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My Instagram: Neha Gandhi

Neha Gandhi (@loveplayingdressup) has called Boston home for a decade, but originally left Mumbai to attend Northeastern University. The eBay analyst and lifestyle blogger has since adjusted to New England temps and attitudes and has words of encouragement for the incoming class.

Q. Tell me about the origins of your blog and why you started writing.

A. I started [my blog] Love Playing Dressup in July of 2013 to share my story, to inspire people to feel confident about themselves, listen to theirs, and connect. I had struggled with weight and body image issues through college and used [dressing up] as a means of overcoming low self-confidence.


“Playing dressup” isn’t just about wearing a glamorous outfit or putting on makeup. It’s symbolic of a lifestyle and about transforming yourself to your best version.

Q. Any advice for students who have moved far from home to go to college?

A. My number one piece of advice would be to not lose focus of your goals. The sudden feeling of being on your own can be overwhelming and confusing or can lead to misuse of independence. So don’t lose sight of why you’re there in the first place.

Q. What was your early experience at Northeastern like?

A. I think it was the most enriching experience of my life. Coming from a family where we are raised in a rather sheltered and privileged life, I learned so much during my initial months at Northeastern that I will be forever grateful for.

There were some challenges as well; being far from home in a country where I literally knew no one. But I had some amazing friends, great faculty, and a family just a phone call away.

Also, those initial years are peppered with so many anecdotes. Imagine the difference in culture, accent, and 180-degree different way of life. At Northeastern, I addressed all my professors as “sir” and “madam,” like we do back home, and I had my professors tell me that I was making them feel older than they were. It took me a long time to bring myself to address people by their first names.


Q. What were your first impressions of Boston fashion?

A. Honestly, I was very impressed. I don’t understand why the fashion in Boston is notorious. Long coats, beanies, scarves nonchalantly but stylishly wrapped around – it doesn’t get more chic than that.

Q. How did you transition your wardrobe into a professional wardrobe?

A. I added a lot of black and navy pieces to my otherwise colorful wardrobe. A blazer will remain a staple in my wardrobe because it can easily dress up or down an outfit. I wear my blazers with pants at work and switch to a tee and jeans and throw them on for a casual-chic look. And I am a huge fan of high-waisted pencil skirts as they look sharp and also give an illusion of a size down – always a win!

Q. What’s been your favorite look from your blog?

A. My favorite look was the one in the red tulle skirt. It is special to me because to me that is an essence of playing dressup. I am mostly dressed in my corporate attire or distressed jeans and a plain white tee, but wearing a tulle skirt and having afternoon tea at the Langham is playing with fashion, not setting any boundaries for yourself or conforming to any norms.


Rachel Raczka can be reached at rachel.raczka@globe.com.