Take Your Occasion Wear to Brunch

You know those strange noises you hear in the middle of the night sometimes? That’s your bridal lehenga calling your name from the dark recesses of your cupboard. Isn’t it sad that we pack away our gorgeous lehengas, sarees, or salwars, and they don’t see the light of day until the next wedding or function?

Way back in 2015, two friends decided to do something about the many sarees they owned, some of which they had inherited from their grandmothers. Instead of leaving their sarees unworn and unseen at the back of their wardrobes, they made a pact to wear 100 sarees in a year. To hold themselves accountable, they shared pictures of them wearing these sarees on social media and described the history and significance of each. This inadvertently spiraled into a global social media phenomenon that came to be known as the #100sareepact. 

Just as Ally Matthan and Anju Maudgal Kadam, the friends who began the #100sareepact movement, did, you too can bring your ethnic wear out of the closet. Why only wear it on those rare special occasions? Why not transform your ‘special’ clothes so that you can wear them anywhere and make every day feel like an occasion? It’s not impossible. You just need to know how. This blog will help you get started. 

Here are a few fashion rules that will help you make this transition easier. 

Preparing Your Occasion Wear 

As you pull off the dust covers on your favorite sarees and lehengas, here are a couple of things you need to know to transform your ethnic wear into clothing that you can wear anywhere. 

Practice the art of one: The grandeur of occasion wear is in the whole package. From the heavily embellished choli to the gorgeous dupatta, every item of a lehenga or saree contributes to the overall dazzling effect. Now, to wear your bridal clothes to, say, lunch with your gal pals, you need to pare it down. Too much bling, and you will look like you are trying too hard. Instead, hero one piece of clothing, and let the rest be the supporting cast. So, wear that heavily embellished choli, but pair it with a dark-colored pant or skirt instead of a printed one. Or vice versa. 
Here, an embroidered skirt is offset with a formal white shirt. This pairing is perfect for lunch with friends or a meeting with a client. 

Source: https://shilpaahuja.com/how-to-dress-when-meeting-a-guy-for-arranged-marriage/?amp

  Dressed for an evening out, the embroidered crop top takes center stage when paired with plain black pants. 

Source: https://in.pinterest.com/pin/33495590968607397/

Be unexpected: Creating a personal style has much to do with adding little quirks and twists to an otherwise straightforward outfit. This is where you can bring in elements of your bridal trousseau so that your eventual ensemble is distinct and unique. Try pairing a western pantsuit with an ornate piece of jewelry or transforming a western dress with an ethnic dupatta or your lehenga belt, these little (or big!) additions go a long way in elevating your outfit. So, get your maang tika out of your safety deposit box, and spice up your western wear. 

Maang tika worn on western outfits adds a certain stylish appeal that is classy yet unconventional
Pair an embellished potli with casual wear for a fun yet dramatic look 

Source: https://in.pinterest.com/pin/438186238745294497/ 

Choose wisely: Spouses, jobs, and the ethnic pieces that you will incorporate into your daily wardrobe—all need to be selected after careful deliberation.  Some pieces in your ethnic wardrobe will not seamlessly blend into your every day and it is best to leave those pieces at the back of your cupboard. Knowing what will look good and what won’t, will take practice. So, how do you decide? 

  • Choose occasion wear that highlights the best parts of your body. Love the way your collarbone looks especially in that choli with spaghetti straps? Grab it from the back of your wardrobe and wear it with a cute pair of boyfriend jeans.  Can’t get enough of your abs and midriff area? A bralette under a jacket with a classy lehenga skirt might be what you want to wear to that coffee catch-up with your friends. 
  • Choose pieces that are highly blend-able. Most ethnic wear pieces can be paired with other types of clothing. However, there are some that look incomplete without the rest of the ensemble and will look odd when paired with something other than the original set. On the other hand, some pieces, such as long Kurtis, are perfect on their own without the need for anything else to support it.
This bell-sleeved kurti works well as a dress or as a Kurti.

Of these two cholis from our collection, the first one (bottle green) will be harder to pair with other clothes. It will work well as a saree blouse but little else. The yellow threadwork choli, on the other hand, is a fun, flirty number that will work well paired under a blazer with a pair of jeans, with a skirt for that summery vibe, or even a saree. 

Source: https://www.koskii.com/products/koskii-bottle-green-sequins-georgette-designer-lehenga-gcrm0019881_bottle_green and https://www.koskii.com/products/koskii-yellow-threadwork-georgette-designer-lehenga-gcrm0020150_yellow 

Look for balance: As with all ensembles, when you pair your formal ethnic wear with other outfits, look for balance and continuity in the silhouette. You need structured pieces that complement each other to avoid your ensemble looking sloppy and unimaginative. One way to do this is to build your outfit around a theme or a ‘hero’ piece of clothing, color, or embellishment. 

A heavily embroidered shrug looks perfectly balanced with a pair of distressed jeans that has a different kind of embroidery of its own. The hair updo and stilettoes help lengthen the silhouette and provide more definition. 
A flared peplum-style Kurti is balanced by tight cigarette pants. The contradictory aspects of these items of clothing help maintain symmetry. If this Kurti were paired with a loose sharara pant, the silhouette would have less overall definition and shape and may end up looking sloppy. 

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