If the words ‘occasion wear’ conjures images of women in bodycon dresses, jackets and outlandish hats at the Royal Ascot, you wouldn’t be off the mark. Occasion wear are outfits that are worn on special occasions. These outfits are special. They’re different from your regular clothes. They’re ‘glitzier’, more bejeweled, and totally gorgeous.
In India, we celebrate a number of occasions from festivals to marriage occasions to anniversaries and birthday celebrations. Each occasion has its own rules and customs.
Why do you need to dress for an occasion?
It comes down to a single word, RESPECT. For you and your host. Dressing up is a way of saying to your host that his/her event is worth your time and your effort. It is also an investment in your reputation. Every outfit you wear is a piece of the construct of how others perceive you. Rising to the occasion in what you wear is a way of indicating to others that you take yourself and your host seriously.
If you’re ready to glam up, this occasion wear guide is for you. We explore how you can retain your unique sense of style while still paying homage to customs and traditions.
Festival occasion wear: What you can wear during a religious ceremony, puja or festivities, largely depends on region and community. In a large diverse country like India celebrations and traditions vary according to age-old customs and traditions. For e.g. a colour that is considered auspicious in one community may have a different connotation in another community. However, there are some universalities. The saree, for example, is popular across the country, irrespective of norms and traditions. Wearing a saree for Diwali is as acceptable as wearing a saree for Christmas.
Style tip: Amp up your style and comfort quotient by wearing a saree in a new material, like lycra. You can also glamorize the blouse by wearing an elegant crop top with your saree or even a cold-shoulder blouse. A recent fashion trend is wearing a belt-band around your waist that keeps your pallu in place. See some of our latest designs.
Wedding occasion wear: In India, occasion wear comes into its own at weddings. Across all religions, weddings are celebrated with tremendous ceremony and joy. While other religions have specific outfits for each ceremony, Hindu weddings have a number of ceremonies with wedding occasion wear to match. Here’s a look at some of them.
Wedding engagement occasion wear: Engagements are wonderful occasions where family and friends of the couple come together. There’s a heightened sense of expectation and hope and love in the air, that makes it all seem magical. Engagement celebrations are often the most fun of all the marriage occasions as there is little ceremony and a whole lot of celebrating. Read on to find out what you can wear to an engagement occasion if you’re the woman-of-the-hour or her best friend or sister.
Sangeet occasion wear: A sangeet can either be a riot or a total #fail depending on what you wear. You can either have the time of your life or be so uncomfortable in what you have on that you will be waiting for the evening to end. So choose your outfit for sangeet wisely. Read on if you are looking for the ideal sangeet outfit for a bride-to-be or as an invitee to a sangeet.
Mehendi occasion wear: Does lounging around and getting your hands and feet decorated while catching up on the latest gossip in town, sound like a good time? It sure is. The mehendi function is the calm before the storm, it’s the lull before the madness hits. What do you wear as a bride-to-be or as a maid-of-honor? We’ve got the low-down for you.
Haldi occasion wear: The haldi ceremony is the most colourful occasion of all wedding traditions. The bright colours and general bonhomie of the event bring a smile to everyone’s face. How do you elevate your haldi outfit? What is the appropriate haldi dress for a bride? Here’s our take on what you can wear to a haldi occasion.
Indian occasion wear is still a nascent industry, but the Indian shopper is more fashion savvy today than ever before. There’s bound to be huge leaps in the occasion wear segment that includes more funky fusion styles and trendier versions of traditional wear in the next few years. At the end of the day, only one thing matters and that is that you stay true to your style.