Chic Trends: Dressed up ethnic whites to look nice

There’s a problem with wearing white in India—wear too much of it and you look like you’re off to a funeral; wear too little, and you’re soon facing an overdose of colour.

I don’t have too many white clothes, least of all in my ethnic selection. But after seeing the wonderful whites this season, I think it might soon add them to my wardrobe.

Here are some chic ways to wear white the ethnic way, that you can wear to your cousin’s mehendi or friend’s sangeet without looking morose.

Pair white with brights
Red and black make a deadly combo, but have you ever considered wearing red with white? Choose a flowy white kurta with gold embellishments and pair with a red dupatta. And hey, you can replace red with warm festive colours like orange and yellow and even funky neons.

Below: Kurta-churidar-dupatta from Alpa-Reena; Look from Archana Kochhar’s collection

Alpa-Reena red and white kurta churidar dupatta Archana Kochhar white with neon colours kurta-churidar

Beyond borders
From the simple gold and silver gota to embellished pattis, your white and cream saris, kurtas and dupattas can get transformed in just a few stitches. In a variety of colours and widths, let the border be the highlight of your look.

Below: From Timeless by Anita Dongre’s Lakme Fashion Week Summer/Resort 2011 collection

Anita Dongre's Timeless white sari with gota border

Off the white track
True white is pristine, pure and very difficult to maintain. Opt for off-whites, creams and beige with thread, bead and pearl embroidery.

Below: From Ensemble’s Ecru collection.

Ensemble Ecru collection

How are you wearing white this season?

Wedding Fashion: Brooch it up!

I love accessories—especially the smaller ones like hair clips, bangles and rings. They may be small in size, but they make a big (yet subtle) impact on my final look.

Which brings me to my accessory of choice this wedding season: the brooch!

Brooch for wedding: fashion accessory

How many of us have brooches? (I didn’t, until a short while ago). How many of us have brooches and wear them often? (I’m waiting for the wedding cocktail tonight to wear mine).

How to wear a brooch (some fun ideas!):

  • If you are wearing a kurta-churidar-dupatta, let your dupatta hang on one side and use the brooch to keep it in place.
  • Run a hair pin through it and use it as a hair decoration.
  • Wearing a long jacket? Pin it right in the middle!
  • Use it to keep your sari pleats in place (to draw attention to your envious waist).

Where to buy a brooch:

  • If you don’t have a brooch yet, fret not! Your friendly neighbourhood store (where you buy scrunchies, hair clips and other goodies) might have some.
  • Head to the multi-designer stores like Ensemble, Re or Amara—they stock accessories from clutches to sandals to art jewellery, and you might find brooches there.
  • Several Indian bridal wear designers also have brooches.
  • Hunt online! There are plenty of fashion sale websites that offer great deals. I bought the Tarun Tahiliani brooch I from a website recently, and it cost me approximately Rs 1500.

Bollywood Fashion: Kangana Ranaut does a desi curl in Tanu Weds Manu

Tanu of Tanu Weds Manu is a vodka-guzzling, invective-spewing, small-town girl who likes to have people dance to her tunes. And from the promos, she also seems to love dancing, gossiping and has a penchant for drama.

Even as Tanu (Kanagana Ranaut) has totally bewitched her suitor Manu (R Madhavan), we’re admiring her desi bold look.

Kangana Ranaut in Tanu Weds Manu

Speaking Chic breaks down Kangana Ranaut’s Tanu look:

Clothes

Kangana Ranaut is mostly dressed in kurta-salwars in Tanu Weds Manu, wearing the small-town uniform to the T. While most young girls across India seem to have adopted the jeans-tee staple, we’re sure Tanu’s wardrobe is partly dictated by her circumstances—ladkewale and all that. 😉

But Tanu is bold enough to sport low-backed kurtas and blouses (with net saris), perhaps indicating her boldness?

FYI, the movie’s costume designer is Namratha Jani, who also did the forgettable Dil Kabaddi.

Kangana Ranaut in Tanu Weds Manu

Accessories

If there’s one thing Tanu loves, it’s her earrings. Kangana is sporting lovely Indian earrings, from hoops to jhumkas to jadau. Lots of bangles too! (We find this a bit surprising since the current trends favour a few chunky kadas.)

Kangana Ranaut in Tanu Weds Manu

Hair

Kangana Ranaut has often spoken about her extremely curly (and troublesome) hair in interviews, but this is one movie where she’s making the most of them. And her crazy hair contributes greatly to her bold personality. Besides playing with her curls, Kangana has also played with texture by crimping her hair.

