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How I Get Dressed: Seema Bansal Chadha, Co-Founder of Venus et Fleur

Her brand is all about beautiful things that last. Her personal style fits that bill, too.

<p>Courtesy/ InStyle</p>

Courtesy/ InStyle



The way we get dressed every morning is as personal as it gets. There are outfit repeaters, vintage treasure hunters, and even emotional dressers. But while everyone loves a good fashion trend, here at InStyle, we're interested in the deeper stuff, too: the way jewelry makes us feel, the way a beloved coat can spark joy on a cold day, the way a pair of shoes can pull a whole look together. How I Get Dressed unpacks fashion routines, rituals, and go-tos — straight from the fashion tastemakers we love.



Feminine, sophisticated, classic, everlasting. These are all words that could describe Seema Bansal Chadha’s fashion choices…and her company, Venus et Fleur. The luxury floral brand is known for their eternity roses: flowers that last for an entire year, while remaining soft to the touch and smelling delightful. After Bansal Chadha’s then-boyfriend/now-husband sent her a Valentine’s Day flower arrangement that was disappointing (to put it mildly), the two set out to develop a company that could ship flowers that wouldn’t wilt in transit.

“I come from a family of entrepreneurs,” says Bansal Chadha. “I’ve always had this hunger in me to create something of my own.” That was nine years ago. Today, the company has expanded into homegoods and fragrances, success that Bansal Chadha is balancing with being a new(ish) mom and finding time for herself. It’s a juggle that is reflected in how she chooses her outfits: more buttoned up for meetings, casual and comfortable when taking care of her son, and a little sexier for events and weekends. No matter what, there’s an authenticity to her style choices.

“I think it's so important to feel good,” Bansal Chadha says. “I'm always trying to do things for [my son], so I'm dressing comfortably and running around with him. But I also want to feel like myself — to feel confident, feel sexy,” she adds. “I never want the clothes to wear me. I want to wear the clothes, right?” And she wears them exceptionally well.

<p>Courtesy of Seema Bansal Chadha</p> Bansal Chadha in a Hermès Vest worn as a dress and Hermès boots, carrying a suede Birkin

Courtesy of Seema Bansal Chadha

Bansal Chadha in a Hermès Vest worn as a dress and Hermès boots, carrying a suede Birkin

How do you plan your outfits? 

I just relocated back to New York. (I used to live in LA.) So now I'm really thinking about the weather. I'm like, I definitely need to dress warmer. I need to probably wear closed-toed shoes. I love to pick the clothes first, and then I accessorize with shoes, jewelry, and end putting together my makeup. [It also] depends on what is up for the day. If it's a meeting, maybe I'm gonna throw on heels and jeans and a nice blazer or a trench.

Workday style versus weekend style?

I'm definitely a classic type of gal. I love a good, nice-fitting pair of jeans, a white tee, and a trench-style jacket moment. I love a blazer too, but right now, especially, I love long jackets. That's kind of my work uniform. And then on the weekends I definitely like to play with my style a little bit more, and dress up and wear things that are maybe less work-appropriate. I love to feel feminine and in my goddess era, so something very fitted. Maybe it shows a little skin, but I feel confident in it.

I became a mom recently. (He’s almost two.) And I think it's so important to feel good. I'm always trying to do things for him, so I'm dressing comfortably and running around with him. But I also want to feel like myself — to feel confident, feel sexy, and so I try to do that on the weekends.

<p>Courtesy of Seema Bansal Chadha</p> Bansal Chadha dresses more femininely for events; here she's seen in a Coperni rosette dress, two by London earrings

Courtesy of Seema Bansal Chadha

Bansal Chadha dresses more femininely for events; here she's seen in a Coperni rosette dress, two by London earrings

Who are your style icons or inspirations?

If I'm going to an event, I try to pull references and then put an outfit together. I’ll lean into the beauty: What do I want to do with my hair and makeup? Is there a mood or inspiration I'm pulling? Maybe I'm looking on Pinterest to see something from the '90s. I love the '90s era.

I find that so many women are so stylish, and nowadays you can get inspired by really anyone with social media. You can pull references from what you see on Instagram, Pinterest, all these different platforms. But if I'm thinking of one person, I definitely think Yasmeen Ghauri during the '90s. She's just such a style icon. Anything she wore in the '90s — I'm obsessed.

She also looks very similar to me, so I feel like, in terms of her skin tone, her makeup, she’s a great one for me to pull inspiration from, because I can kind of envision what it will look like already.

Describe your personal style in three words.

Chic, feminine, and cool.

What are your favorite places and brands to shop? 

I don't like to buy too much stuff. I like to have things that I know I'm gonna wear for the rest of my life. I don't like crazy colors or things that don't feel as wearable. I want to be able to grab something and wear it with anything. I take my time when I make purchases, and I sometimes wait months before I pull the trigger.

