you, don’t worry: I’m here to help.

Before we get started, here’s a little background on me. I’ve lived in D.C. for a little more than five years. Currently, I live on U Street, which is by far my favorite neighborhood in town. When I’m not blogging, you can find me at the 9:30 Club, U Street Music Hall, Dickson, DC Noodles or, depending on my mood, my office downtown.

Regarding style, I believe that your outfit is the suit of armor you wear before going to work, out with friends, on a date, to a bar/club, etc. If you feel stylish and attractive, no slings and arrows will be able to pierce that armor.

Now that we’re all friends, let’s get down to brass tacks. Today, I’d like to focus on one essential that everyone should have for the remaining winter months. Because man (and woman) cannot live on denim alone, I strongly recommend a smart pair of corduroy slacks.

I know, I know. Cords? For winter? Ground Breaking (to paraphrase Miranda Priestly). Stay with me for a sec. Wait… what’s that you say? You already have a few pairs of cords in your wardrobe? Why do I need another pair? Well, they’re likely cut like your favorite pair of jeans which, don’t get me wrong, is great.

But if you really want to stand out, I highly, highly recommend a pair of cords that are tailored like slacks. These two-legged wonders allow me to look professional at work when I wear them with an oxford, navy blazer, skinny tie and lace-ups. Or I can dress them down with an untucked plaid shirt, cardigan and sneakers.

And right now, the wonderful thing is that you can get them on mad discount right now and you’ll still be able to wear them through early-mid spring. And with unpredictable D.C. weather, that could very well be through Memorial Day.

But for the love of Gant, please, please, please don’t buy a pair that are pleated or have wide wales. My favorite pair is the bowery cord in urban slim fit from J.Crew. And wouldn’t you know, they’re currently on sale for around $40. Not a bad deal considering I paid almost twice as much for full price.

So that’s it for the first go-round. I welcome all comments and questions. You can email me at [email protected] or follow me on Twitter at @KhelanB.

  • Taboo

    Thank goodness I am sitting here wearing a pair of black J.Crew cords as I read this. Is my red crew neck sweater from Tommy Hilfiger okay?

    • khelan

      I’ve been digging Tommy’s rebranded style lately. Thankfully they’ve gotten away from the “let’s place the logo everywhere” mentality and moved to a sleeker, more minamlist style. I’m sure your sweater is fab.

      • Taboo

        This has a small logo on the left side. (:<)

  • LoganBoy

    How about some very specific columns? “What to wear to a job interview when the company has business casual?”

    • khelan

      Great suggestion! Look for this as a topic soon.

  • Great addition to Borderstan! I like your suit of armor analogy…quite accurate.

  • IWannaButtLikeBeyonce

    Nothing for ladies?

  • BobInDC

    I am 51. I dress pretty conservatively now because 51 is not 41 (let alone 31). However, I feel as if I have become too dowdy. I’d appreciate some tips on what “men of a certain age” should or should not wear. Note to all those men my age who insist on wearing tank tops to the bars, skin-tight jeans and 70s-style-short-shorts: DON’T.

    • khelan

      Age and body appropriate is an absolute must. Thanks for the suggestion – I’ll include this in the future.

  • Welcome to Borderstan, Khelan. I look forward to reading your thoughts on fashion and style in DC. DC has come a long way over the years and we need more stylistas to maintain the momentum.

    Thanks for validating the 3 or 4 pair of cord slacks I have in my wardrobe. I work in tech consulting, and I find they are a great middle ground between jeans and worsted wools, and can be accessorized to add a lot of character without going over the top.

    Keep up the great commentary. Cheers!

  • Style Starved

    Nice addition to Borderstan and thanks for validating my recent purchase of a pair of cords.

  • Danny

    Great addition to the Borderstan site! For those of us boring DC government worker types, how does one dress to impress without stepping too far outside of the standard-issue suit & tie dress code?

    • khelan

      Thanks! Good question – I’ll add this as a topic to an upcoming piece.


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