If you were to ask me, I would tell you that making up your mind to marry someone after meeting him just once or twice is the weirdest thing ever! Yet, arranged marriages have been (and still continue to be) a norm in a culture like India, where often parents (need to/ take it upon themselves to) intervene – to decide on a suitable prospective bride or groom for their kids.

Well, the merits or disadvantages of arranged matches notwithstanding – truth remains that meeting someone, or rather ‘seeing’ someone (for this) creates a very awkward situation. The girls and boys meeting a prospective partner and/ or their family/ friends become anxious, often ending up making many faux pas. The situation becomes especially tricky for girls, as they are also expected to adhere to many cultural and ethnic stereotypes, and also look ‘pretty’ – as they are, usually, the ones who are being ‘seen’.

The spotlight is obviously on the ‘girl’! Besides worrying about so many things, the girl has to take care of what she wears. Should you wear a Saree or an Indian Suit? Will it have to be a festive, heavy dress? Or, should you stick to what you generally wear in daily life?

Have you been in such a situation too? Or, do you expect yourself in something like this? Don’t worry. Anything you pick – be it a saree or a suit, or even a Western outfit – you should feel confident and comfortable in it.

Still, clueless? We will help you reduce your anxiety with Saree.com’s wonderful and tested tips to dress up when meeting a guy for an arranged match –

  1. Semi-Formal Look

Don’t go to the either end of the spectrum. Neither wear something too wedding-like nor something that you would sport, when hanging out with friends. You would not want anyone to think that your life depends on ‘this’ – but don’t make the mistake of making this too casual or careless either! Unpretentious is the word – I would stick to, while creating my look for this ‘meet-up’.

Yellow Cotton Straight Cut Suit for Arranged Marriage Meeting

Good quality, understated Salwar Suits or Sarees or whatever dress that you would wear to an important official meeting should work well in this scenario too. Choose a vibrant Palazzo Suit in a smart silhouette to portray a smart image.

If Saree is what you deem right for this occasion, then stick to drapes that are easy to manage and carry. You can choose the blouse as per your liking, but avoid too skimpy or dressy stuff. Same goes for the saree – a cotton silk or georgette is a winner any day over the nets or heavy silks.

Peach Cotton Silk Printed Saree for Arranged Marriage Meeting

  1. Smart and Solid

For most girls, unless you wear only and only Western outfits (nothing else), ethnic outfits or fusion wear with semi-formal flavor in neutral, solid hues work the best! Why? It’s just not about conforming to the expectations, but it’s also about matching your dress and color choice with the tone of the situation. Plus, most of us, let’s accept it, are quite comfortable in Kurtis, Churidaar Suits and Patiala Salwar Suits in neutral color palettes like whites, grey, cream, beige – especially given the weather conditions here. These apparels and hues look good on most body types too.

White and Grey Cotton Suit with Long Jacket for Arranged Marriage Meeting

However, no one is asking you to be out and out traditional in your choices. Pick something that agrees with your preferences. Go for trousers, cigarette pants, contemporary asymmetrical hemlines, long jackets and shrugs – or flowy, stylish sarees – to get a perfect blend of modernity and tradition. If wearing a plain saree, you can opt for an elegantly embroidered blouse, or can even go Indo-Western here – by pairing a cotton crop top with your drape.

Grey Chiffon Saree for Arranged Marriage Meeting

  1. Be Yourself

Don’t choose something that’s not true to your personality. And, not just in your dressing, but also in what you say and how you behave – be yourself. This is the personality that will go with you – when you marry. So, pretenses won’t work – they never do! Your would-be groom may be a foreign educated bloke, but if you are most comfortable and genuine in Indian dresses, let him know at the outset itself. Vice versa holds true too. Wear something that will let you express yourself – the best.

Blue Cotton Kurti for Arranged Marriage Meeting

A stylish Kurti reveals your confidence as it is a form flattering silhouette and is contemporary in appeal, but it also is modest and truly Indian. Something like this – that’s great for a family meeting as well as a coffee date – will also help you be comfortable, even when you have to go out with the guy, after the meeting. You can also choose longer kurtas in quirky prints or something flared, frock-like that has a more girly appeal – given what is your true personality.

White Apple Cut Kurti for Arranged Marriage Meeting

  1. Be Smart & Confident

Don’t be scared to show your intellectual side! Indian girls need not depict a coy and shy image, during these meetings. This trend is passé! You, no longer (hopefully) have to be a ‘tray of tea-cups carrying’, on-display, bride-in-the-waiting… Show your confident side, and let the guy (and his family) know how intelligent you are. Looks fade, but intelligence keeps getting better. Keep a non-nonsense look – if that would help forge your confidence.

