Most local fashion bloggers take lots of pictures of themselves in pretty outfits, describe those outfits, and then post more pictures of themselves sashaying about. That’s all fine and (sometimes) good. But the wash-rinse-repeat monotony can sometimes be as exciting as watching nail polish dry. Neha Gandhi (www.instagram.com/gottalovegandhi), on the other hand, peppers her fashion blog with family tales and life experiences. This is the kind of ingenuity that makes the fashionable Dedham resident and Mumbai native this week’s Instagram style star.
Q. You tell me that you’re all about comfort, but I’ve seen plenty of photos of you wearing things that don’t look particularly comfortable. Is there a happy medium for you?
A. When I was getting my eyebrows done for the first time and I just couldn’t take the pain (I almost was about to leave the salon with one bushy brow and one shaped brow) my mom told me, “Nobody said fashion was easy.” I keep saying that to myself when I am in sky-high heels and have to walk in the city. But I can only do it for so long. After a while, I want my oversize clothes and ugly sneakers.
Q. I love the little stories that you tell on your blog (www.loveplayingdressup.com). It’s quite different because most fashion blogs are strictly about the clothes. Where do the tales come from?
A. Everyone in my family loves telling stories. Growing up, if my mom had to teach us something she would weave in a story. Even while reprimanding us. Then there are things that just stay with you. I want to pen those things and share with everyone.
Q. There is a stereotype that straight men don’t like to shop — especially for clothes. So it’s incredible that your husband loves to shop as much as you do. Is that a quality that you were looking for in a mate?
A. Whoever says that hasn’t met my husband. We were friends for a very long time. Our love of fashion was just another thing we bonded over. It was like a bonus prize. Who shops more? Let’s just say its a healthy competition.
Q. How did growing up in Mumbai shape the way you look at fashion?
A. When I was in school, I used to keep cutouts of outfits from fashion or Bollywood magazines and modify those designs to make them age appropriate. Then I got them stitched from our tailor. Ten years ago there wasn’t a brand craze in Mumbai. That has totally changed today. But it did teach me that it doesn’t matter who designs your clothes; what matters is how well you wear something.
Q. Answer honestly: What does your mom think of your tattoos?
A. Getting my parents on board for my first tattoo was a challenge. I literally blackmailed an approval out of them. Now I have four, and the fact that each tattoo means a lot to me makes everyone at home respect them.