I love a Chanel moment. I get my investment pieces at Chanel and Hermès because their quality is so good. I have things from five, six years ago that I still wear all the time. There's one jacket that I find myself grabbing at all times; it's this Chanel denim trench. It's really cool, and it kind of takes me back to my Canadian tuxedo days. It makes me feel very casual but still put-together. And I feel very comfortable in it, so it's one of my favorite pieces. And then with Hermès — it's the bags. You feel very put-together and feminine. I like the Kelly, because they have the removable shoulder strap, so you can just throw it on and it's super comfortable. But if I'm getting very dressed up, I like wearing the Birkin, because the handle is, I think, a little chic-er.

<p>Courtesy of Seema Bansal Chadha</p> Bansal Chadha shops for basics at Wardrobe NYC, like the vest and pants seen here.

Courtesy of Seema Bansal Chadha

Bansal Chadha shops for basics at Wardrobe NYC, like the vest and pants seen here.

When I invest in something, it’s always for hitting a milestone. I bought a bag after I had my son, and every time I wear it, it's [about] that moment. Every time I put this bag on, I'm gonna remember that time. I don't want it to sit in my closet in a dust bag forever because I just bought it to buy it. I wanna wear it, I want to enjoy it. I actually wear my pieces. I'm such a Taurus. They'll get snuffed up, but I like that I'm taking it out and enjoying it.

I love Frankie Shop and Wardrobe.NYC — I love to get the basics through them. If I'm shopping to discover new brands, I love Moda Operandi's trunk shows. I find a lot of new brands through that.

Do you shop second-hand or vintage?

I love shopping vintage and second-hand. First of all, it's sustainable. But the second piece is that no one winds up having the same stuff, and I think that happens a lot with [regular] shopping. Because everything is so accessible. You see something online, you can buy it right away, or you see your favorite person wearing something and buy it.

I actually collect a lot of '90s designers. I love '90s Chanel. I also collect the Dolce & Gabbana Birth of Venus collection that they did in the '90s. I have a couple pieces from that collection — it ties back to the inspiration of the brand. And I just love those pieces, love looking at them.

<p>Courtesy of Seema Bansal Chadha</p> Bansal Chadha says she loves collecting vintage '90s pieces, like this skirt from Chanel.

Courtesy of Seema Bansal Chadha

Bansal Chadha says she loves collecting vintage '90s pieces, like this skirt from Chanel.

I work with two different vintage brokers. There's one based in LA, El Cycèr Vintage, founded by Jennifer Grace, and she has been really great with finding the Birth of Venus pieces. She's found me three pieces already, and they're great quality. They're not as wearable, but I do think they're so special that if there was something that I wanted to wear them for, it would be impactful. I go to Treasures NYC for the '90s Chanel. I think they do a really good job with curating that.

If I'm traveling and I see a vintage shop, sometimes I'll walk in. It doesn't have to be designer, it just has to fit you really well. I just love a good jacket or a blazer that actually fits. And if I don't have to get it tailored or hemmed, that's kind of perfect.

Are there any trends that you have strong feelings about? Something you love and want to try (or hate and hope it never comes back)?

I love Balletcore. It's so fun, and it's so feminine. I also love the fact that fur, faux fur is so much more wearable now and people feel confident wearing it. I've always loved it, and I've been pulling it out a lot more.

A trend that I hate... thin eyebrows that you can't see. I never ever want anyone to do that again (laughs). I did that when I was younger. I hate looking at those photos. My eyebrows were thin and blonde, because I thought that was cool. I put light streaks in my hair, and then I had thin, light eyebrows that did not match my skin tone and did not make me look like me. But that was the trend! Eyebrows — they make your face, right?

Does your outfit inform your beauty decisions? Or vice versa?

It’s really about the vibe that I'm going for. Do I want to feel more fresh-faced, so am I going to do lighter makeup, maybe straight hair? For an event, sometimes I really want to get dressed up, but I still think your face needs to tell that full story.

Day-to-day I'm a little bit more fresh-faced. I love a good blush, and some jewelry. On the weekends, maybe it's more of a little smokey eye or a little lash or something, to enhance my almond-shape eyes.

<p>Courtesy of Seema Bansal Chadha</p> Bansal Chadha in a Chanel denim trench.

Courtesy of Seema Bansal Chadha

Bansal Chadha in a Chanel denim trench.

What is the one thing that you would save from your closet if there was an emergency?

It's that jacket, that Chanel denim jacket. I don't know what it is, I just love it so much. My husband makes fun of me: "Why do you like that jacket so much?" I'm like, "It’s just so cute!” The way that they had it styled on the site was with these tweed shorts, but I always wear it with jeans and a white tee. I feel like it adds this oomph to a simple outfit.

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