Fun, quirky ways to style Indian ethnic outfits – for weddings, parties and more…
Indian wear is all about grace and subtle glamour, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create new looks that are quirky, edgy or even fierce with these lovely traditional dresses. Yet, many wrongly feel that there is not much one can do with saree, salwar kameez and lehenga, especially when it comes to heavy Indian ethnic wedding wear. Well, this can’t be further from the truth! There is just so much experimentation and tweaking that’s possible for giving youthful and trendy twists to your grand wedding sarees, party wear salwar suits and even bridal lehengas. Think the ‘Kala chashma’ lehenga in a latest Bollywood flick, or just look around – as we did – for some serious fashion inspiration!
Or, simply follow our smart guide below to have fun with your Indian wedding wear – after all, it’s officially the wedding season!
This is one versatile trend that’s here to stay! It’s unlikely that you would go wrong with capes or jackets. Plus, there are so many ways you can work with them – even on Indian-wear. Wear a long, flowy cape over slim trousers, or wear a fitted, sleeveless one over your designer saree.
Along with the androgynous capes aka bandhgala styles and the popular cape silhouette derived from the regal Nawabi style – shrugs and cover-ups in varying lengths and styles are popular these days. Add a dressy poncho-style shrug/ cape to a wedding salwar suit you bought last shaadi season – and see how glam and trendy you look!
2. Lehenga Suit
Do you know why this trend has suddenly caught up? Because it’s absolutely practical and smart! We all have lehengas is our closet, but we don’t wish to repeat the lehenga choli outfits. So, how do we re-invent them? By pairing a mid-length kameez from a fancy straight-cut suit with a lehenga! Buy a new lehenga suit – and keep reinventing by rotating many of your party-wear suit kameezes. You can even recycle dupattas this way!
3. Dress up a special skirt
Got a pretty, satiny skirt in your closet? Or, a flared Barbie-style one – with cancan under-lining? Dress your pretty skirts – of any length – in style this wedding season by creating chic Indo-Western fusion looks. Dress up your flared, formal skirt with a cape-style choli or heavily embroidered, waist length blouse. Add a dupatta, or just keep things as they are – and see how pretty you look. You can even create a heavy, wedding lehenga suit this way – by adding a really lush kameez from your bridal suit or a royal, long cape from your lehenga ensemble.
Recently, I combined a flared skirt in beige base and red-green flowers with a red-green silk blouse, over which I wore a plain beige-gold long cape (from another salwar suit). And, the look was a hit! I didn’t wear a duppatta…
4. Glam up your pants –
Just like your skirt, you can choose any dressy pants from your wardrobe – palazzo pants with wide borders on hems, colored cigarette pants in silk, trousers from your trendy trousers-suits – and add a heavy cape, jacket, kameez or even choli from a party-wear dress. See how you sizzle! You can even wear a long belted tunic in an Indian print with one such pair of pants. Just ensure the belt you add is snazzy – with gold buckles and diamantes maybe.
5. Or, wear fancy pants
This one is just the opposite of the previous point – but surely this will be more practical, considering you are likely to have more fancy Indian suits and kameezes (and blouses, cholis et al) in your traditional Indian closet – than lush pants. So, get yourselves some really fancy pants like Zardozi embroidered ones or ones made in Banarasi brocade fabric. Or the trendy dhoti pants and pants with all sorts of flare and silhouette variations. Pair them with tunics and Indo-Western suits tops of varying lengths and see how this trendy wear wins you compliments.
6. Add a Jazzy Blouse
Yes! It’s that simple. Add a jazzy blouse – western or Indian – to your saree or lehenga, or even inside a cape – and see how things instantly transform to chic glam. Choose a Kutchi-work, heavily embroidered, colorful blouse with a shimmery, plain chiffon saree, or add a lush silk blouse or sizzling crop top to your saree look. You can also pair your halter-neck blouses and tops with off-shoulders or other such details with your party-wear sarees and lehengas.
7. Jewelry speaks volumes
Is there a doubt that jewelry is truly special in a wedding look? Even the simplest of the attires can be dressed up or down with a judicious use of jewelry. However, don’t just pile on anything that catches your hand (or attention). Plan your jewels in a manner so that they reflect a fun, quirky side, if that’s what you desire. Maatha pattis, maang teekas, bajubandhs, kamarbandhs, anklets and haslis (with cropped trousers or shorter skirts), beads’ baubles – all make for unique, trendy jewelry that can be added to your wedding look.
8. Let your hair do the talking!
Hairstyles – unlike the all-time open wavy hair of the last decade – are seriously in now. Choose from fancy braided styles that are so much in-vogue now, or go for updos of all sorts. Bun it up with a classic top knot with a designer net saree, and see how special you look. Or go for the classic messy bun look – with curls all around. You can also add colored streaks to your hot-rollers’ curled hair, and look like a fairy-tale princess!
Kala Chasma anyone? We all know how haute already are dark sunglasses with heavy traditional Indian ethnic wear. Accessorizing differently is a sure shot way to win attention and compliments, thus! Add statement pieces to your wedding and party look, and see how quickly everything transforms to modish and trendy. Jewels, of course, help, but you can extend the usual array and add stuff like cute hair accessories, hair jewelry and other accessories like belts, buckles, brooches etc. Work on your shoes and bags too – to give your look a definitive Indo-Western fusion wedding look.
10. Play with Prints
Indulge in season’s latest fashion obsession – prints – and see how you turn heads at a wedding. You can choose an embellishment-free, printed wedding lehenga, or simply combine one of your printed silk shirts/ kameez with a heavy embroidered party-wear lehenga. Same mixing and matching can be done with sarees and suits. You can dress up a simple printed georgette saree by stitching on a broad border on it. Or, just add a heavily embroidered readymade blouse or a choli from your bridal sari!
Don’t overdo on bling – just because it’s about band and baraat. But, be inventive, and add elements that are unique yet wedding worthy. Do not forget to share your fun, quirky and statement wedding looks with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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