Meet Urmi Daga, a fashion influencer, entrepreneur, and co-founder of a popular former fashion blog, What Wear How. With a keen eye for style, Urmi has built a massive following on social media platforms by sharing her unique take on fashion and beauty.
In this exclusive interview, we dive into Urmi’s personal fashion journey, her tips for building a summer wardrobe, and her thoughts on the latest summer fashion trends. From her inspiration to her favourite sustainable brands, Urmi shares her insights on all things fashion.
HELLO!: How did you get started as a fashion influencer, and what led you to pursue this career?
Urmi Daga: “I started my career in PR after graduating college, but I quickly realised it wasn’t for me. I’ve always had a passion for fashion styling, so I decided to pursue it with a friend of mine. It was a bit of a risk, since I had no prior background in fashion and no formal training, but I was driven by my passion and took a leap of faith. Our first gigs were styling for ad films, where creative freedom was very limited. However, we decided to start a fashion blog where we could experiment and showcase our creativity without restrictions. This was back when blogging was not yet popular in India. Eventually, our blog gained traction and led to more opportunities. What started as a passion project turned into a successful business.”
H!: Can you tell us about your personal style and how it has evolved over time?
UD: “In the past, I used to be quite reserved, and my fashion choices were a reflection of that. I played it safe with basic and uninspiring styles, even for formal occasions. I used to rely on a simple kurti and leggings for my go-to “formal” look at work. However, since pursuing my passion for fashion styling, my personal style has evolved considerably. Although I still prefer simple and relatable casual outfits, I’ve become more experimental in my fashion choices. I now have a much broader definition of formal dressing and have learned to incorporate unique and unexpected elements into my outfits.”
H!: What are some of your favourite summer fashion trends, and how do you incorporate them into your wardrobe?
UD: “My summer wardrobe is all about embracing fashion trends in a way that is comfortable and approachable for everyone. I love neutrals, white-on-white, and casual linen outfits that can easily be incorporated into anyone’s wardrobe. You’ll find the same styles in my own closet too. I don’t go for OTT looks; everything is very laid back and comfortable and I love oversized clothing.”
H!: How do you balance staying on-trend with building a classic, timeless wardrobe?
UD: “I believe that having classic pieces in your wardrobe is essential, as they can easily be paired with trendy items to create a stylish and versatile look. In my own closet, you’ll find timeless pieces that I’ve been wearing for years, but they still look current and fresh. I think it’s important to collect classic items that don’t go out of style. For me, trying to stay on-trend is where all the experimentation comes in. For example, I used to hate wearing cycling shorts, but when they became all the rage, I found a way to make them work for me. I styled them with an oversized blazer, which gave me the confidence to embrace that trend in my own way. The key to making trends work for you is to find ways to incorporate them into your personal style.”
H!: Could you share some tips for building a capsule wardrobe for summer, and what key pieces should be included?
UD: “When it comes to a summer capsule wardrobe, I gravitate towards print-on-print co-ordinated clothing, tropical prints, and bright, summery dresses that can instantly lift your mood. I also enjoy incorporating neutrals and white-on-white styles. If you ever feel like you have nothing to wear, you can never go wrong with a pair of wide-legged trousers or jeans paired with a basic white shirt. It’s a great foundation that you can build upon with different accessories or layers.”
H!: In the sweltering Indian summers, what types of fabrics do you suggest using to stay comfortable and fashionable? And which brands do you enjoy shopping from?
UD: “Cotton, hands down! For me, cotton is the ultimate fabric, regardless of the season. It’s comfortable to wear and easy to live in. During the summer months, I tend to gravitate towards cotton fabrics like mulmul and linen to help combat the heat.
When it comes to shopping for summer, I love to support sustainable Indian brands like Shop Drawn. They offer a wide range of eclectic and fun summer prints that are perfect for the season. Then there’s Mulmul for lovely and breezy Indian cotton outfits like suit sets. Another go-to is Happi Space, which is a size inclusive holiday label born out of sheer love of all things prints and colours. They make oversized, comfortable clothing for the ultimate homebody, which I love.”
H!: What advice would you give to someone who wants to elevate their fashion game and develop their own personal style?
UD: “I believe in building a wardrobe around a few key statement pieces and classic staples. To keep things interesting, my advice would be to pair a classic item with a statement accessory or shoe, and keep the rest of the outfit minimal. This approach will allow you to create a variety of looks without feeling like you have to constantly buy new pieces.”
H!: Who or what inspires your fashion choices, and how do you stay inspired in your work as an influencer?
UD: “My mum was my biggest source of inspiration as she used to work in the fashion industry. Even though she has since left the field, I have continued to pursue fashion in her honour. I have always looked up to her as a role model and her creativity has had a profound influence on my personal style. In terms of finding inspiration, I believe that it is all around us. The internet is an endless source of creativity, and I also look to the world around me for inspiration, whether it’s nature, art, or the people I meet. Being open to new ideas and experiences is key to staying inspired and motivated in the fashion industry.”
H!: What fashion trends do you predict will be popular this summer?
UD: “This summer, I’m predicting a major trend towards statement pieces, especially when it comes to accessories. Think big pearls and oversized jewellery that add a bold touch to any outfit.”
H!: What are some common fashion mistakes that people make, and how can they be avoided?
UD: “In fashion, there’s no universal right or wrong. Personal preference plays a big role. What works for me might not work for someone else, so it’s all subjective. When it comes to choosing what to wear, I prioritise comfort over brand names.”
H!: Could you share some tips for dressing for different occasions, such as a summer wedding or a beach vacation?
UD: “If I were to attend a summer wedding, I would choose a designer who specialises in exquisite floral prints. My top choice would be the talented duo behind Paulmi and Harsh, whose strong yet feminine silhouettes, intricate detailing, and gorgeous prints never cease to amaze me. To complete the look, I would pair the outfit with silver accessories for a touch of elegance.
When it comes to a summer getaway, comfort is key. My go-to outfit would be a breezy, short dress paired with comfortable sneakers, perfect for exploring and walking around.”