Makeup

Smokey eyes go subtle! Kangana’s smokey eyes have been skillfully done—the smudged eyeliner/ kaajal blends seamlessly with the dark eyeshadow. In some scenes, you see Kangana in eyeshadows of colours like pink and light blue. Lips are glossy with a hint of colour.

We loved Tanu, partly because we see a bit of her in us. Or maybe it’s the other way around. What do you think?

Winter Layering: Go Indian (part 2)

In our earlier post, we gave some easy tips to help you layer your Indian clothes. Here are some more tips, but be warned: not all these options are easily available or ready-to-wear. These will work well if you have the time, patience and effort (and maybe even a bigger wallet) to hunt for the right fabrics and tailors.

  • Long Indian jackets are a growing trend, but these are usually heavily embroidered and not appropriate for daily wear. So make your own such jacket! We suggest brocade jackets (plenty of options out there, and they go with almost everything), and advise your tailor on the silhouette you want. It would be worth the investment.

Rohit Bal Indian jacket

  • Maxi/midi-length buttoned tops/ shirts and tunics are other practical options. You could wear them as jackets/ coats, layered with your kurta underneath. Works well with straight cuts.
  • Indian waistcoats were the rage for a brief period. If you’re lucky enough, you will find some in local markets/ emporiums foreign tourists like to visit. There are plenty of options in waistcoats, from raw silk to organic cottons to fun colours and embellishments like sequins or thread work.

How are you going to layer your Indian clothes?

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Winter Layering: Go Indian (part 1)

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Winter Layering: More trendy office looks

Winter Layering: Go Indian (part 1)

Winter layering for Indian women is tricky, if not tough. The kurta-churidar/salwar-dupatta, the uniform of millions of women across the country has a very specific silhouette, cut and length. And unfortunately, most “western” wear is not appropriate to layer with them.

All of us have seen women wearing a buttoned sweater over a kurta, and we must admit can look kinda dowdy, and well… funny.

Here are a  couple of easy tips to get you started:

  • The trick is to play with length correctly. Most kurtas are close to knee-length so go for a jumper, sweater or cardigan that stops a few inches short of the kurta’s hemline.
  • Seek and you will find several ‘longer’ knitwear options to go with your kurtas.
  • For kalidar or A-line kurtas, wear a cropped sweater or jacket that ends just where the kurta begins to widen.

(Cropped cover-up from United Colors of Benetton).

Cropped knit jacket

Ditch the dupatta and drape a long stole or scarf in a fun way.

(Scarf from S. Oliver)

39.008.91.5575

Speaking Chic Tip: Here’s a video we like that explains the various ways you can tie a scarf:

Coming soon: Part 2

Wedding fashion: Let the kalidar kurtas bloom

For those who can’t (or won’t)wear saris at weddings for whatever reason, kalidar kurtas are the comfier, trendy and easy option. They are feminine, add grace to your gait and can create a colourful impact with shaded or alternating panels.

Handy tips to wear kalidar kurtas:

  • Kalidar kurtas are versatile: you can play with necklines, colours and embroideries.
  • Opt for longer kalidar kurtas as hemlines drop this season.
  • Team with a churidar; dupatta is optional.

mapxencaRS by Riddhi & Siddhi kalidar kurta Manish Malhotra kalidar kurta LFW

Left: MapxencaRS by Riddhi & Siddhi

Right: From Manish Malhotra’s Lakme Fashion Week Winter/Festive 2010 collection

 

Related Posts:

Wedding Fashion: Saris dipped in gold

Wedding picks: Top sari and lehenga trends

Wedding Fashion: Saris dipped in gold

Gold is everywhere this season… around your neck, on your ring finger and wrist, and of course, it’s on our clothes. Designers can’t bring enough gold to their lehengas and saris, and we don’t mind, because this time it isn’t OTT.

At Lakme Fashion Week, Anupama Dayal’s collection, which made plenty of good use of Indian embroideries and embellishments in the form of zardosi, gota and brocade.

How to wear gold in your wedding outfit:

  • Wear a sari, lehenga or kurta with gold metallic embellishments.
  • Tone down the bling with a broad gold border on your dupatta or sari.
  • Wear a gold blouse or choli with your lehenga or sari.
  • Don’t forget the gold jewellery!

Anupama Dayal kurta with gold embroidery LFW  Anupama Dayal sari in gold LFW  

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