Good over evil- is what most of the Indian festivals are all about! Of them, the festivities of Navratri, Dussehra, and Diwali are one of the most enthusiastic celebrations of the year, with a massive community involvement of Indians and Asians all over the globe. Nav means 9 (in Hindi and Gujarati languages) and Ratri means night – together they make the word – Navratri – the splendorous and vibrant festival of the 9 nights that shows devotion to Goddess Shakti in each of its rituals. While Navratri reveres and celebrates womanhood and fertility, Dusshera and the favorite Hindu festival of Deepawali (also Diwali) mark Lord Rama’s victory over the demon king Ravana.
The auspicious Navratri, also known as Durga Puja in many parts of India, is an occasion of electric energy and enthusiasm that the autumn air carries. In Gujarat, the eclectic West Indian state, it is a festival of utmost significance that sees women dressed up in colorful chaniya cholis and men upbeat in mirror-embroidered Kediyus perform the folk dances of Garba and Raas on devotional and Bollywood-remix music.
Style Guide for Navratri and Festive Season:
While Navratri is loved by one and all, in today’s busy life, many can’t revel in the festivities all through the nine days – hence the celebrations and the quintessential Garba nights go on for the subsequent weekends – until they coincide with the Diwali parties and ceremonies. It’s truly a scintillating time when we all wish to look our best. While the traditional Indian and ethnic outfits are preferred by most, with fashion evolving with time and global influences, there also has been a colossal transformation in people’s preferences. Even if you’re not planning to dance through the evening, dressing for the occasion in the prettiest outfits that have an exceptional Narvratri feel is something you wouldn’t want to miss! So here we bring to you, a new lookbook that you’d love to sport for this season’s festivities.
STYLISH INDO-WESTERN SUITS:
Designer suits that encompass the best of both worlds are here to rule the fashion markets. Be it a formal or an informal event/function, easy-to-carry ethnic suits have made it to women’s list. Practical and wearable styles are a Yes when you want to create a fashion statement while keeping up with the dazzle of the evening. Here are some smart tips to help you put your best foot forward with élan –
- Opt for an Indo-Western Anarkali Jacket suit, ditching the traditional Navratri clothes for a day or two. Dump the dupatta and go for a fresh look this season.
- A simple and elegant, Silk Anarkali Suit – like the one in the image could be the best pick for the reveling nights as well as for Diwali.
- Embellish your outfits with some chunky imitation jewelry – wear an oxidized set, that’s a popular choice with Navratri lehengas, or pick those stylish danglers or chandelier earrings.
- Wear delicate hair jewelry, leaving hair open to complete your festive look.
EVERGREEN ANARKALI SUITS:
While Indo-Western suits are like a breath of fresh air this year, traditional suits have preserved their unshakeable position even today. Floor-length suits in bright color palettes and prints ranging from flowery classics to digital object print are suitable choices for this’s year’s celebrations. You can also opt for a mix-and-match look and stand out among the decked-up masses! Here are some style tips to get you nail the timeless Anarkali ensemble:
- Go for a plain suit (like one in the image above), if you desire to pair the dress with a glitzy dupatta. The key is to highlight one element while keeping the others subtle.
- The auspicious festive time is a time for colors and vibrancy. Choose brighter shades likes lemon yellow, parrot green, tangerine orange – and pair with solid neutrals and everlasting blacks to stand out amidst the crowd.
- Dupattas are powerful enough to change the whole look of an ensemble. Drape your dupatta in a novel way to transform an old suit into a sparkling one.
DURGA PUJA’S SPECIAL ‘GARAD’ SAREE:
Durga Puja or Durgotsava – an Indian festival vastly celebrated among North Eastern and Bengali communities in India and a few other parts of the world- women can be seen breathtakingly beautifully decked up in a red and white or red and cream sarees (known as ‘Garad’) during Pujo or Puja. Here’s how women truly rooted in tradition can dress up in a Garad saree –
Look like a diva by trying different drapes with this classic – Gujarati drape and a Garad will make a very striking Garba or Deepawali ensemble. Or go for the Bengali drape to highlight its ravishing red borders.
- Heighten the exquisiteness of Garad sarees by teaming them with splendid gold and temple jewelry.
- Finish the look with a classy bun.
- If you are married, don’t forget to wear a vermilion or sindoor, as it completes the Bengali look like nothing else!
COLORFUL AND ETHEREAL SAREES:
The universally renowned Indian ensemble of a saree can make you look phenomenal, provided you drape and style it right! Having been worn by Indian women for centuries, the saree has become an integral part of an Indian closet, especially the festive wardrobe. Nothing fits the festive and Puja bill more than a gorgeous Indian Saree. If you’re wondering which one to choose for the upcoming days of merriment, take a cue from Saree.com’s collection of georgette sarees available in numerous shades.
- Opt for light in weight, easy drapes, which will allow you to enjoy the festivities to the hilt.
- Go for the latest and trendy Ombre sarees – in all their shaded glory.
- Decorate the edges of your saree with pom-poms or tassels to add a dramatic effect.
- If lighting crackers, ensure your saree is in cotton or linen fabric and tied snugly and slightly above the ground – for safety reasons.
- Pair a designer Gamthi blouse with your saree, for a truly Indian feel.
CONTEMPORARY LEHENGA CHOLIS:
Indian festivals are incomplete without the mesmerizing charm of lehenga cholis. Navratri and Garba nights have a close connection with the traditional Chaniyas, cholis, and lehengas – and so is Diwali. This season, however, given the time of candid celebrations with smaller crowds, we’d suggest contemporary design elements – and also help you pick some breathtaking options –
- Pick plain lehengas or flared cotton skirts with broad borders and laces with metallic gold and silver accents. Add some melodrama to your outfit with latkans, colorful fabric balls, and fusion add-ons.
- Choose an embroidery-free, light ensemble, to dance the night away freely.
- Go for a plain lehenga and a dupatta, if you are not a fan of heavy embellishments.
- Add traditional touches by wearing quirky oxidized accessories like Kamar-bandh, headgear, statement rings, or long neck-pieces.
CLASSIC TRADITIONAL CHANIYA CHOLIS:
The forever alluring chaniya choli is inherently in tune with the Navratri and Diwali celebrations. While there’s always the choice of keeping your outfit simple and comfy, you can take your look a notch higher with fancy baubles and trinkets, along with jewelry indulgence. Antique jewelry from your mom’s closet can give you some extra dazzle! Add them to your traditional lehenga/chaniya choli and rock Garba nights with panache –
- Look for a skirt with a minimal border at the bottom of a lehenga.
- A blouse with an interesting pattern can vastly enhance the appeal.
- Maang-Tikkas or Rajasthani bodlas are also a great way to jazz up the festive look.
The key to looking beautiful and sensuous all nine-days and all through the festive season is to moderate your food and drink, get plenty of rest stay hydrated. Plus, don’t forget to strike the right balance between accessories and your outfit!