Cream Chanderi Floor Length Suit for Arranged Marriage Meeting

Try connecting with a prospective partner on an intellectual level – this will help you judge your possible compatibility. Wear a modish, no-fuss palazzo suit like the one shown here – as it will not let anyone get distracted from what should be the center of everything – ‘YOU”. This suit is ostentation free, yet very attractive! Get the suit in comfort, relaxed fit, as it will help you move around with ease. Saree lovers can choose something that shows off their brighter and peppier side – especially if that’s true to their natural personality.

Pink Palazzo Suit for Arranged Marriage Meeting

  1. Neat & Prim

You may wear something absolutely simple, but if you are well-groomed, neat and absolutely prim – it shines. Ensure your dress is wrinkle free; choose something in a fabric that will not get scrunched, during the long proceedings (or preceding travel) of a ‘meeting’ day. Dark colors, flowy, roomy silhouettes, wrinkle-resistant options all help soothe out the day’s possible trouble-makers – like long travel, too much sitting, tiredness, possible bloating after the restaurant food and stress etc. A dupatta also comes handy in such situations!

Royal Blue Anarkali Suit for Arranged Marriage Meeting

Most importantly, before you head out – take time out to groom yourself. Your nails, hair, skin, feet, teeth, eating style, hands – everything matters! Many people these days are very careful about these aspects – as clothes can be changed, but bad habits die hard! Deal with frizzy hair, or at least groom it in a neat style – so it doesn’t fall in your eyes. Too much fussing with hair, especially when you may have to talk to people – and eat as well – is certainly not a good idea. Cleanliness matters a lot – so ensure your nails, ears, earlobes, mouth etc. are absolutely clean. Carry wet tissues to deal with potential spoilers. It may sound very funny or trivial, but if wearing light colors and eating/ drinking – be careful to not stain your outfit. Elegance and poise go a long way!

Sky Blue Kurti for Arranged Marriage Meeting

  1. Dress for your Body Type & Personality

Avoid wearing anything that’s too tight or too loose, just because you feel that it will make you appear taller, slimmer, stylish etc. Dress up in tune with your natural body shape – as it will keep you comfortable, confident and attractive. Don’t try to hide your bulges or add to your height – because you must show your true self in such meetings.

Cream and Beige Kurti for Arranged Marriage Meeting

Nonetheless, it helps to put together a smart and well defined look. Pick stuff that will flatter your figure, without going over-board. You can wear shape-wear underneath your suit/ kurti, if that will help you feel better and would also enhance your posture. Speaking of posture, it is a very important aspect of your overall personality, so don’t forget to keep an upright, relaxed and graceful one intact.

Maroon Anarkali Suit for Arranged Marriage Meeting

  1. Comfort Matters – Shun anything that would leave you uncomfortable

Convention may say anything, but there is no need to wear a saree, if you are unsure of carrying it well. Nothing is more unsightly than you constantly pulling on something, because you are uncomfortable in it. Same goes for shoes – you may be short, but don’t wear high heels, if you will actually fall in them!

Beige Straight Cut Suit for Arranged Marriage Meeting
On a regular basis, if you wear western clothes, it’s fine to wear slightly more formal attire in that genre itself – even when you are meeting a guy. On the other end of the spectrum, just don’t try to be modish, if your basic, natural style is understated or traditional. I know of a girl whose mum forced her to wear a sleeveless, off-shoulder kurta for one such ‘meet’, because the said guy’s sister and mother were supposedly quite ‘advanced’ (the potential bride too got to match them!). The poor girl ended up making a fool of herself! Bottom-line – stick to your comfort zone with minor tweaking to appease both sides and to honour the delicate situation.

Black Georgette Suit for Arranged Marriage Meeting

  1. Balance is the Key

All in all, you should keep a fine balance between all aspects of your dress. Don’t go overboard, and don’t be shabby or grungy either. Stick to muted color tones, if you feel unsure, or go for peppy, feminine colors for a youthful and trendy image. Light colors work better than the overly bright, overpowering ones, as you also want the focus on your personality – and not just on your clothes.

Blue Cotton Saree for Arranged Marriage Meeting

Same goes for everything else – including your demeanor, accessories, behavior etc. Don’t go for fads – and certainly don’t try or wear something, you haven’t ever tried never before. This is no zone for cray experimentation. All the best!

Blue Kurti for Arranged Marriage Meeting