While we don’t usually put much though into our festive dressing, ethnic Indian wear is moving rapidly when it comes to designs and styles, with new trends coming every season. Here are some tips to help you wear these trends and look super-stylish this Diwali.
Tip 1: Experiment with embellishments
Embellishment sprayed all over your anarkali or sari are passé. The trend is toward embellishments on specific garments or sections of garments. This means pairing a heavy embellished dupatta from a lehenga with a simple kurta-churidar set, or heavily-sequined blouses with light saris. Embroidered borders on light saris and anarkali kurtas look great too. If you’re wearing calf-length anarkalis, opt for styles that have embellishments limited to the bodice. Also, look beyond stones or sequins—gold thread work, latkans (danglers) and shimmery thread can be great embellishments for Indian wear.
(Below: Look from Peppermint Diva and Anushree Reddy AW 14)
Tip 2: Try prints for a change
We usually associate festive dressing only with embellishments, but why not explore the wonderful variety of traditional Indian prints? Block prints give a rich feel on luxurious fabrics, while leheriya saris with gota work are sureshot winners. Or try out any bandhini pieces lying in your closet, such as dupattas or saris. Of course, if you miss bling, look for pieces that have a dash of sequins or metallic embellishments.
(Below: Turi sari with gota border from Amazon, Block-printed suit set from Biba at Jabong.com)
Tip 3: Mix and match
I know, mix and match as a fashion trend may be done to death recently, but it’s cool to create new looks from existing outfits. Mixing colours is easy, especially when you don’t need to match them. So pair the kurta of one outfit with the dupatta and churidar of another one. Or the gold blouse of your traditional sari with a new printed sari. Or throw a long or short jacket over your kurta. And who says you need to wear only traditional jewellery with Indian wear? Try diamond (or diamante) earrings with your ethnic outfits- you will be surprised how the fusion look works!
Below: Look from Ritu Kumar AW 2014 and Long jacket from Wrap Studio.
Tip 4: Update your accessories
You use your go-to metallic clutch all year round. This Diwali, try the batua instead (also known as a potli). They’re spacious, embellished and look great with ethnic Indian outfits, like saris and kurtas. When it comes to jewellery, you don’t need to follow the earrings-necklace-bangles routine. Instead, try on hair accessories like a maang tikka or clip, and ditch the bangles for a cuff and a simple gold-finish watch.
Below: Batua from Toniq, Jadau kada from Falguni Mehta
Tip 5: Groom, groom, groom!
A gorgeous festive look is incomplete without the perfect makeup and hair, right? Go for fuss-free hair styles like a blow dry or iron for natural bounce and texture. As for makeup, make lip colours the focus—copper, champagne and burgundy are ideal for ethnic wear. And hey, red lip colours always work!
Bonus Tip: Always remember the basics of festive dressing (colours, fabrics, silhouettes)
Rich colours: Deep blues and greens, reds, pinks, corals, orange family. BTW, black is okay too.
Luxurious fabrics: Opt for silk and georgette over cotton and linen.
Flattering silhouettes: Anarkalis or salwar-kurtas to suit your body type, well-draped saris to create the illusion of height and curves, with thin borders for petite women.
Happy Diwali to all!